Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Cleaning the neck I normally take of the octave key, mix some soap with water and use a special neck brush to give it a clean. If I just bought a horn I pour a little vinager in the neck, leave it for a while and then proceed to clean it with soap.

But when you leave your sax at the tech for a complete service, they strip down the instrument and clean the sax inside, I understood some put it in some kind of bath. What do they use or how is it done?

Regards!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
Joined
·
19,202 Posts
It varies by tech. Some use the soapy water in a big sink method, some have big ultra sonic cleaners.
The next time you take your horn in for service ask your tech how they give a sax a bath.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,690 Posts
Having a service does not always entail stripping of all keys and refitting, this is a subjective process, that you need to ask your tech whether they do it or not.

We strip of all keys and use an ultrasonic cleaner for the body and neck, and hand clean the pads and keys.

The ultrasonic cleaner is heated and dawn detergent added, the vibrations through the fluid mechanically work the liquid against the body in a scrubbing effect, the same is achieved with warm water / dawn detergent and sofft brushes and paying attention to cleaning around the posts and springs.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
6,715 Posts
It varies by tech. Some use the soapy water in a big sink method, some have big ultra sonic cleaners.
The next time you take your horn in for service ask your tech how they give a sax a bath.
I do like the idea of ultra-sonic cleaners....are they awfully expensive?
Many of my horns are silver, which tarnishes, & I really do like my horns to look clean.
Perhaps I could fit an ultra-sonic bath in my bathroom....If I climbed in, with my horn, the ultra-sonic cleaner could perhaps double as a shower in order to justify the price to my wife. :)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
17,960 Posts
A couple thousand dollars min. is my understanding. But those are for ones in sizes which do not submerge the entire body, so you have to do it in stages. If you wanted one which could submerge a whole Tenor at once, I believe you are talking $4000usd +, new.

I mean, it's not the thing most folks would wanna invest in & have kickin' around the house, really. Around here, a tech (those who have one, which only about half do) charges around $150-200 for a sonic-cleaning...so you could conceivably get 20 cleanings for the price of one cleaner...

Also, I respectfully disagree that you can get the same result from soap and brushes as you can from an ultrasonic cleaner. There's nothing better than an ultrasonic cleaner.

Others use chem-bath solutions. Those work very well, too...although still come in second to the ultrasonics.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
Bear in mind that when guys talk about ultrasonic cleaning, they often mean not only that, but a chemical and surfactant action from the chemicals they add to the bath. For example, I think ultrasonics alone would make a relatively poor job of removing a gummy or even heavy greasy deposit. At least that was my experience with ultrasonically cleaning flutes before I gave it away.

And a large bath of those chemicals is expensive. And shared - hmm! - by every instrument that goes in the bath. For days? Weeks? months? Yes, there are (usually?) filters, but...
Better get your own after all. ;)

Also, ultrasonics consists of the equivalent of a zillion microscopic sledge hammers, bashing away at the surface. One test to see if it is operating correctly is to immerse aluminium foil in it for a few seconds, and check by holding the foil up to the light, to see if the action has punctured the foil with a myriad of holes. I suspect that similarly, repeated US cleaning of a part can microscopically damage the surface to the extent that the surface then more easily harbours corrosive materials, which then damage it more quickly than before. A more expensive, better made machine minimises this by using a carefully selected wave-form, varying the frequency and/or pulsing the electrical input. But I don't know that it altogether eliminates possible damage.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,690 Posts
A commercial machine capable of fitting a tenor sax, will cost you close to 20k.

Cleaning by hand in many instances works better, many a time Ive put a sax in to the ultrasonic dip only to still have it come out with grease on the sides, the key is the correct dawn to heat ratio. By hand you can go with a very intense ratio that cuts through the grease quickly, with the ultrasonic you have to keep the ratio at a decent level otherwise you get lots of foam. Hence it is important to also use heat but not enough to break the bind of the lacquer

We clean ours weekly, I dis-agree with the fact it can cause damage to the instrument, proof of this exists in the jewellery industry with precious metals being cleaned with the machines
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
Sure glad my horns are'nt made of aluminum foil!!!
I've been using Ultrasonics for 15 years....if done right..does'nt hurt or loosen lacquer.
I'd say thats rather mild..in my opinion it gives the lacquer a nice clean look, {like its takin years of smoky, yucky atmosphere}
off . That being said....horns in general, should be bathed in warm soapy water FIRST to remove big hunks of grease and grime.
The ultrasonics does wonders on removing that green mold/ stuff inside horns.
Thats my 2 cents!
 

