From: Douglas Tate <;>;
Date: 24 Nov 95 13:30:16 EST
Subject: Pop goes the wind saver!

John Brown, from the UK, no less, (there IS life North of Watford) brings up
the ever present problem of sticky valves (wind savers) on chromatics, and in
this instance the #270.

B S (fjm) is quite right, there is an elegant fourth option. See my EMail
address. HOWEVER ...

The problem with humans is that they are not perfect. With the best will in
the world our breath contains 'solids' which turns it into a thin form of spit.
As this exits the harmonica it finds a nice resting place on the windsaver. You
then kindly blow again and evaporate the moisture leaving a more sludgy
liquid. Basically, when this dries it forms a rather nice glue. There have been a
lot of 'solutions' to this problem and, in fact, some do help. However, I am
convinced that there is no permanent solution whilst we still use the
standard valves (flaps). I have tried various materials, including PTFE coatings
(non-stick) they all get droplet infection after a time. Thats the bad news.

However, let the sunlight and joy of Bradford increase because there are
ways to temporarily get over the problem with regtular maintenance (once a month

The one good thing in all this is that it is nearly always the blow reeds
which stick (obvious really, the outside atmosphere ain't full of spit (our
American cousins may say it is full of something else but thank goodness pigs don't

Heres a way of dealing with the 'blow' valves. Take off the coverplate(s),
Have a very cheap newspaper handy, the type which uses poorish quality paper. (a
quick read of the contents will usually accurately give you the right level
of paper ... ) Tear a strip of paper, soak it with clean water (distilled if
possible). Lift the offending flap and put paper between flap and reed plate.
Leave for a few minutes. This will soften the gunge. Take paper out. Tear off
another strip, put under flap (dry this time) press lightly with finger on flap
and draw paper out thus scouring the surface. (Not only the journalists are
abrasive in this type of newspaper) Do this cycle two to three times and you
should find that the under surface is as good as new. You should also split
the two layer flap open and do the same to the in-between bit. There are
further things you can do, but my fingers are tired, and I have already
written it all down in a handy sized book ...................

Douglas T

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