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 How to wax a clarinet?
Author: Ashley91489 
Date:   2008-07-15 01:01

I just purchased woodwind wax from the Doctor's Products and was just wondering the best way to use it.

I've already cleaned the wood and it looks so much nicer so I just need to wax now.

Directions say to apply a thin layer, let dry, then buff. Any specific tips or anything else I should know before starting?

Thanks!



Post Edited (2008-07-15 01:38)

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: L. Omar Henderson 
Date:   2008-07-15 01:46

(Disclaimer - I sell Doctor's Woodwind Wax)
Let the wood dry completely for several hours before applying wax. IME it is best to do a small area - e.g. 7 -10 cm - at a time and put a very thin coat of the microcrystalline wax on the wood using a swatch of cloth. When a haze appears after about 10 -15 seconds then buff to a shine with a soft cotton cloth. Do not do a large area at one time and do not let the wax dry for a long time before buffing. Keywork also benefits from waxing and this type of wax does not show fingerprints. If you need more help send me an email.
L. Omar Henderson
www.doctorsprod.com

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2008-07-15 02:29

Why would anyone want to wax a clarinet? I may be old school but I've never even heard of this. I would be worried that wax would clog up the pores of the wood. I've certainly heard of oiling the bore, and even applying some to the outside of the wood. I do that with my Backun bells and barrels but Wax? ESP
www.peabody.jhu.edu/457 (Listen to a little Mozart, live performance, no wax)

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: bmcgar 2017
Date:   2008-07-15 04:24


Not considering Mr. Palanker's points, which I agree with completely, if you still insist on waxing, do you intend to wax the instrument with the keys on?

If so, you'd better be darned careful that you apply the wax so that it doesn't get on the pads, and when you buff it off, that none of the wax dust produced by buffing gums up the works. This is not to mention the difficulty that you'd have keeping the wax job from looking spotty because you can't get at all of the wood that shows.

Or do you intend to remove all the keys? If so, you risk throwing everything out of adjustment and messing up the pad seals, spring tensions, and noise damping unless you know exactly what you're doing and know how to make adjustments if something goes wrong.

Yes, a pretty instrument is a joy to behold, but why risk problems for what is, at least, superfluous, and at most, potentially damaging to your instrument?

(I, myself, might wax the key touch pieces on silver keys to slow tarnishing or protect against acidic fingers, but that's as far as I'd go.)

B.

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: Arnoldstang 
Date:   2008-07-15 04:43

Try working on the bell and barrel first. If you like the results then proceed with the rest of the clarinet.

Freelance woodwind performer

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: L. Omar Henderson 
Date:   2008-07-15 10:32

(Same discaimer)

There seems to be two camps, like oiling the wood, for waxing.

The natural oil in Grenadilla wood will combine with dust, dirt, and pollutants in the air to form a gunky semi-solid material which will eventually clog the pores, dull the wood and the oil may react with these elements to form an acidic residue which will harm the wood. IMO the wood on the outside of the clarinet should be infrequently cleaned (perhaps yearly), oiled and then waxed.

Certain microcrystalline waxes form a series of plates when cured that allow some water vapor to exchange with the environment just like the GoreTex fabrics used in rain wear. These waxes, like Renaissance Wax, were developed and are used by conservators at the world's most famous museums like the British Museum and the Smithsonian on wood artifacts. If applied lightly they do not leave a dust residue like many of the petroleum based or Carnauba wax products when buffed. Wax should be applied carefully and not to pads. In general most of the clarinet, even with keywork attached, is accessible without removing the keys with a Q-tip - but takes a little effort. Ideally, keywork should be removed when cleaning, oiling, and waxing the wood.
L. Omar Henderson
www.doctorsprod.com

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2008-07-15 11:43

Omar,

I love talk like "Certain microcrystalline waxes form a series of plates when cured..." It really opens my intellectual pores.

HRL

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: Lelia Loban 2017
Date:   2008-07-15 12:08

I've never waxed a clarinet (though I do oil mine, very lightly, with the keys removed, every January). I'm interested in seeing reports from people who've waxed clarinets for a few years. Do they get "waxy buildup" as advertised in floor-cleaner commercials? I see (and have cleaned up) used clarinets with a buildup of crud from years of oiling. Since the clarinets I play regularly don't end up clotted with gunk, I assume the ones I've seen in that condition have been oiled with way too much enthusiasm.

Waxing is an interesting alternative, but I don't want to--well, mess with it, if the long-term result will be ... a mess. Cleaning up an overly-oiled clarinet isn't terribly difficult (just time-consuming), but what about cleaning up a clarinet that's been overly-waxed? Anyone been there and done that?

Lelia
http://www.scoreexchange.com/profiles/Lelia_Loban
To hear the audio, click on the "Scorch Plug-In" box above the score.

