Topic: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

Hello,

Nowsaday, Is there someone still use hand profiling their cane instead of use machine?

Those machine listed in Miller Marketing made me more confusing. I quite confused about Pre gouged machine and Gouged machine. Is that both of them still the same function? Gouged machine is too expensive. Pre gouged machine is cheaper a lot. Can pre gouged machine going to replace gouged machine in future.

How about the different profiling machine an tip profiling machine?

Sorry for such question. Because I'm still new to those reed making machine.

thks

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Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

a pregouger will never replace a gouging machine, the pregouger is a devise that allows you to save the sharpness of your gouge blade doing SOME of the gouging process. (less work also)
The profiler makes the gouged cane into a gouged and profiled cane (gp) in other hand the tip profiler help you to "scrape" some material just in the tip, it gives you a reed ready to make the final adjustments.

Hope this helps, and sorry about my "funny" grammar.

Last edited by jbarrera (2008-04-27 22:47:04)

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Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

I don't think there are too many who still hand profile.  I can remember trying it when I first started making reeds and before I owned a profiler.  I believe the former prof at the University of Michigan, Richard Beene, purposely hand profiled.  I am not sure how many of his students do this.

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

Do you think easier the process by hand profiling. Is that precise enough.

thks

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Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

No, hand profiling is not easier than a machine unless perhaps you have been doing it for a very long time.  I bet those who do it are quite accurate but I doubt it could match the machine.  I am not sure why they do it.  It may give them a better feel for the cane.  I seem to remember something like it doesn't compress the cane as much but I didn't even mention it in my last post because I may not be remembering correctly.  I hope someone who hand profiles or who has studied with Richard Beene can explain why he likes to do it if he still does it.

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

Thanks Christopher.  I have a recording of Robert Quayle so I know his name.  I sure hope some Richard Beene students will chime in.  He must have a reason for hand profiling and he must be good at it.  Would be interesting to learn more.  Kent

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

Hi Kent:



       I will do my best to talk about hand profiling based on research that i have done about Hugh Cooper as his work and studies as repair tech have greatly influenced my on practices in bassoon. Although i was very unfortunate never to study with him, I have always been fascinated about his work and practices in his own career. I recently read some papers about his philosophies on reed making so I will be writing mainly his philosophies. I have always used a profiling machine in my own reedmaking so I cannot express whether or not my opinions would exactly reflect what Mr. Coopers ideas were about hand profiling. Anyways, Here goes.....


       Although there have been numerous developments in the design of profilers, Cooper always felt that hand profiling produced the most superior results in reed making. He was always known to have said "Using a profiler does nothing but guarantee mediocrity in reeds." Geometrically the flat profiler blade is incapable of cutting a concave curvature and with the additional vertical pressure exerted from the profiler blade carriage, the same principles apply from using sandpaper as well, it does crush the vascular bundles precluding the free vibration of the cane.


       My personal feeling though is that for a knife blade whether it be used by hand or machine is still going to exert pressure no matter what, and that depending how much hand pressure is used while profiling by machine or by hand will give a matter of compression on the material anyways. Furthermore, the method of hand profiling also includes a certain degree of filing across the grain, which involves literally ripping the fibers instead of slicing. Fiberous reeds always seem to play water logged and have a rather dead sound to them. My feeling on that is there is not total uniformity or vibrational efficiency being produced because of the diffused fibers. whereas a reed blade that exhibits a slicing technique, and has had the excessive diffused fibers sanded and polished down with 600 or 1500 grit sandpaper.

     My overall impression is that its like a choice of Coke or Pepsi. You like whichever way that gives you the results you personally enjoy and benefit from. I personally think there is alot of merit and knowledge to profiling by hand, and I am quite sure there are some virtues to hand profiling for the reeds sake. However, I have been using a Pfeiffer single drum machine for almost 8 years now and have never been faulted, or told that my reeds would play better from hand profiling.


