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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001545.txt from 1999/01

From: Jack Kissinger <kissingerjn@-----.EDU>
Subj: Re: [kl] Bore Oil
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 07:24:59 -0500

Steven J Goldman, MD wrote:

> I would not use lemon oil. It may be OK but its not really an oil. It is a
> man made, non-polymerizing material like Selmer Bore Oil, but the lemon
> extract they add may adversely affect the wood over a long period of time (I
> don't know this for a fact).
>
> By the way, if you have kids, don't keep lemon oil in the house. They like
> the smell and think it's a drink. It's a hydrocarbon (like turpentine etc.)
> and several fatal ingestions occur each year!

Sounds to me like you are referring to furniture oils like Formby's and Old
English. The good news is that they contain petroleum distillates that enable
them to absorb more quickly into wood. The bad news is that those petroleum
distillates certainly are poisonous. This is not the same as the lemon oil
repair techs on the list such as Steve Prescott have recommended in the past as
appropriate for oiling clarinets. That oil is a natural extract of lemon peel.
It is a very light oil, evaporates fairly quickly and is sold for cooking
purposes at health food stores. If refrigerated after opening, it will not turn
rancid (at least not for a long time, I've had my bottle for about a year). I
have used it in cleaning up and reconditioning a couple of old wood clarinets I
picked up on eBay. It worked wonderfully well and gave a faint pleasant scent
to the wood that lasted for several months. Its biggest drawback, in my
opinion, is that it is expensive. As I recall, I paid around $15 for a
six-ounce bottle. I figure a bottle will last for about four clarinets the way
I use it. Frankly, I'm surprised you haven't run across it before.

Giving very sage advice to the list, someone wrote not too long ago:

There have been many medical questions on the list. I would beg the members
to refrain from giving their advice as I have seen far too many incorrect
suggestions, some medically dangerous. You may feel that you are being
helpful, but you may be unwittingly causing irreparable harm .... Any
suggestion by a non-professional at all, or a physician who has not examined
the patient is, IMHO totally irresponsible.

I am beginning to wonder if the following paraphrase doesn't also hold true.

There have been many questions on instrument care on the list. I would beg the
members
to refrain from stating their opinions as fact or offering advice when they
don't know what they are talking about as I have seen far too many incorrect
suggestions, stated as fact or at least common knowledge, some potentially
dangerous to the instrument. You may feel that you are being helpful, but you
may be unwittingly causing irreparable (or at least costly) harm. If you have a
strongly-held opinion based on your experience, by all means give it to us but
clearly identify it as such and then provide your supporting argument/evidence.
To pose as an expert when one is not or to present personal opinion based on
limited observation as expert opinion is IMNHO totally irresponsible.

Warm regards,
Jack Kissinger
who hopes the ensuing flames will drive away his nasty cold
St. Louis

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