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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,
I have three mouthpieces for my tenor, and all three of them have significantly different sized bores. One is 3D printed (smallest bore), the one I use the most (and exclusively because its all the cork will accept right now) is a C* soloist (medium) and the third is my jazz piece (Otto Link tone edge 7*, the biggest). The sax and C* are NOT mine (the school provides them) so modifying them are out of the question.
The essential question: How can I make a mouthpiece bore smaller and larger?
Thanks in advance, even tough I'll probably thank you later too. ;)
 

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you can carefully enlarge the bore of the smallest with a dowel and sandpaper. It needs to be done slowly and test often. You only need to go into the piece about as far as the cork goes.
Keep in mind removing material in a circle means you are removing more than you think.

once you have them the size you need you can use some painters tape on the sax neck to keep water off the lacquer.

dip the cork in warm water...not hot. A very few minutes 3 or so is enough.

Then on warm hit the cork with a hair dryer.

It will expand a bit.

do this all carefully and conservatively. I disclaim any liability if you mess up and have to have a new cork. I and other players do it and have had no problems.

Cork is expendable. Mouthpieces much less so. So again, be precise and slow.

Vintage lacquer can be water sensitive so be careful. Dont use any other form of tape that may ruin lacquer. No shortcuts.
 

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Hello everyone,
I have three mouthpieces for my tenor, and all three of them have significantly different sized bores. One is 3D printed (smallest bore), the one I use the most (and exclusively because its all the cork will accept right now) is a C* soloist (medium) and the third is my jazz piece (Otto Link tone edge 7*, the biggest). The sax and C* are NOT mine (the school provides them) so modifying them are out of the question.
The essential question: How can I make a mouthpiece bore smaller and larger?
Thanks in advance, even tough I'll probably thank you later too. ;)
To temporarily correct a loose fit, use a single overlapping wrap of teflon plumber's tape. Buy a roll to keep in your gig bag and learn how to use it.
 

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If you're looking for a permanent solution, either find mouthpieces that fit, or change the cork thickness, which you can't do in your case. I strongly advise against altering your mouthpieces, and to expand and shrink the cork every time you want to use a different mouthpiece doesn't make sense. If a mouthpiece fits too tight, sometimes globbing on cork grease will get it to go on. If it's slightly loose, and by loose I don't mean falling off, using cork grease can also fill in a very slight gap. If this doesn't work, I'd consider sticking to the same piece that you know fits, or finding a piece that does.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It seems I'm in a tight situation then...
I already have a truck load of Teflon because my dad is a plumber, and the cork grease solution is no good for the mouthpiece that's too large. I was thinking about maybe 3D printing an insert for the Link that has the same diameter as the C*, or a solution like this: https://youtu.be/TP1bIuvOf84 (using epoxy to thicken the walls of the shank). I'm not worried about the one that's too small because I can just redesign it to be bigger. Maybe a tech can make the link fit?
 

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There was an interesting thread here a while back about the problems caused by different bore sizes. To make a fairly long story short, it's a problem we're just going to have to live with as players as long as we insist on using different mouthpieces. As indicated above, people use tape, paper, hair driers, and probably lots of other things to make adjustments and maybe that will work for you in the short term.

In the long run, it's probably best to choose on mouthpiece that you're going to use for the vast majority of your playing situations, and get your cork adjusted for that one. If you must supplement that with another piece or two, try to find something that has a relatively close bore size. Don't fall into the trap of thinking you need a different mouthpiece for every situation.
 

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If a mouthpiece fits too tight, sometimes globbing on cork grease will get it to go on. If it's slightly loose, and by loose I don't mean falling off, using cork grease can also fill in a very slight gap.
No. That is just WRONG INFORMATION.
 

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No. That is just WRONG INFORMATION.
Dr. G,

Oftentimes, when a mouthpiece appears to be too tight, it's simply because there's not enough cork grease or any at all being used. Isn't that why we have it; to reduce friction between the mouthpiece and cork and make it easier to install and remove the mouthpiece? I see many people who use very little or no cork grease at all, and when they can't fit their mouthpiece on, or they rip their neck cork to shreds, they're surprised.

Additionally, if a mouthpiece is very slightly loose on the neck cork, not wobbly, but perhaps just sliding up and down the cork more easily than desired, cork grease can act as a buffer and seal any minute excess space between the cork and mouthpiece. It depends on how big the mouthpiece is.

Of course, an ideal situation would be to have the mouthpiece fit perfectly, but the OP wants to be able to use a mouthpiece that's too small, one that fits, and one that's too big. To be able to accommodate all three of these isn't easy, if even possible at all. So, if making sure to use plenty of cork grease is enough to fix this, I think that's much more ideal than sanding down his mouthpieces. If he uses teflon tape to accommodate the larger mouthpiece, that still leaves the smaller mouthpiece out of the picture.

Can you explain how this is wrong?
 

