I stopped playing the oboe about 7 or 8 years ago, and want to get back into playing. The oboe has been completely untouched and neglected in that time (though fortunately it is crack free). However, I know I need to be careful with re-breaking in my oboe to avoid cracks (it's all grenadilla). Here are the issues:
1) The oboe is currently in the midwest US, where it's cold and dry-dry-dry. I'm assuming a trip to a repair shop is in order to get it oiled and such, and I know I need to start playing again in small time increments, but is there anything else I should be concerned about? I'm going back home in two weeks--should I ask my parents to put a sponge in the case now?
2) Probably the bigger problem--I need to get the oboe back to the east coast. Unfortunately (sort of!) I'm traveling from the midwest to a tropical island (hot and humid) for a week and a half, then back to the east coast. What's the lesser of two evils: bringing it on 30 hours of plane flights and rapid climate fluctuations, or shipping it across the country in very cold temperatures in January? (or should I avoid either at all costs?)
I would avoid either if possible. I would choose the cold though if I had to. I would wrap the case in extra insulation(putting it under your jacket also helps protect it if you're walking outside with it). When you get to your destination let it set IN it's case to readjust for a while and then take it out of the case to readjust on it's own. Whenever you're ready to start playing again, do it in 10-15 min intervals at a time(per hour, increasing by 5 minutes each time you play-for a few days-weeks depending on how much you want to play). Breaking back in an old oboe isn't as crucial as breaking in a new one because they are most likely to crack within the first 6 months of playing..still, be careful!! OH and if your oboe does crack, put small pieces of orange peels and the part of the instrument with the crack in an airtight plastic bag with peels next to the crack itself. Before doing that though I would draw a rough sketch of your oboe and label where the cracks are so the repairman will know exactly where they are at. Do this right after playing on it for a while, so the cracks are still visible. They sometimes "disappear" after it sets for awhile. Do that and ship it to the repairman and they should be able to fix it no problem. Hopefully it won't crack on you though!!!! btw this information that I told you is all either from my own experience or from J. Patrick McFarland's oboe adjustment guide! Good luck to you!!! -Kandace