Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

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ghmerrill
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by ghmerrill »

Sesquitone wrote: Wed Apr 10, 2024 4:46 pm Breath condensate is (mostly) . . . water. Hence the need for a water key. Without using a spray bottle, it's "THAT" water that's acting as the lubricant.
I was going to mention that, but anticipated it would be answered by ad hoc hypotheses and non sequiturs -- and don't want to go down that path.
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by Posaunus »

Sesquitone wrote: Wed Apr 10, 2024 4:46 pm
bitbckt wrote: Wed Apr 10, 2024 4:35 pm I use the same protocol as Aiden and nary a drop of water used, ergo no water droplets to ride on.

I did use the Trombotine + water protocol until about 10 years ago, in which case the water as “bearings” hypothesis might have actually… held water.
Breath condensate is (mostly) . . . water. Hence the need for a water key. Without using a spray bottle, it's "THAT" water that's acting as the lubricant.
I still respectfully disagree. If the lubrication is (mostly) provided by the water (droplets from a spray bottle, thin layer of condensation, ...) then why does the particular type or brand of lubricant "underlayer" make such a dramatic difference in how slippery my slide is? [And my good (lubed) slides are very slippery even before my first breath into the trombone.] I think we could use the informed opinion of a good tribologist. Or at least a properly designed experiment! :idk:
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by Sesquitone »

Posaunus wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 1:33 am I still respectfully disagree. If the lubrication is (mostly) provided by the water (droplets from a spray bottle, thin layer of condensation, ...) then why does the particular type or brand of lubricant "underlayer" make such a dramatic difference in how slippery my slide is? [And my good (lubed) slides are very slippery even before my first breath into the trombone.] I think we could use the informed opinion of a good tribologist. Or at least a properly designed experiment! :idk:
The original (before-lanolin) Ponds Cream on the slide, before being sprayed with water, is rather "sticky". Please note the final listed ingredient of the Yamaha slide oil.

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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by OneTon »

A soap box derby axle could be fabricated from a four inch diameter outer tube packed with randomly distributed ball bearings supporting a two inch solid bar axle, and
Lubricated with 90 weight oil. The ball bearings may not stay where they’re desired to be. The axle may wobble or even ground out with metal to metal contact with the tube. A better plan is to capture finite numbers of balls in races strategically distributed to provide adequate support that can minimize friction.

The emulsion is not altogether different. Except that we can’t organize our outer slide support with raceways. Water by itself is plenty slick but it wants to run away and disappear altogether with friction. Oil is slick but prone to uneven distributions and getting sticky. An oil and water emulsion allows a matrix to be formed that allows for a more desirable distribution and less friction. Water aids oil distribution and oil helps with sustaining a slippery contact surface. It is a matrix.

Traditional viscosity tests were conducted with a rotating device on a fixed turntable. There can be a fixed force applied to the “rider,” The force required to sustain rotation is measured to yield viscosities. The data yielded may or may not have direct or significant relevance to this application. Separate data would need to be gathered to establish correlation.
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by timothy42b »

Sesquitone wrote: Wed Apr 10, 2024 4:46 pm

Breath condensate is (mostly) . . . water.
I agree, as far as it goes.

But I don't think condensate is where all, or even most, of the water in a horn comes from.

I think most comes from saliva being expelled from vibrating lips. My reason for thinking this is that older horns have lots of mineral deposits built up, and I don't see how that comes from condensate, which should be relatively pure. I've looked at analyses of saliva and there's lots of other stuff in there. I think that's what gets on the inside of tubing.
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by ghmerrill »

If you carefully read the REKA page on their product closely (and especially if you compare parts of it to the original German), it becomes quickly apparent that it's really all standard marketing hype for a "single-application" silicone-based slide lubricant that's undistinguished when compared to a variety of the others on the market. Their own claims about longevity between applications in fact fall short of what Aiden and I (and I presume others) have found with Yamasnot -- although this isn't to say that if we actually tried the REKA stuff on our horns it wouldn't perform as well as (or better than?) the Yamasnot. It might.

