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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001529.txt from 1999/01

From: "Kevin Fay (LCA)" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Bore Oil
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 07:24:43 -0500

Steven J Goldman, MD noted on this controversy:

<<<The disagreement between knowledgeable people is due to different
interpretation of data, or the lack of pertinent data. But it's not
acceptance of folklore.>>>

This is likely the critical point. We actually have several controversies,
depending on which question is being asked.

If it is "should I oil my new Buffet/Leblanc/Selmer?"--the answer is
probably no. According to Francois Kloc, the Buffet factory has already
done it in a much more effective way than we can at home with a swab.
According to the mfrs., oiling does no good for new horns (hold that
thought, btw).

If it is, "should I oil my old horn?" the answer is possibly different.
There are scores of people (like me) who insist that their horn has never
been oiled, and has never cracked even with all the use over the years. The
point here that is perhaps missed is that these older, well-used horns are
well-used--it's possible that a clarinet that is played on a regular basis
doesn't need the oil.

If we're asking "should I oil this horn that I've just pulled out of the
attic?"--this may well need the oil, as Dr. Goldman suggests. The
manufacturers advice is perhaps not pertinent here. Remember--they only
sell new clarinets, not old ones.

My personal theory of cracking is that a horn will either crack, or it
won't. Lots of new horns crack (boo-hoo!) Few 30-year old horns crack,
however; my theory is that if the wood had a crackable flaw in it, it would
have cracked 29 years ago. I am blessed with 3 Buffets that haven't. All 3
definitely should have, given the temperature extremes that their somewhat
stupid owner has put them through. Sometimes they do sit in my car all
day--I have no choice. Sometimes the rehearsal room or pit is freezing.
They've been tested over and over; I don't think that it's gonna happen.

I do try to heat the outside of the horn with my hands/armpit/body before
blowing through, though--while I'm stoic and stupid, I'm not extremely
stupid. The biggest reason horns crack is that warm breath expands the wood
in the bore while the exterior wood is cold. A tip--don't do that.


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