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 Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: GBK 
Date:   2018-04-25 11:02

Michael Lowenstern is back with a video experiment on whether bore oil is necessary, or unnecessary.

Watch and see if you agree ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fmr1VcIFD4


...GBK

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Speculator Sam 
Date:   2018-04-25 11:12

The fun part about science experiments is that they can be repeated indefinitely as long as each variable is accounted for and recreated reasonably within each experiment. I think someone should try this for themselves if they really want to know. Some people in the comments there say that the reason it didn't penetrate the barrel is because it was a cheap bore oil. Ah, science experiments were the fun part of high school for me :)

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: donald 
Date:   2018-04-25 12:30

There were so many things wrong with this experiment, but he may be right, who knows (his experiment doesn't tell us much).
Among other things, if the oil is to protect against moisture from the bore, how much/far does it actually NEED to penetrate?
I have a friend who makes musical instruments (apprenticed at Schreiber making bassoons) and to oil wood he puts it in a vacuum chamber for over 12 hours- you see the little bubbles coming out of the wood as the oil is absorbed.
Obviously our pitiful oiling of the bore with an old swab can't get the same effect as this, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have SOME influence on absorption of moisture in the bore surface...

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2018-04-25 22:10

I agree with Donald, there was so much wrong about the whole experiment.
Starting with a heavily biased view as to the outcome did not auger well.

Even sawing the barrel in half with a high speed band-saw and then sanding with a high speed disk sander is creating great heat on the area being inspected.

And as anyone who has worked on woodwind for an extensive period will know, every piece of wood is different, even down to the joints in the same instrument.

Pseudo science indeed, but sadly easy to misguide the gullible viewer.



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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2018-04-25 23:05

To me, it appears that the oil has completely penetrated the wood. Grenadilla always has a light brown color when cut even if it is fully saturated with oil.

I've fixed several instruments that haven't seen a drop of oil in more that a century. After that long Grenadilla will become tan/white in color. If you apply oil to an instrument such as this the wood will go from this color back to black, so there is no doubt that the oil is being absorbed into the wood. Not to mention that there is a noticable weight difference before and after oiling a very old clarinet.

-Jdbassplayer

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: John Peacock 
Date:   2018-04-26 00:04
Attachment:  oiling.jpg (971k)

As an illustration of what jdbassplayer means, here's an old Buffet that probably hadn't seen oil in 100 years. It's not hard to figure out which bits I oiled and which haven't been oiled yet. So something is clearly penetrating the wood to a nonzero distance.

But this doesn't tell us whether the effect is just cosmetic (although that's a good enough reason for lightly oiling the outside). Maybe such oiling in the bore has no impact on absorbing moisture and so the video could be correct in asserting that it gives no protection against cracking (or maybe cracking results from temperature distortions acting on internal weaknesses in a way that's unrelated to moisture).

In any case, this picture proves there are surface pores that can suck up oil, so presumably they can suck up water too. My instinct is that oil is better for the wood than water, but I guess you'd need to prove that. What he should have done is cut the barrel, taken careful measurements, left each half in either water or oil for months and then remeasured to see if anything had changed.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2018-04-26 01:01

I think the smoke you see in the video, while the band saw rips through the wood is evidence of oil content (either that or a very, very fine or dull blade). I also agree that weight comparisons are probably a more accurate measure. (Splitting the wood lengthways would reduce the heat, but introduce other problems.)

However, none of this really address the underlying theory about oiling/not oiling. I like his comments at the end (basically, "Do whatever your teacher tells you."), but I also agree with him in that I never oil my wood instruments (in 40+ years of playing), and have never had an instrument crack, deform, or otherwise change. (Even if I were to experience a crack in the future - it would be very difficult to know what caused it, as even oiled instruments sometimes crack.)

I see it as a "vitamins" topic, or "weight loss pill" topic. If the benefits were obvious, consistent, and undeniable...then everyone would do it. But, as long as the results fall into the categories of, "It really helps!", "I think it helps", "I think it might be helping.", "It can't hurt." "It might hurt." "I'm not sure it does anything.", "I don't think it helps." "It doesn't help at all." - then the debate will continue, and it seems that "live and let live" is the best policy, instead of pushing one idea or the other as absolute truth.

Fuzzy

PS. I have been swayed by earlier conversations on this topic, and have been close to oiling a few times. I think my last stance was that I would oil any of my clarinets which have been in storage for a long time - when I put them to use again. I still might. Not sure yet. I'm really not convinced there is a "right" and "wrong" answer here.



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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: The Doctor 2017
Date:   2018-04-26 02:19

(Disclaimer - I sell a plant derived instrument oil)
As mentioned by many - there is so much wrong with this experiment that it should be disregarded.

First, the oil being used is the wrong oil. Since it is clear and colorless it is most probably mineral oil which is sold, even by the big 3 instrument manufacturers, as bore oil. Why- they say because they can sell it and the profit margin is huge. It is petroleum based and in the long run it not only fails to penetrate Grenadilla wood but over time will harm the wood, just as petroleum based cork grease with ruin your cork over time. Petroleum based oils weaken the cell walls of wood and cork and cause their collapse over time (another scientific experiment well documented). Plant oils will not.

Secondly, I have proven, with “real” science that certain plant based oil mixtures will penetrate Grenadilla wood deeply. One proper experiment will “tag” plant based bore oil with a fluorescent molecule and apply the oil to a block of Grenadilla wood, let is sit at room temperature overnight, cut the block in half and then slice very thin sections of a cut end with a medical microtome and look at the sections under a high magnification using a fluorescent microscope. If the oil has penetrated the wood there will be, and is shown to be, fluorescence deep into the core of the wood block section Repeat times ten and you have a decent experiment illustrating penetration of a plant based oil mixture into Grenadilla wood.

It is also true that there is no conclusive evidence that keeping a instrument well oiled over time will preclude some cracking. Many instruments will never crack, some may crack with insults such as quick temperature change, dropping the instrument, and extreme drying environments. Some instruments will naturally crack after manufacture. Remember that you have a wood tube with many holes drilled adjacent to one another with posts drilled deeply next to some holes and you are blowing moist air through the tube for long periods of time)

It has been demonstrated (proven??) that instruments will loose oil and moisture in hot drying conditions and they will change dimensionally, especially the tone hole diameters, and the wood will shrink from oil and water loss (note the loosening of tenon rings in low humidity environments).

Nature made plant oils with special properties that tightly bind water molecules (how could they otherwise exist in a plant water filled environment?) and therefore buffer the moisture content of wood. Even aged and dried Grenadilla wood has a water content due to the natural oil bound water but this can be lost over time with oil loss under drying conditions. Since most clarinet parts come from a different tree the parts may gain or loose oil and moisture at different rates. I believe therefore that you must assess the characteristics of the oil content of each piece and use a differential oiling regime for each piece (if indeed you decide to oil your instrument).

