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 Bore burnishing
Author: Koo Young Chung 
Date:   2006-08-19 12:26

I read somewhere here that the difference btw old calrinets and newer

clarinets are the meticulous burnishing. Is there truth in this?

What exactly does burnishing mean here?

Not that I'm going to try it,but just curious what's being done inside the bore.

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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: Alseg 
Date:   2006-08-19 13:54

http://www.woodcentral.com/cgi-bin/readarticle.pl?dir=handtools&file=articles_565.shtml

keep in mind that this WILL change acoustic properties to SOME extent, and that the final bore measurement must account for the act of burnishing.
In practice, I use a wood-on-wood technique.
This is NOT applicable to all woods....Burnishing works well on some woods and makes NO impact on others. I do NOT burnish Indonesian Rosewood but DO burnish Kingwood, Cocobolo, and mpingo.

Is it different today? I disagree. Selmers were highly burnished, Buffet less so....although I have seen Better burnishing on new Buffets than on some old ones.I have seen quality instruments of yesteryear with minimal burnishing (Some experts LIKE a coarser grain internally) and supersmooth ones in new horns.


CUSTOM CLARINET TUNING BARRELS by DR. ALLAN SEGAL
-Where the Sound Matters Most(tm)-
412 889 8202

http://www.clarinetconcepts.com




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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: BobD 
Date:   2006-08-19 14:13

Just a thought: The bores of metal wind instruments are relatively non-porous so one could draw the conclusion that "burnished" wood instrument bores would more closely resemble those of metal instruments. Ergo...smoother is better. Another thought: perhaps wood instrument bores are burnished when the final wood removal process has not produced a bore to design dimensions and therefore the burnishing is done for dimensional purposes and not "sound" purposes. Burnishing in general is a process usually done to smooth out a surface for any reason.

Bob Draznik

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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-19 14:57

Most reamers have one cutting edge, and the pressure exerted during reaming makes the smooth polished side of the reamer burnish the bore during reaming.

Only if it's done well is it successful.

I've also read theories that a bore left rough is also better for tone - and I have played some oboes with rough bores (not Howarth ones I'll just add) and they did play and sound great.

Chris.

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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: Alseg 
Date:   2006-08-19 15:39

I think ultrasmooth burnishing is overated when it comes to sound characteristics.
Nontheless, I do it because people equate it with "quality."


CUSTOM CLARINET TUNING BARRELS by DR. ALLAN SEGAL
-Where the Sound Matters Most(tm)-
412 889 8202

http://www.clarinetconcepts.com




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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-19 16:18

It's better to see a shiny bore than a dull one.

Not to mention the fact that condensation is much easier to remove from a smooth and shiny bore than a rough bore with reamer marks in it.

Chris.

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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: Neil 
Date:   2006-08-19 16:53

We've had numerous discussions on this board about whether the effects on tone of a clarinets material. I've always wondered, but have never seen addressed, whether the bore's finish has a greater affect than the actual material. I suspect that a matte or grainy bore would enhance harmonic overtones and make a plastic horn sound less "plastic".

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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-19 16:59

Only one way to find out - take some 200 grit or Scotchbrite to rough up a plastic clarinet's bore, and compare it with another one of the same make that's been left as is.

And there are a lot of plastic clarinets (CSOs) that can be bought for nearly nothing, so this experiment won't be too costly.

Chris.

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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: EuGeneSee 
Date:   2006-08-19 17:05

Chris:

I see the term "CSO" used a lot (generally disparagingly) and have wondered what it means beyond "don't buy one of these except when needed to perform experiments where one isn't worried about ruining the darn thing".

Eu

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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: GBK 
Date:   2006-08-19 17:09

Clarinet Shaped Object


From the "Keepers" section of the bulletin board:

http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=20&i=357&t=357 ...GBK

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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: Koo Young Chung 
Date:   2006-08-19 17:47

Alseg

Thank you.

Do you use grenadillar wood shaped round at the end?

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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2006-08-19 18:11

Here is a message from Alvin Swiney to the Klarinet list some years ago describing the bore finishing process Buffet used to use:

http://test.woodwind.org/Databases/Klarinet/1999/05/001153.txt

As a matter of interest, Francois Kloc posted the following reply:

http://test.woodwind.org/Databases/Klarinet/1999/05/001158.txt

suggesting that Buffet still uses this process or, at least, a variant of it.

The film clip on the making of a Buffet clarinet (accompanied by part of the Mozart Concerto) posted awhile back:

http://www.saxshop.nl/film/buffetklarinet.wmv

very briefly shows the bore being polished (see the section from around 2'44" - 3'08"). In the final step, the craftsman clearly applies some substances to the polishing surface and, it seems to me that this process should result in a smooth finish. I suspect that a rough finish in the bore of an older Buffet says more about how the instrument was treated after manufacture than the manufacturing process.

It also occurs to me that, if a clarinet's bore is truly treated with some sort of padding finish, oiling it later would be of little benefit until the finish wore off.

Best regards,
jnk

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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: Alseg 
Date:   2006-08-19 18:21

KYChung....I have a variety of wood burnishing items, some of which have shapes that I consider optimal for a given type bore.

