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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, what do you use to remove calcium deposits in the toneholes when it comes to wood winds (body material African blackwood or Grenadilla) please?
I´ve been using various techniques depending on the thickness of the layer built up. :clock:
 

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I would try vinegar on a Q-tip (cotton bud). It may take several applications to dissolve the deposit. I would follow that with a distilled water wipe. I have successfully used carnauba wax for the interior of grenadilla wood clarinets which may help to protect the wood inside the toneholes after this treatment.
 

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White vinegar.
 

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I scrape it out with appropriate tools. Yes, vinegar should eventually dissolve it but what does vinegar do to timber?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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the best household chemical to neutralize a low PH after the use of any acid, is a solution of sodium bicarbonate ( you really don’t need too dissolve much one spoon in a couple of fingers of water will give you plenty) applied with a Q tip and then washed by normal water applied the same way, a couple of times.

You can use oil after that mor to acquire peace of mind than anything else because there is very little proof that hardwood is actually penetrated by oils.
 

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the best household chemical to neutralize a low PH after the use of any acid, is a solution of sodium bicarbonate ( you really don’t need too dissolve much one spoon in a couple of fingers of water will give you plenty) applied with a Q tip and then washed by normal water applied the same way, a couple of times...
Yes, better to neutralise the acid as you say.

You can use oil after that more to acquire peace of mind than anything else because there is very little proof that hardwood is actually penetrated by oils.
If I take a really dry clarinet and oil the bore, then next morning there is sometimes no visible trace of that oil. For some clarinets that can be repeated several times.
Besides, carriers are used to facilitate oil absorption.
I have met clarinets that have been so oiled that they are significantly heavier than normal, and if the timber is heated oil comes to the surface.
Dometsch (and perhaps other brands) recorders have the timber saturated with paraffin wax. As a result glue will not stick to the tenons.
Omar Henderson of Doctor's Products, used sophisticated microscopy to study the effects of different oils on the "moisture gradient" through the timber wall of clarinets. I assume the oil had to have been absorbed!
 

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"Appropriate tools" might be a lot of things, with more or less appropriate effect. ...
Indeed. What is perhaps more important is the way they are used. ONe does have to know very well, how the relevant materials behave. It could be likened to the way a dental hygienist scrapes plaque of teeth. Both materials are hard. The idea is to remove the plaque without scratching the surface of the teeth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Absolute best and safest method is a lukewarm solution of citric acid (which is a common food additive available from a variety of sources).
I can´t see why a mild acid would be any better then a mild basic solution, please tell.
I was told by a repairer/tech that the oil you apply only penetrates a few tenths of a mm. If you apply oil the way the manufacturer recommends, i.e. once a month and keep doing that year after year, why shouldn´t the oil penetrate deeper (creep) in to the wood?
I once found a Martin six ring clarinet that was as light as though the keyworks was off it. Maybe hadn´t been oiled for four to five decades.(?)

Yes, the least you alter the tone hole the better, generally.
 

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The white deposit is tartar (not calcium or limestone or water).

An ear stick, soaked at the tip with lemon juice, will remove the tartar.
And it doesn't ruin the wood or the hard rubber

Other organic mild acid solutions will do the trick as well.
 

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