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 your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-10-26 19:40

Rather than use the standard ready-to-wear oil that is sold in shops, what do you use? My personal concoction is: sweet almond oil about two-thirds of the concoction). 60 degree alcohol to make the almond oil penetrate better into the wood. Plus two or three drops of Atlas Ceder oil. The smell is great and it's oil taken from wood and I'm putting it back in wood. I seem to recall the Doctor's Products had a really good concoction, but I'm not sure the company exists any longer. What was in Omar's bore-oil?

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: TomS 
Date:   2019-10-26 20:10

I've used "The Doctors" stuff ... but since I don't own wooden clarinets anymore, I am free from that concern.

Tom

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2019-10-26 20:47

I’ve been using almond oil but might add alcohol in the future . However, I’m not even sure wether I do want to oil my instruments anyways...
Buffet clarinets and many German ones are prepared with Linseed oil, but it is often suggested not to use that on a regular basis.

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2019-10-26 21:30

Linseed oil is what is called a drying oil, it was a primary constituent of oil based paints for hundreds of years. So whatever lies on the surface of wood oxidises into thick solid layer. Not what you want in a clarinet bore.
Almond oil is fine, I used it successfully for decades but do now use the Doctor's bore oil, as it contains anti-oxidants to prolong shelf life..



Post Edited (2019-10-26 21:31)

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-10-27 00:37

Caroline: do you know what the doctor's magic potion contains? Does he keep it a secret?

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: TomS 
Date:   2019-10-27 01:25

It's a secret sauce ... but the stuff is not dreadfully expensive. I usually oiled my new clarinets really well after the break-in period and then lightly every six months.

Tom

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: stebinus2 
Date:   2019-10-27 01:51

So what is your recipe for the oil, how much almond oil to alcohol in ounces of both if possible. And what do you mean by 60 degree alcohol? Thank you.

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2019-10-27 02:47

I use sweet almond oil with the addition of 5% alcohol. I use isopropyl alcohol because I have access to it, but rubbing alcohol would probably work as well. I make up a small quantity at a time and have not had any problems with rancification.

Tony F.

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: stebinus2 
Date:   2019-10-27 02:59

When you say 5% alcohol do you mean that 5% of the total solution is alcohol and 95% is almond oil?

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2019-10-27 06:17

I've used mostly the Doctor's oil and Grenadoil (also from the doctor's), and recently organic almond oil because someone asked for that specifically (and even brought it).

I can't say I found a huge difference between any of them, but the almond oil was a bit harder to remove any excess.
I don't know exactly what's in the Doctor's oil but it has almond oil in it (you can smell it) and at least another type of nut oil. It also has stronger antioxidants than regular oil which is one of the main advantages.

Grenadoil is supposedly a synthetic copy of the exact oil in grenadilla wood. I use it occasionally but only if someone is interested because it is much more expensive.

Trying these oils on probably hundreds of clarinets (and some other oils before I started using the Doctor's), I can't say there is a noticeable difference. I guess to find any difference you'd have to take many pieces of wood, enough to cover for them before different, then do research for some years, using different oils, accurately measure, while they remain in the same conditions, and maybe cut and examine them.

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: DougR 
Date:   2019-10-27 16:35

In all the years I've been reading posts on oils here on the board, this is the first time I've heard of using alcohol as part of the mixture. Not averse to trying it, just saying. Thanks for the tip.

I seem to remember reading about some experiments Larry Naylor conducted back in the day with oil immersion as a way of restoring "blown-out" clarinets. The recipe he recommended for normal regular use (which I used before switching to The Doctor's bore oil and/or GrenadOil) was 2 parts virgin olive oil to one part pharmaceutical grade sweet almond oil.

I don't know what's up with the good Doctor, hope he's OK, because his website indicates he's closed TFN. So back to the virgin olive oil/almond oil for me, I guess. (just acquired a brand new bass clarinet so will be oiling at least the upper joint with the remnants of the GrenadOil I have left.)

If you try introducing alcohol into your oiling regimen, would you mind reporting back on how it went? Does absorption rate or number of required applications seem to be affected?

thanks all!!

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2019-10-27 17:35

I mean that 95% of the total is oil, 5% is alcohol. Apply very sparingly.

Tony F.

Post Edited (2019-10-27 17:36)

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-10-27 17:51

DougR: I got the idea of using rubbing alcohol from a person here in France who is a former chemical engineer and now sells used musical instruments which he restores. He claims that the almond oil doesn't penetrate well and that its penetration is improved by the use of alcohol. I've tried this a number of times and agree with him.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-10-27 17:55

TonyF: My proportion of alcohol is higher than yours, but I don't think it makes much of a difference. The alcohol works through its presence more than its quantity. "Apply sparingly". I agree. -two or three thin films of the substance. As I have said, I add a few drops of cedar oil.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2019-10-27 20:14

Ruben,
do you think that a bath with this concoction makes sense? Would it suffice to just apply a film, wait maybe a day, then reapply it (or something like that)?
Some claim it's necessary to have your instrument submerged in oil for WEEKS...

