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Does anyone make their own cork grease?

I am a beekeeper and have a bunch of beeswax after my honey harvest,that I use for different things and was wondering if I should try making my own cork grease? If so; when mixing, are there certain oils that I should stay away from that may not be good for the cork or the mouthpiece?
 

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Beeswax makes a very fine mouthpiece - for a didgeridoo. It's been the way to go for literally hundreds of years.
 

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I am a beekeeper and have a bunch of beeswax after my honey harvest,that I use for different things and was wondering if I should try making my own cork grease?
If your purpose is to have fun experimenting with your bees' output, or just to kill time, sure, go ahead. If you have a more practical objective in mind (e.g., to save money, or to create a better product), I would say no. Commercial cork grease by the tube is very cheap, works just fine, and lasts a long time. There's really nothing significant to improve here.

As for "good for the cork," who cares? Try out a recipe and see what happens. If you can make your own cork grease, you can replace a neck cork if something goes wrong.
 

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Is there a need to reinvent the wheel again? The natural cork grease has already been done (Doctors Products).
 

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As for "good for the cork," who cares? Try out a recipe and see what happens. If you can make your own cork grease, you can replace a neck cork if something goes wrong.
Beeswax tends to set hard, and has great adherence - that's what makes it great for didgeridoo mouthpieces. I am concerned that it could similarly set up and turn to a very hard, very sticky adhesive that would make it difficult to remove the mouthpiece without damage to the neck.
 

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I think that beeswax is probably a little harder than desirable for cork grease. It will set hard as a stone in winter and may even be difficult to remove the mouthpiece if very well set in the cold.

Lanolin may be a better alternative. there are commercial products already. Some are a mix of, mostly lanolin and a little bit of beeswax.


http://instrumentclinicusa.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2825









As usual the archives offer some insight here.

Roger Aldridge had told me that Ralph Morgan recommended to him to use pure LANOLIN instead of cork grease. This puzzled me. I went to a pharmacist and got 10 ounces of pure lanolin (it must be added/mixed with nothing). It is inexpensive. And it works great. It softens the cork, conditions the cork so it is silky smooth and "plumps up" the cork so is just a bit thicker. The mouthpiece just slides on like silk and the seal is better because the cork is "thicker."

Far better than cork grease and easier on your expensive hard rubber mouthpieces. No longer forcing the mouthpiece on the neck..............possibly causing the hard rubber mouthpiece to split.

10 ounces of this will last years. Just keep it in a bottle with a nice tight screw on top.

Thank you Ralph Morgan and Roger Aldridge.
 

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Is there a need to reinvent the wheel again? The natural cork grease has already been done (Doctors Products).


Im not trying to re-invent anything. I dont want to market this at all. I just have this excess wax as a by product from harvesting honey and thought I could put it to use for something and save myself a few bucks in the process.

I know cork grease is cheap but I try to be thrifty when I can.
 

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Im not trying to re-invent anything. I dont want to market this at all. I just have this excess wax as a by product from harvesting honey and thought I could put it to use for something and save myself a few bucks in the process.

I know cork grease is cheap but I try to be thrifty when I can.
You probably spend more on a cup of coffee while you're out than a tube of cork grease that lasts for a long, long time.

Make some candles and practice saxophone by candlelight.
 

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I think that beeswax is probably a little harder than desirable for cork grease.

Lanolin may be a better alternative. As usual the archives offer some insight here.
Thanks Milandro! I tried searching the sub-forum but didn't have any luck. I'm somewhat of a noob and probably did something wrong.

sounds like I could mix a lot of lanolin with a little bees wax just for adherence and do pretty good.
 

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Thanks Milandro! I tried searching the sub-forum but didn't have any luck. I'm somewhat of a noob and probably did something wrong.

sounds like I could mix a lot of lanolin with a little bees wax just for adherence and do pretty good.
You didn’t do anything wrong, my way to find these things is to go here

https://www.saxontheweb.net

There in the top part , center page, there is a Google custom search box.

Insert words and you will find things.

Good luck! Maybe you could team up with Bandmommy ( she breeds sheep) and she will provide the lanolin ( well it is not as easy as squeezing wool :) ) and you put the beeswax and a new product is born.

Except is already there :).... Good luck!
 

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I make candles and lip balm also, just figured that while I am in the process of making these things I can make a couple tubes of cork grease also. There is also some satisfaction in using a product that you've made yourself. That's why I play music and don't just sit and listen to it. Just listening would be much cheaper and would take alot less time also, but there is satisfaction in learning and creating, why would this be any different.

Practicing by candle light sounds like fun, ........only ballads though
 

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go for it!
 

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Does anyone make their own cork grease?