So, I hope that it is now proven that certain plant oils can and will penetrate Grenadilla wood.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: The Doctor 2017
Date:   2018-04-26 02:30

(Disclaimer - I sell a plant derived instrument oil)
As mentioned by many - there is so much wrong with this experiment that it should be disregarded.

First, the oil being used is the wrong oil. Since it is clear and colorless it is most probably mineral oil which is sold, even by the big 3 instrument manufacturers, as bore oil. Why- they say because they can sell it and the profit margin is huge. It is petroleum based and in the long run it not only fails to penetrate Grenadilla wood but over time will harm the wood, just as petroleum based cork grease with ruin your cork over time. Petroleum based oils weaken the cell walls of wood and cork and cause their collapse over time (another scientific experiment well documented). Plant oils will not.

Secondly, I have proven, with “real” science that certain plant based oil mixtures will penetrate Grenadilla wood deeply. One proper experiment is to “tag” plant based bore oil with a fluorescent molecule and apply the oil to a block of Grenadilla wood, let is sit at room temperature overnight, cut the block in half and then slice very thin sections of a cut end with a medical microtome and look at the sections under a high magnification using a fluorescent microscope. If the oil has penetrated the wood there will be, and is shown to be, fluorescence deep into the core of the wood block section Repeat times ten and you have a decent experiment illustrating penetration of a plant based oil mixture into Grenadilla wood. In the same experiment tagging mineral oil there is no fluorescence on the interior of the wood and only on the surface of the wood section.

It is also true that there is no conclusive evidence that keeping a instrument well oiled over time will preclude some cracking. Many instruments will never crack, some may crack with insults such as quick temperature change, dropping the instrument, and extreme drying environments. Some instruments will naturally crack after manufacture. Remember that you have a wood tube with many holes drilled adjacent to one another with posts drilled deeply next to some holes and you are blowing moist air through the tube for long periods of time)

It has been demonstrated (proven??) that instruments will loose oil and moisture in hot drying conditions and they will change dimensionally, especially the tone hole diameters, and the wood will shrink from oil and water loss (note the loosening of tenon rings in low humidity environments). These dimensional changes with alter the sound of the instrument.

Nature made plant oils with special properties that tightly bind water molecules (how could they otherwise exist in a plant water filled environment?) and therefore buffer the moisture content of wood. Even aged and dried Grenadilla wood has a water content due to the natural oil bound water but this can be lost over time with oil loss under drying conditions. Since most clarinet parts come from a different tree the parts may gain or loose oil and moisture at different rates. I believe therefore that you must assess the characteristics of the oil content of each piece and use a differential oiling regime for each piece (if indeed you decide to oil your instrument).

So, I hope that it is now proven that certain plant oils can and will penetrate Grenadilla wood and perhaps mineral oil may not.

L. Omar Henderson
www.doctorsprod.com



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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2018-04-27 00:22

Excellent thread - thanks Omar for your post!

Cocobolo wood being softer - more absorption?

http://www.MyTempoMusic.com

http://www.skypeclarinetlessons.com/about.html

Sponsored by Backun/D'Addario/BG/Silverstein/ Artist Teacher and Soloist

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: The Doctor 2017
Date:   2018-04-27 04:34

(Disclaimer - I sell a plant oil mixture for instrument wood and Genuine Grenadilla oil.)
Cocobolo is also in the Dalbergia family of oily woods. Although softer it has a similar oil content as Grenadilla wood and loses moisture and oil at a similar rate.
L. Omar Henderson
www.doctorsprod.com

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Fishamble 
Date:   2018-04-27 10:47

Lots of assertions in this thread, but only Michael Lowenstern and John Peacock have produced demonstrations. So to me they're the valuable contributions, and the outcome is 100% inconclusive. The only conclusion I can draw is that we do not know what the effect of oiling is.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: donald 
Date:   2018-04-27 11:29

"lots of assertions in this thread", well, I could make a youtube clip of my friend oiling wooden flute bodies in the vacuum thing, but I'd rather you just believed me. The Lowenstern clip lacks scientific integrity so it doesn't really matter if he "produced a demonstration" but you're obviously really really impressed by a youtube clip.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Dibbs 
Date:   2018-04-27 17:17

The Doctor wrote:

>
> Petroleum based oils weaken the cell walls of wood and cork and cause their
> collapse over time (another scientific experiment well documented)
>

Where is this documented? Google isn't showing me. Maybe I'm using the wrong words.

> Plant oils will not.

Has this been shown experimentally too?

I found this rather interesting article.

https://www.nature.com/articles/srep30090

That demonstrates that oils penetrate even very hard dense woods enough to alter their physical properties.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-04-27 19:29

While clarinetists debate the issue of oiling, one set of overarching questions may be missed. What is the purpose of regularly, periodically oiling a clarinet's bore that has had and still gets normal use? Ostensibly, it's to prevent cracking.

If we oil the bore, can we certain that the clarinet will not crack? If we don't oil the bore, is the clarinet certain to crack? Is there a clear correlation compiled by any source that shows that oiled clarinets are less likely to crack or that clarinets under normal, continued use are more likely to crack?

All of the evidence relating to these questions is anecdotal and based, in general, on very limited numbers of instruments. Repair people tend to see more instruments after they have cracked than the rest of us do, so their sample is at least biased. I've owned only about a half-dozen clarinets in my life and of the granadilla clarinets, only one cracked very soon after I bought it new, long before even the most insistent supporters of routine maintenance with bore oil would have been applying it. One other, made of rosewood, was also a brand new instrument that cracked in shipment a few weeks after I bought it. So I own 4 granadilla soprano clarinets and a bass that are by now decades old, have never been oiled and have never cracked. That isn't really a meaningful sample, either.

Regardless of the ability of bore oil of any kind to penetrate the wood, what is the strongest evidence anyone can cite that it makes a difference?

Karl



Post Edited (2018-04-27 22:19)

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2018-04-27 20:07

Over a period of 50 years or so I have owned perhaps 30-40 clarinets (I'm an accumulator rather than a collector). Of these, most were wood and so far none have had body cracks. I don't oil my instruments on any regular pattern, generally only if the wood actually looks dry. I have had a barrel crack, and I have bought several barrels with cracks, and I have an elderly Thibouville with a cracked bell, but these occurred long before I bought them. I live in a climate that varies from temperate with rain in the winter to dry with +100F temperatures in the summer. My house is airconditioned, and there are generally several clarinets in my car, the internal temperature of which must sometimes well exceed 100F when parked. I've had no problems related to heat or cold. I don't think this proves anything, except perhaps that I've been lucky or clarinets are more robust than we think.

Tony F.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-04-27 22:00

Anyone can make an empirical test by placing a few drops of oil on (1) a glass plate and (2) inside the bore of a clarinet and store them side by side. It will be apparent if the wood absorbs oil or not. Glass does not.



