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Grenadilla Wood, Environmental Effects, and Organic Bore Oil

3455 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  tictactux
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!"

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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.
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