Exterior Cleaning

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Clark Fobes', reedman@ix.netcom.com, Recommendation

(Previous discussion indicated that the following procedure should be performed after removing the mechanism. -Ed.)

First use a soft paint brush (at least 1") and brush off the entire body, including tone holes. Next apply a liberal amount of NAYLOR'S organic bore oil. I use a pipe cleaner to paint this on. Use another soft paint brush and brush the body vigorously. This gets the oil well into the tone hole chimneys and around the posts. Let this sit for a few minutes to loosen up the dirt.

Next use a soft, lint free cloth and wipe the body down carefully. Be certain to remove as much oil as possible. After this step use your first brush (the dry one) to brush down the body again. This distributes the excess oil and makes it easier to wipe up. Let the body stand overnight. You may need to brush and wipe one more time. It is critical to remove all of the excess oil from the tone holes so that oil does not get on the pads. I think it is important to oil the tone holes to reduce damage from water accumulation. I have been using a good french polish as a final finish to seal the tone holes and protect the outside of the wood. This may be a step you should avoid if you are not comfortable with that process."

Many times clarinets are dyed because the darkest grenadilla is relatively scarce. Test your instrument before you clean it to make sure that you will not change its appearance in a way you would find unattractive. Try cleaning a small spot on the back (perhaps under the thumbrest) to make sure that you don't damage the finish.

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