Date: 2006-04-01 16:52
... yes, buy commercial oboe silk swob, cheaper and usually fuss-less and less time consuming, they're not that expensive really when you compare it with your time looking for substitutes, especially a suitable smooth scratch-free thin enough and heavy enough weight, fiddling around with construction details, etc., why not schedule same valuable time to making reeds, or practising?
... don't use cotton swobs made of average short fibre cotton, these shed lint much too easily inside the bore, especially as cotton ages quickly with wear passing back & forth, would be better to use the quite expensive high quality long fibre silky cotton instead
... hand-wash silk swobs in laundry product for delicates, because the very same spit silk is so good at absorbing will degrade silk fibers, which break apart and then shed
... i did run into one commercial silk that really bunched up in the reed well, and it needed a lot of fiddling to pull it through, no good when time is of the essence, and that was because it's hemmed with a 'thick' foldover & sew it down kind of hem. Tediously and fussily unpicked the wide end section of hem, fiddled with hand rolling and hand stitching it, which made the hem thinner, slithers through with one gentle tug now