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i seem to remember someone saying that dabing some lighter fuel on a cotton bud and applying to a pad will stop it sticking.

is this the case ?

my a flat key is a real pain now and i need to sort out ASAP.
 

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I have'nt used lighter fluid on the cotton swab, just regular key oil (one application only). That's just to unstick the pad.

To prevent the G#/Ab pad from FUTURE sticking is simply to slide some thin cardboard square (or trifolded dollar bill) under the C# key pad when you're putting the sax back in its case. By doing this, the G# /Ab pad has been raised and now allowed to dry off of its tone hole. This drying off the tone hole will prevent any sticking the next time you play the sax.

This has worked for me with no adverse affects on my 10 year Custom soprano. Just remember to REMOVE the trifolded bill when you play the sax and again REPLACE it back when you finish. Some will scoff at this practice but sticking pads is a thing of the past for me. Mike
 

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Do a search on this forum using the words [sticky pad] and there will be a huge heap of info.

Lighter fluid will definitely help clean off oily deposits, unless they are vegetable or animal oils that have polymerised. However such solvents may actually make the surface MORE sticky on some pads, by softening/dissolving sealing materials that may be used for waterproofing.

It depends on the pad , and exactly what is making it stick. There are many causes, as covered in the other threads.
 

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Mike...me too

I dont like the concept of putting stuff on the pads. Just bothers me somehow. I have used gig dust and alcohol and other potions but ended up doing just what Mike said.......put a pad or something to space off the normally closed pads of the g# and C# and they wont stick. I used to put a shotgun cleaning patch (clean) under all of the pads that were normally closed but didnt find that too helpful except the aforementioned keys above.
I use the baseball glove analogy to my treatment of leather pads, right or wrong..........keep em dry.
IMHO
 

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sjonesjrmd said:
.... I have ...just ended up doing just what Mike said.......put a pad or something to space off the normally closed pads of the g# and C# and they wont stick. ...
I would just make the following observations:

1. If the pads are kept open by some wedge device in the mechanism:
  • This changes the pads concerned from normally-closed to normally-open.
  • The pads that give by far the most problems with sealing are those that are normally-open.
  • For most normally-open pads, if they have slight leaks, the player overcomes this by pressing keys harder. This does not work for low B, and barely works for G#.
2. If the pads are kept clear of the tone holes by using paper etc:
  • The thickness of the paper means that there is a constant higher pressure on the back of the pad, which locally compresses it slightly. Then when the paper is removed, this compressed area can leak slightly. This may not be a problem when the pads are new and resilient, but will become more so as the pads harden with use.
There is a down-side to at least consider, for almost every otherwise-good idea.
 

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sjonesjrmd said:
I dont like the concept of putting stuff on the pads. Just bothers me somehow. I have used gig dust and alcohol and other potions but ended up doing just what Mike said.......put a pad or something to space off the normally closed pads of the g# and C# and they wont stick. I used to put a shotgun cleaning patch (clean) under all of the pads that were normally closed but didnt find that too helpful except the aforementioned keys above.
I use the baseball glove analogy to my treatment of leather pads, right or wrong..........keep em dry.
IMHO

It's normal to to have reservations about "putting stuff on pads." Within the bounds of common sense, those reservations are largely unfounded. Whilst not a sax tech by any stretch, I can lay clain to having some experience with leather of all types.
With regard to working leather, I'll repeat here what was said to me on many occasions when I was learning whipmaking.

"I've never seen anyone so scared of hurting a dead animal. It's already dead! Nothin' you do now is gonna hurt it."

and

"Thers's one major problem with not trying something until you're sure, and that is, you're never sure until you try."

finally,

"Fer chrissakes! it's a stockwhip, not the Mona Lisa. Just plait the b**tard and be done with it."

Worth remembering if you tend to get too obsessive/compulsive about pads, reeds, or saxophones in general. ;)
 

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Go Dog! Chew those pads to keep them supple!
 