      I hope this rough reply helps, Any questions let me know.


                                                       Best Regards,
                                                        Chad Taylor

Taylor Bassoon Services
723 Steamboat Ct
Ottawa, IL 61350
PH-815-343-2492

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Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

Thanks very much Chad.  Your mentioning Cooper reminded me of a dissertation I had read about him and so it could be from Cooper that Richard Beene got his ideas.  I think this dissertation by Matt Morris is where I had first heard about the benefits to hand profiling.  Thanks again, Kent

Last edited by Kent Moore (2008-04-28 13:48:51)

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

My undergraduate teacher (Charles Coker) required all of us to hand profile. The only time were were allowed to use machines was when we were gouging cane. Although the time commitment was extreme (as well as the initial frustration), I think it gave all of us a superior eye when working on cane and excellent control of our tools.

For the past several years I've used a Popkin profiler and Rieger tip profiler. However, last month I switched back to hand profiling because I was really unhappy with the way my reeds were turning out. The advantage of profiling by hand is that I can easily and quickly adjust the reeds on a whim. I don't use a dial indicator while profiling. In my experience, after making several thousand reeds I'm able to tell what adjustments a reed needs based on what it looks like and how it plays. Also, after several years of hand profiling, it only takes me about ten minutes longer to make a reed than when I use machines.

"It's not my job to give you the pulse! It's your job to figure it out!"
-An Allegedly Professional Conductor

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Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

I teach hand profiling with the use of a micrometer as a matter of course. I've been doing it since I studied with Skinner although I "rough out" my reeds with various tools and DO use a tip profiler on the finished blank. I agree with Cooper although I never had the chance to study with him.

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Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

Very interesting Tyler.  Do you still use your tip profiler?

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

Hello,

Best tips for all.....recently I have seen few great Ebay item going to end soon. There are fold over shaper handle and tip. You will surprise that there is a Yamaha custom YFG812 bassoon on Ebay this week. Have a look please. This bassoon with price reserve target. http://cgi.ebay.com/Brand-new-Yamaha-YFG-812-Custom-wood-bassoon-RARE_W0QQitemZ270231889515QQihZ017QQcategoryZ16227QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I agreed with Dr kent I better prefered flat shaper tip.

thks
derek

Last edited by bssnnew (2008-04-29 17:41:19)

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Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

Hello Kent & Vincent Ellin & Tyler Durden,

You must be a expert to profiling your cane by hand. May I know before to start processing the profiling how many type of tools needs to be prepared?
Can you list out all the necessary tools and step? Do you think those hand profling tools still available for sell at the moment? Quite Interesting!!!

thks
derek

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Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

Hi Derek:

I am no expert at hand profiling.  I did it when I first started making reeds but that was quite some time ago.  I'll let the hand profiling experts answer your questions.  Kent

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

I will be happy to help. I will need a bit of time to post the complete process. You can contact me directly If you like to.

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Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

The process is explained and there are pictures in the Popkin book "Bassoon Reed Making."

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

For the sake of my marriage, I'm still using the tip profiler.To put the tip in by hand would add another 15 to 20 minutes to the process of making a reed. I try to make two reeds a day, and often I only have 30 minutes to spend with my wife after she gets home from work and before I head out to a performance or rehearsal. Does this mean I'm only pseudo-hand-profiling these days? Maybe I'm a hybrid reed maker.

Irrespective, the Popkin book is a good reference for profiling reeds by hand, although nothing can beat the personal attention a teacher will give you. If you're going to embark on hand profiling, you really need a trained eye to tell you what you're doing incorrectly. The tools I use are an one-inch dowel, Herzberg shaper, numerous files, and an Exacto blade.  All the tools except the shaper can be easily found at a hardware or hobby store.

