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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000872.txt from 2000/04

From: "Mike" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Stuff that drives me nuts...........
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 07:22:15 -0400

This is just a scientific observation not a value judgement on using a reed

Wood and reeds and basically any plant material are made up of hollow
Think of a bunch of straws glued together.
Using any sort of compression cutting device (such as a reed trimmer) will
indeed cause some level of pinching to these straws (fibers). Think of an
axe cutting wood the first couple of blows
create an indentation but you have removed no wood. What has occured is that
you have compressed (pinched) the wood fibers.

Whether this is appreciable or has any impact on the quality of a reed in
the case of a reed trimmer, I do not know. I imagine it would vary based on
the type and sharpness of the reed trimmer.

>> Mike <<

-----Original Message-----
Date: Tuesday, April 18, 2000 3:19 PM
Subject: [kl] Stuff that drives me nuts...........

><< She recomended me NOT to get a reed trimmer and she
> > explained to me that the fibers in your reed are pinched together when
> > use a trimmer thus you loose a reed that could have been better. >>
>Has anyone here SEEN a fiber that has been pinched together? What does it
>look like. How do I distinguish it from a fiber that is NOT pinched
>What vibrational modes of the reed are dampened but having pinched fibers?
>Can you observe a pinched fiber under a microscope???
>What is a pinched fiber?
>I guess I must LIKE pinched fibers, as I played EXCLUSIVELY on my own hand
>made reeds, for over 15 years, through Graduate School, playing
>professionally, and teaching, and used my reed clipper, on every reed I
>Now....let's talk about something observable.
>If your reed clipper is dull, rusty, broken, by all means discard it.
>Otherwise the result of clipping a reed depends on what reeds you clip and
>how you do it.
>Whenever I clip a reed, I test the flexibility of the tip, which must
>back evenly across the reed for one to two millineters in order to make a
>good sound.
>Whenever you clip a reed more than the slighest amount, you need to
>re-balance the dimensions of the reed.
>This usually means remaking the tip. I use one inch squares of 320, 400,
>600 wet or dry sandpaper on the reed tip. I support the reed on a 1/2 inch
>wide thick glass "plaque" and sand back and forth across the tip, often
>onlt the corner of the sandpaper square. I stop every three or four strokes
>to feel if I have removed the abrupt "bump" at the end of the reed where it
>has been clipped.
>I was taught, and still believe, that the in best playing reeds you can
>barely feel the tip of the reed against the glass. If by clipping the reed
>you have created such a bump, you must remove it, or your reed is
>Doesn't this make more sense than worrying about "pinched fibers"?????
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