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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
At my friendly retailer this morning I picked up pad de-sticking product called Sax Dirt in a cute nail polish bottle. It's made by an Australian company.


The bottle is full of fine grey graphite powder that you brush on the pad.
I guess this is similar to Gig Dust? (which I've never used)

Here's the spiel from the website:
Sax Dirt contains graphite, a dry lubricant barrier that won’t react chemically with any other foreign substance. It won’t upset the pad seat in fact it will assist with any imperfections caused by corrosive saliva.
Just brush SAX DIRT liberally into the impression of the pad.
With SAX DIRT, you’ll notice immediate and lasting results.

Any Aussie players used this stuff before?

I have a few ornery pads that need de-sticking and I hope this does the job, I'll see tonight after work.
 

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I've used eye shadow that my wife gave me, on a sticking G# pad (looks similar to that stuff).
Worked temporarily.

I prefer to clean the tone hole and pad with lighter fluid on a Qtip, again temporary.
Sometimes using a bit of water on a Qtip works.

The problem usually returns though.
 

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I thought you were just 'avin a larf with us - looks like a hand-scrawled label - but I guess it's 'scruffy chic'. There is actually such a product.

http://www.fairwindsinstruments.com/index.php?p=1_6_Sax-Dirt-NEW-PRODUCT

Hmmm, the soil here is 110% clay under the topsoil, bakes rock-hard, think I'll can some of it - and call it "Martin soldered tonehole fixer".... [rolleyes] Be a millionaire by next Friday !
 

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Graphite is very dirty stuff. And saxes I've worked on, where players have used it, are very dirty, and that is usually not just the pads.

Teflon powder is a pretty good, white substitute.
 

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I personally wouldn't ever advise using any fine powders or dust to 'cure' sticking pads with as the chances are it'll get everywhere. Address the source of the problem instead of exacerbating it (by having the culprit pads replaced with ones that aren't as likely to stick) as using these products only end up doing more harm than good - not only to the sticky pad in question, but more widespread as it can get into the mechanism and either bind it solid or wear things out.
 

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I agree with Chris on this one.

If you have a sicky mark on your dining table you clean it off so the plates or anything else doesnt stick to the table.

Clean the pad or replace it. These dusts and powders are a temporary soloution at best. IMHO

Your best bet either way is to change the pad for something that doesnt stick as much.
 

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The product you have showing in your picture is the same one supplied by JL smith with there flute leak isolators, used to dry lubricate the o'rings...do not use it on the sax, with a bit of moisture it stains the pads and fingers, Ive tried the product on multiple items..including sax pads clarinet pads flute pads etc...(When ever I get something new I like to see what it can and cannot do irrespective of what its made for)

To clean your pads just use some lighter fluid on a cotton bud or some warm dishwahing liquid thinned down and applied with cotton bud to the pad surface and tone hole
 

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If you ae using it on O-rings (such as the flute leak isolator), then it only needs a very light and even coating to make them slide into place, but then it all has to be cleaned up afterwards. French chalk can be used for similar applications but it still should be used sparingly and thoroughly cleaned up after use.
 

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using these products only end up doing more harm than good - not only to the sticky pad in question, but more widespread as it can get into the mechanism and either bind it solid or wear things out.
I totally disagree on this one. Teflon powder has zero chance of absorbing moisture to make a sticky porridge, and one applies it to the pad and sometimes tone hole edge, so lightly that it is practically invisible, and cannot migrate to the mechanism. To me it is about the only way of dealing with a pad with an inherently sticky surface (possibly from silicone waterproofing treatment from manufacture) without changing the pad.

I do agree it should not be on the mechanism, so it should never be dusted on.
 

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I do agree it should not be on the mechanism, so it should never be dusted on.
Which is what will inevitably happen as that's what people without the intricate knowledge of the instrument will do - blindly dusting it on without knowing exactly what harm they could be doing.

While I never mentioned Teflon powder, I do mean other types of powder such as talc or similar which some players dowse their instruments with in a bid to cure sticky pads which ends up a right mess.
 

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If you ae using it on O-rings (such as the flute leak isolator), then it only needs a very light and even coating to make them slide into place, but then it all has to be cleaned up afterwards. French chalk can be used for similar applications but it still should be used sparingly and thoroughly cleaned up after use.
Never new about the french chalk, thanks.. Ill give that a go next time as well
 

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After pads that still have life in them have been thoroughly cleaned with NAPTHA and/or Drs. Pad Cleaner and still exhibit stickiness, I use the following technique:

- Cut a sheet of 1000 grit wet or dry sandpaper into 1" - 1 1/2" strips
- Rough up the paper side at each end with 60-80 grit sandpaper
- Apply a very light dusting of super fine teflon powder to the roughed up area using a small paintbrush
- Pull the 1000 grit paper between the pad and tonehole a few times with moderate pressure on the keycup

This effectively cleans and polishes the top of the tonehole and applies a small amount of the teflon powder to the pores of the pad at the same time. There is never excess powder on the saxophone using this method, nor is any harm done to the tonehole since such a miniscule amount of brass is removed in the process.

If one thinks about it, stickiness is the result of an "interaction" between two different surfaces. As such, an effective solution to the problem should be directed at both surfaces rather than only one. Remember this is used after the pad and the top of the tonehole have been cleaned with NAPTHA and there is still stickiness present.

This is far more economical and much less time consuming than replacing sticky pads that are otherwise still in good condition IMO.
 

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I totally agree. I do the abrasive cleaning and the Teflon application as two separate operations, so that I can use softer paper for the application, that is more likely to get into the bottom of deeper pad grooves. Same concepts though.
 

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At my friendly retailer this morning I picked up pad de-sticking product called Sax Dirt in a cute nail polish bottle.
Not something you really need. For a comprehensive overview of some of the ideas expressed here, and the best way to go about curing what is truly a simple problem from a well recommended tech that frequents the forum, check out Stephen Howard's site in regard to the issue: http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/HandyHints/stickypads.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wow! I posted this stuff cos I thought it was kinda cutely packaged & I thought graphite was fairly commonly used for sticky pads. Obviously I'm wrong on both counts. :white:

Now, I need to state that I'm absolutely fastidious with my sax maintenance and cleaning so when I apply anything to my pads none of it gets anywhere it shouldn't - especially with a grey mineral powder like graphite.

I tried this Sax Dirt stuff over the weekend and in very small doses it seems quite effective and none of it got where it shouldn't. Also it didn't mar the tan/orange colouration of my pads much at all. A shade darker perhaps. (Not that I stare at the G# or Eb pads often to care!).

I think I'll probably not pursue use much in the future however as it isn't all that nice to handle and most of it seems to come away when I dry the pads with my neck swab cloth anyway.

BTW I can't understand how a product like French chalk could be less aggressive in buildup than a tiny layer of graphite? Isn't chalk a magnet for moisture?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hi mate, the chalk was in discussion for lubricating flute o'rings on a isolator unit not for sax pads
Thanks for the clarification! Thought it was an oddity. :)
 

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I've used powders and such back in the day, it's a mess. I now sometimes use a very good product called Padlife which is a clear liquid and sometimes I use the Pad Stick a piece of cloth (instead of the dollar bill) or both together. I've been playing a 10m lately and the rolled tones holes are terrible for sticking pads. Haven't tried lighter fluid but I might.

Powders definitely suck believe me.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks bstrom.
I've got rolled tone holes on my SML and they do seem much more inclined to sticking it than my old Yamaha so I've been looking a round for a solution. Seems I haven't found it here! ;)

I'll stick to (no pun intended) lighter fluid and drying pads after use with my bocal swab or cigarette paper.
 
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