Re: [Harp-L] Propolene Glycol
Since I mostly play CX-12s when I'm not recording (and while I record often, it's usually not for very long stretches at a time), it's not that big a problem for me, but when I used to play other models live, yes, my experience was not that different from yours.
But here's the thing: I never experienced the sticking when the harp is new. I would often go a few weeks before I had to clean the slide on a new axe. As I remember it, once the sticking started, I'd routinely disassemble and clean the slide before each gig and that would get me through the evening.
But why did the new harmonicas last so much longer before they started sticking? In hindsight I figure that either I wasn't cleaning them well enough or some lubricant was used at the factory. No idea which though...
On Nov 9, 2014, at 2:56 PM, David Fairweather wrote:
> I've read countless posts here on harp-l about never using any kind of
> lubricant on your chromatic slide mechanism. Maybe I have particularly
> sticky saliva, but I've never been able to use any chromatic but a CX-12
> without the slide sticking. I've used plain water or distilled water as a
> temporary fix, but the slide begins sticking again for me within 5-10
> minutes tops. I got so fed up that I decided to experiment. I got
> some food-grade propolene glycol. I dipped a Q-tip in it and then pressed
> out any excess so that the Q-tip was moist but not dripping. I then
> applied a miniscule amount to the slide of a Seydel Deluxe. So miniscule
> that I could barely even see a difference.
> It worked! I was able to play for HOURS, not minutes, before I got even a
> hint of sticking. The label on the propolene glycol bottle says that the
> stuff is hydrophobic, so I'm wondering if that's helping keep my saliva
> from sticking to the slide.
> After more than two hours of playing, I did start to feel a tiny bit of
> sticking so I put the harp away with no further tinkering or cleaning. I
> know that without that propolene glycol, today my saliva would have dried
> up and completely frozen up that slide. But I just tried it again, 24
> hours later and the slide was still free with just that same tiny bit of
> sticking it had when I put it away.
> So far I've detected no adverse effects upon my reeds or valves. I'll
> report back if I have any significant issues, but so far I have to consider
> this experiment a success!
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