A pandit already Neal? Like, awesome (in my best California accent).
OK,last time. Easiest and simplest oil is mineral oil (also called baby oil), cut with just a bit of alcohol (can be cologne, isopropanol, or booze if you like that). Quite slippery and does not "gunk up", but you should still make a habit of wiping the strings when you're done.
There are folks who use the simplest of all, sebacous or "skin" oil right off their face, but that does tend to oxidize and dry-out.
Hey Pandiji: Just remember, if you use booze, don't get any on your sitar's finish, it will eat into the shellac. Peter C. used Everclear to cut the shellac that he used for making repairs. The reason being, regular denatured alcohol (bought at hardware/paint stores) has BAD chemicals added to it to make it undrinkable. If the manufactures didn't do this, they would have to pay taxes on it, same as Jack Daniels. According to Peter, these added chemicals sometimes cause the shellac not to harden properly. Which reminds me, would anyone be willing to send me a bottle of Everclear? You can't get the real stuff (199 proof) here in California. I'm building a jewelry box for my wife and I'm going to finish it in shellac. Anybody willing to send me a bottle, I'll send you the $$ plus what ever handling charges you want to add on. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks - K.K.
Hey K.K., I'm assuming you haven't seen the signs posted all over the post office. Ship no flamables. We used to drop a match into the empty bottles of good ol' Kentucky bourbon (that which is over 100 proof) and watch the flame shoot out. We tried it once with an empty Everclear bottle and whooosh! It was like the afterburner on an F-16, damn near scorched the ceiling. I wonder if a good alternative would be wood alcohol (ethenol), available at some drug stores (this might raise a few flags at the DEA if you tried to mailorder this stuff). You might also check with your provider of alcholic delights to see if perhaps they can get you some of the new moonshine that is being legally sold in the east. I'm sure a search on the www would yield a brand name. I'm going to stick with the head oil. I'm diligent about wiping down instrument and strings each night and have no problem with build-up of gunk.
Hey Stephen; Ha ha. What kids will do for fun. Never thought of dropping a match into an empty bottle. Gotta try that. Now you've done it! Well actually, it is possible to FedEx a bottle of alcohol, but you would have to fill out a Declaration of Dangerous Goods form to go along with it, and I imagine it would raise an eyebrow or two. But no harm asking I guess.Right about the P.O. Actually, wood alcohol is methanol. That's why its poison. Booze is ethanol. Legal moonshine??? Hmmmm..if its legal, it ain't moonshine. Only a "gimmick". My deceased Uncle used to make the best stuff around long ago, way out in the forrest. Ah, the old days!
You got my curiosity up so I visited the www on the subject of moonshine and right off the bat found "Clyde May's Conecuh Ridge moonshine whiskey Now it's legal! " Now that they don't have to use car radiators to get the job done, the shine can pass all of the ATF and FDA requirements and become legal. All of this was the subject of a CBS Sunday Morning segment a few weeks ago. That isn't to say that moonshine and sitars mix. I won't get anywhere around my instrument after helping my fellow Kentuckians sample the local products. I have seen some of the locals get real stellar on banjos and fiddles, however. I'm sure that if Peter C. was still around, he'd have something to say about which oil was best (for the head).
Hi All: I didn't necessarily mean to ship by the US Postal Service. Don't want to break any laws, of course Hey Stephen, we use to do the same bottle trick only with a big ol' sparkletts drinking water bottle. You pour some alcohol in it, swoosh it around and dumb it out, then drop the match in.....WooooOOOOOSHHHHHH!
Cooooool! Gotta try that trick. Well, as long as the govt can tax the stomp out of it, it will be legal. All except for medical marijuana of course (that one's a can of worms!!!). Yea Stephen, know what you mean. I used to play a pretty mean bluegrass guitar with my buds. You CAN mix that with sippin'stuff. OK, 'nuff of this. My head's starting to spin...