Re: [Harp-L] slide lubricant
Never found a need to oil slides. I feel very empatically about this. It may have something to do with the first person in the harmonica to sort of take me under his wing and teach me stuff was Douglas Tate. I never met Doug, but we e-mailed back and forth all the time.
It started with my reading his books. They were in the library where I lived. It started off with "are you the same Douglas Tate as has that book in the library?" and my whole harmonica tech experience started from point he said "yes."
Vern's idea here is rock solid. The concept of a self-cleaning slide is something I've thought about and experimented with for years. That was part of the idea of the optimized chromatic slide, where the slide is flattened (the other 90 percent of the idea was air conservation). A clean mouth is a healthy slide. Sugar in your saliva is the worst, worst, worst thing for a slide. Oils, from food, are terrible also as they cause dirt to stick, but nothing is worse than sugar. It will totally lock up a slide like you've welded it.
From: Vern <jevern@xxxxxxx>
Cc: harp-L list <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, December 6, 2012 7:58 PM
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] slide lubricant
After I take my mouthpiece assemblies apart and scrub them with a toothbrush using Simple Green detergent, I rub the slide parts with crocus cloth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crocus_cloth) then wax and polish them with Johnson's Paste Floor Wax. This leaves a very thin, hard, dry, invisible coating. There is so little wax present that it can do no harm. I believe that it has a slight lubricating effect. Mainly it suppresses the tendency to stick and postpones the necessity to clean again.
Because it isn't oil, it doesn't violate Tate's rule.
On Dec 6, 2012, at 3:17 PM, MundHarp@xxxxxxx wrote:
> That is EXACTLY what the late great Douglas Tate always said... His advice
> to me was "never oil the slide on a chromatic!"
> Probably good advice...
> John "Whiteboy" Walden
> Just now in bonnie Scotland.
> In a message dated 12/2/2012 12:53:26 A.M. GMT Standard Time, moorcot
> <<Assuming a 270-type slide setup, this is what I do, and I haven't had a
> sticky slide in years. Fill a dinner plate or shallow bowl with pretty hot
> water, no more than about half an inch deep. Invert the harp, mouthpiece
> down, in the water and work the slide back and forth vigorously for about
> half a minute. Remove harp, keeping it strictly mouthpiece down, and give it a
> damn good tapping/shaking out. Allow to dry overnight, mouthpiece down.
> Repeat after every long night's playing. Et voila! Naturally, no advice is
> good advice...>>
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