Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I've been having a problem with my horn that's quite common. It has been happening for just about as long as I can remember, but obviously has gotten worse as the weather has gotten warmer and the humidity has risen (I'm in Jersey). My keys, no matter what I do to prevent it, always stick. Every time I open the case and finger my horn, an average of two keys are sticking, and not frequently sticky keys have started to stick as well, like the G and the Bis Bb. I've put up with it, but I really want to do something about it this summer.

My horn is a ~1934 Selmer Super Balanced Action Alto, Silver Plated, one-of-a-kind engraving and pearl work, serial 22318. The action is simply beautiful, so this problem is definitely annoying. I've tried copious amounts of Lighter Fluid (applied with a Q-Tip and paper alike), dollar bills, plain paper, rolling paper, cleaning paper-nothing lasts more than a day. I've considered maybe putting a few bucks into a set of Kangaroo Leather pads, which supposedly don't stick, but as a student, my budget is always limited. If it's necessary, I'll buy the pads, but other alternative suggestions are welcome. Thanks!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician.
Joined
·
3,206 Posts
Do they actually stick down or are they just sticky i.e noisy? If they are noisy it may be the type of pad that is partly to blame. Premium Deluxe pads, for instance, have a plasticky coating which often get sticky. It's not always obvious when you're actually playing though.

If the keys stick down, typically with the G# you may need to be more thorough with cleaning, cleaning in and around tonehole and making sure the bore is clean.
With this type of problem it is the closed keys that are the problem. swapping the pads of just thos keys won't be too expensive.

If the pads are getting really wet when you play, then the pads may not be seating properly and may need reseating or replaced. The regulation could be slightly off causing teh lkeys not to close fully which draws moisture on to the pad.

Other options are to try Yamaha power papers. (Just press down on the paper - don't pull it through.) Or you can use graphite paint, if you can find it. I made my own which works well but it hardens the pad leather which can reduce its life. Another one to try is Teflon spray. I've not found great success with that though.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2011
Joined
·
13,023 Posts
I use Yamaha powder paper.
 

·
SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
23,023 Posts
I'm not sure what Yamaha power papers are (or how much they cost), but zig zag rolling papers work great. They're cheap and have more than one use!
 

·
Just a guy who plays saxophone.
Joined
·
3,589 Posts
So I've been having a problem with my horn that's quite common. It has been happening for just about as long as I can remember, but obviously has gotten worse as the weather has gotten warmer and the humidity has risen (I'm in Jersey). My keys, no matter what I do to prevent it, always stick. Every time I open the case and finger my horn, an average of two keys are sticking, and not frequently sticky keys have started to stick as well, like the G and the Bis Bb. I've put up with it, but I really want to do something about it this summer.

My horn is a ~1934 Selmer Super Balanced Action Alto, Silver Plated, one-of-a-kind engraving and pearl work, serial 22318. The action is simply beautiful, so this problem is definitely annoying. I've tried copious amounts of Lighter Fluid (applied with a Q-Tip and paper alike), dollar bills, plain paper, rolling paper, cleaning paper-nothing lasts more than a day. I've considered maybe putting a few bucks into a set of Kangaroo Leather pads, which supposedly don't stick, but as a student, my budget is always limited. If it's necessary, I'll buy the pads, but other alternative suggestions are welcome. Thanks!
Can't tell you anything about sticky pads except to swab your sax repeatedly, and watch what you eat and drink before you play.

As for getting Kangaroo leather pads because they "don't stick:" I had them put on my Bis, G# and C# keys last time I had my tenor serviced because my tech offered. I don't really have a lot of issues with sticking pads, but those three do stick occasionally...Guess what, they still stick occasionally, and I still check all three every time I pick up my horn.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
Joined
·
19,215 Posts
When it's time to put the horn away place a piece of paper under the pads that usually stick.
I've been doing this for a few years with the G# on my old Pan Am tenor.
Rolling papers, sticky notes, printer paper, brown paper grocery bag.... They all work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
All the usual suspects have been covered.
I don't suppose oiling the action might help? :dontknow:
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,880 Posts
well, well, there are many ways to skin a cat and this particular cat has been skinned before , many times over! However, after cleaning the pads and the rims of the toneholes , what I do is to take some blotting paper or something that absorbs liquids well. Then I spray some silicon spray on the paper (not WD40), then Iplace the paper between the pad and the tonehole and I open and close the pads (all of them) several times, you will hear that the kissing sound will actually disappear after you do this.

Sticking can happen because of a number of reasons. Some people (but this has been causing quit a stir among technicians some agreeing some disagreeing vehemently) use the finest of the sandpaper available on the market placing it with the rough face towards the rim of the tonehole and closing the pad, pulling firmly but gently the paper through the closed key, the theory is that this removes no metal but only the dirt and or the lacquer residues on the rim of the tonehole.

All the other recipes involving avoiding food or drinks consider this sticking a product of your mouth secretion and possible food residue. I have had horns which did this from new so no food or drinks residue could have been responsible for it but rather the waterproofing treatment of the pads and or some lacquer on the toneholes rim (which shouldn't necessarily stay lacquered if the are flattened (not every brand does this) after spraying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,104 Posts
I think this problem was resolved on Selmer SBA's by serial #22319. Let me check... :whistle:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the ideas, everyone. I'll give 'em all a try.

My repair guy suggested spraying Pledge on the counter, then using a q-tip to mop some up and apply it to the tone hole and impression. Anyone ever try this?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,880 Posts
well, right now, in another thread about greasing the pads there are a few techs getting all upset about treating pads with anything other than water to clean them and say that pads don't need any care but cleaning. I disagree and I suggest my method is harmless or even beneficial but I am not a tech. True to be told many techs , including the legendary Emilio Lyons suggest some form of pad treatment. Others disagree.

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?41359-quot-Emilio-style-waterproofing-quot?s=

 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
Joined
·
6,086 Posts
I'm not sure what Yamaha power papers are (or how much they cost), but zig zag rolling papers work great. They're cheap and have more than one use!
I used to use rolling papers but I kept running out. I find a dollar bill works in a pinch. $100's seem to work best but I seem to run out of those just as quickly since I met Mrs Fader.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
38,880 Posts
cigarette paper or dollar bills have simply the function of removing the gunk that affects sticking , powdered papers are treated with a powder which works to all intends and purposes like talcum powder on your body creating a film that covers the gunk and that wont let the pad stick.......fort a short while
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top