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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
im sure this has been done...but i cant find any postings

there are products on the market...pad juice....

my tech says gun oil or leather cleaner is good for old pads

I just got an old horn with EXTREMLY dried pads and I need maximum moisture injection!!!!

what do you say??? olive oil,vaseline,butter.....(im just makin stuff up!!!)

i fixed the cork with the teakettle spout...and i put the steam on a couple of the pads...they suprisingly came back to life a bit...so i really think there is hope!!!!
 

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Most of the pad dopes out there are primarily anti stick/ waterproofing/ preservative treatments- at least in theory. There are, as you've partially listed, a wide array of other items out there for various pad ills. Being tinker oriented I've used pretty much all of them at one time or another - still use the Runyon stuff on most pads on a quarterly basis "just because"- and my conclusion is that when the pads are shot, the pads are shot. The assorted thissa and thatta may keep them supple much longer, but once dried out the best single solution is to replace them.

As an aside, neatsfoot oil would seem to be the ideal "leather rejuvenator". It does make them seem like they've a new lease on life but it has a side efffect when applied to really dried out pads of making them unbelievably subject to tearing. Why? Darned if I know- but I have had the experience often enough to assert it as a clear side effect.

Try away- you surely have my best wishes for good luck, and keep us posted!
 

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I'd say bite the bullet and get new pads installed. If the sax is worth playing, it is worth fixing. If it is worth fixing, it is worth fixing right. The thin layer of leather covering the pad is just a small part of the pad's construction. If the felt inside is rotting or the fibers are broken down, it won't do much good putting lipstick on the pig(skin) outside.

If you have to use something I recommend butter. When it turns rancid in a few weeks and you can't stand the smell when you open the case, you will have to get the sax repadded. :mrgreen:
 

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Try Neetsfoot Oil, available at most hardware stores in the leather hobby section. Apply with a cotton swab to the pad. The pad will darken, but become flexible again, unless it's completely shot. Neetsfoot is a natural animal product and contains no petroleum, unlike gun or lubricating oils. Kiwi is one of the brands. I use it all the time and have not had a problem with tearing unless the pad is just too far gone.
 

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If the pads are really dry the best option is to replace them.
I've tried neatsfoot oil which seems as good as anything but it doesn't really help a lot in my experience.
 

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Neatsfoot Oil, ain't always Neatsfoot Oil. Most readily available brands are sulphided and contain all sorts of additives. That in itself, is neither here nor there. The real problem with "Neats" as it's called, is that the restorative action is in some ways illusory. Whilst it will make the leather supple again, it "loosens the layers" for want of a better description. If you imagine that leather, like your own skin, is a sandwich of many layers of skin, the Neatsfoot Oil turns what was a tightly packed sandwich into a loose sandwich. The leather loses it's strength and is supple but weak.

Get a re-pad.
 

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I've always used wd-40.

Just get a pipe cleaner, (one of those soft thin ones used to clean smoking pipes), spray the wd-40 on it---and brush over the pads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
what do you know about smoking pipes 10m??? :)
 

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Neatsfoot Oil, ain't always Neatsfoot Oil. Most readily available brands are sulphided and contain all sorts of additives. That in itself, is neither here nor there. The real problem with "Neats" as it's called, is that the restorative action is in some ways illusory. Whilst it will make the leather supple again, it "loosens the layers" for want of a better description. If you imagine that leather, like your own skin, is a sandwich of many layers of skin, the Neatsfoot Oil turns what was a tightly packed sandwich into a loose sandwich. The leather loses it's strength and is supple but weak.

Get a re-pad.
That's exactly my problem as I get older. My skin has turned into a loose sandwich even without Neatsfoot Oil.
 

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Just remember that whatever products on the market that rejuvenate leather, are designed for items that do not need close to 100% non stickyness. Any oily thing (inc WD40) is prone to working well at first, but eventually either going a bit tacky or collecting dirt, or both.

I agree with others who've said "bite the bullet" and get new pads, but there's nothing wrong with experimenting with neatsfoot, WD40 etc. One thing I would be tempted to try is moisturising cream. Why? Because you're worth it.
 

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I've had good results using Saddle Soap. It has the added bonus of cleaning off any gunk on the pads as well.
Just be sure to wipe off any excess or your pads will be tacky.

