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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentRepairs, Modifications and Maintenance(Moderators: john sandhagen, BGuttman) Help Me Find A Good Slide Lubricant For My 50's Martin Committee
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Trombone Garrett
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« on: Jan 08, 2018, 05:27AM »

Hi Everyone,

I own a 1950's Martin Committee that I love dearly that I enjoy playing for lead in my high school jazz band, but I'm having issues finding the right lubricant for the slide. I've tried Trombotine, Yamasnot, and Superslick and they all build up and make the slide stick. I make sure I don't put too much and I've had it cleaned and aligned by a tech and the slide's in nice shape with no plating wear, but it has a little red rot on the outer slide toward the end which doesn't have much effect. I always made sure the slide was clean as possible before trying a different lubricant by cleaning it as seen in Christan Griego's video and having it soaked and cleaned with warm soapy water.

Is there a different lubricant that would be recommended for a vintage horn like this? I thought about trying Slide-o-mix, but didn't have good luck with it on my Bach 42T (Trombotine works great on it). I'd love to be playing my Martin again over playing a school-owned Yamaha 354, even though I'm not complaining too much since the Yamaha plays great and the slide is good. It's school-owned though (can't have it) and I want to get my Martin's slide better for when I go off to college. Just thought I'd ask you guys instead of wasting money on a bunch of different ones that I might not get good results with.

-Garrett A.

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hyperbolica
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 08, 2018, 06:45AM »

Trombotine is usually recommended for horns like yours. The common mistake with Trombotine is to use too much. If you start with a clean slide, you only need a smear around two sides of the stocking. Way less than a pea, more like a half an appleseed worth of cream. Plus water. You can also use the small bottle of SlideOmix or Superslick.  Just use a lot less and if your slide is mechanically straight, it will work. I use this on all my classic Conns, and its as good as anything I've ever used.

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Euphanasia

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« Reply #2 on: Jan 08, 2018, 07:14AM »

What are the symptoms? Where does it stick? How do you know that the red rot isn't having an effect? I've found that red rot can have a very profound effect on slide action. It can get better when the pits are filled in, but the problem comes back when the lube wears away.

Usually, if lubrication doesn't last, it's because something is causing it to be abraded off of the areas where it needs to be doing its job.

One other thought: How long ago was it aligned? When you clean it, is the cloth coming away dirty? Some slides that have been rebuilt have a lot of oxidation buildup that needs to be worn away before the slide will work well. I rebuilt an Olds Opera for a friend, and cleaned it well. Within two hours of heavy playing, it was unplayable. After repeated cycles of play/clean/lube/play, it's now very good, but it took time.
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bonearzt

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« Reply #3 on: Jan 08, 2018, 07:50AM »

Was it aligned by a real slide tech of a band fixer?  Makes a difference!!

Yes, sometimes too much cream can hinder the slide action,  but I've usually found that the player uses too little!!

My process for either my own slide or mu customers:

Use a pea or corn kernal glob on each stocking,  spread evenly on the stocking with your fingers,  then run the inner tubes individually in the outer to apply the cream evenly.
Douse LIBERALLY with water & move the slide the full length, 1-7,  THEN wipe the excess from the inners,  reapply a stream of water and go on your merry way.

I also feel the misting the water on the slide isn't enough.  I use a saline bottle from my contacts to apply a good stream of water to each tube.

If this doesn't help,  you might need a better slide tech to look at it.


Eric
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Eric, Leandra, Sara, Jared & Lily
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 08, 2018, 01:50PM »

Was it aligned by a real slide tech of a band fixer?  Makes a difference.


Eric


I don't want to be confrontational, but I take umbrage with this statement! I was a "band fixer" and tech. Being one does not preclude being the other! To go one step further, I think being a repairman that services school music programs can make you a better high end tech.
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 08, 2018, 02:00PM »

I think the guy Eric wants to avoid is the Gee-Tar Doctor, who can "sorta" fix most electronic problems but has no idea what a brass or woodwind instrument is.  These guys are usually associated with stores that are heavy on the Gee-tars, amps, and drums.