We have one testimonial for it in this thread, and that shouldn't be discounted for those thinking about trying it -- regardless of the side-discussion involving the role of water/spray or condensate (which the REKA text acknowledges). So maybe more people should try it and report comparative results. I'm too lazy to do that and, pending more information, will stick with the Yamasnot.
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by Sesquitone »

Over forty years ago, when I first started using REKA, a tribologist colleague (who knew nothing about the mechanics of trombones) inquired about how slides were typically lubricated. I showed him the REKA (and mentioned that it was common practice to also use a fine mist of water from a spray-bottle). He rubbed a little between his thumb and fingers and immediately said, "Ah, a shear-thinning polymer. That's interesting. And it's the water that acts as the lubricant, of course. Hmm." Not a "controlled experiment". But a reliable "expert opinion". I hadn't thought much about it before that. But ever since then, the tribologist's immediate declaration of "water . . . of course" seems to make sense.
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by ghmerrill »

Sesquitone wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 7:44 am And it's the water that acts as the lubricant, of course. Hmm."
I think you have to admit that's an oversimplification. Otherwise why not simply go to using water (it's "THE lubricant," after all) as the only lubricant? If it's really the water that's acting as THE lubricant, then you don't need anything else.
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by BGuttman »

The problem with pure water is it's very "fugitive", i.e. doesn't last long. One thing the old lubricants like Pond's or Trombotine did was to provide a hydrophilic surface that kept moisture in place. Often metallic surfaces are oliophilic so the other ends of the surfactant will "bond" to the metal surface. The surfactant thus is holding the water in place to act as the actual lubricant.

Silicones, if I recall properly, also act as hydrophilic surfaces. They also slide on themselves, so a silicone coated inner slide will slip on a silicone coated outer slide inside.

One problem I have discovered is that there is some incompatibility between surfactant based lubricants and silicone lubricants that creates a gummy interface so if you put Reka on a Trombotine slide it won't work out well. However, we do know that the silicone in Superslick treatment (the little Plus bottle) seems to work well on top of Trombotine or even Pond's cold cream.
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by ghmerrill »

BGuttman wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 8:11 am One problem I have discovered is that there is some incompatibility between surfactant based lubricants and silicone lubricants that creates a gummy interface ...
It appears that this can't be a general problem with silicone/surfactant combinations -- since Yamasnot contains both and works exceptionally well with no apparent "gum".
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by BGuttman »

Yamasnot is apparently formulated to not have the "gummy" problem. Remember, there are hundreds of surfactants and dozens of silicone lubricants. You can probably find pairs that work but you can also find pairs that don't.
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by Kbiggs »

One pair of lubricants that works well for me are Trombotine and UltraPure Alessi Formula. My slide cleaning routine looks like this:

I often slush pump my slide (see above) to remove any gross particles, anywhere from every 2-3 days or once a week. Then I’ll either use a rod and some muslin or similar material to dry the outer slide, or I’ll use a Yamaha slide swab (the kind with a drop weight, a long string, and a microfiber cloth). Then I’ll use 2-3 drops of UltraPure on one stocking of the inner slide, work it in, then the same for the other slide. I rarely use water these days, but I still keep a spray bottle filled with distilled water.

About once per week, I’ll do a more thorugh cleaning. I start with the slush pump routine. Then I’ll use the rod and cloth by applying a small amount of Trombotine to the end of the cloth (about the size of a dried lentil or a split pea), and swabbing the outer slide. I work it in by rubbing vigorously (again, allegro or allegretto, not presto or vivace). This applies a thin, even layer to the inside of the tube and, I believe, helps to further clean the tube. I finish by applying UltraPure as described above.

This works well for me. YMMV.
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by ghmerrill »

BGuttman wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 8:51 am Remember, there are hundreds of surfactants and dozens of silicone lubricants. You can probably find pairs that work but you can also find pairs that don't.
Yeah. I took the way in which you'd phrased the problem to be without qualification, and was wondering about that.
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by ghmerrill »

Kbiggs wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 9:29 am One pair of lubricants that works well for me are Trombotine and UltraPure Alessi Formula. My slide cleaning routine looks like this:
...
This works well for me. YMMV.
That's an awful lot time and effort simply on slide maintenance in a single week. Given how much mileage I figure I have left on myself, it's not for me. :lol:
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by OneTon »

BGuttman wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 8:51 am Yamasnot is apparently formulated to not have the "gummy" problem. Remember, there are hundreds of surfactants and dozens of silicone lubricants. You can probably find pairs that work but you can also find pairs that don't.
Sounds a lot like entanglement. Does this mean if we know what is happening on the upper we also know what is happening on the lower?

