Saxophone Forum


by Hooverpen
(2 posts)
1 year ago

Hard Rubber Mouthpiece Restoration

Hello.  My name is Mark Hoover.  I have spent the last 8 years or so working on products that are made specifically to restore early materials such as hard rubber.  It has been important to me to do this in a way that is both safe for the user  as well as the rubber items themselves.  Since so many mouthpieces are made of hard rubber I am interested in hearing about the issues musicians are having.  If someone is interested in discussing this topic please feel free to contact me.  

Sincerely,
Mark Hoover 

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  1. by historicsaxwhisperer
    (512 posts)

    1 year ago

    Re: Hard Rubber Mouthpiece Restoration

    The only issue I have ever had with a hard rubber/bakelite/plastic mouthpiece is discoloration. It does not affect how it plays,whatsoever. A crack or a chip means time to replace it.

    So if I am missing something, I would love to hear what issues musicians would be having.

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    1. by Hooverpen
      (2 posts)

      1 year ago

      Re: Hard Rubber Mouthpiece Restoration

      Thanks for the response.  While I would agree that the sound should not change the oxidation is causing the rubber to be more brittle which in turn does make it more susceptible to cracking or chiping.  Also, I have found that mouthpieces that are not properly taken care of will have bacteria develop which in turn harms the rubber.  Older mouthpieces are often even more affected by this.

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      1. by historicsaxwhisperer
        (512 posts)

        1 year ago

        Re: Hard Rubber Mouthpiece Restoration

        I do rub down older oxidated pieces with petroleum jelly occasionally. It keep them clean and looking shinny.

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      2. by mijderf
        (260 posts)

        1 year ago

        Re: Hard Rubber Mouthpiece Restoration

        There are hundreds of thousands of old hard rubber mouthpieces, and other than problems with shank cracking on old Brilharts, these mouthpieces hold up over time.  The problems of embrittlement and bacteria attack would be important to solve if good, expensive rubber  mouthpiece failed within about 10 years of purchase, but that really isn't the case.  I still have a 50+ year old rubber mouthpiece that plays as well as ever, and shows no physical issues beyond oxidation.  Having said that, I really don't pay it much because I have so many better mouthpieces now.

        Your proposed solution may work well, but not many players would care since we all change mouthpieces so often.  Your only real market could be owners of very old, highly collected mouthpieces, but these collectors generally won't do anything that would risk changing the
        "original" condition of the collectible.  So in reality, this may be a solution looking for a real problem to solve.

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