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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: The Doctor 2017
Date:   2018-04-28 00:21

(Disclaimer - I sell a plant derived oil mixture for wooden instruments and genuine Grenadilla oil.)

I guess that you will have to believe me when I outline experiments that I myself have done. I have no publications about woodwinds but over 100 peer reviewed scientific articles and experimental studies in the public health arena during my 35 years tenure at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and 7 years at the National Institutes of Health and NOAA many of which were at the lab bench. I have no time or now have no access to the necessary instrumentation to repeat and film these experiments over again.

The cell wall weakening can easily be viewed in a cellulose stained section of tenon cork with light microscopy. Cork cells are little resilient cubes which can compress and rebound once physical pressure is applied to the cork. Petroleum treated cork with show cork cubes with broken cell walls which will not rebound if pressure is applied. It is a little more difficult to assess in Grenadilla wood but counting cells that have broken cell walls is very evident viewing many microscope fields.

As far as oiling and cracking are concerned I agree that a good experiment has not yet been done. It can be proven that dried out Grenadilla wood has lost dimensional stability by measurement or weighing which affects the sound of the instrument and oiling and rehydration improves this condition. There is anecdotal information about instruments that crack that have and have not been oiled but I believe that a prudent person will try to keep their instrument from insults such as temperature, physical abuse, and IMHO replenishing oil and moisture lost over time and with environmental conditions. We are dealing with a fragile organic material that has a lot of physical strain induced from manufacture and also hydrostatic strain from either gaining or loosing moisture and natural oil. When dealing with wood there is, in my opinion, no way to tell if oiling will keep and instrument from cracking but with this uncertainty I choose to oil my instruments to personally modify the loss of oil and moisture variable. Your choice may be different.

Again, it should be emphasized that to do any experiment you must use an oil that has been proven to penetrate Grenadilla wood. Mineral oil in my opinion does not. I extract Grenadilla oil from instrument manufacturing saw dust and it is easy to see it absorb into dry wood.

L. Omar Henderson, Ph.D.
www.doctorsprod.com

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2018-04-28 04:00

Re Karl's post above I woud disagree with his assertion that we just oil clarinets to prevent cracking.
The fact is that oiling is much more important in preserving the condition of the wood and encouraging maximum dimensional stability.
I have seen dozens of clarinets in my time with parched upper joints and swollen bores that distort the acoustical integrity.
This becomes especially obvious in the area under and close to the top tenon, where the acoustic impact is particularly severe

failure to protect the instrument from violent temperature fluctations is far more likely to lead to cracking, but equally a player who demonstrates an understanding of the issues involved and a willingness to try and mitigate those is I believe far less likely to experience problems with the wood, including cracking.

One can never say any wood will never crack, but we can reduce the probability of that happening.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-04-28 17:05

Oil can be the direct cause of cracking. Just take a ringless bell and oil the smaller end and keep the wide end dry. There will be tension in the wood and chances are high the bell will crack.



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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: jdbassplayer 
Date:   2018-04-28 17:37

Johan H Nilsson wrote:

> Oil can be the direct cause of cracking. Just take a ringless
> bell and oil the smaller end and keep the wide end dry. There
> will be tension in the wood and chances are high the bell will
> crack.
>

Not necessarily, humidity causes wood to expand far more rapidly and to a much greater degree than oil does. The oil will have already been absorbed completely into the wood before any significant stress is seen.

If you don't believe me here's an interesting experiment you can try. Find an old barrel or bell where the rings are severely loose. Find a ziplock bag and place the bell or barrel inside. Then take a paper towel, fold it into a square, dampen it with hot water, and place it in the bag. Wait a day or two. The rings should now be tight.

For the second part of the experiment leave the bell or barrel out of the bag for a few days. The wood should shrink back to its original size. Now you can try oiling it. Even after letting the oil soak for a few days the rings should still be loose. The wood expands a small amount but not nearly as much as it would in fully saturated air.

Oil is important because it reduces the amount of water wood can absorb, and for that reason alone it should be helpful in reducing cracks.

-Jdbassplayer

Edit: it's early and I can't spell...



Post Edited (2018-04-28 17:39)

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-04-28 19:28

jdbassplayer wrote:

> Johan H Nilsson wrote:
>
> > Oil can be the direct cause of cracking. Just take a
> ringless
> > bell and oil the smaller end and keep the wide end dry.
> There
> > will be tension in the wood and chances are high the bell
> will
> > crack.
> >
>
> Not necessarily, humidity causes wood to expand far more
> rapidly and to a much greater degree than oil does. The oil
> will have already been absorbed completely into the wood before
> any significant stress is seen.
>

Is this all (both Johan's and JD's points) theoretical conjecture, or is it based on direct experience?

> If you don't believe me here's an interesting experiment you
> can try. Find an old barrel or bell where the rings are
> severely loose. Find a ziplock bag and place the bell or barrel
> inside. Then take a paper towel, fold it into a square, dampen
> it with hot water, and place it in the bag. Wait a day or two.
> The rings should now be tight.
>

You don't need hot water or, really, a Ziplock. This is the way Dampits, orange peels and humidifiers work simply left in the closed clarinet case - often the loose rings tighten overnight.

> For the second part of the experiment leave the bell or barrel
> out of the bag for a few days. The wood should shrink back to
> its original size.

Maybe, but when I've put Dampits or orange peels in the case overnight to correct loose rings, the rings tend to remain tight indefinitely.

> Now you can try oiling it. Even after
> letting the oil soak for a few days the rings should still be
> loose. The wood expands a small amount but not nearly as much
> as it would in fully saturated air.
>

Is there a way to measure this expansion?

But now you're back to the question of how much oil is actually absorbed into the wood and how long would it take for a really significant amount to penetrate, even assuming that it penetrates at all.

> Oil is important because it reduces the amount of water wood
> can absorb, and for that reason alone it should be helpful in
> reducing cracks.
>

And, again, is this conjectural or empirically verifiable? If the moisture absorbed from a Dampit, etc., restores the wood's dimensions - if loss of moisture rather than of oil causes dimensional changes, why would reducing the amount of water wood can absorb be helpful?

Much of the discussion about oiling takes for granted that dry wood needs oil and that oil adds something strongly beneficial that water does not. Or, as you've implied, that allowing the wood to absorb water from the surrounding air can actually increase the likelihood of cracks. This mostly makes Lowenstern's approach to evaluating the use of bore oil irrelevant. Whether or not it penetrates the wood, is it doing any good?

I don't find any of the benefits described here to be intuitive. Oiling simply becomes an article of faith, something that can't be rationally argued. You either accept its value or you don't based, not on what's demonstrable, but on the strength of others' beliefs and the threat of what may happen if you don't believe.