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Greetings,

I had my sax taken to a local tech because the bis key would stick like mad after playing 10 to 15 minutes. (that's on a new JK SX90r NS tenor)

I tried lighter fuel first, but it only increased the stickiness.

Got it back and after half an our it started sticking again. Every day that went by the sticking got even worse. I was so fed up that yesterday I tried using some Pledge on the pad. Guess what? Problem solved. At least yesterday and today.
We'll see what it does in a couple of weeks, months. Anyway, it was a pleasure to play that sax again after months of frustration....

SoulMate
 

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Gordon (NZ) said:
2. If the pads are kept clear of the tone holes by using paper etc:
  • The thickness of the paper means that there is a constant higher pressure on the back of the pad, which locally compresses it slightly. Then when the paper is removed, this compressed area can leak slightly. This may not be a problem when the pads are new and resilient, but will become more so as the pads harden with use.
Was thinking the same thing when I read that.
I just slide a dollar bill under the sticking pad, apply slight pressure to hold it in place and slide it out. For my 10M, I'll do it before every gig on my G# pad and it won't bother me during the show. Plus, if I don't have a dollar, I get to ask one of the guys in the group for one... short memories, those guys.
 

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DP - If the crud patch/gig dust stuff worked then there'd be little to no discussion about the matter. Dr. Jones did indeed said he tried these items. Read you incapsulated quote.

He is also having success with his remedy just as I am. We are telling others what works for us. No gloom and doom, speculating what might happen. Mike
 

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M Exner said:
I have'nt used lighter fluid on the cotton swab, just regular key oil (one application only). That's just to unstick the pad.

To prevent the G#/Ab pad from FUTURE sticking is simply to slide some thin cardboard square (or trifolded dollar bill) under the C# key pad when you're putting the sax back in its case. By doing this, the G# /Ab pad has been raised and now allowed to dry off of its tone hole. This drying off the tone hole will prevent any sticking the next time you play the sax.

This has worked for me with no adverse affects on my 10 year Custom soprano. Just remember to REMOVE the trifolded bill when you play the sax and again REPLACE it back when you finish. Some will scoff at this practice but sticking pads is a thing of the past for me. Mike
I do something similar, except I like to place a small block of cork right behind the low C# pad, under the cup arm to wedge the pad open slightly. This avoids the afore-mentioned possibility of uneven compression on the pad. But I only do this for about half an hour after I finish playing. Then I take the cork out, so that once the pads have had a while to dry, they can then re-seat against the rims. This works well for me. I have never had to use gig dust or talc powder.
 

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Gordon - I note your comments that lighter fluid can sometimes exacerbate pad stickiness, perhaps due to it dissolving any waterproofing compounds that may have been applied to the pad. Can you furnish me with brand names of the affected pads ( or makes of instrument they're fitted to )? I'd like to examine the phenomenon in some detail. Just pop the details up here, I'll catch them next time I browse through - cheers.

As regards polymerisation ( that's 'film forming' folks ), it's unlikely to be an issue due to the necessity for a not insignificant concentration of said fats in the presence of oxygen and the absence of water, even more so in the case of animal fats. It's all down to complex organic chains 'n stuff.
Many of you will have experienced polymerisation when you've pulled an old bottle of cooking oil out of the larder and noted the icky crud around the lid ( now you know what it's called...and instead of crying "Ewww what an oogie mess" you can now say "Crivens, damn this polymerisation...damn it to heck!" ) - and if your pads ever get into that kind of state then I'd advise you stop pouring vegetable oil down the bore of your horn.
It's not funny and it's not nice - and although it might impress the ladies in the audience, I find tighter trousers and a sharp haircut works much better. Sometimes even a bath too.

