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I have recently started trying to use more effective fingerings and the small Bb key is super helpful, but mine is sticking a bit which is an issue when playing a quicker passage. I lubed the pivot points on the rod, but it only helped a tiny bit.

It seems like the pad is sticking to the tone hole. Do I need to replace it, or is there something I can do with it in place?
 

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Oh boy.

Sticking pads are the bane of sax players' existence. That little pad is not the most prone to sticking (that would be the G#) but it's on the list. Possible options, in rough order of complication and aggressiveness:

1) Drag a fresh dollar bill through while holding closed.
2) Apply pad powder (available from a variety of sources, I use Yamaha pad powder paper)
3) Clean both pad and tone hole with naphtha/lighter fluid
4) Replace pad, making sure the tone hole is thoroughly cleaned during the process.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh boy.
1) Drag a fresh dollar bill through while holding closed.
2) Apply pad powder (available from a variety of sources, I use Yamaha pad powder paper)
3) Clean both pad and tone hole with naphtha/lighter fluid
4) Replace pad, making sure the tone hole is thoroughly cleaned during the process.
Thanks for the tips. Much appreciated, but I think I'll have to skip #1 as I'm in Canada and our dollar is a coin and all our "paper" money is now plastic/polymer based.

View attachment 245068
 

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Paper towels also work or a shoe polishing cloth (preferred). Just make sure to get the gunk off first as turf3 suggested using lighterr fluid, naphta or WD40 (works great for that stuff) and then recondition/waterproof the pad using shoe polish (and make sure you remove any excess and really polish the pad.
 

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Thanks for the tips. Much appreciated, but I think I'll have to skip #1 as I'm in Canada and our dollar is a coin and all our "paper" money is now plastic/polymer based.
Likewise here. I use 1200 grit sand paper which probably does the job better.
 

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Clean the pad and cup with a qtip with water....let it dry....then run a piece of pad paper (cigarette papers also work) and the problem should be gone....although running a dollar bill has been the popular solution for years, it tends to leave a lot of crud on the pad and cup....
 

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The dollar bill trick works by being slightly abrasive so cleans some of the sticky dirt off and/or by leaving a bit of cocaine to act like non-stick powder :)

Both have better ways of doing them. For example, clean with lighter fluid or whatever degreaser you like, or use regular paper or very fine sand paper (abrasive towards the tone hole). For the latter I like the Yamaha powder paper (I would ignore any comments about this creating a "dough mess" which is completely wrong).

Paper towels, rolling papers, etc. can dissolve and have left overs on the pads. I've seen that more than a few times, so I wouldn't use those.
I also don't like DW40. It's a good cleaner/degreaser, but then it dries and actually becomes very sticky. If you do use it, use another degreaser (like lighter fluid) after, to clean any of it that is left.
 

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The lighter fluid trick should work, provided that the pads are stock and not treated aftermarket. I'm a huge fan of cleaning the toneholes with 1200 microgrit. Another go to is receipt paper. It does a great job at absorbing those nasty chemicals that cause sticking in the first place.
 

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Oh boy.

Sticking pads are the bane of sax players' existence. That little pad is not the most prone to sticking (that would be the G#) but it's on the list. .
I have issues with that pad sticking on one of my tenors but it’s odd that on my other the left hand rarely gets wet. I did that trick of dripping some clarinet bore oil down the backside opposite the tone holes and the water follows it down. I’m not a really wet player but I still get sticky pads. I try to have a drink of water before I start playing if I’m imbibing but it always seems easier to grab something stronger at most of the places I work.
Some suggest Roo pads but I had a tenor where the bis key, your “small Bb key”, the G#, low Eb and low C# key had white Roo pads to prevent sticking. Guess which keys stuck the most? Not to mention how disgusting white pads look after a while.
Lighter fluid Is the best suggestion. Check and see if the spring tension is good also.
 

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I also clean sticky pads using naptha on a flattened Q-tip (ear bud) followed by 1000 grit wet or dry sand paper between the pad and tonehole. This works about 90% of the time. When the pad still feels or sounds sticky, I remove the key and feel for burrs around the tonehole and if found remove them. Then with the key still off I use my finger to rub teflon powder into the pores of the pad and blow away the excess. In those rare cases where even this doesn't work, the pad is replaced.
 

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+1 to Saxoclese
 

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I also clean sticky pads using naptha on a flattened Q-tip (ear bud) followed by 1000 grit wet or dry sand paper
Saxoclese, thank you for such comprehensive advice, individual methods do not always work.
What kind of naphtha you mention? The so-called "lighting", also used to clean tools? Or maybe some special formula or other kind?
 