Karl



Post Edited (2018-04-28 21:18)

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Caihlen 
Date:   2018-04-28 20:15

Or, if as stated before that plant based oils absorb moisture, does humidity re-vitalize the intrinsic oils in the wood?

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-04-28 23:47

I wrote: "chances are high the bell will crack"
jdbassplayer responded: "Not necessarily..."

I talk from experience so there is empirical evidence. It has happened to me once with a ringless bell and once even with a bell with two rings, which I tried to separate from the lower joint by oiling the opening of the bell. It did expand but it also developed a hair line crack and it happened before I even tried to remove the bell.



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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-04-29 00:00

Just a remark: Pointing out that oil can be the direct cause for cracking does not mean a recommendation not to oil your instrument. It's a recommendation to apply oil uniformly over the piece of wood.



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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: The Doctor 2017
Date:   2018-05-03 06:21

Disclaimer - I sell a plant derived oil for woodwinds and genuine Grenadilla oil.

I believe that some are not aware that the oil in Grenadilla and other Dalbergia species oily woods have some unique properties.

Plant oils are designed by Nature to actually buffer the water content in the plant (wood). Certain plant oils have a unique structure that allow shells of water to remain bound to the oil molecule. The hydrophobic core of the plant oil has hydrophilic triglycerides on the surface with the glycerol end buried in the hydrophobic core and these hydrophilic elements on the surface interact with water through hydrogen bonding (a form of weak bonding whose strength depends on the interaction of the hydrophilic elements). The first shell of water is very tightly bound and takes a lot of energy to displace it - called the Layer of Hydration. Subsequent shells of water are less and less tightly bound and therefore can remain or leave the inner core of tightly bound water with less energy to displace them.

The energy to displace outer shells of water can, easily and does, interact with relative humidity surrounding the wood, dry will remove the outer water shells but a moist environment will add water until the binding forces of added shells diminish to a point where there is fee water in the wood structure.

The natural wood oil or added similar oils will therefore buffer the water content in the wood depending on the energy supplied by dry or wet condions. Its function is not to displace water but to hold on to as much as it can and buffer the influx and out flow of water within the wood. Since all oils have a specific partial pressure oil can be washed off the surface of the wood by water, and lost by drying conditions, and heat can cause it to evaporate thus diminishing the water holding properties of the wood. A certain moisture content, even in air dried wood, maintains the structural integrity and shape of the wood. Hopefully the wood can maintain the shape when it was manufactured into a clarinet.

Certain pieces of wood may gain or loose oil and moisture to a different extent so when I oil the wood I examine the oil absorption of each piece rather than the clarinet as a whole. The idea is to add thin layers of oil and let the wood absorb it until after a period of time there is some oil on the surface which indicates that the wood has absorbed as much as it wants without over oiling the wood. Some technicians will dunk a stripped clarinet body into a hot oil bath for some period of time but IMHO this can add too much oil to the wood and later oil will weep out of the surface. Timing is critical. But, each to their own method.

All of this has been explained before but a new generation of clarinet players may not have read the old posts.

L. Omar Henderson
www.doctorsprod.com

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-05-03 09:02

I wonder why Buffet also says in the manual of their clarinets that there is no need to oil the bore.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Late_returner 
Date:   2018-05-03 13:18

Re Klose remark: and Peter Eaton asks buyers not to oil his clarinets.



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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Dibbs 
Date:   2018-05-03 14:27

Conn 1937. Soaking unfinished joints in oil for a year.

https://youtu.be/GWk0XHRCl5E?t=359

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2018-05-03 23:18

Could be why the Buffet and Eaton recommend against oiling? The wood is already saturated.

Karl

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2018-05-04 00:33

Can't speak for Buffet, though I doubt that the wood is ever saturated. Their turnover would preclude all those old craft techniques. And their current products are at least as crack prone as any others.

Eaton clarinets are not oil treated before or during manufacture. Peter is not a supporter of oiling, but I think that is an individual opinion.

I worked with Peter for several years, and I do believe in oiling, however that is also an opinion, albeit based on over 60 years playing experience and 25 years of repairing.



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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: The Doctor 2017
Date:   2018-05-04 04:31

Disclaimer - I sell a plant derived oil for woodwinds and genuine Grenadilla oil.

You must know that we are a very antiquated and biased community. We believe what our teachers, mentors or idols use or have used for the last century. Many old wife’s tales hav a strong basis in fact but some pale in the face of newer scientific knowledge. Many still believe that oil, and possibly the old oil they used in the early 1900s, will not penetrate Grenadilla wood. Beside the laughable UTube experiment which started this thread there “IS” scientific evidence that a mixture of plant oils will penetrate Grenadilla wood. When I visited the Buffet plant probably 20 years ago they were impregnating their wood prior to manufacturing. If oil is good then, why not later? Other manufacturers may or may not use oil prior to manufacture.

I believe that a consensus of technicians and buyers will agree that the wood used in today’s instruments, with new kiln drying techniques, is more prone to cracking than the many years air dried wood of the past. So, it remains to be seen if todays instruments will survive, as many in the past have, for 20-30 years without additional oiling or humidification. I hope so.

We tend to take a gospel the lessons of our teachers who mimic the advice of their teachers and so on and on. Obviously much of the advice will advance our playing technique but we all should question certain recommendations that have since been changed by new scientific information.

L. Omar Henderson
www.doctorsprod.com

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-05-04 09:38

L. Omar Henderson,

Could you please list the peer-reviewed scientific papers you mentioned (title or DOI)?

I have access to the databases and I am interested in reading these papers.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-05-05 00:08

Where are the peer-reviewed scientific papers supporting the theory that the sun rises in the morning? Science is not a privilege of men or women in white coats. As said earlier, place a few drops of oil on a glass plate and on a piece of dry grenadilla wood and watch what disappears first. Or take a photo of a dry clarinet with brown wood, oil it and take a new photo of the black wood and compare them if memory does not serve. People without time can open the photos John Peacock attached earlier in the thread.



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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: The Doctor 2017
Date:   2018-05-06 02:47

To view a brief snoposis of some of my scientific publications just Google: L. Omar Henderson CDC and go to the CDC link. There others of course.

L. Omar Henderson
www.doctorsprod.com



Post Edited (2018-05-06 02:51)

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-05-06 03:54

L. Omar Henderson, I mean the papers about the wood, but not your medical papers, because your medical background does not support that you have the knowledge to comment on wood.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Caihlen 
Date:   2018-05-06 04:32

Klose,

Really dude? Please list and post links to all of your peer reviewed and published papers supporting your expertise and education placing you in a position to challenge...



