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  1. #1
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    Default Cork substitutes

    People here have occasionally mentioned gasket material as a substitute for key cork. I really like the synthetic material Yanagisawa uses on their horns; it seems uncrushable. Where can I get this stuff?

    As to gasket material, I reckon an automotive supply house would have so many kinds--which are best or to be avoided?

  2. #2

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    Steve Goodson talks about using neoprene on his site.

    http://www.saxgourmet.com/

  3. #3
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    Possibly the best source, for Yanagisawa-like composite, specially formulated for instruments rather than for gaskets, "techcork" (formally called "Gummycork" is in Portugal. I can email you the 'family' business manufacturer's email. It is quite a new product and as yet there is probably no USA agent.

    I could give you another source, of similar but not identical material, in Switzerland.

    Both come in 0.1 mm thickness increments from 0.4 mm to about 1.2 mm, then larger increments.

    A limited thickness range (0.4, 0.8, 1.2, ???) is available, considerably more expensive, from Yamaha agents. It is named 'Hycotex". Also very good.

    I get some of mine as offcuts from a local manufacturer of industrial gaskets. Many types of automotive gasket material are available and most are unsuitable, particularly when they break up too easily.
    Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, but the realisation of how much you already have.

  4. #4
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    Thanks Gordon, that's what I'm talking about. I'll check around and see what I can find out about techcork, gummycork, and hypotex. Was sorta hoping I could just head down to the local auto shop ...

    I did buy a few sheets of the stuff Ferree's is now selling by the name "Hytek" or "RealCork". It seems rather springy to me, which may be a good thing, but I'd be more comfortable with something that doesn't compress much.

  5. #5
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    I have not seen Ferree's Hytek yet, but he advocates it for tenons, which means it is probably NOT suitable for linkages. To me, his rave about a rubber smell in other products really is clutching at straws for sales. There is no significant smell.
    Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, but the realisation of how much you already have.

  6. #6

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    I've had some luck with a Hycron/Hypalon material used for baffling in Airplanes (I had some in my tool box from an owner assisted annual). A quick chat with a professional wrench may gain you some small chunks of different gasketing materials they use as well.

    StevenW

  7. #7

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    My saxophone repair tech uses a certain kind of 'shoe soul' material he aquires cheaply from the local cobbler. It's very shock absorbing so it works especialy well for replacing the felts on the lower stack. It can't be sanded though, so a sharp knife and precise measurments are required before gluing.

  8. #8

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    Gordon- I'd be interested in the email address of the supplier you mentioned above. Would you mind sending it along? Thanks. crawfordrobin@yahoo.com

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon (NZ)
    Possibly the best source, for Yanagisawa-like composite, specially formulated for instruments rather than for gaskets, "techcork" (formally called "Gummycork" is in Portugal. I can email you the 'family' business manufacturer's email. It is quite a new product and as yet there is probably no USA agent.

    Sorry that I didn't get into this tread sooner I've been away from SOTW for a while.
    In my shop I do mainly Vintage Saxophone overhauls and have been using the Tech Cork on Saxophones for a while now. I am really liking it. I like it so much, I ordered a good deal of it to sell on the Website and hope to have that page up by mid April.

    I like the Tech Cork because it does not seem to compress significantly and it can be sanded. It is more dense than cork yet it acts as a silencer.

    The same company in Portugal makes a product called AAAA Treated cork. This is natural cork covered with a special treatment which soaks through the entire sheet penetrating the inside and sealing the entire cork sheet, No holes pop out and it does not crack when bent. This stuff is much better for neck tenons and looks like cork. I am liking this stuff too.

    I will post a note here when we get the Tech Cork up on the site.

  10. #10
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    To all appearances and 'feel', the "treated cork" means "filled". To me the term "treated" is an unfortunately misleading misnomer. It has quite significant holes, that have been filled.

    Past attempts at filling the holes in cork have been rather dubious.

    This AAAA "treated" cork is a lot better. Much the same as the newer version of "filled" cork that Kraus sells. The holes are much more securely filled, but I still would not consider cutting through a significant hole that was going to end up at the end of a tenon cork (i.e. the SIDE of the STRIP of cork). (I was not too impressed with the samples of the "AAA" version.)
    Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, but the realisation of how much you already have.