·
2011 SOTW Contributor
Joined
·
769 Posts
So if you have a horn with Red Rot, that still needs to be addressed separately than just through an Ultra Sonic cleaning?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,424 Posts
I once went to a Chiroprator for a sprained ankle. He put my foot and ankle in a bucket filled with water and then dropped in a portable ultrasound generator. He said that it would promote healing by breaking up very small blood clots. I don't know if the power is sufficient to clean a sax, but it might warrant further investigation.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician
Joined
·
1,863 Posts
I once went to a Chiroprator for a sprained ankle. He put my foot and ankle in a bucket filled with water and then dropped in a portable ultrasound generator. He said that it would promote healing by breaking up very small blood clots. I don't know if the power is sufficient to clean a sax, but it might warrant further investigation.
Did your foot come out nice and clean with no toe jam? :)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician
Joined
·
3,112 Posts
When carrying out general services and full overhauls I remove all the springs and screws so I can clean or polish the body and bell thoroughly without getting torn to shreds by point screws or needle springs.

On lacquered, nickel plated and bare brass saxes I wash them in the bath in hot soapy water and use a narrow paintbrush with the bristles cut short to get into all the tight spots. On silver plated instruments I polish them first, then wash and scrub them in hot soapy water to remove any polish residue. On saxes where the lacquer is worn or damaged (but still has 50-80% remaining) I clean them with a damp cloth instead of immersing them in water to prevent water getting under the lacquer. I use an old padsaver to clean the bore with, but if the bore is really filthy I use 0000 grade wire wool with soap solution if it's a silver plated instrument or if the bore isn't lacquered.
 

·
Moderator
Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
Joined
·
28,883 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
just out of curiosity, if the sax is disassembled to the clean the body by water-soap method, will the horn need to re-regulate when put back together? given that all keys/corks/springs are in good condition and the body wasn't layered in crud to begin with.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician
Joined
·
3,112 Posts
just out of curiosity, if the sax is disassembled to the clean the body by water-soap method, will the horn need to re-regulate when put back together? given that all keys/corks/springs are in good condition and the body wasn't layered in crud to begin with.
Some regulation work will be done as a matter of course in a service, but as long as none of the key corks or felts have dropped off during disassembly or cleaning the keys (depending on how good the adhesive is and if they're not contaminated with oil) then it shouldn't need much doing in the way of regulating when it's all assembled. But expect to do some regulation work.

I'd be removing and changing all the key felts and replacing any defective springs when I carry out a service anyway, so it will be re-regulated from scratch once the pads are all seating well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Some regulation work will be done as a matter of course in a service, but as long as none of the key corks or felts have dropped off during disassembly or cleaning the keys (depending on how good the adhesive is and if they're not contaminated with oil) then it shouldn't need much doing in the way of regulating when it's all assembled. But expect to do some regulation work.

I'd be removing and changing all the key felts and replacing any defective springs when I carry out a service anyway, so it will be re-regulated from scratch once the pads are all seating well.
thanks chris! glad to know :)
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
4,544 Posts
I use a stiff mixture of Simple Green in the bathtub. A baritone requires a quart of Simple Green...if it's really grungy I leave it overnite and it may take two soaks. I rinse it off on the lawn outside my shop with a hose and high pressure head.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,690 Posts
I find after a service, (stripping of all keys) that quite a few keys need corks re-attached as they have a tendency to become dis-lodged, Like chris, I find odds are it needs a bit of regulation anyway before hand, because people usually only consider having there instruments serviced after the instrument starts playing up..
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top