I've been reading about using tung oil inside drum shells to help keep the wood from drying out and moisture to get into the wood. The obvious concern is how does the oil affect the tonality and pitch of the drum. Does anyone has any knowledge about this and willing to share it?

3 Answers 3


I'd be very very tempted to leave well alone & instead be extra careful about how they are stored.

I've never tried it [nor would I] but tung oil works by curing to a hard, impenetrable surface.

That to me implies it will totally change the resonance of the shells.

I get the feeling [with no substantiating evidence to back me up] that if the manufacturers wanted that extra hardness/waterproofing & all the changed resonances that would imply, that they'd have made them that way to start with & tuned the shell construction to match.

Ref - Wikipedia: Tung Oil

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    If only I could up vote this four more times. Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 13:20
  • Despite common-sense recommendations, from a conservation perspective, it is not recommended to ever oil or polish wooden instruments. You want moisture getting into the wood: look for about 50% humidity in the environment where they are stored..
    – Yorik
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 17:37
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    ...except pianos... I can't speak for every manufacturer, only the one I used to work for, but they ship the wood off around the world to season for a few decades; then shrink-wrap it & ship back to Japan, where the pianos are made in controlled environments matching the areas the wood was seasoned. When finished, the entire pianos are once more shrink-wrapped & shipped back to that territory. So they expect to be kept in the natural environment of that area, whatever its natural humidity/temperature.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 17:54

Drums are different from woodwinds (no kidding, smartypants :-) ), so my experience may not transfer well, but: clarinet/oboe/bassoon players generally apply a small amount of bore oil to keep the wood from drying out. As with any machine, avoid over-oiling, wipe down the surfaces, etc.

You may enjoy (!!!) reading a similar thread here .


I have a drum kit than have 20 years old e a wood state inside of a drums have start worried me, because the wood seem to be dry a lot. I read about the woodwinds use a bore oil and i believe is needed to use any thing in inside of drum. Tung oil show me not a best solution (maybe in outside of sheel like a finish) but inside I would like a produtc to hydrate and clean of wood. I will go make a test of bore oil from Yamaha and I will send the results.


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