Referable to the hyperlinks, I consider the use of sandpaper, even 600 grit) to be "sanding" not burnishing.


CUSTOM CLARINET TUNING BARRELS by DR. ALLAN SEGAL
-Where the Sound Matters Most(tm)-
412 889 8202

http://www.clarinetconcepts.com




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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: Koo Young Chung 
Date:   2006-08-20 01:40

JK

Thank you for the video clip.

Very interesting!

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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: Vytas 
Date:   2006-08-20 03:09

IMO burnishing means different things in french. I know, in my language it does. It means polishing, finishing or varnish but not burnishing with a hard smooth object/tool. Vintage bore finishing method was sort of French polishing. Slow spinning mandrel with a sand paper and a cloth wrapped around it, was used to apply the finish to the bore. The heat created by the friction would force the liquid shellac diluted with diesel and oil to fill the grain and create a durable mirror like bore finish. The oil acted as a polish. The heat caused the diesel to evaporate almost immediately. This method doesn't require any burnishing. Burnishing done after the finish is applied would definitely damage hardened shellac and to burnish the bore before the treatment makes no sense whatsoever and is just waist of time. If you think that shiny bore is a product of burnishing as primitive finish in itself - you're mistaken. Shiny bore on vintage wooden clarinets is an indication of the finish/formulation/padding/whatever and has nothing to do with burnishing. Don't try this!, but if you don't believe me put some alcohol (denatured alcohol or 91% isopropyl alcohol) on the swab and wipe your R13 bore several times. You will never see it shine again. Plus it will make your bore dimensionally unstable. Now you can use your burnishing tool, oil or wax to make it shine somewhat again but the shine will be gone as soon as you play and then swab (without an alcohol of course) your clarinet.

Vytas Krass
Professional clarinet technician
Custom clarinet mouthpiece maker
Former professional clarinet player




Post Edited (2006-08-24 14:40)

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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: Vytas 
Date:   2006-08-20 04:16

> "I suspect that a rough finish in the bore of an older Buffet says more about how the instrument was treated after manufacture than the manufacturing process" < .

Exactly! I do refinish clarinet bore as part of restoration/overhaul processes so, I pretty much familiar with this issue. Roughness in the bore appears on the barrel first. Later - on the top of UJ and later goes down. The worst spot is always around the register tube. On vintage R13 the bore of the Lower-Joint always looks better than UJ and the bore of the bell is rarely affected at all. Condition of the bore is more apparent after cleaning and degreasing it. Even the areas that looked good before now shows some wear.

< "It also occurs to me that, if a clarinet's bore is truly treated with some sort of padding finish, oiling it later would be of little benefit until the finish wore off" < .

That's very true!

Buffet doesn't want us to know what exactly they use to finish, preserve the wood used for manufacturing wooden instruments. 'Spilling the beans' would be the same as posting 'Coca Cola' recipe on the internet. And you are not going to see our Doc's bore oil formulation posted on this BB either. LOL

Vytas Krass
Professional clarinet technician
Custom clarinet mouthpiece maker
Former professional clarinet player




Post Edited (2006-08-20 04:53)

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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-20 12:14

I used to use a mandrel with a piece of felt wrapped round it held in the lathe chuck at Howarths to get the inside of the bells all shiny, but not sure what was on the felt (as the chap that made it retired taking the secret with him!) - it was some kind of grease, oil or polish, but the finsh it left on the inside of the bell was brilliant whatever it was.

Chris.

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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: Alseg 
Date:   2006-08-20 12:48

Vytas is spot-on.

French polish is a specific technique just as the ammonia finish on Stickley furniture is specific to them.

Burnishing is NOT the application of a sealant or wax...it is a mechanical process distinct from sanding and distinct from polish application.

I would never ever burnish after the application of a polish or wax or oil....if you attempt it, it will ignite! (I have seen it happen).


CUSTOM CLARINET TUNING BARRELS by DR. ALLAN SEGAL
-Where the Sound Matters Most(tm)-
412 889 8202

http://www.clarinetconcepts.com




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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2006-08-20 13:03

In burnishing, you're not removing any material from the item being finished - only pressure and a highly polished burnisher to get a smooth finish.

I only burnish silver plated keys that aren't smooth to flatten the plating out (if the platers have used too much current during plating), and any scratches can then be polished out by hand - though with skill and a well polished burnisher there's not much need in polishing after burnishing.

Old oboes by Loree and Louis (Chelsea) had hand burnished keywork leaving the bevels razor sharp, but this is an expense manufacturers have since dropped.

Chris.

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 Re: Bore burnishing
Author: Vytas 
Date:   2006-08-20 14:27

There's no need to use burnishing on the finished wood IMO. I do not know about the other varieties of wood but I've noticed that unfinished grenadilla that reacts to burnishing favorably at first looses this effect immediately after the wood gets wet. To burnish/smooth out a scratch or a nick on granadilla might be useful but not entirely effective method. Burnishing metals is entirely different story. It's very effective method used after straightening/leveling some dents on a brass instrument for instance etc.

Vytas Krass
Professional clarinet technician
Custom clarinet mouthpiece maker
Former professional clarinet player




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