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2008-07-15 13:00

I make my clarinet shine when I play it, I don't have to "WAX" it. ESP
www.peabody.jhu.edu/457 (Listen to me shine in a little Mozart)

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: JJAlbrecht 
Date:   2008-07-15 13:06

Just as a point of info, Guy Chadash does not recommend oiling clarinets at all, but rather waxing them, including the bore, IIRC from his site. There is a brief section on his site about what he feels the benefits of waxing vx oiling are, and why he prefers the former over the latter.

He explains it here, at the bottom of the page: http://www.chadashclarinet.com/FAQ.htm

Jeff

“Everyone discovers their own way of destroying themselves, and some people choose the clarinet.” Kalman Opperman, 1919-2010

"A drummer is a musician's best friend."


Post Edited (2008-07-15 13:06)

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: sbrodt54 
Date:   2008-07-15 14:06

Sorry, I just read that last paragraph from that page written by Chadash and I completely disagree with it. I have been oiling and experimenting with clarinets for quite a few years, the oil works well when it's either an organic or the doctorsprod "Bore Doctor", they both work very well.
Water and/or oil are not the enemy of wood at all, there are much better articles written about wood care that have a base in some fact.

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: Ashley91489 
Date:   2008-07-15 14:19

I went ahead and waxed it and it turned out great. I cleaned and waxed my 7 (going on 8) year old clarinet w/ the Doctor's Products and then oiled the bore w/ their bore oil and polished the keys w/ a polishing cloth.

Everything turned out great! This is the best it has ever looked aside from when it was new! Granted, I couldn't completely shine the nickel keys but it still looked *very* nice.

I had no problems w/ the wax getting onto pads nor did I have problems with spots showing where it was more difficult to get the wax to. It has a very clean and even finish with a natural shine to it.

Overall, I am very pleased. I first tested everything in small areas just in case something bad happened but nothing did. After success w/ this clarinet, I am confidant in using these products on my R-13 in the future.

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: S. Friedland 
Date:   2008-07-15 16:55

Did you get the job? Or was the committee unimpressed?
And Omar, did sales rise? What percentage?

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: L. Omar Henderson 
Date:   2008-07-15 17:10

Sherman - as with all the comments of customers of Doctor's Products on this BB the words are their own and unsolicited. Actually, doing a straw poll in the music industry indicates to me that sales are down across the board.
L. Omar Henderson
www.doctorsprod.com

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: DrH2O 
Date:   2008-07-15 18:10

Omar,

On waxing the keys -

How does this affect the feel of the keys?
Does it help to protect the finish from acidic skin. I wore through the nickel plating on a Buffet B12 in less than 6 months before discovering the clear nail polish trick. Waxing might be easier and less prone to gumming things up.

Anne

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: Ryder 
Date:   2008-07-15 18:18

DrH2O,

I didn't think about that until you mentioned it. My acid fingers eat away at my nickel R13. I don't have the time nor the money to replate it right now so I've been hunting to find something to slow the process of he plating wear.

____________________
Ryder Naymik
San Antonio, Texas
"We pracice the way we want to perform, that way when we perform it's just like we practiced"

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: L. Omar Henderson 
Date:   2008-07-15 18:20

The microcrystalline waxes give a very thin coat and are harder than petroleum or Carnauba waxes but will wear off keys relatively quickly. The surface is not slippery as with some waxes and does not change the key feel - at least for me - significantly. The nice thing about these waxes (also a bad thing since they have a solvent vehicle, is that they dry out unless kept in an airtight seal) is that they are redissolved by subsequent applications and tend not to build up like the floor wax example given earlier. Some have used RainX applied to keys which is a polymer film which is quite a bit tougher than microcrystalline wax and also is not slippery - in my experience. Clear nail polish is probably the toughest but tends to chip off and look bad between applications (perhaps a weekly trip to the nail salon is in order here !!).
L. Omar Henderson
www.doctorsprod.com

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: JJAlbrecht 
Date:   2008-07-15 21:10

SBrodt, I was merely pointing to what Mr. Chadash postulates, as others were asking about the utility of waxing the wood. What he mentioned were his opinions, not mine. I have no expertise in the technical aspects of oil versus wax. I was not speaking for or against the practice. Personally, I use a good application of GrenadOil to make my wood look and perform well. To date, the results have been quite pleasing.

Jeff

“Everyone discovers their own way of destroying themselves, and some people choose the clarinet.” Kalman Opperman, 1919-2010

"A drummer is a musician's best friend."


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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: Tom Puwalski 
Date:   2008-07-16 00:50

I think it's a Karate kid thing, Wax on, Wax off. I think that's what Russianoff would have said!