Post Edited (2018-05-06 04:34)

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-05-06 04:35

Caihlen, I am not saying what L. Omar Henderson said is incorrect. But he always used a lot of scientific experiments to demonstrate his points. So I just would like to have a look at these papers, otherwise I feel difficult to judge if they are correct.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: The Doctor 2017
Date:   2018-05-06 04:42

I have explained the experiments on wood that I have done in some detail and have shown in the past to be an experienced scientific researcher in many areas. Present your own credible evidence, with references as you demand, that my experiments are not credible. If you contest the results then repeat them or perform your own experiments and provide the observations to disprove them and publish the results in a peer reviewed journal.

I have been interested in natural products chemistry and physics for half a century and coonsidered by many in the community to be an expert on use and care materials for woodwinds. I have traveled the world seeking knowledge and experience of most notable museums and conservators of wooden artifacts and the materials used by caretakers of wooden artifacts in cathedrals. These, after a while, strike a common tread of materials and techniques used for milineum to preserve and protect wood and also the current techniques used by museum conservators who are abreast of current scientific studies on wood.

L. Omar Henderson
www.doctorsprod.com

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-05-06 06:14

L. Omar Henderson, as you sell a plant derived oil for woodwinds. Probably it is more convincing if you could have listed citations when you demonstrate your points. I am completely neutral on this matter, but I don't feel your points are convincing enough.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-05-06 06:55

Several points here:

1. Buffet recommends don't oil their clarinets. I assume that Buffet doesn't want to see people complaining the cracking of their clarinets. So if there is no harm, why Buffet recommends not?

http://www.buffet-crampon.com/en/care-maintenance/
"Under no circumstances use oil, solvents or anticorrosive products."
"No bore oil, etc. needs to be used to prevent cracks in a new instrument. Observing the precautions in 1. and 2. is sufficient."

2. Yamaha has a bore oil, but on the bottle, it says the function is to protect inside of the bore from water. (I always think this is the major reason for oiling the bore).

On the yamaha manual:
"Application of bore oil protects the wood from moisture penetration thus helping prevent deformation and cracking. Apply a few drops of bore oil to a swab and draw it through the body several times."

3. Kronthaler says their clarinets even need a oil bath after first three months of use.

4. I think it is important to ask our oboe friends. As far as I know, almost every oboe cracks. To me, this seems to be an evidence that oiling has minor effect because I also assume they tried oiling. Of course, I could be very wrong.

So, I am still very neutral.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-05-06 07:17

L. Omar Henderson, after reading your posts, I am still not sure what kind of experiments you have done. I am not doubting it but just curious. You used a fluorescent "tag"? May I ask how and which tag did you use? To me, your descriptions are not detailed at all.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2018-05-06 08:28

Klose,
Your constant badgering of Dr. Henderson is approaching what I would expect from a troll or a serial nuisance. He has established his position in the industry by developing a very successful and widely accepted range of products. This did not happen by means of smoke and mirrors, and I suspect that there is probably no snake oil involved. Some respect is in order, and I see none here.

You have continually requested that he establish his credentials, but what about yours? are you in any way qualified to comment on his products or to challenge his expertise? For all that I know you might be a spotty 12-year-old amusing himself by trolling.

Tony F.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-05-06 08:39

Hi Tony,

Am I? Surprised to read your post. I use iPhone, do I need to have a strong electronics background to comment on how good is my phone or how much I like it?

I am just curious to read the "current scientific studies" he mentioned. I did not give any negative comments on his products (never used anyway) or his points. Furthermore, I have no interest of conflict here but unfortunately he has.

Last, I respect any person who contributes to our clarinet community.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-05-06 14:49

Klose,

You can use the search function on this forum and find threads with for instance the words "Henderson" and "oil". Here's one thread:

http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=420234&t=419651

Let me just remind that peer-reviewing is not a requirement for science. Gender studies practices peer reviewing but it doesn't make the field any more scientific.

While blind and deaf people might have to rely solely on studies made by other people, any other rational beings can use their own eyes to form their theories about the world. In the case of grenadilla absorbing oil I have suggested several ways.



Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-05-06 19:11

Johan H Nilsson,

Again, am I allowed to know more about the "current scientific studies" he mentioned? I assume these words at least mean there are some publications, or? I just have a personal interest in the methodology. I don't care if oil can penetrate or not at all.

However, I think to test if oiling can prevent from cracking, one should do a large-scale experiment, like taking 100 (or even more, like 1000) wooden barrels to oil and 100 not. Then put them into the extreme conditions, like in an air-conditioned room (change the temperature/humid dramatically and constantly). After a period of time, check how many of them crack. Ideally, this experiment should be repeated several times, and then we can compare them statistically.

Lastly, I also would like to remind you, the current way to communicate the results of "scientific studies" is publications on peer-reviewed journals. Of course there are reasons for this way.



Post Edited (2018-05-06 19:32)

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-05-06 19:26

Klose wrote:
> Again, am I allowed to know more about the "current scientific
> studies" he mentioned? I assume these words at least mean there
> are some publications, or?

Sure, but maybe he is not referring to the practices you are thinking about. As said, peer reviewing and fancy publishing practices does not make gender studies science.



Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-05-06 19:32

Klose wrote: "to test if oiling can prevent from cracking"

Lowensterns claim (and the scope of this thread) is that oil does not penetrate grenadilla. That theory can be easily falsified in a day the way I have mentioned.



Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-05-06 19:41

OK... I feel very stupid. Why would people care whether oil penetrates or not if this has nothing to do with preventing cracking? And why would people bother to do anything in your way or in his way??



Post Edited (2018-05-06 19:47)

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-05-06 20:26

It's more about taking one step at a time. If oil does not penetrate grenadilla there's no need to talk about preservation effects.



Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Bennett 2017
Date:   2018-05-06 20:54

My anecdotal evidence is that an oiled bore helps water run down the bore instead of landing up - er washing up, in the tone holes.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: The Doctor 2017
Date:   2018-05-06 22:01

Disclaimer - I sell a plant derived oil for woodwind instruments and genuine Grenadilla oil.

I am not recommending Fret Doctor for guitars or the claims made for this product but it has the same formula as Bore Doctor. On the internet go to the website www.beafifer.com and on the top left hand of the home page click on Fret Doctor and it will take you to a page with a photomicrograph that I loaned to my friend of one of the experiments that I outlined. I believe that a picture is worth a thousand words.

L. Omar Henderson
www.doctorsprod.com

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-05-06 23:10

L. Omar Henderson,

You said there is no way to test whether oiling can prevent cracking. Could you please comment on my experimental design?

Moreover, after seeing the picture, I still don't understand your experiment. How did you label your oil with a dye? How do you know these molecules were linked? In other words, how do you exclude the possibility that molecules entered are both oil and florescent molecule but not only your dye?



Post Edited (2018-05-07 02:05)

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: The Doctor 2017
Date:   2018-05-07 03:36

Disclaimer - I sell a pant derived oil for woodwinds and genuine Grenadilla oil.

