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Is the neck, where it's inserted into the top of the sax body (tenor) supposed to have a light coating of cork grease applied?

I've always done this, though I'm sure the neck will fit without the grease. I just think the grease makes insertion and adjustment easier and may help provide a better seal.

Obviously, the neck and top of the body tube need to be wiped clean afterwards.
 

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It is generally always been advised against ( a lot of mention of this in previous threads) because grease may trap hard particles which then would abrade the connection from inside.

I have find, beneficial to put (on occasion a couple of times a year) some silicone or teflon spray on the tenon, wipe it clean, and then insert. The reason why I do this is not because the neck is difficult to insert at all (it shouldn’t) but, once it is is wet, sometimes it is harder to separate, but not really difficult, because the wet surface makes and even more tighter contact area between the two pipes. This minute amount of protection keeps it dry.


read these other threads, there are quite a few ( I found 420 hits! There are few questions that haven’t been analyzed before and adding to previous ones will always return more results than opening new threads) these 3 are exemplary

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?87723-Cork-Grease-on-Tenon
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?99320-Neck-Tenon-too-tight-a-dab-of-lubricant
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?120702-Is-it-ok-to-put-cork-grease-on-neck
 

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Cork grease is optional on the neck tenon. If you use it, apply it sparingly. A little goes a long way on a flat metal surface, as opposed to bumpy, porous cork.

A Yanagisawa alto that I bought new came with a tube of Yany "Cork and Neck Grease." If I'd had any doubts previously about whether it's OK to apply cork grease to the neck tenon (I hadn't), that would have ended them.
 

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A properly fit neck tenon and receiver that are kept spotlessly clean do not require lubrication. Grease or other lubricants can trap small particles that can "score" the surface. On necks where the fit is a bit too tight the only "lubricant" that I can recommend is to use the old trick of rubbing the first finger along the outside of the nose and then rubbing that natural face oil on the tenon. Denatured alcohol or Windex work well when cleaning tenons and receivers. There are generally lots of folks who will respond that they always grease their neck tenon and have never had a problem, but I don't know of any professional repair tech who advises doing that.
 

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It is generally always been advised against ( a lot of mention of this in previous threads) because grease may trap hard particles which then would abrade the connection from inside.

I have find, beneficial to put (on occasion a couple of times a year) some silicone or teflon spray on the tenon, wipe it clean, and then insert. The reason why I do this is not because the neck is difficult to insert at all (it shouldn’t) but, once it is is wet, sometimes it is harder to separate, but not really difficult, because the wet surface makes and even more tighter contact area between the two pipes.


read these other threads, there are quite a few ( I found 420 hits! There are few questions that haven’t been analyzed before and adding to previous ones will always return more results than opening new threads) these 3 are exemplary

https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?87723-Cork-Grease-on-Tenon
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?99320-Neck-Tenon-too-tight-a-dab-of-lubricant
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?120702-Is-it-ok-to-put-cork-grease-on-neck
I think one of those links was to The Cooking Channel.
 

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NEVER put any kind of lubricant on the neck tenon to body tube joint. In the long term it can cause a multitude of problems including freezing it up from coming out. It is unnecessary if everything works properly.
 

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A properly fit neck tenon and receiver that are kept spotlessly clean do not require lubrication. Grease or other lubricants can trap small particles that can "score" the surface. On necks where the fit is a bit too tight the only "lubricant" that I can recommend is to use the old trick of rubbing the first finger along the outside of the nose and then rubbing that natural face oil on the tenon. Denatured alcohol or Windex work well when cleaning tenons and receivers. There are generally lots of folks who will respond that they always grease their neck tenon and have never had a problem, but I don't know of any professional repair tech who advises doing that.
John, I certainly agree that a properly fit neck tenon/receiver shouldn't require lubrication. However, I don't promote, nor scold anyone who does so. Especially if it's done VERY sparingly in application and frequency. I look at it this way: How different is a saxophone neck tenon/receiver to tuning slides on a trumpet/Fr. Horn, baritone horn, etc? That's metal against metal in the exact same way as a saxophone neck, yet every professional brass player I know religiously lubricates their tuning slides! If putting the smallest bit of the proper lubrication on a saxophone neck could score the surface, I can't imagine the risk of something like that happening would be any less with a tuning slide. Yes, they're not taken off/apart and stored in the case when not in use! That's probably the only/biggest difference. Sure is a can 'o worms!
 

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John, I certainly agree that a properly fit neck tenon/receiver shouldn't require lubrication. However, I don't promote, nor scold anyone who does so. Especially if it's done VERY sparingly in application and frequency. I look at it this way: How different is a saxophone neck tenon/receiver to tuning slides on a trumpet/Fr. Horn, baritone horn, etc? That's metal against metal in the exact same way as a saxophone neck, yet every professional brass player I know religiously lubricates their tuning slides! If putting the smallest bit of the proper lubrication on a saxophone neck could score the surface, I can't imagine the risk of something like that happening would be any less with a tuning slide. Yes, they're not taken off/apart and stored in the case when not in use! That's probably the only/biggest difference. Sure is a can 'o worms!
There is a big difference between a saxophone neck tenon and a trumpet tuning slide. One comes completely in and out on a regular basis while the other stays mostly inside and just moves a small amount. It is like comparing apples and oranges IMO. A flute headjoint tenon is the same as the saxophone neck and should never be lubricated because it goes completely in and out as well and while out would leave the greased surface exposed to pick up small contaminants.
 