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It's a bummer and we've all dealt with it. The cork is the component that is easily replaceable, so I think it's safe to say this is the sacrificial part. But if you have two mouthpieces you like, and they have vastly different diameters, life sucks. Generally, I think you end up sanding the cork to fit the smaller mouthpiece, then adding the teflon tape (or a simple paper strip) when you want to play the larger.
 

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The essential question: How can I make a mouthpiece bore smaller and larger?

The issue of too large is easiest to "fix" with teflon tape. Too small is more difficult. There is a website that has mouthpiece shank bores posted (if you find the site, post it here. I'm too lazy to look for it right now). Anyway, some pieces are just too small (usually vintage oddball names). If you enlarge one to a more common size, you haven't done any harm assuming that it still tunes correctly on the horn. If it tunes perfectly when hanging off the end of the neck, then enlarging the bore won't help because you will have a mouthpiece that doesn't tune properly when placed on another 3/4 of an inch. It could be that the mouthpiece shipped with a certain horn that it worked well with, but it can't be made to tune on "regular" horns. It could be a bad design.

If it will tune and it's just a size issue, enlarge the bore. If it is ebonite, you have your choice of heat or sanding. Either way, purchasing a ring mandrel might be a worthwhile investment in getting a tapered bore. Here's how.

http://stuffsax.blogspot.com/2017/04/enlarging-shank-on-vintage-hard-rubber.html

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So I'm probably best off buying a three year supply of Teflon tape for jazz band re-printing the other one?
 

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A tapered bore is NOT the way to go. If the cork, or bore, is tapered, then it becomes increasingly difficult to move the mouthpiece to the correct position. A cylindrical bore is preferred - the amount of friction will still increase just with the increasing contact area as the mouthpiece goes farther onto the cork.

If it will tune and it's just a size issue, enlarge the bore. If it is ebonite, you have your choice of heat or sanding. Either way, purchasing a ring mandrel might be a worthwhile investment in getting a tapered bore. Here's how.

http://stuffsax.blogspot.com/2017/04/enlarging-shank-on-vintage-hard-rubber.html

Mark
 

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So I'm probably best off buying a three year supply of Teflon tape for jazz band re-printing the other one?
Bore out the C* and toss the printed one, then get a new cork put on the neck.
 

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Put a new cork on and THEN use the grease. With a compressed cork, it just finds one size. With a new softer cork, the loose mouthpiece will fit well (have the new cork fitted to the loose mouthpiece) and the tight mouthpiece will squish down the cork with the grease. Be sure to remove that mouthpiece from the neck and the cork should rebound.
 

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Gotta love the "non-standard" mouthpiece shank ID dimensions employed by mouthpiece mfgrs... Even between their own pieces.

I have two Otto Links. One an STM and the other an STM NY. Both shanks are different. The STM NY fits much tighter than the STM. Such that, when using the STM NY and then switching to the plain STM, the STM slides on much, much easier. No wobble but still. You would think that the metal Otto Links, at least, would be standardized... but no, not to be.
 

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Here is that list of saxophone mouthpiece bores. These manufacturers don't follow Dr. G's advice and have slightly tapered bores to keep the mouthpiece from wiggling on the cork. The measurement is from the widest part. You can see that the tenor Jean Martin is really small in comparison to other pieces. http://doctorsax.biz/mpc_aperture.htm

I was never certain whether the vintage pieces with very tight bores are actually tenor pieces. The CMel mouthpieces that I have for sale here right now fall into this category. They are slightly shorter than most tenor pieces by only 1/8th inch and have a narrow chamber and a bore the size of the Jean Martin. They play in tune on a tenor when on 1/4 inch, and really can't go on much further. I consider them CMel pieces whether or not that was their original purpose.

Mark
 

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Shank bores end up tapered or non-tapered to assist manufacturing more than the player. Machined mouthpieces have straight bores. Moulded mouthpieces have tapered bores (to get the core out easier).
 

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Shank bores end up tapered or non-tapered to assist manufacturing more than the player. Machined mouthpieces have straight bores. Moulded mouthpieces have tapered bores (to get the core out easier).
I understand that there probably are a lot of hard rubber MPs shipped with the bores left as molded (with the draft remaining). However, I still maintain this is poor quality practice. It does not cost much in labor to ream the bore. The mechanical design of the joint dictates that both the bore and cork should be cylindrical, not conical. Even though the resilience of the cork can accommodate some variation, the 1.5 or 2 degree draft will add up to a lot of taper between "just on the cork" and "way way on the cork".

I definitely own some hard rubber MPs whose bores are reamed as received from the factory. It's easy to identify the machining marks. I also own some where the bore has not been reamed (you can tell this by the very shiny finish left from the polished core).
 

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One committed, the spare neck option might be the way to go.

Big thick cork on the jazz neck (say).

Little thin cork on the legit neck.
 
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