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Regular Zippo lighter fluid works well for me.
 

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Lighter fluid, Zippo", naphtha, Shellite, hikers stove fuel, Pegasol AA, Fuelight, White Spirit Fast, etc, etc.

All much the same. (Called "white spirits" in some countries, but not to be confused with a different, somewhat oily solvent of the same name in some countries, called turpentine in AU/NZ.)

Key features:
- Not as toxic as many solvents.
- Evaporates fast.
- Leaves no residue.
- Dissolves oils and greases.
- Highly unlikely to damage plastics.
- Softens/dissolves some adhesives, particularly self-adhesive-backings.
- Excellent for cleaning surfaces prior to using an adhesive.
- Flammable.
 

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I was ready to toss a certain Series II Sop. Tried all the usual tricks, the thing was driving me nuts..in desperation I finally grabbed the WD-40 and went to town, well it's been a few months already and no more sticky pads.

FWIW I applied a tiny squirt to a business card and slipped it between the offending keys, A little Q-tip clean up and it's a different (and reliable) horn.
 

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...in desperation I finally grabbed the WD-40 and went to town... FWIW I applied a tiny squirt to a business card and slipped it between the offending keys, A little Q-tip clean up and it's a different (and reliable) horn.
I'm glad you mentioned the FWIW. Some people seem to spray the entire can over the entire sax!!!
 

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I have three different Tenors now. One is a YTS-23 craigslist beater horn that was just padded. My CE Winds horn is brand new and my Selmer has a fresh overhaul. In warmer weather there is next to no condensation, but as the weather gets wet and colder... I remember to hold horns out away from me while pouring accumulated condensation out the bell. So I won't splatter my shoes.

I make my own sets of pull through swabs from micro-fiber cloths to clean my horns. I make them like big clarinet swabs for about $4 in materials... better than anything you can buy commercially. I brush my teeth before I play and don't eat or drink while I play except water.

Eventually my pads will stick because I play a lot. The G# being probably the first to stick. Got to make sure the spring is actually opening the key with enough force. Then the low C# because it is also normally a closed pad too. Then the low Eb and the pads under the left hand start to have issues. It takes a while for the first pads to stick, but eventually it happens.

Not a fan of solvents. Probably from reading Haz-Mat sheets for product applications. I have applied every kind of brushed, rolled, sprayed and powder coating material... One part and two part Epoxies, Urethanes, Hypalon on Neoprene, Lacquers, Varnishes, both water based and solvent based. I used every kind of industrial solvents... from petroleum based thinners, to Xylene, Toluene, MEK cocktails that will cut the chrome off a trailer hitch. Used Tri-Cloro-Ethelene like dish soap until it was outlawed. haha

Lighter fluid and Napatha? WD40? Amateurs. If your are going to play with that kind of stuff, then go to a supply house for the automotive paint refinishing industry and get Prep-All. It's the right cleaning solvent for use on Nitro-Cellulose and Acrylic Lacquers. I evaporates leaving no residues. Smells away better too.

Water is the universal solvent. I used a small rectangle of micro fiber cloth, wet it with warm water, then apply a big drop of Murphy's Oil Soap, so it foams a little. Carefully close the pad and gently wiggle the cloth. You will see if there is dried on goop pretty fast. I dry the pad with a dry microfiber, then apply quality leather conditioner with a Q-tip. I use Lexol Leather Conditioner... just because I have used it for 35 years to clean and protect my custom made motorcycle touring leathers and Road Race suits... 5 times as expensive than a freakin' pad job. I experimented with Vitamin E Oil for a long time on my Mark VI, G#, C#. One time my Girl Friend caught me using her $150 a bottle face moisturizing lotion... she went ballistic... good stuff though. Didn't attract dust or lint. :mrgreen:
 

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Not a fan of solvents. Probably from reading Haz-Mat sheets for product applications. .... If your are going to play with that kind of stuff, then go to a supply house for the automotive paint refinishing industry and get Prep-All. It's the right cleaning solvent for use on Nitro-Cellulose and Acrylic Lacquers. I evaporates leaving no residues. Smells away better too....
Unless I am mistaken, Prep-All is light naphtha plus toluene. See MSDS sheet: http://www.kleanstrip.com/uploads/documents/GSW362_SDS-1700.4.pdf

The toluene is a great solvent but would not add a lot to naphtha for cleaning sax parts for gluing, but is one hell of a lot worse to breathe than naphtha!

And toluene would likely destroy most pad coatings.
 
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