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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Thanks Bopity Funk nice and relevant information. I'd love to see a video of someone doing what you are talking about on a saxophone neck. I live in hope!

Maybe the binding technique would look a bit like this

 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
nice to hear that you use this technique too ( as Arthur does, I don鈥檛 know who of you was first). Do you do this yourself ? Do you have anyone do it for you?

I would also like to hear if the moisture absorbing qualities of silk and hemp are any different from cotton鈥檚.
 

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Milandro,

Your video shows a type of whip finish that is used for attaching guides to fishing poles (and making bamboo flutes) where the desired look is a single wind of thread. For using string or thread on a woodwind neck, looks aren't that important, bulk is. And keeping the sting in place, even if a strand is broken or worn through is important. What is used in that case is a series of running half hitches, as is commonly done when tying flies for fishing. This video shows how it is done for a single half hitch using a special tool.


I learned this technique without using a tool. Several half hitches were used when finishing a fly. In fact, sometimes the entire body of the fly was created by silk thread windings on the hook. Wind 3-4 times, then a half hitch, then more winds, etc. That way, even should the lure get chewed on by a fish many times, it didn't come unravelled. The same technique works for a thread neck "cork."

Mark
 

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When I was buying old clarinets, the ones that had wooden mouthpieces in the case usually had silk thread windings instead of cork. At first I thought that it was just a indication of the times or maybe a lack of funds, but I later realized that it served a dual purpose. The tenons on the old clarinet were generally corked, so it wasn't that cork wasn't available. I figured that a silk binding was used on wood mouthpieces instead of cork because it also would help prevent the wooden mouthpiece from splitting, something that a band of cork couldn't do. I did see that several of the clarinet tenons were also wound with string if they didn't have a metal ring, and it may be that string served a dual purpose on the tenons as well.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I found plumber's tape wasn't that great as it has no compression in it like cork has. I haven't tried the fibres but I would think that they could compress somewhat.
they do and more importantly they expand by absorbing some of the moisture created by condensation.

Again the technique of using different threads to bind woodwind connecting parts is ancient and the purpose if this thread is not to talk about using this as a form of emergency fix (which is what most people would associate with using teflon taper when you want to slap a mouthpiece on a cork that is not thick enough).

I am interested in hearing from those who actually use it .

Thanks, Mark, for the comment of the double function of the binding technique performed on recorders, oboes, bassoons and clarinets ( and also on pipes where the wooden parts are bound too) which includes the function of tightening the fragile end bit in a similar way as a ferrule does.

As for rediscovering or re inventing cold water ( in Italian is hot water).

I appreciate the joke but the fact of the matter is that I am trying to asses something that it is obviously still done by only very few people on saxophone and which tradition is ( as shown by the ignorance about this practice shown here) practically unknown to most ( also those who comment on it without ever having seen it, let alone tried it).

It might not interest us all, but again, participation to this thread is not mandatory.
 

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I don't use it myself, but I often 'lap' joints on period instruments with flax.
It's harder to work with, and in the long term the results are no better than using cork. In the short term it can place considerably more stress on the tenon socket, so some care is needed when gauging how much lapping a joint needs.
 

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Cork is known to have some anti-bacterial properties and is known to resist mold and mildew, and has some water and moisture resistance ( thus its used for kitchen flooring). I wonder if using hemp would have the same advantage, and potentially deteriorate and harbor micro organisms ( fungus, mold, bacteria)?
 

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Cork is known to have some anti-bacterial properties and is known to resist mold and mildew, and has some water and moisture resistance ( thus its used for kitchen flooring). I wonder if using hemp would have the same advantage, and potentially deteriorate and harbor micro organisms ( fungus, mold, bacteria)?
Any such advantage either material might have will make absolutely no difference to the overall level of bugs in and on your horn - and if you're concerned about such matters you'd be better off, say, not shaking hands with your mates when you greet them on a gig.
 

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Yes, it is indeed something that you see either on very old instruments or you would see this done from people who don't have cork readily available. My friend and teacher Arthur Heuwekemeyer has taken to use this after having found it on one of his Lyrists from the '30....
What a mess!

I have never seen it on a sax. Common on old clarinets where there is a groove to contain it a bit. And more common on bassoons. I suppose it helps to counter splitting of the rather thin, weak timber.
 

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Any such advantage either material might have will make absolutely no difference to the overall level of bugs in and on your horn - and if you're concerned about such matters you'd be better off, say, not shaking hands with your mates when you greet them on a gig.
I agree with you and Miandro completely. My post was not very clear. I'm really not concerned about potential health issues from micro organisms ( I've dealt with them throughout my medical career) but more so it's maintenance and hygiene. Like for example constant moisture on the absorbent thread causing it to fail too soon plus bacterial colonization resulting in bad odor.

I find this Idea of using thread instead of cork interesting enough to experiment and use it to replace the deteriorated neck cork of my least used Evette- Schaeffer tenor today.

(BTW loving your Sax Manual book Stephen- I send them as gifts too)
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I suspect, from having seen this kind of binding intact on very old instruments, that bacteria reach some sort of homeostatic stage where the resident flora , established earlier on, acts as a barrier for any other bacteria. I have never seen consistent amounts of mould despite the fact that moisture is there all the time.

True, part of the secret might be the different waxes and tallow which people were using on this instruments ( although finding an old vial of tallow in a 100 year old flute, been there done that several times, generally makes your stomach turn) which, in itself, might have some disinfectant properties.

I was very cautious in introducing this topic because of the possible vibrationalist ramifications which is not my intention to hint, propagate or explore!


In my case ( like many other people) If I feel that I have reached a point where I am never going to change my mouthpiece or main saxophones. This solution could be, I think, a nice alternative to cork.
 
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