Question about switching slide lubes/oils

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Cmillar
Posts: 144
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Question about switching slide lubes/oils

Post by Cmillar »

I have a question for slide gurus/brass technicians.

When experimenting and changing between various slide lubes, creams, and oils:

I would imagine that it is best to flush/slushpump the slide assembly with hot water before applying different lubes/creams/oils.

- is it best to flush/slushpump and clean the outer slide between applications of the same brand of lube/cream/oil?

- does the lube/cream/oil need time to adapt to use? does flushing between applications every day of the same lube ruin the 'break-in' time for the new type of lube/cream/oil?

- should the outer slide be flushed with hot water between any and all applications?

Thanks all!
OneTon
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Re: Question about switching slide lubes/oils

Post by OneTon »

I hazard to guess there will be a multitude of techniques on this. I would also predict that most people recommend cleaning both inners and outers. No Gaussian distribution would be complete without the outliers.

I don’t use any water that is hotter than what I can stand to touch with my hands. If you wash dishes professionally in a restaurant you may want to use 105 degrees Fahrenheit as the upper limit. My local store claims that any hot water can result with all the lacquer that was on the horn being in the sink. Use caution.

I mostly use Dawn dish soap. The water does not have to be any hotter than that temperature in the previous paragraph to get that soap off/out.

I mostly use a flexible snake with brushes on each end. There is a YouTube video showing Watrous using a rod without covering the end of the rod. Herb Rankin said more damage is done by owners with rods than probably any other cause. I still use a rod some. But I also put a hole right through the bow on an LT6. I had it repaired. I don’t remember what it cost.

Trombone players that use rods to clean slides are like pilots who fly retractable gear airplanes: There are pilots who have landed with the wheels up and pilots who will.

I clean both the inner and outer thoroughly before switching lubricants. “Mixing” lubricants has always resulted in a sluggish slide for me. However, people who lean towards experimentation may find the next Utopia Slide Lubricant.

I will leave the use of more aggressive solvents to the techs. All of the slide lubricants that I use come off easily with soap and water. My goal is to clean the slide once a week. I don’t want my horn to start smelling like some of the trumpets that stand behind me. That can make a person sick.
Last edited by OneTon on Sat Dec 04, 2021 10:19 am, edited 3 times in total.
Richard Smith
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Burgerbob
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Re: Question about switching slide lubes/oils

Post by Burgerbob »

Switching slide lubes, I probably wouldn't even use water to clean the slide, just a dry clean.
GabrielRice
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Re: Question about switching slide lubes/oils

Post by GabrielRice »

Burgerbob wrote: Sat Dec 04, 2021 10:04 am Switching slide lubes, I probably wouldn't even use water to clean the slide, just a dry clean.
Swab and snake is all you really need to do.

But when you swab the outer tubes, you need something with more friction than that Slide-o-Mix terrycloth thing. Cheesecloth doesn't really do it either. Low-grade muslin from a fabric store, torn into strips and wrapped around a cleaning rod, is the way to go. Wrap enough that there is resistance as you push it into the slide - not so much you have to force, but enough that you have to work a little.
Gabe Rice

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OneTon
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Re: Question about switching slide lubes/oils

Post by OneTon »

Burgerbob wrote: Sat Dec 04, 2021 10:04 am Switching slide lubes, I probably wouldn't even use water to clean the slide, just a dry clean.
And that will probably work. I see Bill Watrous proudly re-using a nasty rag. Ask this question of three trombone players and you just might get four opinions. :-)

I have used two inch wide gauze from the pharmacy. It doesn’t seem to have lint, the pharmacies are easy to find, and I throw it in the washing machine with the towels occasionally to keep it clean.
Richard Smith
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RBBERN01
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Re: Question about switching slide lubes/oils

Post by RBBERN01 »

I recently switched from Trombontine to Slide-O-Mix and to get it to work well I had to clean both the inners and outers. To clean the inners I used Goo-Gone and wiped the slide down since Trombontine is so gunky and stayed on the slide, and then to clean the outers I used a cleaning rod with a papertowel. I had to swab both parts out multiple times since I have now learned Trombontine leaves a lot of residue and build up.
TillE
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Re: Question about switching slide lubes/oils

Post by TillE »

GabrielRice wrote: Sat Dec 04, 2021 10:15 am
Burgerbob wrote: Sat Dec 04, 2021 10:04 am Switching slide lubes, I probably wouldn't even use water to clean the slide, just a dry clean.
Swab and snake is all you really need to do.

But when you swab the outer tubes, you need something with more friction than that Slide-o-Mix terrycloth thing. Cheesecloth doesn't really do it either. Low-grade muslin from a fabric store, torn into strips and wrapped around a cleaning rod, is the way to go. Wrap enough that there is resistance as you push it into the slide - not so much you have to force, but enough that you have to work a little.
A few years ago I took a beat up B-88 to the Slide Doctor and stayed to watch him work. That cheap muslin wrapped around a rod with a good squeeze of Wright's into the tubing was his technique. He worked the rod a few times then flushed the tubes with warm water. Kept repeating with a fresh piece of muslin each time for almost an hour.

When I received my Schiller 42B copy last year it had one tube a little balky. I used that same technique. In both cases, the slide became quite good.

One important thing the good Doctor pointed out was when working the rod it was crucial to hold the slide by the tube, never the cross brace, to eliminate the possibility of removing the brace along with the crud.
Mamaposaune
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Re: Question about switching slide lubes/oils

Post by Mamaposaune »

With my younger private trombone students, I have typically swabbed out their slides with the cleaning rod, wiped down the inners and re-applied lube during lessons (while they watch and I talk them through it of course) but stopped due to covid precautions until recently. I bought disposable alcohol wipes (75%) and used 2 on the cleaning rod to swab out the slide of a little guy who was ready to switch from using oil. To my surprise, the slide was much better after the first application of cream, usually it takes several weeks of cleanings to get the old oil out. I had only intended to use the wipes to sanitize the handgrip area. The 2 cloths together was a perfect fit for a .500 bore Yamaha 356, and the isopropyl alcohol apparently did a good job of removing the oil.
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