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: GBK 
Date:   2019-10-27 20:17

And then there is Michael Lowenstern's 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: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-10-28 02:11

Kalash: a "bath" seems unnecessary and even risky to me. You wouldn't want to do do anything radical to your instrument. A thin film-maybe an application three or four times-seems more homeopathic and even effective because it won't swell the bore and change the dimensions of the tone holes. I wouldn't play the instrument while I do this, however, because the condensation might wash away the potion that you're using to oil the bore. I would let the instrument rest a while I'm doing this for about a week. I'm not just being theoretical; I 've done thgis several times and found it successfuL. Not everything I do is!

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: sbrodt54 
Date:   2019-10-28 02:35

Back in the 80s, both Larry Naylor and I were experimenting with oils and the proper mix of different oils to get decent results with wooden clarinets. I was here on the east coast and he was in Colorado, but when I read about his work, I had to admit he was leagues ahead of anything I was doing.

I used mostly olive oil, put some on the outside, or the inside, gave Buffet clarinets a warm bath in it, all sorts of things. The mix I liked the best was 2 parts olive, one part almond, Larry was putting liquid vitamin E to his to help with absorption.

When I gave any clarinet a warm bath in the oil, the end result was to get oil back out, the clarinets had a very nasal, small tone to them after so much oil. Oiling the inside was plenty, that mix soaked in pretty well over night so there was nothing to clean off later.

I'm pretty sure if you google Naylor winds or call him, you can get incredible details on his work, both on oiling and custom wind repair. He has done some things for me (woodwind repair) and his work is terrific.

The doctor and I spoke several times about his oil, it works VERY well. He would never tell me what was in the bottle!

Scott Brodt

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: DougR 
Date:   2019-10-28 16:00

HI Ruben--

So you're using 2 parts virgin olive, one part almond, with a dash of alcohol? (sounds like a salad dressing recipe)

Back in my tape head cleaning days, engineers always insisted on isopropyl alcohol rather than "rubbing alcohol" because the latter had some additives that were considered bad for tape heads (i.e., left an unhelpful coating of 'something' on the heads).

HI Scott, thanks for chiming in; I had read one of Larry's articles in a woodwind repair magazine so I'm vaguely familiar. Will be checking him out, thanks for the tip. You lose track of people after a while, glad to know he's still working. Do you have a personal bore-oil recipe?

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: Bob Bernardo 
Date:   2019-10-28 17:08

Hey folks, just remember to throw out the oil often. It doesn't last very long in its natural form and some oils have perfume to conceal the spoiled smells.

So how log is oil safe? I don't know as oils often have additives and preservatives. A rough guess is one year at the most, but see if there is a date on the bottles. With any oils if is often best to use rubber gloves.


Designer of - Vintage 1940 Cicero Mouthpieces and the La Vecchia mouthpieces


Yamaha Artist 2015




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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: crusius 
Date:   2019-10-28 23:27

Picking up on one thing said in the first post: "... Doctor's Products had a really good concoction, but I'm not sure the company exists any longer."

I know some of the pages have a "The DoctorsProd.com store is temporarily closed. We’ll be back soon" message. Is there more to it than "we'll be back soon?"

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: Djudy 
Date:   2019-10-30 16:18

Good thread Ruben ! I have been thinking of starting one on this subject myself called "Why is a clarinette like a frying pan?" because I have received better advice on how to break in and condition ("culotter") my cookware than my clarinet !

Purchased from a very reputable and established instrument dealer here in France, no one talked about how to preserve the inside of the bore and no products were proposed at the time of purchase of my first clarinette, luckily a very good example of an E13 (my teacher was surprised). After getting into vintage instruments and a wreck of a full boehm S9 (long story) I realized that the bore had to be cleaned and restored to prevent moisture absorption as the grain was rough and clearly visible. So I bought a kit from the big mail-order place over the border and quickly realized that my other wooden instruments could also benefit from treatment. They provided a long cotton-wound stick and small amount of viscous oil that seems to do a good job with no problems of excess, other than the problem of getting the area just below the register tube.

To me it seems that the idea is not to have the occasional oilings penetrate, but to condition and maintain the surface to encourage the condensation to pearl and run off or wipe off easily. Just like my lovely carbon steel frying pans (condition, 'déglace' after cooking, wipe clean with hot water, never soap, hand dry).