Tom Puwalski, former soloist with the US Army Field Band, Clarinetist with The Atonement, and Author of "The Clarinetist's Guide to Klezmer"and most recently by the order of the wizard of Oz, for supreme intelligence, a Masters in Clarinet performance

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2008-07-16 02:54

You sound more interested in how your clarinet looks then how you make it sound. Re think you're priorities. ESP

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: Ashley91489 
Date:   2008-07-16 14:32

Well, I'm sorry you feel that way. Playing is always my top priority however I do like to keep my instruments in great condition so that they are in great *playing* condition. After all, why should I spend so much money on a clarinet and not take care of its wood and keywork to ensure optimal performance and lifespan of it.



Post Edited (2008-07-16 21:24)

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: Old Geezer 
Date:   2008-07-16 14:50

In my informed opinion, a container of woodwind wax should be carefully opened,examined with interest, and then thrown in the trash as being good for nothing.

Clarinet Redux

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: Arnoldstang 
Date:   2008-07-16 17:54

Ashley, I'm with you on this. Keep the instrument looking good and in good repair. This in conjunction with practice and study is a great way to proceed.

Freelance woodwind performer

Post Edited (2008-07-17 03:19)

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2008-07-17 02:35

Ashley Yes I agree too, it is of utmost important to keep your instrument in top playing condition. I do that beyond you're imagination. But I don't wax it and all my instruments are in perfect, I repeat, perfect playing condition. The action is perfect, all the pads seal as well as possible, the key work is as clean and perfect as I want it and the wood, the wood is in better condition that the day I bought them. I don't mind that you wax your clarinets if you want to, but when you have to ask how much you should practice as a music ed major, I have to take a second thought. My suggestion is to wax when ever you want to, no problem, but practice as much as possible first. Sounding good is top priority. ESP

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: Hank Lehrer 2017
Date:   2008-07-17 11:12

Ashley,

I always make sure my "tools" are in excellent mechanical shape as well as looking very good. I watch my carpenter when he finishes each day and neatly cleans and puts all his tools aways for the next job. It's part of his routine.

I have several classic saxes (Mark VI) and clarinets (Series 9*, L200, etc.) and now plan to do a wax job on them soon.

HRL

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: skygardener 
Date:   2008-08-02 15:10

Question for the Doctor and the repair folks- Do you recommend using your wax (or any wax) in the bore??

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: L. Omar Henderson 
Date:   2008-08-02 15:43

(Doctor's Products disclaimer)
I would not use wax or any sealant on the bore because it creates areas that absorb water and those that do not (because you can never seal it completely and it will wear off in time with swabbing) because this puts areas of wetter wood next to dry areas which IMO creates different hyraulic pressures in the wood which may lead to a tendency to crack.
L. Omar Henderson
www.doctorsprod.com



Post Edited (2008-08-02 16:25)

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: clonestar 
Date:   2015-05-25 23:01

It's only the sound that matters, not the shine. If you want to wax a piece of wood to make it shine and waterproof it, then use it on a coffee table, not a clarinet.

Don

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2015-05-26 16:20

After review of this old thread (and as I prepare to head out the door to possibly get stuck playing in the rain) I ponder a practical side to this argument.


I have run across more people than not who are completely appalled by the notion of a woodwind instrument (made of wood) being subjected to an outdoor event that might expose it to rain. My thought all along has been, "well it gets drenched from the inside out every day doesn't it?" As long as you dry off afterwards (taking particular care that there is no standing water left on the springs to rust them) there should be no lasting detrimental effects from the experience.


Given that though, I find myself (as I head out the door) thinking that it might have been a good idea to have a fresh coat of wax for the day.



Just a thought.







...............Paul Aviles



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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: DeletedUser 
Date:   2017-12-10 21:27

For me I always "BABY" the things that I own. I will spend what ever it takes (within reason) to buy what I think it needs. The instrument that I own looks great and I am happy. At this point I am more concerned about the appearance of the clarinet that how I can make it sound because practice will make it sound better. I have always had a feeling that people that tell you to "not to over worry" or "do nothing and leave it alone" have cheap clarinets and are jealous of folks that have nice ones and don't care about your instrument , and say such things like this or that is not recommended, bla bla.....

So, if you are the type of person that is fussy over your clarinet and brush the keys with a soft camel hair brush and clean the tenons with a q-tip after each playing like me then go for it and dont worry what others think.

Oh BTW - there are products out there that you can purchase that costs a fraction of more exocitic oils and greases. Don't fall for the hype and advertising and the scary verbiage of what is the best thing for your instrument.

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 Re: How to wax a clarinet?
Author: StormFalcon32 
Date:   2018-06-10 23:11

I know this is an old topic, but seeing as how the material of the clarinet probably doesn't make as much of a difference to the sound as many think, I think that making sure the wood looks good is important, as it's importance acoustically seems to be questionable. But then again, maybe the participants in all those studies weren't very qualified.

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