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There is a big difference between a saxophone neck tenon and a trumpet tuning slide. One comes completely in and out on a regular basis while the other stays mostly inside and just moves a small amount. It is like comparing apples and oranges IMO. A flute headjoint tenon is the same as the saxophone neck and should never be lubricated because it goes completely in and out as well and while out would leave the greased surface exposed to pick up small contaminants.
Agreed. Like I said that's the only (and big) difference! I've known some players who LIGHTLY lubricate their neck tenons once every 6 months or so (with various mediums) and I've worked on their horns. Absolutely no damage, scoring of the neck tenon. Again, moderation is the key IF someone lubricates it at all. I prefer apples btw........Cortland's are in season here right now....yum. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you for all the thoughtful replies. Sorry that I didn't search this before - my fault.

Anyway, I've been putting only a little bit of grease on the tenon (it's a 1971 YTS-21) and there hasn't been any damage. I keep the sax very clean.
 

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John, I certainly agree that a properly fit neck tenon/receiver shouldn't require lubrication. However, I don't promote, nor scold anyone who does so. Especially if it's done VERY sparingly in application and frequency. I look at it this way: How different is a saxophone neck tenon/receiver to tuning slides on a trumpet/Fr. Horn, baritone horn, etc? That's metal against metal in the exact same way as a saxophone neck, yet every professional brass player I know religiously lubricates their tuning slides! If putting the smallest bit of the proper lubrication on a saxophone neck could score the surface, I can't imagine the risk of something like that happening would be any less with a tuning slide. Yes, they're not taken off/apart and stored in the case when not in use! That's probably the only/biggest difference. Sure is a can 'o worms!
Just want to clarify, that as a professional repair tech, I can shed some light here. A tuning slide on a brass instrument has a tolerance that is bigger than that of a well adjusted saxophone, whether that may be even a few or several thousands of an inch. The receiver on the body of a saxophone of a saxophone once you turn the screw, is suppose to be at totally tight. Now, with any kind of lubricant, believe it or not could promote wear by allowing it to move when its suppose to be tightened. Then the brass begins to wear. Those microscopic filings (you'll see it as the black gunk that starts to form on that tenon)or that green oxidation from water is escaping, is a sure sigh that the neck needs to be cleaned and re-sized.

Just trying to explain how a metal on metal neck to body connection is different than a brass tuning slide. Again, on the tuning slide there is no clamp to tighten it.
 

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Another detriment of greasing the tenon is that one would have to increase the tension in the neck screw to keep the neck from moving. That can result in stripped threads, broken screws, etc. All have been previous issues reported here at SotW.
 

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Is the neck, where it's inserted into the top of the sax body (tenor) supposed to have a light coating of cork grease applied?

I've always done this, though I'm sure the neck will fit without the grease. I just think the grease makes insertion and adjustment easier and may help provide a better seal.

Obviously, the neck and top of the body tube need to be wiped clean afterwards.
Any dust will turn the grease into what's called lapping compound, sounds like a really bad idea. And graphite powder/carbon black will eventually get you Black Lung syndrome if you are not careful
 

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Plus, a tuning slide typically would be something like 1/2" diameter with a slide length of 2" or so; whereas a sax neck is about 1.25" diameter and 1" long (tenor). And the sax neck joint has to take the side loads of playing without wobbling, whereas a trumpet tuning slide has no side loads. So you make a lot more diametral clearance on the trumpet slide, allowing it to be moved easily, and ensuring against leakage by the presence of lubrication. The sax neck on the other hand, you fit tightly and clamp it down in use so it can't move.

The flute head joint is the worst of both worlds, being quite long (more prone to trapping small particles) but also requiring a close fit (side loads). So, NEVER lube the flute joint; SHOULD NOT lube the sax neck joint; MUST lube the trumpet tuning slides.
 

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there is another reason not to grease (if I put anything, that is to prevent the wetting of contact the surfaces not in order to grease anything) and that is when you use a relatively heavy mouthpiece the momentum wil almost certainly turn the neck.

My neck fits well in the receiver, often I even forget to tighten it and there in no playing problem involved (that too should be light, there is no use in a gorilla grip tightening)
 

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Just use snake oil instead!
That was actually a serious question. There are a lot of opinions on not using grease. I agree that grease should not be used, however, my tenor neck fit is snug. Since saliva is in fact a lubricant of sorts, do any gurus have an opinion on using a fluid that ends up in the horn anyway? Without lubrication, the metal-on metal will, in time, be detrimental especially if you have to work the neck in.
 
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