It would take many pages of design to answer all the questions that one might have about the experiment. I spent many years at the NIH as a lipid chemist at the Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Using the right chemistry you can covalently bond (very strong) fluorescencene with a lipid in the plant oil mixture. Since fluorescene is such a small molecule the complex will behave as the larger lipid molecule in diffusion into wood. I also have published several papers using fluorescence labeled antibodies ( a covalent bond with a protein which is more difficult than a lipid) in Flow Cytometry experiments. Even if this were submitted for publication the peer reviewers who are scientists too would know that fluorescence labeled lipids do not uncouple.

L. Omar Henderson
www.doctorsprod.com

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-05-07 04:11

L. Omar Henderson,

Quote:

Even if this were submitted for publication the peer reviewers who are scientists too would know that fluorescence labeled lipids do not uncouple.


Provided you used the correct fluorescence with correct control.

When you said "current scientific studies", I assume you did not only mean the unpublished experiments done by yourself? I am simply interested in knowing more about these "current scientific studies".



Post Edited (2018-05-07 04:16)

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: The Doctor 2017
Date:   2018-05-07 05:13

Disclaimer - I sell a plant derived oil for woodwinds and genuine Grenadilla oil.

Klose - I believe that I used the phrase “current scientific studies” with regard to museum conservators of wood artifacs who I have spoken with at length. Perhaps you should call the Metropolitan Museum in NYC and ask to speak to the wood conservator section and ask them what scientific articles they use to increase their knowledge base for their job. I would think that a good conservator would use a number of sources including published research or other unpublished information and data and sift through it to obtain a broader perspective.

Yes - I am able to conduct fluorescence coupling experiments and have published several papers on Flow Cytometry using these products. The scientific reviewers sanctioned my techniques many times.

This thread is becoming very time consuming and tedious to explain minute factors which would take many pages to document whereas my publications have already done this on many elements of the experiment and were accepted by peer review. Either consider the absorption of oil experiment as outlined or not - your choice. I will not spend any more time answering minute questions or picking apart phrases for validation.

L. Omar Henderson
www.doctorsprod.com

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Caihlen 
Date:   2018-05-07 05:21

Huzzah! Well done Doctor.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-05-07 05:43

OK, now i understood. It might be my fault to misunderstood your phrase “current scientific studies” because I naively assumed you must have read a lot of these papers. Again, I am not critical here but simply interested in the methods.

With all due respect, no matter how many experiments you have done and published, your current one still has a chance to have problems. This is why even for Nobel prize winners, their manuscripts still need to go for peer-review and quite often some of them are rejected, or at least required revisions.



Post Edited (2018-05-07 05:48)

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2018-05-07 14:04

>> quite often some of them are rejected, or at least required revisions. >>

In that spirit, perhaps you'd like to correct the Beethoven violin concerto A clarinet transposition you provided, which still contains a wrong note that would be embarrassing to any player trying to use it.

Tony

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: donald 
Date:   2018-05-07 14:20

You know, I'm a pretty serious kind of guy, it's hard work to get me to actually laugh out loud.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-05-07 15:58

Tony, I certainly corrected it, but I guess you don't need it, right?



Post Edited (2018-05-07 16:21)

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2018-05-07 16:19

If you've already made a correction, please look again and correct further.

(And, don't make stupid remarks.)

Tony

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Klose 2017
Date:   2018-05-07 16:24

Tony, anybody who wants a copy can email me. And, please don't be so arrogant to say remarks by others are stupid.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2018-05-07 16:29

Enough of you.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-05-07 22:29

I want a peer-reviewed paper supporting the theory that this thread exists.



Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2018-06-04 07:38

Quote:

Bennett said:
My anecdotal evidence is that an oiled bore helps water run down the bore instead of landing up - er washing up, in the tone holes.


This is certainly why I oil the bore occasionally...it does seem to lessen the "wet pad choke" effect.

This whole thread begs the question "Why aren't the finest clarinets made from the best engineering polymers with the appropriate properties", e.g. high yield strength and toughness, low thermal coefficient of expansion, negligible water absorption, highly hydrophobic, comfortable density (i.e. heavier than ABS, but lighter than Grenadilla wood), good machinability, etc. There are lots of good choices...e.g. some of the machinable polyimide formulations, glass-filled PTFE materials, etc.

Many of these materials can be injection-molded with very high precision and near-zero shrinkage. The cost will probably be similar to Grenadilla wood, but the reproducibility and stability will be superior, and there will be zero environmental deterioration.



Post Edited (2018-06-04 07:39)

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-06-06 00:11

Injection molding has some limitations on form. Just consider the undercutting of tone holes. You would probably have to mold the bodies in two halves.

I find Buffet's greenline material very rational. They mold greenline billets that are then processed in the factory like grenadilla billets.



Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2018-06-06 10:26

>> e.g. some of the machinable polyimide formulations, glass-filled PTFE materials, etc. <<

Glass fiber material can be tricky to machine. Can it even be machined with regular tools (drills, cutters, etc.)? I've never machined any so don't know much. I have some tools made of polyamide and impression is I'm not sure it would make a significantly (or at all) better clarinet than other plastics. I'm sure one of the main reasons ABS is used is because it's cheap.

More wear and/or more expensive tools could be much more significant than the material itself. A company already invested in equipment to make something a certain way (e.g. drying wood billets and machining them) might have a problem completely changing it (e.g. molding). they need the improvement to be worth it financially usually.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: bbillings 
Date:   2018-09-11 19:42

As a physician, and having read quite a bit of research, i found this a very fatiguing thread to read and the poster "Klose" argumentative by nature. I wonder what the purpose of being so argumentative was and why he is so avidly questioning Dr. Henderson who had clearly stated previously the lack of published and definative research regarding the benefits of oiling the bore with regard to prevention of cracks. If you are oiling your clarinet to prevent cracks it is therefore guesswork until some experiments are run and able to be reproduced. IMO, it would be near impossible as every wood blank is unique. I personally oil the bore of my clarinets to help prevent potential damage from saliva and promote dimensional stability with the belief that oiling does no harm when done as suggested. I'm personally a fan of Doctor's Products and use the wood cleaner, wood wax, bore oil, oiling rig etc.... The fact that Dr. Henderson had but no longer has access to the same equipment having retired is evident. His assertion that he previously experimented but didn't publish his results was clearly stated and therefore why would there be anything resembling a "methods section" to establish exactly which flourescent molecule he used or the chemistry involved in covalently bonding said chemical. It seems somewhat obvious that his experiments were done for his personal use and perhaps with an eye on the business he has created. Thank you Dr. Henderson for providing a link to "fret doctor" and the picture you lent them. Some of the most salient comments came from Johan H. Nilsson who suggested you don't need a published scientific study to prove the obvious. The simple experiment he proposed of placing a drop of oil on glass and another on wood is absolutely valid and would prove absorption or lack of absorption.

