Woodwind.OrgThe Oboe BBoardThe C4 standard

 New Topic  |  Go to Top  |  Go to Topic  |  Search  |  Help/Rules  |  Smileys/Notes  |  Log In   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 
 Reed making routine
Author: saraho 
Date:   2017-03-09 16:43

Hi all,

For those of you who make your own reeds, do you have a routine of reed making? Or do you just make them ad hoc?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Reply To Message
 Re: Reed making routine
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2017-03-09 23:30

Hi Sarah. As I probably mentioned before, I'm back into reed making now just to keep myself occupied and I'm finding it very relaxing also. I really don't have to make reeds anymore as there are now some reasonably good ones that can be purchased. The two brands that I have are the Howarth Academy and Girrard. I have no routine as such but I do tie , say three to the stables and then leave them for a week before scraping them over a few days. What you will need is a quite time and place to get into reed making.


Post Edited (2017-03-09 23:34)

Reply To Message
 Re: Reed making routine
Author: oboist2 
Date:   2017-03-10 03:11

I tie mine on - a dozen at a time, and after a days rest, scrape the bark and a bit more off the tip area, then I smooth over the sides with wet and dry paper ipf required and leave another couple of days. Then I soak again and cut the tip off. I will then continue to scrape 3-4 reeds ( out of the 12 I have tied on, and define the tip. I will rest the cane a couple of days and then scrape the tip until I can get just a peep, then rest again. The next day, I will then remove the bark and underbark from the top 1/3 of the reed, and work on blend and tip of reed until I get a reasonable crow at about C. I rest the reed another day, check I can still crow the reed as above. At this point I usually need to scrap a little more on both tip and blend. I try the reed on the oboe - how does it sound? what is the pitch like. I then adjust it a little more before making "windows" in the American scrape manner. At that point I leave the reed until the next day, and after soaking well, start my first practice on that reed, and assess where I need to adjust it. I make micro adjustments over the next couple of days to balance pitch and resistance etc, and then start on the next reed final adjustments. I work on batches of three or 4, tend to do the adjustments when it is humid or raining - I find I get much more stable reeds that way and actually need to adjust less. I usually have reeds in batches of 3-4 at various stages of completion, so that if I need a reed in a hurry, there is always one that just requires finishing off. This is the method I have had most success over the years with and I hope it gives you ideas. the most important thing is.....dont rush, make sure knives are sharp. Geoff

Reply To Message
 Re: Reed making routine
Author: veggiemusician 
Date:   2017-03-17 13:23

Make oboe reeds when when you have great reeds in your case! Its already too late to make reeds when you are low in stock.

Jerome Broun
Principal Oboe UAE NSO Symphony Orchestra

Reply To Message
 Re: Reed making routine
Author: jhoyla 
Date:   2017-03-19 11:27

I generally tie-on my blanks in batches of six. I take my time getting the tie-on perfect, so tying only six means I don't over-soak the cane (which can cause it to crack during tying). A perfect blank is an essential first step to a good reed. I use different color threads to identify different batches, though they are pretty consistent - it just helps me "age" them similarly.

I leave the blanks drying vertically for 48 hrs then toss them into my blanks compartment in my reed-making box, where they stay indefinitely - blanks last forever. I find that the longer I leave them the easier it is to get consistent results, but my minimum would be two weeks.

From this point onward I'm pretty ad-hoc. Once I'm down to two good "concert" reeds I start feeling nervous, so I scrape another couple and agonize about which of my "swan-song" reeds to sacrifice to make room in my reed-case ..


Reply To Message
 Re: Reed making routine
Author: Barry Vincent 
Date:   2017-03-19 12:43

Hi jhoyla. I'm interested in what you commented on concerning that if you over-soak cane it will crack. I"ve always assumed the opposite.

Reply To Message
 Re: Reed making routine
Author: jhoyla 
Date:   2017-03-22 12:11

There is a "sweet-spot" for soaking cane before tying.

If you try and tie after soaking for 3 minutes, the cane will crack for sure.

If you try and tie after soaking for 2 hours, the cane will have absorbed so much water that it will be "bloated" and will also likely crack. Also, even if it doesn't crack and seals perfectly the chances are that once it dries out and shrinks back to "normal" it will leak like a sieve.

I was always taught to wait until the cane begins to sink to the bottom of the glass before shaping and tying on. From that moment, you have about an hour before you begin running into "cane-bloat" issues.

I generally shape all my pieces first and dump them back in the glass as I go. Then I tie them all, one after another. I think I get more consistent dimensions that way.

I soak six pieces but usually end up with only five blanks for one reason or another (cracking during shaping, cracking during tie-on, poor edges that prevent a seal, etc. etc.).


Reply To Message
 Re: Reed making routine
Author: GoodWinds 2017
Date:   2017-04-17 06:22

I make them as I need them, and specifically to match what I'm playing. But I do have a specific approach/order, after 40+ years


Reply To Message
 Re: Reed making routine
Author: Arnoldstang 
Date:   2017-04-18 07:44

I think heat helps things. Soak the Reed and just before tying on put the Reed on quite hot water. This makes it more pliable for tying on.

Freelance woodwind performer

Reply To Message
 Re: Reed making routine
Author: tgenns 
Date:   2017-06-04 03:32

Hi Sarah,

I make my reeds in batches of 6 -- not all at the same time, but as a group for a particular set of rehearsals / performance. Usually I get a couple that are concert quality and the rest I either use for practice / rehearsals or I discard them if they are unworkable. I've found that this works better than the ad hoc way, because it puts some order and discipline to the process.

As for the scraping technique, I do something similar to the Jay Light book, but I add the "windows" as needed without having the "catch" before the heart. Over time I think everyone finds out what scraping technique works best for them. Once you find it, I recommend staying with it as much as possible and avoid over experiementing.

Hope this helps.

Reply To Message
 Avail. Forums  |  Threaded View   Newer Topic  |  Older Topic 

 Avail. Forums  |  Need a Login? Register Here 
 User Login
 User Name:
 Remember my login:
 Forgot Your Password?
Enter your email address or user name below and a new password will be sent to the email address associated with your profile.
Search Woodwind.Org

Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

The Clarinet Pages
For Sale
Put your ads for items you'd like to sell here. Free! Please, no more than two at a time - ads removed after two weeks.

     Copyright © Woodwind.Org, Inc. All Rights Reserved    Privacy Policy    Contact charette@woodwind.org