Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Member and Columnist, Forum Con
Joined
·
3,801 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The best read on this subject that I have read to date:

by Larry R. Naylor

"I have received copies of Web discussions, involving whether grenadilla instruments can become blown-out, from customers and repair technicians from around the country. Since I have been restoring instruments in this condition for many years, I assumed that most musicians were familiar with this problem. Apparently, this is not the case. Identifying slowly accumulating problems with one's instrument can be problematic because most experienced musicians can readily accommodate to, or compensate for, these changes—up to a point.

Some musicians are not as sensitive to idiosyncrasies in their instruments; they tend to "drive" an instrument rather than play it. I suspect that some musicians may have only experienced instruments in a relatively compromised condition, thus they do not perceive performance problems on their current instrument; they are unaware how good an instrument can be. For example, a comment I frequently hear from first time clients is, "I didn't know my clarinet (oboe, English horn) could play like this!"

Read more...
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
"For example, a comment I frequently hear from first time clients is, 'I didn't know my clarinet (oboe, English horn) could play like this!'"

Likewise. Or, "My clarinet has NEVER played this well before."

IMO "blowout" often means simply that the instrument needs some decent servicing.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member and Columnist, Forum Con
Joined
·
3,801 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Gordon, I found this article because my stellar tech always starts fixing my eBay acquisitions by doing the oil treatment. Some instruments take longer to normalize than others.

I purchased a set of Leblanc Symphonie VIIs for my wife and took them in for regulating. The were so dry the tech asked what part of the world I had gotten them from. And there goes some more money to fix them.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
497 Posts
you can't really use an advertisement for a service as a valid source of information. so much in this is questionable. Its just designed to get you to use the guys service not show you anything valid.
first thought.
If you take an oil saturated piece of wood from one location like this guys shop to a warmer location like a hot orchestra pit you are going to have slimy vegetable oil dripping all over the place.
also saturating wood with oil is just wrong for a wooden instrument. wood like all plants naturally carries some oils but not enough so it cannot "breathe" and exchange both air and water. otherwise air and water can become trapped deep in the wood fibers and the wood becomes dead and drowned.
the add says:
Vegetable oils are absorbed by and interact with wood fibers, while petroleum oils are not absorbed by the wood and do not interact with wood fibers.
now, when i put mineral oil on and in the bore of my clarinet it IS absorbed.
(or where did it go?) When I put mineral oil on the surface of my open grain wooden cutting board it is absorbed until the wood is saturated then if i put more on top of the cutting board it actually flows through the cutting board and out the bottom. I think that qualifies as absorbed by the wood and interacting with wood fibers. after i put the mineral oil on my cutting board the board becomes waterproof due to oil saturation.

I'm not saying don't use vegie oils and don't oil your clarinet but this article is nuts.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009-
Joined
·
2,759 Posts
garyjones, you are right to direct attention to the possible commercial implications of the article, but unless your cutting board is grenadilla (and side-grain at that) the experiment isn't that conclusive. I'm sure that any technician who does oil immersion treatment knows enough to warm the instrument, then lets it stabilize and wipes it down before reapplying the keywork and returning the instrument to its owner. I can't imagine that any soloist would accept a refurbished horn that sweated oil when the temperature dipped. Anyway, bore oiling is always a hot topic among clarinetists. I have a Selmer that I never oiled for 35 years until this past summer; it never developed any cracks, but I eventually decided that there were good reasons to oil the bore and, having read many of these discussions, I settled on an organic oil developed specifically for the purpose.

If you've got some spare time, travel over to the SEARCH
feature at the Clarinet BB and check out the discussions on "Bore Oiling". Here's an excerpt from Dr. L. Omar Henderson:

I am a scientist with all the tools and instrumentation at my disposal to perform quantitative and qualitative chemical analysis - my vocation. I am also very conscious of statistical experimental design and the proof of the null hypothesis in testing and experimental work. I have analyzed the clear, colorless bore oil sold by several of the large instrument manufacturers and it is light mineral oil. Some go so far as to add volatile petroleum distillate fractions to speed evaporation giving the impression that the oil is readily absorbed into the wood. I have also analyzed the native Grenadilla oil extracted from the raw wood and the combination oil extracted from numbers of junk instruments from the major manufacturers and determined what they use to impregnate the wood. Commonly it is a plant derived oil. As I indicated, in accelerated studies (using increased, but not destructive, temperature to speed up chemical reactions - a common practice) I have documented, using phase contrast microscopy or other types of microscopy, denaturation of both the cellular structure and wood architecture of Grenadilla wood infused with mineral oil as well as other petroleum based products. Again, these studies demonstrate a process, not a chronology in everyday life which may take longer than you keep an instrument to be manifest.
L. Omar Henderson
The Bore War
 

·
Researcher, Teacher and Horn Revitalizer, Forum Co
Joined
·
3,505 Posts
while it is true that returning a clarinet to the customer too fast and using the soaking method can cause disasterous results down the road

see this pic that shows the nice mold growing under things
http://www.saxmaniax.com/work/LeblancSymphonie0306/Symph08.jpg

If i read the article correctly (though quickly) his immersion process which includes drip drying takes 7 weeks.

this 7 week process makes me very curious. usually my hand oiling takes at least 1 week but usually 2 weeks at the minimum (this excludes any time needed to acclimate the instrument to a stable condition due to weather, etc).

I may purchase some of his oil and chat with him a bit more and try his 7 week process (assuming he releases enough info about it) on my 1920s Selmer.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
2,081 Posts
stevesklar said:
The Bore War
FWIW we had Boar ragout (civet de sanglier) for dinner. No war at all. Went down like, well, oil.

Some times I think we spend too much time pampering our instruments, too little time for cooking. Rossini had a point there, really.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top