I enjoy Michael Lowenstern's YouTube channel and am primarily a bass clarinet player. He is a wonderful and entertaining presenter as well as a very accomplished performer. A couple of observations, however, are in order. He doesn't believe in oiling the bore. He does believe that a clarinet can be "blown out" which I find to be a very subjective topic. He has replaced his personal bass clarinet on several occasions over the years and now has a Selmer affiliation and likely doesn't pay for or gets a significant discount on newer models. Lastly, it makes me wonder about the relationship between a "blown out" clarinet and his lack of oiling. The late Larry Naylor certainly had something to say about the topic and made multiple presentations on the subject as an adherent of oiling the wood, clarinet restoration and respected member of NAPIRT. I believe he provided his research within those presentations though I never had the pleasure of attending his presentation. He provided a reference section on his website however.

It was sad to read the snark in this thread that was unnecessary.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2018-09-11 21:08

The Doctor wrote:

"It has been demonstrated (proven??) that instruments will loose oil and moisture in hot drying conditions and they will change dimensionally, especially the tone hole diameters, and the wood will shrink from oil and water loss (note the loosening of tenon rings in low humidity environments)."


So now that we have had "Greenline" instruments (clarinets as well as oboes) for some time now, do we have any clear demonstrations of tone hole dimensions NOT changing over time (affecting pitch and resistance I would imagine)?

And is it safe to assume that tone hole and bore dimension changes are the root of the "blown out" contentions?




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



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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: bbillings 
Date:   2018-09-11 22:17

Paul,

Demonstrated and proven are very different scientifically. Science is simply a paradigm through which we attempt to quantify natural occurrences both known and currently unknown.

I haven't seen reference to specific bore or tone hole changes in dimension though if the wood loses moisture or oil it would stand to reason that the cells of the wood shrink and therefore the dimensions must change. I think it adequate that humidity changes wood dimension or tenons would never stick or become looser and the rings on the bell wouldn't become loose since the metal doesn't change dimension. No scientific experiment required, IMO. There very well may be significant differences between pieces of wood that have more to do with cracking than humidity or oil content though it's unlikely to ever be solved.

Greenline instruments certainly shouldn't change in dimension since the glue has to be the dominant stabilizer. Although, reportedly, they have a brittleness and tendency to shatter if mistreated purposefully or accidentally. Over time will they deteriorate like other glued connections?

"Blown out" is a curious term that seems totally undefined but for some reason accepted. I'd question if any instrument could be "blown out"? Possibly just out of adjustment? Possibly the technician didn't get it back to where the performer/owner expected? Certainly Larry Naylor argued that the term was adequately described by loss of moisture and oil content of the wood. He did provide research and literature in his presentations. I hope and expect his presentations were preserved by NAPBIRT. As an interesting aside anyone who has studied botany knows that xylem in a plant takes water in through end grain (like a straw) as opposed to from the side. Possibly why Mr. Naylor used to do oil immersion for "clarinet restoration" as opposed to simply oiling the bore. Certainly, and I believe measurably, the density of the wood used to create newer clarinets is different as the old growth trees are fewer if existent at all.

Regardless, there is NO research suggesting a negative effect to oiling the bore. It is a simple procedure and there is evidence that the oil is absorbed. Cell membranes are primarily made up of lipids (I humbly defer to Dr. Henderson regarding cellular research). Further, oil absolutely would resist the humidity and saliva introduced into the bore during normal playing possibly making swabbing more effective and harmful effects of saliva less detrimental. Does it change the bore dimension? Unlikely that it could swell the bore beyond it's initial reeming but possibly could return the bore to its initial measurement or close to it if it had diminished.

My thoughts,
Brian

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-09-11 23:32

bbillings wrote: "If you are oiling your clarinet to prevent cracks it is therefore guesswork until some experiments are run and able to be reproduced."

And the numerous independent observations of oiled wood changing color, metal rings getting loose and increased wood weight after oiling simply don't "count"... Until one tax financed researcher with the correct political values has given a verdict, no one really knows.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: bbillings 
Date:   2018-09-11 23:39

Johan,

I'm not saying that but there are other variables at play. If you read my whole post, I'm suggesting that each individual tree is likely the difference. Just as you and I may develop cancer of different types or different rates regardless of diet or exercise. It doesn't mean one should disregard healthy habits but they may not be the definative answer to prevention.

Brian

PS - I'm a proponent of oiling the bore as stated in the previous posts.

EDIT: And I wouldn't hold my breath until extensive research on the topic of wooden instrument crack prevention is produced.



Post Edited (2018-09-11 23:44)

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-09-12 02:32

Brian,

Please elaborate how difference in "individual trees" is supposed to explain the numerous observations of "oiled wood changing color, metal rings getting loose and increased wood weight after oiling simply"

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2018-09-12 02:37

I, too, am a (retired) scientist with many publications, and love to measure stuff and hypothesize.

I am surprised, however, that there is so little dimensional measurement being reported and discussed around both the "blown out" phenomena as well as the formation of cracks. Anyone that has measured a lot of wooden clarinet bores knows that these are rarely round, and in fact, the difference between max and min diameters at any point in the bore is as much as 1% (sometimes more in really dry, old clarinets.

In my limited experience as a woodwind tech, I have oiled (with the doctor's product) the bore and exterior of several 'garage find' clarinets that were extremely dry. In the cases that I measured carefully, all became more round (I found data in my archive for 5 clarinets, but I'm pretty certain I have measured more than that...). So...anecdotally, old dried out clarinets are more oval.

Is it possible that the degree of 'oval-ness' affects the modes of the clarinet. It is pretty well documented that 1% changes of bore diameter in certain regions of a clarinet design can significantly change the tuning, timbre and response of a clarinet, so one might guess (i.e. hypothesize) that an asymmetrical change might, in effect, provide two different transfer functions in the clarinet that are competing for resonance modes at any given note being fingered...i.e. "blown out"

Has anybody collected dimensional data (compared to instrument design parameters) on some number of "blown out" clarinets...

Chris? Omar??

Also, as regards cracking, I have never owned a clarinet that cracked, but have seen quite a few clarinets that cracked in their first few years of being played. I have also seen some huge cracks in clarinets that have been stored badly for years. I can't recall seeing a well-cared-for clarinet older than 5-10 years that developed a spontaneous crack...anybody??



Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: bbillings 
Date:   2018-09-12 04:01

(Please elaborate how difference in "individual trees" is supposed to explain the numerous observations of "oiled wood changing color, metal rings getting loose and increased wood weight after oiling simply")

Johan,

Why would I when it has nothing to do whatsoever with either what I've written or the point that I was making? Individual trees may be prone to cracking just as you may be predisposed to a disease. Oiling may not affect that process at all. At this point, I'm unaware of any research regarding how wood cracks or where within it's cellular structure that occurs. It may exist. As a physician, that isn't my specialty.