I would be interested to hear of any other tips about oiling the bore. Like wouldn't a lightly oiled chamoix swab do a more uniform job? or a wool pompom? (sorry if this is repetative , I haven't searched older posts on this yet, which I will do eventually).





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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-10-30 18:16

I intend to launch a new subject: "why oil a bore?". I mean the bore of a clarinet; not a living bore. One "bore oil" solution that hasn't been mentioned is bee's wax. Does it nourish the wood are only waterproof it? Chadash and the man I work for at JL Clarinettes use bee's wax. I had never heard of granadoil, but I thought that ideally, we would use oil made from ebony as it would mean putting the oil back in the wood that was originally there and got washed out with condensation. I googled ebony oil and got....a porn site!!

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: DougR 
Date:   2019-10-30 22:38

GrenadOil is I think the brand name of Dr. Henderson's premium-price oil concoction. If I used the term, that's what I was referring to.

re: beeswax: I've heard of repair people who use carnauba wax; they saturate some gauze with it, wrap it over the end of a dowel, and attach the dowel to a lathe or some turning implement and, under power, insert the waxed gauze into the bore. Supposedly the friction generates heat which melts the wax, which both fills fissures in the bore and polishes it. I don't know if that's the method used to apply beeswax or not.

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: GBK 
Date:   2019-10-30 23:01

Repair tech at Schwenk & Seggelke uses linseed oil:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFcRYbSHkUo

...GBK

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: DougR 
Date:   2019-10-31 16:26

Here's a long thread from the past (not that far back, actually) that includes some comments about regular vs. boiled linseed oil, penetration, the oxidation process, etc., including some longer comments from Dr. Henderson on oiling vs not oiling. No mention that I remember about olive oil or almond oil, but some interesting and probably well informed material on how oiling may (and may not) work.

(ETA: not so much a thread on 'oiling: yes or no' but more about 'oiling: what happens when it's applied')

http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=436647&t=436446



Post Edited (2019-10-31 16:28)

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: Djudy 
Date:   2019-10-31 16:58

Thank you Doug !





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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2019-11-01 02:50

Thanks GBK for that S & S video.
Their tech is doing almost exactly what I did to my own new instruments some 59 years ago. He does make a point of particularly oiling the end grain, and also that the amount of oil used is minimal, and often swabbed out almost as soon as applied.
He is also in the video working on a boxwood clarinet which is softer and more absorbent than blackwood.

Blowing moisture out of the tone holes, particularly the small ones near the top of the upper joint is a very important thing as the surface of the tonehole chimney is essentially end grain and thus very absorbent.

The only point I don't agree is actually using linseed oil. He doesn't identify if it is raw or boiled either.

Many of the earlier generations of clarinet manufacturers did use linseed oil in the early production stages, but this was before the bores were reamed to their final dimensions.

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: The Doctor 2017
Date:   2019-11-04 23:18

Hello all,
I am alive, well, and have retired for the third, and hopefully last time. I have sold Doctor’s Products and the cousin Fret Doctor for guitars.

I have spent a considerable amount of time teaching the new owner, Bob Willcutt, and his technician the basics of making my products including the trade secret formulas for Bore Doctor, Grenad-oil and Doctor Slick cork grease. They now have the Doctor’s Products website up and running and have some products for sale.

Thank you all for a wonderful 20 years of using Doctor’s Products and hopefully science will continue to explore and perfect potions for our instruments.
L. Omar Henderson, alias The Doctor

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: Caroline Smale 
Date:   2019-11-05 21:41

Congratulations for a hopefully long, happy and healthy retirement Omar.
I beat you to it by nearly 4 years, but fortunate still have enough of your oils and greases to see me through to the end.
Caroline

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: Micke Isotalo 2017
Date:   2019-11-06 02:08

Concerning linseed oil, what could be the reason to recommend it as bore oil? I've seen also others than S&S recommending it, and I myself am using it.

I did a Google search, but didn't find anything relevant - so anyone here with some insight?

Linseed oil differs from most other oils as a hardening oil. If that hardening (polymerization) takes place also inside the wood, after the oil has been absorbed, I suppose that could be a reason. In that case the oil would not be washed out as quickly as non hardening oils, and thus perhaps give a more long-lastning protection against moisture induced decay.

However, I'm just theorizing here, without facts. :)

I use organic, cold pressed food grade linseed oil bought just from a local food store.



Post Edited (2019-11-06 02:18)

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: DougR 
Date:   2019-11-07 04:46

Nice to hear from you, Dr. Henderson, glad all is well! Will be interested to see what, if any, clarinet-related stuff you get up to next. Best wishes and thanks for your superb work all these years.

