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Author: Becky 
Date:   1999-09-02 21:31

Should I ever oil the bore or wooden part of the clarinet? I was told that one must "oil" the clarinet about twice a year. I found out to "oil" means to only oil the keys. My wood looks really dry and I was wondering if there is a special oil and procedure for the wood.

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 RE: Oiling
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-09-02 22:01


There are two different oils for the clarinet, both must be used extremely sparingly, if at all.

First, the key oil is the most dangerous. It's a petroleum based oil that's used to prevent rust and provide a thin film of lubrication for the metal keys and rods. It can attract water after a while, so be extremely sparing in its use. Never allow key oil to make contact with your wood. It can take the laquer right off and ruin your wood.

Second, many of the bore oil mixes that you can buy commercially not only contain a vegetable based oil, they also contain petroleum distillates. I personally would suggest only a vegetable based oil, such as sweet almond oil that you can buy at a local gourmet store. When I oiled my wood horn, I used 5 drops or less for the entire horn (inside the bore and on the outside). I've since stopped oiling the bore on my recent vintage wood horn.

However, with all that said, check with a local repair tech about your own horn. Some manufacturers recommend oiling the wood every now and then. Some other makers don't recommend oiling the wood at all. Typically, the grenadilla wood on most recent vintage horns is pretty oily or it's oil soaked at the factory for life.

Take care to keep your horn in condition by keeping it out of rough conditions and situations. Avoid harsh weather exposure. For instance, try not to march outdoors with it. Thoroughly swab out and wipe down your horn after each session. Keep the horn stored in its case when you aren't playing it. Use the factory supplied case if you have one, because it's made for the horn and it will keep the keys protected the best.

Simple and small preventive care tricks will help extend the life of your horn the most. Oiling the keys or the wood should be done only when absolutely needed and with the expert help and advice of your local clarinet repair tech or professional tutor.

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 RE: Oiling
Author: HIROSHI 
Date:   1999-09-03 00:15

1)As Tom Ridenour writes in his educational article we should use vegetable oils since it is hydrophobic(do not mix with water or saliva). http://home1.gte.net/klarinet/articles/wood.htm
2)There are a few grade of almond oll. I use pure virgin almond oil of international oil co.(UK).
3)To avoid the oil to corride, I buy Vitamin E tablets and penetrate the tablet coverage(made of glyserin?) by a needle and pour oils inside several tablets.(This was advised by someone - maybe a repairman - in the Klarinet archive.)
4)As to how long should we dry up the instrument after oiling I have no information. But I leave it at a stand for full two days though in other time it may be a bad thing to do. Everytime, I oils my Selmer 10SII, I find it becomes very vivid, especially staccatto becomes easy. (I feel.)

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 Vegetable Based Oils and Vitamin E
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-09-07 17:45

I've heard of the vegetable oils getting rancid smelling after a while unless they are treated with Vitamin E. The particular oil that I used was Vitamin E enriched already. The other part of the story is that if you do apply bore oil, be very sparing with it. Apply an extremely thin coating, just enough to get the wood to slightly sparkle under bright light. The only place where you should put a fairly thick (but still very small amount) of oil is inside the bore to paint a waterway for condensation to avoid the side trill keypads and toneholes, especially the C#/G# tonehole. This may help to keep your clarinet from gurgling with water condensation. See the reference to the "Water In The Holes" topic in another area of this BBS for more information.

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