Being a School Band repairman means you often have to do more with less; budgets are small and that crappy old horn has to last another year because there's no money to replace it.
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Bruce Guttman
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bonearzt

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« Reply #6 on: Jan 08, 2018, 02:02PM »

I don't want to be confrontational, but I take umbrage with this statement! I was a "band fixer" and tech. Being one does not preclude being the other! To go one step further, I think being a repairman that services school music programs can make you a better high end tech.
Well Dan,  I wouldn't associate you with "band fixer" then,  there IS a difference between us and them!!

Exactly Bruce!!! I use the term "band fixer" for most big box bench monkeys that barely know enough to take up space in a shop.


Eric
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afugate

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« Reply #7 on: Jan 08, 2018, 04:32PM »

Exactly Bruce!!! I use the term "band fixer" for most big box bench monkeys that barely know enough to take up space in a shop.

Eric

I used to futz with the slide on my Yamaha 645 all the time.  New lubes, spray bottle, slide swab, etc.  Had it to 3 different repair guys.

I send it to Eric.  Now, I just play the darned thing and a little Yamaha Slide Snot or Ultra Pure every now and then.

Moral of the story?  There are bench monkeys.  There are good slide guys.  And there are guys that you find and cherish, like Eric. Good!  Find one of those and stop futzing with slide lubes...

--Andy in OKC
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salsabone
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 08, 2018, 06:24PM »

Dan,
I have to kind of agree with Eric and Andy here.  My local guy here in north DE here is a good friend of mine and I trust him with my basic slide work.  That being said, the 40+ year repairman at a store 45 min south in Dover, is the guy I trust with any repair that I know dents and some metal needs to be moved!  Since I have lost the tech many years ago that surely would have been my go to guy by his own volition, his name was Mark Roe, I have yet to really find someone I can trust with my larger bore hons with rotors.  I realize I have not had much need, or looked that hard, bit it would be nice to have a good recommendation.  To summarize, using my personal experience as a piano tech, there are piano tooners!, and piano technicians. Please know that anyone that can repair a vast myriad of musical instruments is like a master carpenter, they posses the most wonderful problem solving skills that few of do!
Kevin
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bonearzt

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« Reply #9 on: Jan 08, 2018, 07:39PM »

I used to futz with the slide on my Yamaha 645 all the time.  New lubes, spray bottle, slide swab, etc.  Had it to 3 different repair guys.
I send it to Eric.  Now, I just play the darned thing and a little Yamaha Slide Snot or Ultra Pure every now and then.
Moral of the story?  There are bench monkeys.  There are good slide guys.  And there are guys that you find and cherish, like Eric. Good!  Find one of those and stop futzing with slide lubes...
--Andy in OKC

Aww shucks Andy!!


Thanks!!!

Eric
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« Reply #10 on: Jan 09, 2018, 08:38AM »

Dan,
I have to kind of agree with Eric and Andy here.  My local guy here in north DE here is a good friend of mine and I trust him with my basic slide work.  That being said, the 40+ year repairman at a store 45 min south in Dover, is the guy I trust with any repair that I know dents and some metal needs to be moved!  Since I have lost the tech many years ago that surely would have been my go to guy by his own volition, his name was Mark Roe, I have yet to really find someone I can trust with my larger bore hons with rotors.  I realize I have not had much need, or looked that hard, bit it would be nice to have a good recommendation.  To summarize, using my personal experience as a piano tech, there are piano tooners!, and piano technicians. Please know that anyone that can repair a vast myriad of musical instruments is like a master carpenter, they posses the most wonderful problem solving skills that few of do!
Kevin

Before I retired last June I was one of those guys with 40 years of experience. Yes I did service shool band programs but also worked for a ton of local and not so local pros. I do think that as a player you should have a new repairman "audition" for your business. Just like you audition for a new gig. If you are at all uncomfortable with that first experience, look for someone else. But don't discount someone just because they service school band accounts! I can't tell you how many times a new customer would walk into my shop with a minor job (I'm sure as an audition for me). Then come back a couple of weeks later with a more complicated job on a pro level axe. And then become a long term steady client.
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Short slided Conn 20H with King hand slide crook
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