Post 47: Remove, Clean and Re-install Oboe Octave Vents
Here in the professional oboe repair shop, we are frequently asked about cleaning and sealing octave vents. The standard questions are: How often should I clean the octave vents? What’s the best way to clean octave vents? Should I seal octave vents? How do I seal octave vents?
To answer how often, it really depends. I know, I know, you’re saying, “Thanks a lot for the great advice, Jason!” It really does depend on how often you play, how much you swab/feather out your oboe, and the environment in which you play. At a minimum, we recommend having your octave vents cleaned once a year. This would also go hand-in-hand with a full service for your entire oboe. Oboes have complicated, temperamental mechanisms and should receive a full service once a year. See our articles post 3 “Maintain on a yearly basis” and post 4 “Maintain on a yearly basis, Part 2.” However, if you are a professional oboist playing 6-8 hours a day or more, it may be necessary for you to clean your octave vents several times a year, before your next annual full service.
No matter your age or level of playing, it may be necessary for you to clean your octave vents at some point in the future. I feel it is especially important for you to have this knowledge if you are a studio teacher, either at your residence or a university setting.
Previously we posted blog post 33, Should you seal your octave vents? You may also find this article helpful when trying to answer questions about octave vents.
To help assist you with this necessary task of removing, cleaning and sealing octave vents, we created a couple of videos and posted them on our YouTube channel: