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First, use masking tape to protect the lacquer on the neck. It's a real drag to slip and scrape good lacquer or plating off the neck.

I gently heat up the neck from the inside and out and use a 3-sided scraper to get the old cork off.

JL Smith and MusicMedic have good Youtube videos for replacing neck cork.
 

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I agreee with Jorns.

Heat it up.
I put a torch in the end of the neck and the cork comes right off. Be careful if there is a ring on the end. Just heat and wipe the area where the cork was. So easy, fast, and less aggressive than other methods. usually no need for a scraper , it peels off with the heat.
Make sure not to heat it up too much, which could burn the lacquer.
 

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I never touch the neck with a metallic object. It should be fairly easy to just scrape it off with a nylon edge and/or your fingernails. 'Goof-Off' sprayed onto a cloth can take of the residues and won't harm lacquer. I recently did my MK VI tenor and there was corrosion under the cork, so I just rubbed the area lightly with #0000 steel wool. That end of the neck was already de-lacquered, but if you have lacquer there don't use any kind of abrasive, not even fine steel wool. Discoloration under the cork is of no concern but you have to get rid of the glue residues and stubborn pieces of cork.
 

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I just use a sharp single edge razor blade, slit it down its length, then peel it off, and use the same blade to scrape the remnants off. If you are really concerned about getting some tiny scratches in the lacquer right at the end of the cork, you could use a plastic knife to scrape the cork remnants off in that area.

You would have to remove many many neck corks and scrape the bits off as hard as you could with special attention to gouging and scraping the metal before you made it not "safe for the horn".

Once I get a new cork on there, then I put masking tape around the metal part above the cork so I can sand it down without worrying.

Maybe I am less worried about this than other people.
 

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Almost any method can be safe to the instrument as long as you know what you are doing. A screwdriver can cause a lot of damage when opening a screw if you are not careful...

I use mostly pliers, a specific pair I inherited from my grandfather. They have the perfect shape to scrape the the cork off without putting too much pressure on the tube itself. Sometimes add heat. If I want to remove every last trace of it I use a brass brush in a dental micromotor (but I've heard cork dust is not especially healthy...) which is very fast for leftovers. Mostly lighter fluid and/or the brush to remove leftover glue.
 

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I am trying this for the first time as well, on my daughter's Chinese marching horn. I aimed a cigarette lighter into the cork end of the neck for several seconds...maybe a bit too long as I smelled a bit of burning cork. The cork peeled off easily, and the glue residue rubbed off as well using my thumb. I think I will use some lighter fluid too, to make sure it's good and clean. Next is the hard part...
 

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I've stopped using tape 'to protect the lacquer' after it pulled the lacquer off on one or two necks.
I use a hook scraper to push the cork off. You have to be a little careful with any sharp tool sop that you don't dig it into the metal. You can buy a special cork scraper from Ferree's IIRC. Or you can use a knife.
 

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... Once I get a new cork on there, then I put masking tape around the metal part above the cork so I can sand it down without worrying...
I sand that part of the cork before I glue it on - while it is still flat.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I figured out a method that worked. I scraped as much of the cork off as I could with a plastic scraper I had then I dipped the cork part with remainder glue and bits of cork in boiling water for a few seconds. I then put a wash cloth around that section and twisted the neck back and forth. The friction made it get hotter every twist. I did this a 3 times and all the cork and glue were gone.
 

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Like others have said, I use a Blazer butane torch to heat the inside of the neck to "release" the adhesive. Then I use pliers of the type shown below in the open position in a twisting motion to remove the cork in large segments. If any additional cleaning of the adhesive is needed I soak a strip of cloth with naptha and hand rag the neck holding it on a bench peg using my stomach. After the metal is clean I use a strip of 320 emery cloth to "scuff" the surface to get better adherence with the contact cement.

View attachment 206289
 

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Discussion Starter #13
the hardest part of all this is trying to sand the cork evenly afterward. My tech has a tool he can put the neck on that holds it while he pulls the sand paper around the cork back and forth to sand it down. I had to try to hold the neck between my knees but it was difficult to say the least...........i guess I could have put it on the sax to do it but that made me nervous.........
 

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I've stopped using tape 'to protect the lacquer' after it pulled the lacquer off on one or two necks.
Painters tape is designed to be pulled off without taking material with it. It is a lot less adhesive than ordinary masking tape.
 

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+1 For heat, I use a lighter or stove flame after protect the neck.
 

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the hardest part of all this is trying to sand the cork evenly afterward. My tech has a tool he can put the neck on that holds it while he pulls the sand paper around the cork back and forth to sand it down. I had to try to hold the neck between my knees but it was difficult to say the least...........i guess I could have put it on the sax to do it but that made me nervous.........
A wooden dowel in a bench vise ought to work. Maybe wrap the dowel with some masking tape to make it a slight interference fit. Play around with this and that till you get the neck securely held.
 

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the hardest part of all this is trying to sand the cork evenly afterward. My tech has a tool he can put the neck on that holds it while he pulls the sand paper around the cork back and forth to sand it down. I had to try to hold the neck between my knees but it was difficult to say the least...........i guess I could have put it on the sax to do it but that made me nervous.........
Here you go. Just drill a 1/4" hole in the side of your bench.

View attachment 206329
 
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