Don't use cork grease on a neck. It will amplify the problem. Clean both the neck and socket with naptha (lighter fluid) and a clean non-linty cloth. If that doesn't do it you may need a tech to adjust the neck.
I have a friend who's neck was stick so tight that when he disassembled the horn, it came apart, leaving a chunk of neck on the tenon. He took it to the tech and they took a number of hours to remove the piece of neck from the tenon. To tell youy the truth, I think he used cork grease on there..........
On the other hand I personally use a dab of cork grease on every horn's neck tenon. I believe it ensures an absolutely perfect seal fo a well fit neck- though clearly a well fit neck is probably pretty well sealing to start with. Using grease on trumpet slides and clarinet pieces for years I have not noted any accellerated wear or dirt attraction. I swab the interior and wipe down the exterior of the horn every time I finish playing in any case and that includes a quick wipe inside the tenon.
Still- if the neck is so snug that it jams without a coat of grease it may well be a bit too large.... or the neck or body tenon has sustained a bit of a warp which means you may well have a nice tight neck that leaks.
First off, a neck should not be so tight that it need grease. If you REALLY mus, use lithium whit grease in a tube. Take the horn and have the neck fitted. If it is just a little tight or dirty, clean the neck AND body retainer with some wet #1000 emery paper or higher. Use some silver or metal polish to smooth it out. It should fit like Buttah!
While the thing certainly oughtn't jam there is no particular reason why one shouldn't strive for the degree of precision in a sax neck to body fitment as is routinely found in flute head to dody and foot to body tenons. Both are metal in metal tenons and the foot to body site is about identical to the sax neck to body in terms of mechanics. Larger size and historically cheaper construction have led us to the "clamp it in and its probably not all that critical" point we've come to accept. The degree of precision found in flutes leads to lightly greasing the tenons as a matter of course. No reason why the same model can't go for sax's.
The counter is that' "It hasn't been needed for the past century. Why start now?" Countless perfectly fine playing sax's of all persuasions with necks that are tight enough to seal but loose enough to move freely without a tightened clamp mean either that flute players are needlessly obsessive (and that the foot has to stay on without a clamp requiring a tighter fit) or that neck fitment is just not rocket science.
Go for the super precise fit and grease away- but expect no improvement except in perception of precision (and as discussed to death musicians pay a lot for perceptual vice audible improvements) or figure Bird would probably have jammed the thing in there without a thought and blown you away in any case.
No matter how you cut it- the thing shouldn't be getting so stuck you can't pull it out with relative ease.
To expand on what Bruce and everyone else is saying, it's amazing how much un-noticed ' black gunk' can build up on a tenon, and more importantly inside the socket. You might think it's acting as a lubricant, but it promotes stickiness. Make sure those are perfectly clean and de-greased before you do anything.
Then, and only then use a little lube if you must - you can get small tubes of 'fishing reel' grease if you need something portable - cork grease isn't really suitable, it tends to stay sticky and attract dust etc.
Talking of which, an old trick with fishing rods is to rub the joint tenon on the back of the hair, picks up just enough lube for the joint to not stick. Back to saxophones, just make sure the tenon are socket are REALLY squeaky clean each time, before you add any lube to the equation. If it still sticks, then it's 'tech time'... (unless you really know what you're doing with a little lapping compound !)
I use a wax based teflon spray lube(has a mild cleaner in it too) applied w/ a cotton swab(I spray swab)in the receiver. This helps alot. I also have my tech clean the neck tenon when the sax goes in for service. I occansionally use a alcohol wipe or cotton swan dipped in alcohol to clean the receiver and tenon being careful to get no alcohol on the lacquer of the sax.
What I generally do is use vinegar on a paper towel and clean the tenon and the receiver. I'm careful not to get any on the lacquer or to down the bore of the instrument and It has always worked for me.
In extream cases I have socked the tenon in vinegar, Again careful not to get any on the lacquer, and then rub clean with a paper towel.
A forum community dedicated to saxophone players and enthusiasts originally founded by Harri Rautiainen. Come join the discussion about collections, care, displays, models, styles, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!