That is an awesome pun and I didn't even mean to do it.
 

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Saddle Soap...

....tacky....

....:mrgreen:...mmmmmmegggselllent !!!!

So, thus far, every member who has answered who is a tech or does some tech work has said the same thing: change the pad(s).

What has also been noted before, but not mentioned here as of yet, is that the dryness of the leather is the least of your worries. If the pads are shot and leaky...then likely it is the felts which are failing.... and no gussy-ing up of the surface leather is really gonna remedy that for any significant period of time....

If you need a short-fix to tide you over, yes indeedy....one of those quick-application remedies will do the trick...but it's an ephemeral cure....
 

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Pads need to be resilient to do their job. The bulk of that resilience comes from the felt, not the leather.

If the leather has become really hard it is more than likely because it has absorbed minerals from saliva and condensation from breath, that harden it with much the same stuff that shell and stalactites (and the white deposit around mouthpieces) are make from.

And that same hardening will be in the felt. (If the felt till had resilience and the leather is hard, then the leather would almost certainly have cut or split by now, and is far more likely to do so after neatsfoot oil.) And that hardening of the felt is why hard pads don't seal well and will never seal well, unless they hardened while the sax was in a state of adjustment accurate to an order of about 0.0005", which is very unlikely.

Replace the pads.

"If you have to use something I recommend butter. When it turns rancid in a few weeks and you can't stand the smell when you open the case, you will have to get the sax repadded. :mrgreen: "
I love it!
 

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Neatsfoot will get 'sticky', saddle soap will get 'sticky', Lexol leather cleaner/conditioner will get 'sticky' WD-40 actually 'rots' the leather. .
Contaminated, hardened felt won't 'fluff' back up.
Just change the pads.
 

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Change the pads. Everything else is just a short-term solution - fine for a gig or two, but not really lasting. Besides, some of the solutions presented here might not only work on the pad but on the tone hole lacquer/metal as well. In my experience, everything added ultimately adds to stickiness, especially if it smoothes the surface. Not to mention what happens underneath the leather membrane. <shudder>

(I'm still daydreaming about some "suedy" or lotus-leafy material. But that's a different can of worms)
 

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Although I think that there is a time when one has to say: " we are going to overhaul the beast" (and you seem to be there!) one can use spray silicone on a pad (don't spray directly but spray abundantly on some blotting paper then put in between pad and tonehole and open and close the key (don't squeeze too much just operate the key) several times. Silicone should penetrate the leather (it will go into the felt too but there is not too much that It can do there to gain elasticity) and although it doesn't bind with anything (which is the good thing) it will soften it somehow and will stay there even after some evaporation. WD 40, in my opinion, is not a very good product in the long run but it will give you a momentary effect. Remember that even simply playing an old horn will make the pad seal better after one or two hours because you are blowing moist air into the horn and it is the moisture which regenerates the leather elasticity BUT it can crack it too.
 

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I have used wd-40 for 25 years when i get a sticky pad. I never spray directly on a pad, as it would go all over the horn...so i use a pipe cleaner and brush over the pads.
I use to spray on the little white pieces of paper that came in the rico reed boxes to separate the reeds.
I'd rip a piece into a smaller piece and spray the wd-40 on there, put it over the tone hole, close the key and pull it away.
Pipe cleaner is easier. Some guys think that you will attract dust, etc if you do that, but honestly in 25---i have never had even one issue.
My pads last well over a decade without any problems at all.
It has never caused any issues at all---never any problems in 25 years.

In fact, its really been a savior for me over my playing career. I always keep a small bottle in my case---always!

Used it before every gig to ensure no keys would stick on me.

Being partly demented---as i actually like the smell. :)
 

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Watch out when brushing dry pads or pulling paper thru them. Assume they WILL rip - or cut along the tonehole seats if you push the cup down too hard when pulling the paper.
 

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I have sometimes gotten a year out of a cash-poor musician's horn by cleaning the pads carefully and gently with isopropyl alcohol and then rubbing mink-oil paste (which polymerizes on oxidation rather than getting sticky) into the pad with my finger. Still end up tearing one or two and replacing, but it generally only takes an hour of time for the whole thing including changing a couple of pads. $50 instead of $600-700 for an overhaul.
 
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