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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001487.txt from 1999/01

From: "Steven J. Goldman M.D." <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Bore Oil
Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1999 06:52:28 -0500

Not a dumb question at all. Keeping woodwinds (any woodwind) well oiled is
an important but often ignored part of instrument upkeep.

Bore oil is an oil, either natural or man made which you use to protect the
bore from absorbing too much moisture and ruining the wood. Which oil to use
has been debated for centuries. The main schools are those that advocate
oils which polymerize, leaving a thin skin after they dry (such as pure,
unboiled linseed oil), and the non-polymerizing oils such as almond or
canola which simply evaporate after a time and need more frequent
applications. Selmer bore oil is a man made product more like the latter
oils. The more porice the wood, the more damage that can be done to the
instrument if it is not oiled regularly. Black woods, being the most dense,
are better able to withstand moisture than say rosewood. Use a SMALL amount
of oil, and thoroughly coat the bore. Leave the coating on for several hours
to overnight, than swab out the excess. NEVER let the oil come into contact
with the pads, which to be safe means removing the keys (a real pain), but
if your really careful and don't use too much oil you may be able to keep
the pads on after you know what your doing.

Regular oiling will help preserve your instruments for years to come,
especially areas prone to cracking such as the barrel. New instruments
should be oiled every few weeks for a few months, then every month or so (if
you use the non-polymerizing type). Older, well acclimatized instruments
need much less oiling. To be honest, most woodwind players I know don't do
it as much as this, but probably should.

Steve Goldman
Glenview, IL

-----Original Message-----
Subject: [kl] Bore Oil

Hi all,

I feel like such an idiot asking this because i think every clarinet playing
person already knows this except for me. What is bore oil? What does it do?
Where and when do i apply it?? I have no idea what it is!! I feel so stupid
ppl, don't rub it in!


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