All kidding aside, I admire you knowledge and clarity of input.
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by Posaunus »

Kbiggs wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 9:29 am I often slush pump my slide (see above) to remove any gross particles, anywhere from every 2-3 days or once a week.
What's the source of these "gross particles?"

I carefully clean the interior of my slides (inner and outer) regularly (at least every few days). I get very little, if any, greenish deposit (copper oxide) on my slide-wiping cloth, and never see particulate matter on the cloth-wrapped cleaning rod or the Slide-O-Mix towel sheath that I use to completely dry the slide interiors. I do brush my teeth if I've recently eaten before I touch the trombone mouthpiece to my lips, to ensure there is no food residue.

My trombone hygiene protocol does take a few (~5-6) minutes every few days (slide cleaning and drying; valve lubrication if relevant) - but the payoff is nearly perfect, smooth slides and no reason to visit a technician. Once I have achieved my baseline (full service including alignment and chemical cleaning by an expert slide tech), there are no "mineral deposits" to scrape off or chemically remove. (Any minerals in my saliva are removed by frequent cleaning before they have a chance to "deposit!") I no longer feel the need to give my trombones a bath - there's really nothing to wash out, now that I've learned to keep them clean and dry. :good:
Last edited by Posaunus on Thu Apr 11, 2024 7:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by ghmerrill »

I wonder how many of us have actually read Yamaha's instructions for using their slide lube. I just did, and discovered that:

(a) They suggest not even taking the outer slide off to apply the lubricant, but to apply it at the TOP of the inner slide and then it will just "run down the slide".
(b) Not to worry "about using too much" because any excess will "drain out through the water key" and there is no "risk of excess buildup". However, I do worry a bit about this, mostly because it's really easy to use more than you intend to, and also because of the cost of the stuff. But it's nice to know you can't "overdose" the slide, I guess. But I'm sensing some marketing input on these instructions. :roll:
(c) Although the slide "may already be fast enough to use at this point," they suggest for the "best action" (!!!) you should "use a spray bottle to apply a fine mist of water before or as needed while playing."

Now I'm so conflicted. :?
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by ghmerrill »

Posaunus wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 11:11 am
What's the source of these "gross particles?"
Probably in your gross spit, and in the chunks of calcium that form from the spit and reactions inside the slide, and then either get bigger and bigger until you can't move your slide any more, or break off and cause the sort of destruction that befell the Titanic.

I kind of like this model. It explains a lot.
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by Sesquitone »

Posaunus wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 11:11 am
My trombone hygiene protocol does take a few (~5-6) minutes every few days (slide cleaning and drying; valve lubrication if relevant) - but the payoff is nearly perfect, smooth slides and no reason to visit a technician. Once I have achieved my baseline (full service including alignment and chemical cleaning by an expert slide tech), there are no "mineral deposits" to scrape off or chemically remove. (Any minerals in my saliva are removed by frequent cleaning before they have a chance to "deposit!") I no longer feel the need to give my trombones a bath - there's really nothing to wash out, now that I've learned to keep them clean and dry. :good:
That has been my experience, too. But I got into the habit of wiping down and drying all inner and outer slide surfaces even more frequently: after every practice session, rehearsal or public performance—before putting the instrument away into its case or resting on a stand. Literally, one or two minutes beyond putting it into the case. The key word is DRY. Nothing (repeat, nothing) ever builds up on the metal surfaces. No "major" cleaning is necessary—there's nothing to clean out. A snake through the slide bow (maybe once a month), just because I can't see that "mirror finish" there that I can see on the inside of the inner tubes (and that I can assume that something similarly pristine occurs on the inside of the outer tubes).
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by Indigowarpz »

I apologize that I haven’t read every reply to this question, but my go-to for years while I was playing regularly was Reka Superslide. I’m uncertain of it’s actual makeup or if it’s synthetic or otherwise, but a small application seemed to do the trick for a while.
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Re: Slide Cream choice and necessity of cleaning Rod?

Post by Mamaposaune »

I use this to swab out the inners after I have run water through the slide section 2-3 times a week, and then use the cleaning rod on the outers.
My preferred lube is either Trombotine or Superslick cream, a drop of formula 3, and water.
My slides have continued to stay very slick for years.
If a horn is going to be stored for awhile, the slide section gets a thorough cleaning with warm water, a drop of dish soap, and the cleaning snake. I only use the cleaning rod on the outers, no snake.
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