Best Tuning Slide Grease?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Sonic Trombone, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. Sonic Trombone

    Sonic Trombone New Member

    simple question: - What's the best tuning slide grease?

    I play trombone, and I'm more or less settled on my choice of lube for the slide/valve, but I've never really found anything good for my tuning slide - So tMP'ers, what snake oil do you swear by?
  2. pbirch

    pbirch Active Member

  3. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Automotive axle grease (yep, really). When I used to work in the aerospace industry I used to use Shell No.7 Aerogrease; not available commercially, as far as I know, but definitely the best stuff in my experience. With the added bonus of ensuring that your instrument is officially flight-certified ...
  4. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I use (and always have done since Noah was a boy) Selmar tuning slide and cork grease. Its great stuff - you only need to put a pin-head sized dot on each branch - once you've spread it around that's all you need until you clean your instrument again and your slide will always move when required. The added bonus is that it lasts forever - I recently bought my third bottle in <cough>30<cough> years of playing. I lost one bottle and my last bottle split after I tried to cram too much stuff in my case (not good - it was a b*itch to get off the furry lining!). I think most decent instrument suppliers stock it but here's a link to John Packer's anyway.
  5. arniesarnies

    arniesarnies Member

    Pond's dry hand cream. The very best bar none. Apply sparingly around the bottom of you inner slide, where the wear mark's are, then use a spray of water over the slide. Then work it in with the slide, and spray a bit more water. Do this every week and if you find your using the spray bottle to much, well, start again with the cream. Also before you use your cream clean your inner slide with window cleaner to get rid of all the old cream and grit. Hope this help's...
  6. Sonic Trombone

    Sonic Trombone New Member

    Thanks for the responses.

    It's interesting that half of you use products branded for tuning slides, and the other half use other stuff like axel grease, and hand cream. I'd be really interested to see if this is just a statistical blip, or if it's a wider trend in brass players that I've been oblivious to all these years - so keep the suggestions coming in, and we might be able to work out (very unscientifically) what the "average" tMP'er uses.

    As the stuff you've recommended is all reasonably priced, I think I might start to order some and test them out over the next few weeks/months (and probably years).

    Thanks very much guys.
  7. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    I've always sworn by old-fashioned vaseline - the problem being it's easy to over-apply. That and the fact it's a nightmare to shift when you clean the instrument out. might try something more bespoke at the next strip-down & rebuild.

    Never tried axle grease, but did once use assembly paste, supplied by one of our section who worked in lubricants at the time. That worked fairly well. Slides were a bit stiff though.
  8. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    That's one of the reasons I switched to axle grease from vaseline; the vaseline tends to dry out, thicken up and leave a load of gunk over time, whereas axle grease doesn't. it actually seems to thin out. Also, axle grease is thick enough to make sure that main tuning slides don't move too easily (ie. when they're not supposed to), but with a drop of valve oil applied over the top it will allow 'mobile' slides (ie. 1st/3rd valve trigger/ringpull slides) to move freely.

    I should point out that I can't claim any credit for the idea; it was recommended to me by the late John MacMurray (Halle)
  9. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    I've got some Castrol CL grease I use on motorcycle parts at home, so will give it a go next time. Thanks. :)
  10. agentorange

    agentorange Member

    Andi, i've used Total Multis 3 (a general multi-purpose grease) for years, so i'm sure your Castrol will be fine.

    Only problem with it is its colour (brown) which can mark clothing if you're not careful so i have to remember to wipe away any excess.
  11. agentorange

    agentorange Member

    Oh, should have said I use it on all slides EXCEPT my tuning slide (which has a trigger). Grease or vaseline is too viscous to allow the slide to move quickly when the trigger is used, so the tuning slide gets a blob of Websters tuning slide gel and an occasional squirt of valve oil.
  12. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    As I said, I find that a drop of oil on top of the axle grease will allow a free enough movement. Works on my 1st/3rd valve slides anyway ... (mind you, they are push/pull rings - don't like spring triggers)

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