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Thread: Discussion of Oil and Grease

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by djwpe View Post
    Gary-

    i grant you that the biofilm idea is speculative. But it is informed speculation based on my professional experience dealing with commercial and industrial water systems, and seeing the biofilms that exist in these environments.
    My problem with this is that the speculation may not in fact be well informed, but rather just the result of simplistic faulty reasoning. This happens as much among professionals as anyone else.

    In these particular cases, the the reliability or shakiness of the reasoning depends on how similar in RELEVANT respects things like biofuels and industrial water systems and their biofilms are to synthetic valve oils and their environments. Such analogical reasoning is notoriously undependable unless the relevant similarities are very strong. I don't know whether they are in these "gunk and slime" cases, and so far I haven't even seen any claims that they are -- only that everything involved is "synthetic". It's like "Tropical hardwoods and northern hemisphere hardwoods are both hardwoods and so can be expected to exhibit the same sort of toxicity and resulting skin irritation to woodworkers." Uh, no.

    An extreme example of such reasoning is one I still recall from one of my very first logic courses: "Russians are red and fire engines are red, so therefore Russians are fire engines." (It had a bit more sense and humor in the era of the Soviet Union, but is still a good example ). What we have here (so far as I can see) is the parallel "X is a synthetic oil/fuel product and synthetic valve oil is a synthetic oil product, and therefore the slime in instruments using synthetic valve oil has the same causes as the slime observed in cases such as biodiesel or industrial water systems." However, on the face of it there appear to be HUGE differences between the environments involving biofuels and industrial water systems on the one hand and the innards of my euphonium on the other. In addition, we don't NEED such speculative analogies. We can actually, in the laboratory, determine what the cause of the slime is in each case. And, scientifically speaking, it should be quite easy to do so in the case of musical instruments (as illustrated by the suggestion that it's a good project for high school science students!).

    I see things going on in my home water system that don't show any evidence of appearing in my instruments. So that would seem to count as a counter-analogy to the commercial water system analogy and the biofuel analogy.

    So based on your professional experience, can you make that analogy more reliable and convincing by tightening it up in terms of the specific chemistries involved, the specific bacteria involved, and the particular reactions involved? Maybe these really ARE very similar (but maybe they're NOT -- I just can't tell from anything that's been said so far). That would take a significant step toward making those analogies less speculative and more convincing. If we know the same bacteria occur in both environments (do we?), and if we know that the same (or relevantly similar) chemical molecules occur in both environments (do we?), and if we know how the bacteria work to produce the green slime in the one case, then (voila!) it seems reasonable to conclude that they do it in the other case as well. Not completely convincing, maybe. But at least an excellent empirically supported hypothesis.
    Last edited by ghmerrill; 02-10-2019 at 01:10 PM.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by franz View Post
    Since others, with Hertman, have noticed an increase of the green mush, I must deduce that it is caused by the chemical reaction of individual saliva with the various lubricants and will have different effects between different subjects.
    Alas, this isn't a deduction but a non-deductive inference (similar to analogy, but of a different type). But it appears to be at least as sound as the non-deductive inference about bacteria. Unfortunately, it's no more informative (and possibly less) since it pins the cause on a vague and unspecified "chemical reaction". We're all just involved in a "He said; she said; they said; my uncle Bob said; some scientist I know thinks that ..." circle that's been going on for YEARS in the instrumental music forums. And we're no closer to an answer. Not at all.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by ghmerrill View Post

    So based on your professional experience, can you make that analogy more reliable and convincing by tightening it up in terms of the specific chemistries involved, the specific bacteria involved, and the particular reactions involved? Maybe these really ARE very similar (but maybe they're NOT -- I just can't tell from anything that's been said so far). That would take a significant step toward making those analogies less speculative and more convincing. If we know the same bacteria occur in both environments (do we?), and if we know that the same (or relevantly similar) chemical molecules occur in both environments (do we?), and if we know how the bacteria work to produce the green slime in the one case, then (voila!) it seems reasonable to conclude that they do it in the other case as well. Not completely convincing, maybe. But at least an excellent empirically supported hypothesis.

    No. I have neither the inclination nor the need to do so. The fact that switching to a petroleum lubricant stops the slime resolves the slime is good enough for me. We engineers get paid to solve problems. Hetman isn’t paying me to figure out why their lubes create slime, and I haven’t used it in years.

    Don

  4. #34
    Gary,

    I, too, like clear, convincing evidence. However, I doubt that is possible in this case (at least, given the resources of an instrument valve-oil company and the user population).

    There certainly seems to be a randomness involved here, and I think it gets down to a few variables that I can think of (and probably others I can't think of).

    - Body chemistry. What we blow into the horn has to have some effect, I think.
    -- Sub point of the above: what we have eaten lately, and whether we brush our teeth before playing (I'm pretty bad at that one).

