Friday, June 18, 2010
To Oil or Not to Oil?
The age-old question of whether or not to oil the bore of your clarinet is still debated today. Every clarinetist seems to have formulated their own opinion based on their personal experiences, but many aren't familiar with the scientific details as to how oil affects wooden instruments. Although his website is centered around his commercial instrument repair services, Larry Naylor proves to be an expert on the subject, and on his site you can find a handful of articles dedicated to the explanation of how the grenadilla wood is cut and cured, how and why wood changes and cracks, and tips on protecting your clarinet against cracking. His articles include solutions for "blown-out" instruments, effects of organic oil on the bore, and he also presents a blind survey on preferences for oil-soaked clarinets versus non-oiled clarinets. The results from his experiment are interesting, and may change your mind about whether or not to oil your instrument.