Repair Tips: Plastic Instruments and Cork Grease

July 19th, 2012 by

 “If your oboe or clarinet is plastic, I would recommend using paraffin wax instead of cork grease.  Cork grease makes it difficult to line up the bridge keys between the joints because it increases the friction between the cork/plastic relationship, whereas paraffin wax creates a smooth, “gliding” between the cork and plastic sockets.  It seems logical that if there is tenon/cork tightness, then more cork grease should be applied; however, it is possible to over-apply cork grease, which will only make things worse.  Excessively applied cork grease is messy and can deteriorate the bond of glue holding the cork to the plastic tenon, as well as the glue bond on the surrounding key corks.  Applying paraffin will protect this glue bond, and can be purchased inexpensively at any grocery or convenience store.  If you do not have paraffin, cork grease is better than nothing at all.”  –Eric Anderson

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I definitely plan to send my oboe to the repair techs at MMI in the future. I don't think my oboe has played this well since I've purchased it!