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 Remedy for reeds not sealing near heart?
Author: mberkowski 
Date:   2017-05-30 01:39

Hi all,

So as I've mentioned in some earlier reed posts, I don't have a private teacher right now, owing to family responsibilities and other rehearsal schedules. I'm going it alone to improve at reedmaking and have made excellent progress.

Around a year ago I bought a small batch of GSF cane from an inexpensive auction supplier and have finally gotten around to start using it. It's a wider, more flared shape than I've used before and I've made a few good sounding reeds. I don't know the named shape, and compared the listed dimensions to common shapes with no identical comparison.

But, almost half the cane pieces from this batch have had a tendency to open up on the sides after 15 minutes of use. They're sealed at first, then they'll stop working, having opened up high near the transition from the heart to the windows (American scrape). This is obviously too high to seal with teflon tape...

What would you think the most likely causes are? I'm assuming something like

Bad cane/bad gouge? (seems probable and I'm not ordering from this supplier again)

Faulty tie-on? Same issues on Glotin 47mm and Prestini brass staples, tied 73mm

Is there any remedy to keep these from opening once they're finished or any way to seal them up near the heart? For a more flared shape, should I experiment in tying shorter or longer? Should I just throw away this cane?

As always, thanks for your input.


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 Re: Remedy for reeds not sealing near heart?
Author: ckoboe777 
Date:   2017-05-30 21:58

It may be an issue with cane warping. I used to soak my cane in hot water, and whenever I would make a reed with soft/ medium cane (I used Rigotti, I'm not sure what GSF would be considered), the sides of my reeds would leak at the top, near the heart or the tip after I put them away to dry. Changing the temperature and water content of a piece of cane in very short amount of time can cause warping.

My suggestion is to soak the cane in a way that will keep the structure of the cane stable. That is, avoid soaking too long, or too hot. Personally, I soak my (medium strength) Loree cane for about 30 to 40 minutes in room temperature water, and harder cane (e.g. Alliaud) for about 45 to 55 minutes. But of course, these factors can vary on the climate factors of the region you live in.


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 Re: Remedy for reeds not sealing near heart?
Author: mberkowski 
Date:   2017-06-01 06:18

Thanks ckoboe.

I've been soaking in fairly warm water for about 45 minutes before tying these on, and the cane is on the softer side so perhaps it's too long or too hot. The first one I attempted to tie split immediately, so I increased the soak time. For my next batch of blanks I'll go with room temperature water and a little less time to see if it helps.


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