I am a beekeeper and have a bunch of beeswax after my honey harvest,that I use for different things and was wondering if I should try making my own cork grease? If so; when mixing, are there certain oils that I should stay away from that may not be good for the cork or the mouthpiece?
I used to make cork grease from beeswax and vaseline. (Or was that petroleum jelly?)
The useability for a given mixture for a given season depended on the proportions, so I had some for summer and some for winter.
I got over it. The stuff is too sticky anyway.

It smells nice but nowhere near as Doctors Products' natural one.

And I find Alisyn the best of the lot, but it is synthetic which may not be to your liking. It's stickiness is close to zero.
 

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I have heard of using melted bees wax to seal the bell bow connection on saxophones that have a ring. If you really want a good cork grease substitute, do what I do and melt a bit of paraffin wax into a newly installed cork. Once the excess rubs off you have a well protected cork surface and never need to use corkgrease again.
 

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A customer recently had a problem with their clarinet that turned out to be the cork grease he used, which seemed similar to beeswax. It set hard, so when they tried to assemble it, it was very difficult. With a lot of force, the heat from the friction gradually started to make it softer. It was actually too loose if the wax wasn't set. If the cork had a better fit or wasn't worn (not loose) then it would be even harder to assemble, if not next to impossible. Basically the opposite of optimal.
 

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A customer recently had a problem with their clarinet that turned out to be the cork grease he used, which seemed similar to beeswax. It set hard, so when they tried to assemble it, it was very difficult. With a lot of force, the heat from the friction gradually started to make it softer. It was actually too loose if the wax wasn't set. If the cork had a better fit or wasn't worn (not loose) then it would be even harder to assemble, if not next to impossible. Basically the opposite of optimal.
Cheers Nitai, pretty much what I though it would be happening. Bee’s was has more adhesive quality than it has lubricant and could be used to thicken a very liquid lubricant.


As demonstrated above by the many products that I found on line, there is no shortage for “ alternative” products.

But frankly beeswax ( which for example is a great product to protect unlacquerd horns and a small pot will be forever) has many applications but this one isn’t.

Another possibility is for people whom experiment with materials other than cork. They could dip (there is this product already on the market though http://www.globalhempcord.com/products/bees-waxed-hemp-cord/) the hemp thread in melted beeswax.

In older flutes, clarinets AND saxophones, some people have used hemp thread ( I have opened a thread about this) instead of cork.but the thread needs something to adhere to the body of the instrument and provide a better and less smooth surface for binding.

My friend Arthur (whom you’ve met several times Nitai) does that.

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...sers-among-us-Come-clean!-Are-you-experienced

 

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I find Alisyn the best of the lot, but it is synthetic which may not be to your liking. It's stickiness is close to zero.
I followed Gordon's advice several years ago and use Alisyn on my saxes and Clarinets. I have a 5 piece Bass Clarinet that spends most of it's time fully assembled. No noticeable cork compression, no stickiness. It doesn't get played much, but gets an application of Allisyn cork grease when I think of it.
 

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You can melt tallow, lanolin and beeswax together and it makes a very good cork grease, though it can smell a bit with those ingredients. You can add some essential oil to make it smell nicer, but select the low odour lanolin should help.
Some people are allergic to lanolin so I make some without that ingredient and it still works well.
 

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Many cork greases dry out on the tenon to an ever more sticky, gooey mess, that makes the joint more difficult to assemble.
Use solvent to remove it and the joint goes together more easily without grease. Or the gooey mess has compressed the cork so much that without its adhesive-properties present, the joint falls apart without it.
In this case, the cork grease has wrecked the cork. The lipstick-container type is often of this type. The grease - "Micro" or other name - marketed in a square plastic box is one of the worst.

Many cork grease have some ingredient that somehow permeates the cork or goes around it, to destroy the adhesive qualities of the adhesive that is supposed to hold the cork on. The cork eventually falls off.
The grease has wrecked the glue. These greases often resemble vaseline in some way.

Some cork greases, especially those containing an animal product, seem to have the ability to green-corrode any copper alloys in the vicinity. It's possible that even the vapours do so.

I have encountered many cork greases over 50 years. Partly because I reject sticky greases, there are only two that I regard as good: Alisyn (non-sticky) and for those who don't like synthetic, Doctor Slick, made from (an extract from slippery elm bark).
 

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Im not trying to re-invent anything. I dont want to market this at all. I just have this excess wax as a by product from harvesting honey and thought I could put it to use for something and save myself a few bucks in the process.

I know cork grease is cheap but I try to be thrifty when I can.
Reinventing is how things get better, and new ways of doing things are discovered...I hope you find a new formula....
 
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