When it comes to rolled tone holes there's a possibility of a vacuum seal being set up. This is something that plagues bassoonists, where the tone holes in the upper joint are often 'bossed' with brass or nickel silver nipples. You can degrease such pads until the cows come home but never get rid of an apparent stickiness of the pad. This is due to a relatively large surface area on the tone hole forming sealed pockets in the pad skin ( this is why kangaroo skin pads tend to be less prone to sticking - they're a great deal more porous than cow hide ).
The reason that degreasing or otherwise cleaning the pad can make matters worse in this instance is that any crud between the pad skin and the surface of the tone hole prevents the formation of a sealed pocket, and where pockets are still sealed the crud acts as a sort of stretchable yet breakable boundary ( in other words, lubrication ) - which is why the gentleman who applied furniture polish came up trumps.

Trouble is, polish contains waxes and other icky things - so it might turn out to be a short-term solution, rather like the old talc trick....you just have to keep doing it (do keep us posted though ).
Something that's worth a try on rolled holes is the use of a silicon spray, as used by tailors ( to help the fabric slip while machining ), but I'd recommend cleaning the pad first.
One efficient fix is to rough up the surface of the tone hole with fine carborundum paper - but I feel you'd have to be particularly irritated by pad stickiness before you went down that path, and you'd do well to go for the 'roo pad' option on selected tone holes.
Applying a hot pad iron, very briefly, to the pad can improve matters - but this isn't really a kitchen-table fix.

Don't forget too that a lot of what causes sticky pads is dried up saliva - and the best solvent for this is wet saliva. If you're a bit squeamish about gobbing on your pads, find a drummer - or try a little detergent in a cup of luke-warm water. Finishing up with a degreasant should cover most bases. Don't forget to clean the tone hole too - crud builds up on the inner walls and quite literally queues up to get on your pads.

Regards, and happy degunking.
 

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I've had very good success for the past year or so cleaning pads with armorall leather treatment every four months or so, and nothing but water soaked q-tips in between. I apply the armorall with q-tips and prop open the normally closed holes while they dry.

I also usually try to brush my teeth or at least rinse my mouth with water before playing, especially if I've just eaten a real greasy sausage hero. There should be no oil on the pads with this regimen. I know that lighter fluid has been traditional, but it just doesn't make sense to me, as it seems guaranteed to destroy the waterproofing of the pads. Beer, and other beverages are water soluble, and require nothing other than water to remove their residue. If you're spitting that much grease onto your pads that you need an organic solvent (lighter fluid) to remove it, I'd suggest a medical checkup. (BTW, I'm a doctor.)
 

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M Exner said:
I have'nt used lighter fluid on the cotton swab, just regular key oil (one application only). That's just to unstick the pad.

To prevent the G#/Ab pad from FUTURE sticking is simply to slide some thin cardboard square (or trifolded dollar bill) under the C# key pad when you're putting the sax back in its case. By doing this, the G# /Ab pad has been raised and now allowed to dry off of its tone hole. This drying off the tone hole will prevent any sticking the next time you play the sax.

This has worked for me with no adverse affects on my 10 year Custom soprano. Just remember to REMOVE the trifolded bill when you play the sax and again REPLACE it back when you finish. Some will scoff at this practice but sticking pads is a thing of the past for me. Mike
I have used this same technique for years myself...However, I use a very thin square cut out of the paper shop towels that I use in my shop. I believe that this helps with the problem Gordon suggested.
 

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If you tape a ribbon (about ten inches) to the square cutout or trifolded bill, it will catch your attention when you open the case and pick up the sax. Leaving it in the case also helps to remind you to put it back in place. Works everytime. Mike
 

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Old english, spray on a q-tip, apply to pad lightly every day for a week... sticking gone.

Gordon, I think we've run into this discussion before (imagine that). The pad is not always compressed on the back-end by placing something in there, because often the "wedge" is only contacting the resonator if it is slightly raised in relation to the pad. In this scenario, there is no harm done to the pad at all. However I use flat brass resos so it might cause some compression, thus the old english. Pledge is a good substitute.
 

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Fair comment, RAzzy.
 
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