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Anhydrous Lanolin for Cork Grease

#1
After a little reading (very little) and some common sense, I decided to try out a little Anhydrous Lanolin for cork grease. Anyone else use some sort of this? It makes sense, in that there is no water in it(wax usually has some water in it), and no petrolium. I figure at worst I bought some high quality hand cream. lol

Anyway, at 4oz for $7, it's alot cheaper than cork grease made of the same(and who knows what else), at about that same cost for 1oz.

I like the idea of going back to basics with natural products. I mean, that before the industrial revolution there must have been some other product used besides petrol products and petrol based wax(which is all cheap cork wax is). True, before petroleum, sperm whale oil was the primary liquid fuel and mechanical lube around. I have no way of knowing if that was the case with woodwinds, maybe you do, but I'll give this a shot on a couple of clarinets I will be working on.
 
#2
In Germany the natural product is Hirschtalg - basically tallow/lanolin from deer. It's still available, although I wonder how much of it is still a natural product.
 
#3
Got my lanolin today, I am very impressed!. First thing I noticed using it on old dry cork, is that the cork swelled somewhat and filled the connection point much better, as well as being easier to insert the tennons that previously were tight.

Granted, I have only the lipstick type grease to compare to, but I am sold. Costs less, smells better and it is great on my rough hands. No joke! It smoothed up some calouses even.

As far as the German stuff with deer tallow(cool info), not sure I would want that. Not really sure why it needs to have animal fat in it, rather than straight lanolin, which is a plant product. I am happy with the straight lanolin.
 
#4
before cork, [i.e. prior to the I.R. :) ]
joints were wrapped with hemp run through a chunk of beeswax.
(& ive heard all possible 'hemped joints' jokes. spare me. ha, ha, ha. :rolleyes: )
its common practice with bagpipes to this day,
except we use linen thread and most beeswax is adulterated with (quite inferior !) parafinn.
Pipers agree, waxed hemp handles the wet/dry cycle far better than cork does;
but haveing said that,few of our joints are metal -on-metal.
 
#5
Got my lanolin today, I am very impressed!. First thing I noticed using it on old dry cork, is that the cork swelled somewhat and filled the connection point much better, as well as being easier to insert the tennons that previously were tight.

Granted, I have only the lipstick type grease to compare to, but I am sold. Costs less, smells better and it is great on my rough hands. No joke! It smoothed up some calouses even.

As far as the German stuff with deer tallow(cool info), not sure I would want that. Not really sure why it needs to have animal fat in it, rather than straight lanolin, which is a plant product. I am happy with the straight lanolin.
Straight lanolin comes from sheep - it's the oil from the wool.
 
#6
#7
before cork, [i.e. prior to the I.R. :) ]
joints were wrapped with hemp run through a chunk of beeswax.
(& ive heard all possible 'hemped joints' jokes. spare me. ha, ha, ha. :rolleyes: )
its common practice with bagpipes to this day,
except we use linen thread and most beeswax is adulterated with (quite inferior !) parafinn.
Pipers agree, waxed hemp handles the wet/dry cycle far better than cork does;
but haveing said that,few of our joints are metal -on-metal.
Cool info. Check ebay. I have bought pure beeswax on eBay, which I use for dressing archery string. It is pure. http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Beeswax-C...ltDomain_0&hash=item4158ce1ed8#ht_2461wt_1163 Great stuff!
 

jbtsax

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
#8
My cork grease of choice is Doctor Slick. It contains an extract of Slippery Elm Bark making it different from petroleum or tallow based lubricants. I also apply heated paraffin wax to neck and tenon corks which reduces the tendency of the cork to dry out and the need to apply other lubricants.

I also know a very skilled woodwind player who advocates rubbing pure medical grade lanolin into his reeds. I haven't tried this myself, but it sounds interesting to say the least.
 
#9
I also really like Doctor Slick. It's my favorite along with Alisyn. Actually I prefer Alisyn just because it is more creamy and less greasy on my fingers. But for corks both work great. I very slightly prefer the smell of Doctor slick, though smell bad IMO. Surprisingly, I really don't like Doctor's synthetic cork grease, eventhough it's based on the same thing as Alisyn's, they are very different.
 
#10
I also know a very skilled woodwind player who advocates rubbing pure medical grade lanolin into his reeds. I haven't tried this myself, but it sounds interesting to say the least.

You know, I did accidentally get a little on a reed. (I guess that's like licking a sheep, lol). However, I cleaned it right off. Maybe I should try that, though I'm not sure if what I have is USP medical grade lanolin. I guess licking a sheep is still better than licking some 70 million year old dead dino goop.
:-D

I'll have to try waxing the cork. Though, I'll probably use beeswax as I still have some, and I love the smell of it.
 
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