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 Do reeds warp less after use if they dry slowly?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2020-03-05 18:39

I've created a very compact reed container that is designed to make reeds dry more slowly after you take them off the mouthpiece and put them away; this to minimize warping. Do you think it would minimize warping; letting them dry more slowly? It seems to achieve this.. If drying reeds more slowly isn't a good idea, my little invention is pointless. Thank you!

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: Do reeds warp less after use if they dry slowly?
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2020-03-05 21:54

A colleague of mine, Chuck West (VCU retired), makes his own reeds and reports that warping convex is a result of drying too quickly.

James

Gnothi Seauton

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 Re: Do reeds warp less after use if they dry slowly?
Author: Tom H 
Date:   2020-03-05 23:06

I have always felt reeds all warp once they dry out. Not sure about how long they take to dry out being a factor.
When I find a good reed for a concert I try to keep it marginally wet until the concert (in the plastic reed holder or on the mouthpiece with a cap without any holes in the top)-- and possibly beyond that for another concert. I have been told that keeping a reed damp to avoid warpage shortens the reed's life. Don't know if this has been proven.
To remove warps I wet the reed, put the tip horizonantally on the mouthpiece facing holding it tight with my thumb and GENTLY "tick" the reed with my finger.
You can do this a number of times. I have been told this also can wear out the reed quicker. Tend to believe that a little more. Whatever works.

The Most Advanced Clarinet Book--Austin Macauley Publishers
tomheimer.ampbk.com/
austinmacauley.com/author/heimer-tom (PDF samples here)
Boreal Ballad for unaccompanied clarinet--Sheet Music Plus


Post Edited (2020-03-05 23:08)

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 Re: Do reeds warp less after use if they dry slowly?
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2020-03-06 00:40

Why let your reeds dry out completely in the first place? Why not keep them relatively moist at a certain percentage of humidity?

I'm quite certain humidity containers have been discussed before on this forum.

Here's an example of a commercial container:

https://www.amazon.com/DAddario-Woodwinds-RVCASE04-Multi-Instrument-Reeds-Maintains/dp/B001SN7VGO



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 Re: Do reeds warp less after use if they dry slowly?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2020-03-06 01:52

Dear James, that kind of corroborates my idea and justifies my little device.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: Do reeds warp less after use if they dry slowly?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2020-03-06 02:19

Dan: letting them dry out altogether? I agree with you. Keep them a little moist. The hardest problems I've had with reeds has been in places like Arizona where EVERYTHING dries out altogether. Cacti trap water into their cells to keep from perishing. So moisture means life.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: Do reeds warp less after use if they dry slowly?
Author: Djudy 
Date:   2020-03-06 02:53

I keep my reeds in a lovely little wooden box fitted with a glass plate on one side of the interior and a velvet cushion on the opposite. After playing, I wipe the reed well with a microfiber cloth and put it away flat side to the glass. It closes with a magnet. Haven't had any warping or mould. No brand name, I got it from a local luthier. I love it.





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 Re: Do reeds warp less after use if they dry slowly?
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2020-03-06 09:48

Tom H wrote:


> To remove warps I wet the reed, put the tip horizonantally on
> the mouthpiece facing holding it tight with my thumb and GENTLY
> "tick" the reed with my finger.

I used to have to do that all the time before I started keeping my reeds in a humidity controlled case. Haven't needed to even once in the years since I made the switch. This kind of tip warp is sometimes called 'crinkling' to distinguish it from what can happen to the back of a reed when it loses its seal with the mouthpiece due to no longer fitting flat against it. It takes very little of this kind of warping to make the reed feel less responsive.

Anders

Post Edited (2020-03-06 09:50)

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 Re: Do reeds warp less after use if they dry slowly?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2020-03-06 18:00

nellsonic wrote:

> Tom H wrote:
>
>
> > To remove warps I wet the reed, put the tip horizonantally
> on
> > the mouthpiece facing holding it tight with my thumb and
> GENTLY
> > "tick" the reed with my finger.
>
> I used to have to do that all the time before I started keeping
> my reeds in a humidity controlled case. Haven't needed to even
> once in the years since I made the switch. This kind of tip
> warp is sometimes called 'crinkling' to distinguish it from
> what can happen to the back of a reed when it loses its seal
> with the mouthpiece due to no longer fitting flat against it.
> It takes very little of this kind of warping to make the reed
> feel less responsive.
>

And this kind of "crinkling" will straighten out completely if you simply wet the reed long enough - even one that has dried out completely. Tom H's method speeds the process up. Tip crinkling is not a deformity, just a short-lived inconvenience.

What *is* a deformity is a bottom surface, which should be flat, that becomes convex when the edges pull upward as they dry before the center of the reed does. Re-wetting rarely undoes this damage. Prevention is the best approach. Either keep the reeds humidified or simply dry them with the flat side fully exposed to air (bark down or in a holder that holds them on their edges) so the water evaporates evenly.

To Ruben's original question, I've never noticed whether drying speed affects the degree of warping. I've never had a way available to affect the speed of evaporation. But I think it's more important to prevent warping than to try to minimize it. Since you're using your device, have you noticed a difference? It seems to me the proof of an idea like this is in the pudding. Never mind what other people "feel" or "think." What have you actually found?

Whether or not your device is "pointless" depends completely on whether or not it works. :)

Karl

Karl

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 Re: Do reeds warp less after use if they dry slowly?
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2020-03-06 18:26

My results agree with Karl. I let my reeds dry in open air bark side down. Before playing I wet them thoroughly in a container of water. No warping, ever.

If you lay a wet reed flat side down on a flat surface, especially held there with force as many reed holders do, it will prevent normal drying and changes to fiber configurations. I did that for years, and then I'd get tip warpage regularly. Don't try to force a drying reed to be flat; it forces it to warp when released and wet again.

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 Re: Do reeds warp less after use if they dry slowly?
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2020-03-06 18:36

I have a good article about reed warping on my website if you're interested.

ESP eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: Do reeds warp less after use if they dry slowly?
Author: ruben 
Date:   2020-03-08 13:19

Thanks to all of you for your invaluable advice! Karl: I'm still at the prototype stage and it's always hard to get the prototype right for anything. There exist humidity boxes that are effective, but I'm after something very compact that can be put in a small clarinet case and transported.

rubengreenbergparisfrance@gmail.com
JL-Clarinette

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 Re: Do reeds warp less after use if they dry slowly?
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2020-03-09 08:48

ruben wrote:

> Thanks to all of you for your invaluable advice! Karl: I'm
> still at the prototype stage and it's always hard to get the
> prototype right for anything. There exist humidity boxes that
> are effective, but I'm after something very compact that can be
> put in a small clarinet case and transported.
>

The Vandoren VRC810 case works well for some of my students. It's not designed specifically for use with the Boveda packs, but they do fit. The case is not much wider or longer than the pack, so it's more compact that the D'addario ones.

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 Re: Do reeds warp less after use if they dry slowly?
Author: Tom H 
Date:   2020-03-10 04:40

Must admit I've never noticed the bottom surface becoming convex. Probably because I keep my reeds in use wet/moist at all times.
The only danger of keeping them moist by using my method of simply adding a little water to the tip area is that occasionally I add too much. The reed gets water logged. Must then let it dry out a bit to be comfortably usable. I do think this happening does decrease the reed's life span.

The Most Advanced Clarinet Book--Austin Macauley Publishers
tomheimer.ampbk.com/
austinmacauley.com/author/heimer-tom (PDF samples here)
Boreal Ballad for unaccompanied clarinet--Sheet Music Plus


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 Re: Do reeds warp less after use if they dry slowly?
Author: nellsonic 
Date:   2020-03-10 08:59

Tom H wrote:

> Must admit I've never noticed the bottom surface becoming
> convex. Probably because I keep my reeds in use wet/moist at
> all times.

It takes very little warping - less than can be easily seen - to make a perceptible difference in response. I'll often use a reed geek or machine bit on the back of the reed to be sure everything is as it should be. It often improves the response, especially for students if they are not yet using a humidity controlled case.

Anders

Post Edited (2020-03-10 09:10)

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