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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000285.txt from 2005/05

From: "Karl Krelove" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Gungy green stuff on keys
Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 08:33:31 -0400

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lelia Loban []
> Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2005 7:53 AM
> Abrasives can definitely do more harm than good, and I'd be leery of using
> a buffing wheel, even with the cloth wheel, especially on a
> lacquered sax.
> Buffing removes more of the lacquer, exposing more bare metal that's then
> vulnerable to corrosion. On clarinet keys, abrasives and buffing wheels
> can quickly skin the thin plating right down to nothing, exposing bare
> brass or, on inexpensive clarinets, smelter (aka pot metal or white metal)
> that might be almost anything. Whatever takes off the lacquer or the
> plating makes matters worse.

This is one of (maybe the main) reason some of the old instrument craftsmen
like Moennig didn't like plated keys. It made buffing for *any* reason hard
or impossible to do safely.

> Wipe away
> all of the polish residue with a damp cloth afterwards and then dry with a
> clean, soft cloth.

Though it seems obvious, this should be in bold, italic caps. A real
potential problem is polish or residue that gets pushed into the bearing and
pivot points where keys are mounted. It's easy to miss this stuff or squeeze
it farther into the mechanism, eventually resulting in sluggish key action.
For anyone who is comfortable partially disassembling the instrument, using
a polish, especially in paste form, may work better if the keys are removed
and thoroughly wiped and dried before remounting them.

Which may be why, as Brad observed, "It seems most sax players just leave it


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