So You’d Like a Faster Slide? By John Upchurch proudly presents an excerpt from the original:

So You’d Like a Faster Slide?
By John Upchurch c 2012 David William Brubeck All Rights ReservedMost people who come to me for a slide adjustment or alignment preface their remarks with “my slide is pretty good, but would you take a look t it?” More times than not, the basic problem with the slide is a buildup of lubricating cream on the inside of the outer slide. This buildup is seldom uniform in thickness and so the slide is not only sluggish, but is uneven in action. If any of this sounds familiar, read on! The solution is quite simple.

For organizational purposes, this article is divided into the following section: Cleaning, Application of Lubricants, Testing Slide Action and Emergency Repairs. Take a hint from the proverbial IQ Test and read all of the instructions before you start any actual work.

Few, if any of us, would allow plaque to accumulate on our teeth since the proper maintenance of the teeth is vital to our livelihood. On the other hand, the inside of the slide often divulges all manner of organisms when cleaned. Here are a few simple steps for a thorough cleaning:

1. Run hot tap water into the complete slide on the bell end. If your hand can tolerate the heat, it won’ c 2012 David William Brubeck All Rights Reserved hurt the slide. Once the water comes out of the mouthpiece receiver, hold the slide vertically and work the inner slide up and down. Don’t move the outer slide unless you want a bath. Do this as many times as is necessary until no flakes of “goo” are when the water is poured out. The idea here is that by expanding the brass slightly by heating it, the residue is forced to break away.

2. Having washed the slide, it is now time to begin cleaning. Buff the inner slide with a piece of old sheet. Rub firmly until the slide gets slightly warm and begins to shine. To clean the inside of the outer slide use a pushrod. This is the best $1.00 you will ever spend! Snakes and brushes are satisfactory for the “U” bend, but not for the inner slide surfaces. Tear a five-inch by four foot piece of old sheet and wrap one end around the end of the pushrod. Make sure that it fits snugly into the outer slide. Wrap the remainder of the sheet around the pushrod. Some of it should extend beyond the end of the handle. Use the pushrod like a plunger and work it back and forth in the slide, changing the rag end several times. Do this until the rag comes out completely clean when fitted tightly. Do both slides.

3. The slide is now one half clean!
You will be surprised t how much more residue can be removed using Conn Superslick and Formula 3 (Editor’s note: now Superslick & Superslick Plus) as a cleaning agent. We will now move to the application and then return again to cleaning.

Application of Lubricants c 2012 David William Brubeck All Rights Reserved1. For best results, don’t use cold cream. It promotes “slide cheese” even when used in modest proportions. Super Slick has no organic materials for the bacteria to use as a growing medium. Apply Super Slick to the stockings of the inner slide. A good measure is that one jar should last one player for three years, cleaning two times a week. Once the Super Slick is inside the outer slide, buff the inner slide until it shines brightly. NO SUPERSLICK STAYS ON THE INNER SLIDE!

2. Place one drop of Formula 3 on each stocking and then rub vigorously into the entire inner slide surface. Use the thumb and two fingers and rub until the slide gets warm. (Editor’s note: be sure to grip the appropriate inner slide tube. Hold the upper inner slide firmly when working with the upper slide, and the lower when working with the lower inner slide.)

3. Spray water liberally over the entire inner slide surface. At this point, water should bead up on the inner slide just like it does on a car that is freshly waxed. Place the inner slide inside the outer slide and work the slide in for a few minutes. Wet it down heavily again.

4. You are now ready to do the second cleaning job. Wipe the inner slide and buff until shiny again. Use the pushrod and a clean rag and chances are that you’ll be shocked at the black rag that comes out after the previous “thorough cleaning.” Repeat the pushrod application, changing the rag end until it comes out clean.

5. Reapply Super Slick and Formula 3 and wet down the slide again. You are now ready to check the alignment.

Testing Slide Action
To check your slide action, hold it horizontally, in first position, in the left hand, with the slide out to your right. Bend the left wrist slightly allowing the water key end of the slide to drop slightly. Have the right hand ready to catch the outer slide if you go too far. If the slide is pulled out by gravity when the water key end is less than two inches below level, then you are on the right track. If it doesn’t move by two inches or lower, the slide needs work. If it does move, but stops or changes speed, you can expect a dent or a flat spot.

Copyright John Upchurch All Rights Reserved
Used by permission of John Upchurch-The Slide Doctor
Courtesy of

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