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    OK, I finally got it up on the site! There is a lot of interest in this new cork and for good reason. It's certainly the best stuff that I have used.

    Steve Goodson Talks about it in his article here:
    http://www.saxontheweb.net/Goodson/A...Materials.html

    If anyone is interested in the Tech Cork, using this link to learn about or purchase some will benefit SOTW...
    www.MusicMedic.com/enter.php?ref=saxontheweb

  12. #12
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    Well done, Musicmedic, in making this quality material more readily available in USA.
    Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, but the realisation of how much you already have.

  13. #13
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    Thanks Gordon,
    We added a "sample pack" on the site if anyone is interested in trying all 13 sizes.

  14. #14

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    Be careful using gasket material as a cork substitute. I had to remove all of it on my horn after I noticed that it was tarnishing the contact points on the silver plating. I'm sure (I'd hope, at least) that TechCork doesn't suffer from this problem. Curt?

  15. #15
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    Tech Cork does not have this problem. The Gasket material that I use does not either. When I want a very firm material (like on palm keys that need a thick bumper), I use a black Gasket material that is great. It only comes in an assortment from Auto Zone (I think it's part number 3060). Now, there is a cork composite material in that assortment that might do what you are saying...

  16. #16

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    Curt, that's the gasket assortment I am using. It's the black material that ate holes in the silver plate. Some places were just slightly tarnished, others lost a good layer of silver (like under the feet of the RH stack that always touch the body). I've recorked the whole horn with TechCork and Teflon.

    The two packs of "Part #3060 Gasket Assortment" have had slightly different color and texture. I think some might be safe to use, others not. The trouble is knowing which is ok.

  17. #17
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    Anything with sulphur in it is cruel to silver. It is common to see serious pitting in the silver where the felt on key stops contacts the body. This is probably because most felt is made from wool, which contaings sulphur.

    For at least 15 years I have been using other composite corks with no problems. These are not sourced from automotive suppliers, but from suppliers to the market requiring high-end specification gaskets, such as for oil-filled transformers, and geothermal power stations.

    Tech Cork seems an excellent product, but if you want something thicker, a source is off-cuts from any makers of INDUSTRIAL gaskets. See your 'Yellow pages'.

    A major supplier to the world seems to be
    http://www.jameswalker.co.uk/index.html

    My supplies date back to a time when the products were not 'colour coded', and I do not know which products I actually have, although SOME of is labelled 'Nebar'.
    Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, but the realisation of how much you already have.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stencilman
    Curt, that's the gasket assortment I am using.
    Thanks for that info Stencilman, I bought a good deal of the stuff a while back and have had no troubles. Maybe they changed the formula. I will go get some and try it out.

    You should not have a problem with the Tech Cork let me know how things go.

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    For those interested, I have found a chemical resistance chart for cork/elastomer composite gaskets. What is interesting is that although it seems that most elastomer binders are resistant to mineral oils, not manx are resistant to synthetic oils. So perhaps we have to be careful which greases we use to lower friction.

    In the following pdf file, pg 16, 17, 18 give specs for various elastomer binders, and page 18 shows the chemical compatability. Unfortunately acetone and lighter fluid are not mentioned.

    http://www.jameswalker.co.uk/docs/pd...gs_Low_Res.pdf
    Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, but the realisation of how much you already have.

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    I bought the sample kit from Ferree's of the Hytek cork and have found it completely unusable! Even with a fresh razor blade and my best technique, I can't cut it cleanly. It crumbles terribly when you try to sand it. It is pretty nice on neck tenons, but the raw edges crumble if you try to sand them and it is REALLY tricky to cut a bevel for the overlap. I did manage to use it to success on some older Kings that I worked on because they have raised sections at both the top and bottom of the tenon. I have it on my personal alto (King Zeph Special) at this point, but that is my only satisfactory application. I'm going to try some of the Techcork from MusicMedic...maybe order this weekend if time permits.

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