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Oil on the inside?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by robobass, Dec 1, 2006.


  1. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    I saw a bass recently - a beautiful Viennese bass, but some idiot had spread some kind of oil throughout inside. The Luthier asked me for any suggestions. I said take it apart and cover all surfaces with that face mud that the beautiful people use to remove oil from their mug, and then brush and wash it off. I think it was good advice. I don't know what he did, but questions remain...

    Adding oil would increase mass, and presumably decrease sound. The bass was rather dark and quiet, but I didn't hear it before.

    The Luthier said that oil would make the wood weaker. Sounds plausible, but I don't know. Is that true?

    What other possibilities are avalaible for removing oil from wood?
    Robobass
     
  2. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    Are you sure it's not a sealer? We use a sealer to slow down the transport of moisture in and out of the wood, which reduces cracks and seam pops. It's been done for a couple centuries Ours is a very thin oil varnish.
     
  3. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Sealing the inside seems like a good idea in principle, but I've never heard of it being done before. Can anyone expand on this? The bass in question is quite narrow. The ribs are claimed to have been cut down. It is made of the most gorgeous woods you can imagine, and probably around 200 years old (although I must qualify that statement by saying that I am about as qualified to QC Nasa rocket engines as identify 18th and 19th century Viennese basses). Anyway, the repairman and presumably the owner seem to think the oil is a problem. The bass hasn't come apart yet, so we can't really say what is inside. I think mineral oil is suspected. The luthier says he can smell that horrible scent they put in Johnson's Baby Oil.

    Robobass

    DONALD RUMSFELD: There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know.
     

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