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Thread: Wax inside body tube?

  1. #1

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    Default Wax inside body tube?

    I've had my Kessler Custom Tenor since 2009 (it's one of the older deluxes with the date stamp on the bell). After playing it I've always run the cloth on a string through it to clean it out, but never taken a peek inside. Today out of curiosity I shone a light in there, and found the inside of the horn had big gobs of white wax (I assume thats what it was) melted all down the inside of the body tube, like you see on the outside of a candle that has burned for a while. The horn is barely played as it basically sat in a closet for 2 years, and theres no way I melted wax into it. Is it just a leftover from the manufacturing process? What on a sax even uses wax like this? I poked a coat hanger into it and managed to clear it out. Very odd.

  2. #2
    Starsax A2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wax inside body tube?

    The only possibility I can come up with is it may be cork grease. If you are running your swab through your mouthpiece, you will be picking up cork grease residue from the inside of the mouthpiece; then, when you swab the sax, it transfers over. I don't swab my mouthpieces for that reason; I rinse them with tap water and run a twisted-up paper towel through them.
    Talent is a gift from the Lord.
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Wax inside body tube?

    I do the twisted paper towel for the MPC as well, never ran the swab through it, and the swab is clean. The white stuff very definitely resembles candle wax, much harder and smoother than cork grease gets when it dries out (I've left cork grease sticks open and lost them in the couch, so I know haha).

  4. #4
    Distinguished SOTW Member ratracer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wax inside body tube?

    Got my Kessler Custom Deluxe tenor in Jan '07 so it's probably a vintage '06 model actually. No "wax" in my body tube so it must be an enhancement for yours.

    I have two different swabs, one for the body tube and one for the neck & mouthpiece. Not had any issues with cork grease on the inside of the neck that I have noticed but I'll have to do a more thorough inspection to make sure.

    You sure someone in your house/household didn't express their, uh, "approval" of your sax playing by trying to convert your sax into a lamp or candelabra for you? You know, since it's just been sitting around unused and everything??

  5. #5

    Default Re: Wax inside body tube?

    Your description makes it sound more like hot glue which is sometimes now used to hold pads in place as opposed to the older shellac. It generally cools to a hard but flexible plastic-like consistency sort of a white or translucent color.

  6. #6
    Distinguished SOTW Technician Stephen Howard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wax inside body tube?

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    Your description makes it sound more like hot glue which is sometimes now used to hold pads in place as opposed to the older shellac. It generally cools to a hard but flexible plastic-like consistency sort of a white or translucent color.
    I'd have thought that was the most likely explanation - there's no way that a player would be using that much cork grease that it congealed in blobs in the bore.
    I can't really see how the glue would have got into the bore though, unless the manufacturers were using a glue gun and got a bit careless.

    I suppose another explanation might be that someone got a bit careless when applying the sealant for the bottom bow joint - and again, this would be a hard, plasticky compound.

    There's a remote possibility that it could be wax polish residue - but that would tend to be found only on a 'vintage unlacquered' horn, which are often given a wax coat.

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    Stephen Howard
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    Author, Haynes Saxophone Manual, Haynes Clarinet Manual

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Wax inside body tube?

    I hadn't thought of hot glue, but on closer inspection, yes indeed it could be. It's all gone now and it never really interfered with the playability of the sax, I am very satisfied with it overall. Just thought it was an interesting anomaly.

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