Mudcat Café message #1842764 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #94923   Message #1842764
Posted By: GUEST,Jack Campin
25-Sep-06 - 08:14 AM
Thread Name: Recorders type/range?
Subject: RE: Recorders type/range?
It's common for the wax in impregnated recorders to melt and migrate to the bore and the outer surface with time. Nothing you can do about it except keep cleaning it off. It's more important to get the wax drips out of the bore, as they can affect the sound there.

There are ways of making recorders that get round the problem entirely by soaking the instrument in a resin that penetrates the wood and then sets. One such resin needed massive doses of radiation to set, you'd put the recorder in a gamma-sterilizing machine. These techniques aren't affordable for mass-produced instruments.

According to Laurence Picken's book on Turkish folk instruments, spoons used for musical purposes in Turkey are often deep-fried in olive oil. He makes some guesses about the physico-chemical processes involved, but the end result seems to be that the wood is both more porous and less absorptive. Not sure if this is what you want for a woodwind, but I suppose you could take your recorder down to the chippie.

There are other things you can soak wood in. Basque whistles (txistu) are sometimes dunked in a jug of wine before playing. Clarinet and saxophone reeds need to be wetted before permance - one way of doing that which increases durability and discourages mould is to soak them in vodka before playing, or just store them in it. I've recently started dunking mine in gin and it seems to work.

I have heard of somebody who wanted to oil a flute for a performance and had no conventional oil handy, but did have a tin of sardines. So the flute got treated with the oil from that. As it was hot weather it became something of a multi-media show.