INSTRUCTIONS FOR CARE OF NEW WOOD INSTRUMENTS
(CLARINETS, OBOES AND RECORDERS)
The primary causes of cracks in wood instruments are rapid changes in temperature and extreme changes in humidity. If a wood instrument is cold on the outside and warm on the inside, or if it is dry on the outside and moist on the inside, IT WILL CRACK!
In order to prevent rapid temperature changes, please observe the following:
1) Do not leave your instrument in a very cold area (such as in the trunk of a car) or in a very warm area (such as near a heating vent) for long periods of time.
2) If your instrument does become cold, do not blow warm air through it to warm it up. If possible, let the instrument warm up gradually. If this is not possible, blow air on the outside of the instrument before playing it.
In order to prevent extreme changes in humidity, please observe the following:
1) Carry one or two commercial humidifiers (such as a Damp-it, or the kind found in tobacco shops) in the case during the dry winter months. Check this at least once a week to be sure it is kept damp. If you do not have a humidifier, use a damp paper towel or damp sponge.
2) Swab your instrument EVERY TIME IT IS PLAYED to remove all moisture from the inside of the instrument. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Use a commercial cotton handkerchief-type swab or a wool brush-type swab. DO NOT USE FEATHERS! These do not absorb moisture and are practically worthless. If you use a handkerchief-type swab on oboes, please make sure it is long enough to pull out the same way it went in. If you pull it through, it will get stuck.
If the tenon or bell rings on the instrument become loose, or if the keys begin to bind or stick, the instrument may soon crack. If this happens, place the entire instrument in a plastic bag with a wet sponge, making sure that the sponge does not touch the keys. Tie the bag tightly and let the instrument sit in a warm place for a day. If this does not correct the problem, take the instrument to a repair shop IMMEDIATELY!
We cannot guarantee that wood instruments will not crack. BUT WE CAN GUARANTEE THAT THEY WILL CRACK IF THE ABOVE PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN!
If you have questions regarding the care of wood instruments, or regarding warranty or repairs of cracked instruments, please call us at 316-684-0291.
WICHITA BAND INSTRUMENT CO., INC.
2525 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67211