Oiling the Bore of Wooden Instruments

Many clarinets and Oboes are made of a rare and very dense timber often known as Grenadilla or African Blackwood, with a botanical name of Dalbergia melanoxylon. This timber is so dense it will sink in water and has a very strong resistance to the absorption of moisture.

It is very important to care for the timber, to try and replace lost oils due to the leeching by the chemicals of the human breath and environmental conditions.

For hundreds of years, Almond oil has been regarded as the best conditioner for Grenadilla wood. It is all natural, doesn’t leave a residue, and it protects and conditions the wood,

As moisture is the killer for woodwind instruments (especially the condensation of human breath with its chemical cocktail) it is important to oil the bore of woodwind instruments.

You may read in some blogs that some people don’t recommend the bore should be oiled for various reasons, but we believe that it is better TO oil than not to oil.

To help avoiding cracks extreme  and rapid changes of temperature, particularly cold to hot are to be avoided. Warm your instrument up slowly!

We recommend the use of a clean feather to apply the oil.

 

Following is a description for the application of the oil for clarinets

  • Tear of small swatches of paper (any kind of paper) and place them under each of the closed pads on the instrument
  • Dip the TIP of the feather in the bottle of oil and then simply push it into the instrument making the bore moist (not dripping)
  • Do this on the bore of all the parts
  • Put a small amount on the outside of the instrument and rub it in with your hands (good for your skin)
  • Leave the instrument for a few hours (the longer the better)
  • Wipe the instrument out removing the remaining oil and your instrument is ready to play