Brian

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: bbillings 
Date:   2018-09-12 04:22

shmuelyosef,

Good observations and questions.

1) How do we define "blown out?" Would that be determined by the player or someone measuring dimensions (tech)? Can we even establish the initial dimensions with accuracy for given manufacturers and models?

2) Given that your measurements seem to suggest restoration of the bore dimensions of a clarinet with oiling, does that indicate it wasn't "well cared for" and therefore may have been "blown out?"

3) I again mention Larry Naylor's work as he suggested restoration of bore dimensions using an "oil immersion" technique he'd developed, incidentally I believe using Doctor Henderson's products, and recovering "blown out" clarinets such that they played as when new. At least according to several testimonials he published.

4) Has anyone established that routine bore oiling is preventative? Or would it require an immersion such as Naylor was doing? Can you get part way to original with bore oiling or all the way there?

5) What is the rate of deterioration of a clarinet's tone and is it related to the bore changing dimensions? Does bore oiling slow that process?

Etc....

There are plenty of variables and unknowns inherent within this discussion and I've listed only a few that I don't know the answers to. I'm certain others have questions as well and I'm skeptical that the time or money will be spent on the studying required to find the answers. Therefore, my conclusion is inconclusive. Personally, though intriguing I wasn't moved enough by Mr. Lowenstern's experiment or methods to discontinue oiling. Philosophically, I'm more inclined to oil the bore as a preventative measure especially having read Naylor's work, read Dr. Henderson's posts on the subject and having heard your experience.

Brian

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-09-12 22:57

Brian (bbillings),

OK, I now understand that you don't doubt the theory that wood absorbs oil, but rather doubt the theory that oiling wood protects clarinets from cracking.

To convince yourself, take a dry ringless bell and only oil one end of it. It will crack within a day.

No one will deny that wood that swells or dries non-uniformly will have higher tension and be at higher risk of cracking. So oil can both be a cause and a remedy for cracking.



Post Edited (2018-09-14 01:47)

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: bbillings 
Date:   2018-09-13 20:09

Johan,

I actually supported your previous statements so I'm mystified at your continued questioning; however, I'm now wondering if you are suggesting that oiling the bore is creating a condition condusive to cracking because it is only treating the inner wood face? Under that theory should the entire surface inside, out and within the tone holes be evenly coated or "immersed" to prevent such tension within the wood? Are we replenishing oil within the wood before it is completely devoid of natural oils and therefore our oiling doesn't cause cracking? Or are you just making a point that wood is somewhat absorbent which we previously agreed is easily established with two drops of oil, one on a piece of wood and a control on glass?

Having said that, what I've been trying to get across is I'm not aware if it is established whether cracks form through broken cells or broken bonds between cells or both. Can someone predict the path of a crack because of weakly formed bonds or cellular wall abnormalities during the trees growth? Those are pertinent questions as they may have more to do with an individual clarinet's tendency to crack than normal use and variances in care method.

In my personally limited experience, I haven't heard of a wooden clarinet cracking due to bore oiling using commonly accepted methods.

Brian

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-09-14 02:29

bbillings wrote:

> I actually supported your previous statements so I'm mystified
> at your continued questioning; however, I'm now wondering if
> you are suggesting that oiling the bore is creating a condition
> condusive to cracking because it is only treating the inner
> wood face?

I am not suggesting that, rather I want to establish two very simple truths that most people here would support from experience and common sense:
1. Wood absorbs oil and swells.
2. Applying oil non-uniformly on wood will (following 1) create tension and increase the risk of cracking.

Oiling the bore of the clarinet uniformly is de facto not very dangerous. I haven't thought very much about it and can only speculate in reasons, for instance that the bore will generally be dryer than the outer wood, due to moisture and heat. When the wood is very dry on old clarinets I usually put everything off and oil both the inside and outside of the bodies and especially the tone holes.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2018-09-15 06:14

Since it takes so little time, I always remove all the keys from the clarinet before any oil is applied. Even the smallest amount of bore oil will ruin a pad (except maybe a cork pad?)

I apply it sparingly to outside inside and inside tone holes/chimneys until it no longer disappears, then wipe all the excess off, let it finish 'drying' overnite, and reassemble.

Is there any other approach that makes more sense?

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-09-17 23:26

shmuelyosef wrote:

> Is there any other approach that makes more sense?

Certainly not for old, dried out instruments that probably also need a repad. You could add cleaning and drying before you apply the oil.

For a regular service of a well used and functioning instrument, just put some pieces of toilet paper under the pads and oil the bore.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: bbillings 
Date:   2018-09-18 19:52

Rather than toilet paper, I put pieces of waxed paper under the pads before oiling. I try to create a barrier between the pad and the oil. I always let dry fully before removing the waxed paper.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2018-09-18 21:11

Paper, no matter of which persuasion, will allow oil to seep through. I use pieces of cling film, which is completely impervious.

Tony F.

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 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-09-19 00:27

It depends on the amounts of oil. Toilet paper pieces under the pads (double-folded if you want) will absorb the small amounts of oil that reach it, while a complete barrier will leave oil on the tone hole edge.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: John G. 
Date:   2018-09-20 08:39

My head hurts.
Oh, and I believe it's time for me to use some of Dr's Products to oil my clarinet bores.
The end.

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: shmuelyosef 
Date:   2018-09-21 01:12

I generally oil the outside as well so it’s hard to protect the pads

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2018-09-22 02:25

I agree with John G
Surely this thread has long outlived it's usefulness.



Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: QuickStart Clarinet 
Date:   2018-09-26 18:30

This thread is massive and interesting!

The only thing I want to point out is the fact that it didn't appear that any oil was absorbed in the video experiment, however, when you go to a repair person that really promotes oiling they will leave the clarinet in oil until it soaks up the oil. This would imply that the oil is penetrating the wood if it is being soaked up, or it is evaporating, or it is a metaphor by repair people, and they are just saying it "soaks up" the oil when really it is just sitting in oil.

So my biggest question is what was different in this video compared to oiling that repair people do? Is the oil and or wood different? Is it the fact that the container was sealed so there was no evaporation? Does it not actually work the way I imagine it with oil being soaked up at the repair shop?

Would love to hear from a repair person who does soak the whole clarinet in oil.

Josh Goo
QuickStart Clarinet Founder
www.quickstartclarinet.com

Reply To Message
 
 Re: Michael Lowenstern's bore oil experiment
Author: Johan H Nilsson 
Date:   2018-09-27 00:17

Josh,

Well, it's up to you to absorb the evidence in this thread. There are for example photos with clarinets changing color after oiling. Had Lowenstern been rational (and not a musician) he would have weighed the barrel before and after the oiling, and he wouldn't have chosen an object that was old and covered by dirt.

Leblanc started their production process by submerging bodies that had been stored for several years into oil.

Of course all these people could be confused. Forming ones theories about the world will always be about selecting the plausible.

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