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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001550.txt from 1999/01

From: "Steven J Goldman, MD" <gpsc@-----.com>
Subj: RE: [kl] Bore Oil
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 07:25:04 -0500

Sigh!

Yes, there is a real Lemon Oil and I have heard of it, and it works, but
most people think of the Old English variety, especially when talking about
furniture polish as I assumed was the person to whom this message was in
reply to. The real stuff is not nearly as readily available. I'm sorry if
I've insulted the lemon oil contingent on the list.

Petroleum distillates are acceptable if sometimes bad smelling bore "oils"
(people do argue about the merits of these as compared to natural oils but
I'll steer clear of that). My concern was with the extra compounds that make
"Lemon Oil" lemony (I cannot tell from the label what is used), and I think
I was clear that it was only a thought.

My advise on oiling the bore is based on long experience with a variety of
woodwinds , and I do know what I'm talking about. If I didn't, I would not
have expressed my "opinion".

Good night all.

Steve

-----Original Message-----
From: Jack Kissinger [mailto:kissingerjn@-----.EDU]
Subject: Re: [kl] Bore Oil

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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