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: JTJC 
Date:   2019-11-07 20:05

As regards linseed oil I seem to remember reading somewhere that the fact it was a hardening oil was good as regards oiling the bore of instruments. The idea being that it was absorbed by the wood and then settled at certain depth with it and then hardened. Thus providing an more permanent barrier to moisture. However, using linseed oil was also supplemented oiling the bore with a different type of oil, though I can’t remember which. I used to use boiled linseed oil on my old 1010s and it doesn’t seem to have had an harm to them. Like most of these natural substances I expect the effect of linseed oil wasn’t permanent.

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: richard smith 
Date:   2019-11-08 19:01

Walnut oil, as described in my message of about 15 years ago.

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: bsnake1956 
Date:   2019-11-08 22:29

Ruben:
Now that you have read everything on this thread, it is time to get serious.
Do not oil your horns. There is no point. One of the posters mentioned David Lowensteins video. There is no evidence that oiling your horns is beneficial to them. I have played for over 45 years, many of them professionally. I still have 3 R-13 clarinets, Bb, A, Eb, (1985, 1975, 1985) that have never been oiled, and never had a problem. I bought the A just last year. Never cracked.

I have a Bliss (205 silver keys) clarinet that I bought 4 years ago. It was recommended by the vendor that I oil the bore after 3 to 6 weeks of playing. I did, it cracked. He replaced it and I never oiled it again and it never cracked.

Think about it. If you draw oil through a clarinet it will gather in the tone holes. I will gum up there and change the pitch or quality of those notes. If you think that the oiling of a clarinet is that valuable, then you must take the keys off and Q- tip the tone holes. HAVE FUN!!

I realize that there are many valuable opinions on this b-board. That is why I read it. Many of the above opinions may have merit, but I don't see it in this case.

If you use almond oil, linseed oil, ear wax, bees wax, WD-40, 2 cycle motor oil.
It does not matter.

Don't waste your time. AND do not ruin your horns.
Basic rules.
1. Swab horn and dry joints after EVERY playing (Do not leave the Clarinet together)
2. Oil keys every 6 months (depending on playing time)
3. If possible keep room at 30-40 % humidity (also good for reeds)
4. Keep corks greased. It will prolong their life.

Close scales will get you want to go.

Good luck.

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2019-11-09 11:26

BSnake: Thank you and I think you're probably right: as far as cracking is concerned, I agree with you. But what about tone? I have found-with old instruments-that a thin coat of oil (my concoction) makes them sound warmer and smoother.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2019-11-09 14:23

This "I've played for xx years and hadn't had a problem EVER" argument doesn't count. You cannot notice how a instrument slowly changes over the years, on the contrary, you subconciously adopt to it. Like dentures, you do not notice how over they years, without any care, they just go bad. And wood clarinets, simple as that, detoriate in one way or another. Ever looked inside a bore of a heavily used instrument? Even my instruments show certain changes, despite being well cared for.

I'm neither pro or against oiling and this isn't what this thread is about, so I'd prefer not to discuss this here.

All I was going to say was:
Tried an isopropyl/ almond oil mix and an old Selmer alto clarinet I'm servicing now absorbed it like a sponge! The instrument certainly seemed dry, especially the tone holes, and as such, water was splurging out of them as soon as I played it for more than 10 minutes. We'll see how the instrument performs after that, but to be honest, I've made the experience that almond oil (with antioxidants added) does no harm to say the least, so can we leave it there?

Of course, any thread about oiling is bound to get to this point. It's a matter of conviction, I guess...

Best regards
Christian

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 Re: your personal bore-oil concoction?
Author: modernicus 
Date:   2019-11-11 21:07

In my own experience, I stopped playing for about ten years, then retrieved my clarinet from its case, only to discover the top joint upper bore, tenon, etc... looked like crap, all whitish brown, grain raised and looking open, etc... I had played this instrument continously for years that I had gotten brand new and never oiled the bore. It always looked fine. From about halfway down the top joint bore, everything else looked beautiful, brand new even, so I am hesitant to blame the storage conditions. The only thing I could figure is the oil was getting washed away by moisture, then the moisture was getting absorbed, so it looked OK, but then it sat and the moisture evaporated readily, leaving the aforementioned situation. Oiling has helped a little, but it still doesn't look like it used to. In my mind, the damage occurred when the original oil was washed away and not replaced, I just couldn't perceive it until I stopped playing for a while. My guess is this is why I see many people who play a lot continuously for years (pros) and don't oil say everything is fine. I wonder if one suddenly stopped playing those instruments and left them in a closet for a few decades, if the same thing that happened to me could be observed?

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