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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000301.txt from 2005/05

From: "Wes Kilpatrick" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Gungy green stuff on keys
Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 20:14:33 -0400

I agree with Lelia in her statement that abrasives "can" do more harm
than good. However, buffing keys if done properly won't really do much
damage. The trick is using the proper equipment (buffer) and buffing
compound. Also using the correct speed is essential. It is not really that
hard and certainly not impossible to do safely, I do it on a daily basis. I
will also agree that you NEVER should buff on lacquer(unless you intend to
remove it). Also keys should not be buffed while still attached to the horn.
She is totally correct that buffing compound that is pushed into pivots and
hinges will cause long term problems. The same goes for using any type of
polishing compounds. I try to highly discourage my customers from using
these pastes and compounds. I have had to do numerous complete repads
because of paste that has gotten onto the pads and into pivots and hinge
tubes by someone trying to polish them the keys and/or instrument.
Although it is not attractive, the green oxidation on copper and brass
actually forms a petina which becomes a protective barrier to further
oxidation. If you feel you must remove the green then try a little alcohol
on a Q-tip. It will usually get most of it off for a while anyway. DO NOT do
this on a plastic (resin) instrument!!! Alcohol breaks down the plastic and
can cause it to break. But the best way to take care of this problem is a
quick visit to your local NAPBIRT repairman. He is trained to do this type
of work.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Karl Krelove" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2005 8:32 AM
Subject: RE: [kl] Gungy green stuff on keys

>> -----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
> alone."
> Karl
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
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