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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000914.txt from 1997/12

From: Dee Hays <>
Subj: Re: Leaving it assembled
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 1997 21:59:27 -0500

I have always believed that cracking was most frequently due to dryness,
especially swings from very damp to very dry, rather than humidity. Many of
the states in the northern areas have cracking problems in the winter. Once
you turn on the heat, indoor humidity can drop to virtually zero.

However, I have to admit I have no hard evidence on this but I do have an
anecdote to relate. My family and I moved from Illinois to South Dakota
last year. We had an unusually early and cold winter. Within a month of
turning on the heat, my daughter's oboe cracked almost the full length of
the upper joint. As a result of that, I took a close look at my clarinets
and all seemed dry. So ever since, I have increased the frequency at which
I oil the instruments.

Dee Hays
Canton, SD

Craig E. G. Countryman wrote:

> I have a peg and leave it assembled occasionally. I always swab it out
> after I practice and make sure that all the visible amounts of water are
> gone -- in short I give it the same treatment that I would before
> putting it in the case.
> The major difference may be that water molecules in the form of vapor
> that are in the air in the room may cause cracking whereas being in a
> sealed case may lessen the exposure to the molecules. I would think
> that effects to be felt from this exposure would be a long term problem,
> however in Roger's case three months was all it took.
> Another factor may be the humidity in your climate. In Florida, where I
> live, I would imagine I run a greater risk to this phenomenon then in a
> more arid climate. This could be just speculation, but it may account
> for the different results people may get. I'm sure about the climate in
> Illinois where Roger had problems, but I imagine it's less humid then
> here anyway.
> Probably the best advice would be, "a ounce of prevention is worth a
> pound of cure." Taking the chance that such exposure could have adverse
> effects is probably not worth the extra minute or two you would save by
> taking it apart. However, if you are planning on playing again in an
> hour or so there may be little risk.
> I think we have a few scientists around the list, and while I'm an
> aspiring physicist maybe maybe one of them could explain exactly what is
> occuring between the water vapor in the air and the wooden clarinet on
> that peg.
> -------------------------------------------------
> Craig Countryman
> ICQ Uin: 1106304
> Quote of the Day:
> " long as we have the courage and wisdom to make the tough
> choices, hold ourselves accountable for the results and steer
> clear of the deadly if only scourge." -Joe Klock

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