Probe/contacts may use a non-reactive metal. Gold or silver plated contacts from an old relay May be Used, however a cheap alternative is to wire alternate copper strips from a piece of veroboard. These will eventually oxidize over but as very little current is flowing in the base circuit, the higher impedance the caused by oxidization is not Important. No base resistor is Necessary as the transistor is in emitter follower, current limit being the impedance at the emitter (the oscillator circuit).
Circuit from: http://www.epanorama.net