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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001525.txt from 1999/01

From: Richard Bush <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Bore Oil
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 07:24:39 -0500

I use an oil formula advocated by Mr. Larry Naylor of Denver, Colorado.
The concoction is 4 parts high grade olive oil to one part sweet almond
oil. A few drops of liquid vitamin E is added to keep it from oxidizing
(going rancid).

I have found that, unlike many petroleum based bore oils, this oil soaks
much more quickly into the wood. It is hygroscopic, so the wood takes on
and gives off moisture in a natural way. It "breaths" with seasonal changes.

I have also noticed that many tuning problems seem to self correct as
the wood relaxes and returns to a state closer to its originally
machined dimensions.

One very interesting example that I worked on was an old Selmer English
horn. The top joint was so warped it looked like a banana. When peering
into the bore of the upper joint from its bottom end, I could not see to
the top end where the bocal attaches. With a long period of soaking both
inside and out the instrument gradually returned to its original and
strait shape. One obvious side benefit of this what that many keys that
either had been binding or others that were loose now required much less
key refitting.

One last thought, and this is not scientific but a rather subjective
observation. After giving old and very dry clarinets a long, long, drink
at the ol' watering hole (continuous oiling), not only did their tuning
improve but so did their tone quality. I realize there are those who
would argue this point, but I really don't think it is my imagination.

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