    - Alloys in the horn's interior, maybe. My horn has yellow brass, gold brass, red brass, sterling silver, and stainless steel for starters. Plus I use Mead springs, which are coated with some kind of plastic.

    - Combination of valve oil and slide grease, because they are sure to come into contact to a small extent at least.

    - Playing environment. Mentioned above was moisture as a contributing factor, and that seemed to be important to my attempts to understand the slime over the years. I often practice in a cool environment, which means I'm dumping out a lot of moisture.

    - Practice/playing frequency. I would think it could matter if you compare practicing 3 time a week with practicing a couple times every day. Different incubation factors.

    - Storage environment.
    -- Sub point 1: For the last year or so I've been storing my horn on a Hercules stand, so it can dry out better than I was able to in the gig bag or hard case.
    -- Sub point 2: How warm/cold humid/dry is the area where the horn is stored. For me, it is the same as the practice environment, so cool. It's a basement with a small dehumidifier, so I'm not sure about the humidity.

    So the bottom line is we need to figure out what works for us, and to not be afraid to try something different. I'm partway through my latest experiment with synthetic. I'll let you know if things change and I dig out the Blue Juice again.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post

    So the bottom line is we need to figure out what works for us, and to not be afraid to try something different. I'm partway through my latest experiment with synthetic. I'll let you know if things change and I dig out the Blue Juice again.
    Absolutely right -- and it seems to be highly variable on an individual basis, regardless of the cause (though real knowledge of the cause would likely lead to less variability if the product manufacturers were to act on it).

    People should use what they like and what works for them -- and stop worrying about justifying it in more fundamental ways (especially with sketchy arguments). I can tell you why I use the stuff I use and why I don't use the stuff I don't use. I shouldn't (and try not to) make generalizations outside the scope of that experience. And that information may or may not be valuable to you, and it may or may not end up applying to you. There are still a bunch of people out there pouring highly refined kerosene into their instruments (when they're not using it in hurricane lamps), and they're perfectly happy with it.

    As a practical matter, I think we all know that everyone is going to (and is going to have to) experiment to some degree with these things. I have no more motivation to consider alternatives (and most long-time players don't) since I found what worked for me years ago (based on MY own criteria) and have stuck with it.

    It would be nice to know (on a genuine non-speculative scientific basis) what causes the green slime (whichever oil or oils are involved), but this is very unlikely to affect anyone's choice of oil so long as they find an oil that doesn't produce it -- unless they actually like the green slime, of course.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  6. #36
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    Lotsa' life experiences here.

    I've tried a bunch of oil brands over the years; Cass Fast, Fat Cat, Blue Juice, Conn, Yamaha, and Hetmans 1&2.

    My deduction is it is the horn, as I've several of various conditions. I say that as there is but one player, me.

    Some were so worn I mixed STP with Cass to get about 20 minutes of decent compression.

    The better horns I play on nowadays get Hetmans. I used up the others and never bought more.

    It does develop a bit of yellow (not green) residue in the bottom caps, but so what.

    I don't need to lube them too often, but I sure know when it is time.

    DG
    One show at a time...


    1966 Besson 181 highly modified New Standard, Wick 4AL
    1918 Hawkes & Son euph 3&1 original
    1917 Conn C/D/Eb mellophone original
    1915 York Bb tenorhorn original, Bach 5GS

  7. #37
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    I quit using Hetman's due to the green slime.
    In fact, what bothered me most was the constant
    criticism from the slime that E flat above Middle C
    was sharp.
    I briefly considered demanding that the slime pay rent
    for lodging in my horn, but decided after many
    complaints from the slime that the path of least
    resistance was simply to quit using Hetman's.

    I did indeed switch to Blue Juice. While I find no problems
    with its odor, the green slime objected vehemently and
    quickly disappeared, looking feverishly for a haven horn of Hetman's.
    Yamaha 642-II Neo,
    Giddings EXL,Wick 4AL
    Yamaha 321, Yamaha 621 Baritone
    Conn 50H trombone
    Blue P-bone
    www.soundcloud.com/jweuph

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snorlax View Post
    ... the green slime objected vehemently and
    quickly disappeared, looking feverishly for a haven horn of Hetman's.
    We haven't yet considered the hypothesis that the green slime is a distributed blob creature.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Or perhaps ectoplasm.

    I do use Hetman's Hydro-Slide, but it's not valve oil and seems not to contain any motive spirit, thus avoiding the deus ex machina problem.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  9. #39
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    That’s too funny Jim (Snorlax).

    I failed to mention earlier that I still do use Hetman’s Slide grease... Hetman no. 7 on all but my 2nd slide and no. 8 on the 2nd due to it being thicker and keeps the slide from slipping out. I have no trouble with any green, beige, grey or white slime build up. No interference with Blue Juice valve oil either.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    El Cumbanchero (excerpts)
    ; Raphael Hernandez, arr. Iwai from our Swing/Salsa concert 2018
    Video of above: El Cumbanchero:

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