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M/Pieces - Ligs Tips / advice on looking after a wooden mpc

taiwanpaul

Member
Messages
156
Have just bought a wooden Lebayle alto mpc and have been looking on the internet for how to maintain it. Some suggest oil, others nothing.
As my name suggests, I live in Taiwan, which is a very humid country, so am hoping that once the mpc has settled in the climate, it won't warp and should stay that way.
I am also presuming that the mpc has been treated / cured in some way to prevent warping.
Unfortunately the Lebayle website is down at the moment, so no advice from there! Also no advice in the box it came in.
If any of you have any experience, suggestions, or advice, I'll be very glad to hear from you.
Take care and kind regards,
Paul.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
For me, no 1 would be what LeBayle say. Failing that, treat it like a clarinet.
 

bodak

Member
Messages
72
Have just bought a wooden Lebayle alto mpc and have been looking on the internet for how to maintain it. Some suggest oil, others nothing.
As my name suggests, I live in Taiwan, which is a very humid country, so am hoping that once the mpc has settled in the climate, it won't warp and should stay that way.
I am also presuming that the mpc has been treated / cured in some way to prevent warping.
Unfortunately the Lebayle website is down at the moment, so no advice from there! Also no advice in the box it came in.
If any of you have any experience, suggestions, or advice, I'll be very glad to hear from you.
Take care and kind regards,
Paul.
Hi Paul,i have a Theo Wanne wooden alto mouthpiece (plays great) It came with oil to apply,every 3 or 4 weeks.Its been injected with resin:confused:so they say!,that helps to keep it stable.Sorry i cant be more helpfull.
Regards.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Hi Paul,
The danger is of course, the wood drying out and splitting. Linseed oil will keep it in good shape (this was always recommended for wooden recorders).

John.
 

taiwanpaul

Member
Messages
156
Thanks for your replies.
Found on the web people recommending almond oil and / or olive oil. Seems the secret is not too much. Also, the winter here in Taiwan never gets below 5 or 6 degrees c, so not too much of a temperature problem. Will see how I get on with the piece. Any more advice gratefully accepted.
Kind regards and happy blowing,
Paul.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Hi again Paul,

Google "Oiling the bore of clarinets and other wooden-bodied woodwinds" by our very own Stephen Howard.

John.
 

Rogerb

Member
Messages
764
It's worth noting that 'our own Stephen Howard', whose opinion I value very highly, strongly advises against the use of linseed oil, because of its propensity for drying as a sticky film.
I guess boiled linseed (as used by some on antique furniture) would be less harmful than the raw stuff (as used on cricket bats).
Stephen recommends groundnut oil, or sweet almond oil ... for clarinet bores, but I'd guess it's equally applicable to mpcs.
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,285
I have had a number of wood mpc's Lebayle and TW and I've always used olive oil to maintain them with no problems to report.
As you already said not too much and use a cotton wool bud to get to the chamber,but very small amounts is what they need.
 

Ivan

Undecided
Subscriber
Messages
7,340
It's worth noting that 'our own Stephen Howard', whose opinion I value very highly, strongly advises against the use of linseed oil, because of its propensity for drying as a sticky film.
I guess boiled linseed (as used by some on antique furniture) would be less harmful than the raw stuff (as used on cricket bats).
Stephen recommends groundnut oil, or sweet almond oil ... for clarinet bores, but I'd guess it's equally applicable to mpcs.
I'd be a bit suspicious of boiled linseed oil... it's not quite what it seems

I know it as the wood finish that dries more quickly than raw linseed oil, but I've only used it on items I've placed in the garden rather than in my mouth

SO... wiki shows that what you think is boiled and is labelled as such is actually not heat treated but modified with plasticizers and metals that imitate the boiled effect

Defo not what you'd want to put on a mouthpiece
 

Rogerb

Member
Messages
764
I agree, Ivan, I wouldn't use linseed oil in any form ... but someone said he used it on mpcs, and I saw a housekeeper in a stately home who was using on antique furniture, so I was just trying to reconcile this with Stephen's advice against its use for clarinets.
My philosophy in such matters is, in the absence of personal knowledge/experience, to take the advice of experts that I trust, not to experiment with something that I read/hear about in the pub, or a forum ... with all due respect to other opinions expressed here.
This is especially true when an expensive item ... sax or mpc, etc ... is at risk!
If a bottle of special oil (or whatever) is required, I think it's worth paying a little extra for peace of mind.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
The Lebayle website is pretty poor. However they do have a contact form here: http://lebaylemouthpieces.com/contact.cfm

Suggest you ask the question there, and let us know what he says. May also be good to suggest to them that they add the information to their faq page.

Linseed oil (and many other oils) oxidise in contact with air. They either go rancid, or form a varnish, you don't want either of these. I've heard of almond and lemon oils being used on wooden instruments. But try at your own risk. Best wait to get something from Lebayle.
 

Ivan

Undecided
Subscriber
Messages
7,340
I think any vegetable oil will go rancid, but in ultra-sparing amounts it's unlikely to be an issue

Lebayle might be a bit coy about what to use because there's nothing that's particularly perfect

I once went round a whaling station (museum) where they recounted the virtues of different grades and types of whale oil that were seemingly of unrivaled quality right up to machine oil standards

So take a harpoon and...

(Jamesmac cover your ears)
 

baritonesax

Member
Messages
256
I'd go with sweet almond oil. Linseed is pretty yucky so can't recommend it - it's off-putting enough in a clarinet bore, let alone ona mouthpiece. As for waiting for Fred Lebayle to get back to you, I wouldn't hold your breath - he really didn't seem like a customer support kind of guy when I had a chat with him, but I could be wrong about that. Bill

Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk 2
 
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