An abridged version of my technique: After shaping the cane, I attach it to the dowel with rubber bands, shave off some of the bark with an Exacto blade, and file off the center until it will bend easily. I then form the tube and make the blank much the same way everyone else does. I define the shoulder in the blank first, then use the tip profiler. Lastly, I use my files to shave the reed down to a playable level, including additional work on the tip. I play scales, intervals, and long-tones to fine tune the finished reed over three days. After that it either goes in the trash, becomes a practice reed, or goes into my reed box for the road. I would estimate that only one or two reeds out of ten end up being good enough for performances.

Honestly, I think it's insane for an adult to try to learn to hand profile. It is extremely time consuming until you gain a high level of skill and your initial results will be abysmal. I'm very glad that my undergrad teacher made me do it for the aforementioned reasons, and I would require my students to do the same if I ever taught at a university again. Still, if you can afford it, invest in a profiling machine and save yourself the headache.

"It's not my job to give you the pulse! It's your job to figure it out!"
-An Allegedly Professional Conductor

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Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

Hello,

May I know who was the winner of Yamaha Custom YF812 on Ebay last two day?

Last edited by bssnnew (2008-05-06 08:08:46)

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Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

It looks like the Yamaha bassoon on Ebay did not sell because the reserve was not met.

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

Hei Hei.....the price must be 10K and above

I was wondered why the wood colour so Dark. It was look like Mahogany color. Supposed to be in Red Maple color.
However, nomarlly Yamaha and Pucher the grain of body look excellent.....

Last edited by bssnnew (2008-05-06 08:13:29)

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Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

Hello Vincent Ellin,

Are you ready to post a complete set of hand profiling information to share with us/me?

I just wached a hand profiling DVD demontrated by Professor Beth Giacobassi. She used to be hand profiling for her own reed all the while. There is the only one tool I can't find on store is "Spiral file". It is something like diamon reamer with both ended handle and spiral at the center. She used it to scrape off and smoothen out the shape at the channel part. The whole process going to be so difficult/bulky and looks angry to me the shape. However, she finally got the reeds with fine looking with #500 and #600 sanding paper touch up. I will really needed to repeat and repeat watch this DVD in order to catch up what she mentioned.

thks
derek

Last edited by bssnnew (2008-05-30 20:25:45)

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Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

To Derek and others who have posted here about hand profiling vs. using a profiling machine (either blade type like Pfeifer, Benson Bell, Mark Popkin, Norman Herzberg, etc.) or a motor operated profiler such as the new ReeDual made by George Crossman in FLoriday (a sanding pantographic copier of single or double reed profiles, originally designed by Sol Rabinowitz. georgeorrabco@aol.com is Mr. Crossman's email address, and his ReeDual for bassoon costs only $660 U.S. (a bargain in motorized profiling machines) - or the fine reed copying pantographic profiler made by Greg James in Toronto, Canada dgac@istar.ca for Greg's email address. His profilers go for about $1250 Canadian in price.
I did study with Hugh Cooper (1951-1953) in Ann Arbor. And I can tell you WHY Hugh liked to profile by hand his bassoon reeds: Cooper strongly believed that a blade cutting through the fibers of arundo donax pressed them down too much and actually weakened the fibers. So, Cooper developed the 10 minute reed making technique: Here are Dr. L. Hugh Cooper's actual directions for doing the hand profiling of his reeds
1. Find and mark the exact center of gouged cane piece (120 mm length);
2. Find and mark outer limits of profile (Cooper meant the collar line, or end of profiled area of the reed's blades.
3. Notch center mark (of cane piece) deeply while cane is held on the easal.
4. Notch the collar lines just through the shell to denote the collar A and B positions exactly.
5. Strip the shell from the profiled area, always cutting from collar area towards the center line of the cane piece.
6. Cut in a stepped ARROWHEAD pattern, several sections of the profile (use a micrometer or good dial indicator setup to measure in the center area where the deep notch was made until the exact profile thickness of the collar line center of blade is to be found, and mark this spot with a pencil. Now using a sharp jack knife blade, cut from the penciled mark back to the collar position in one piece of cane right down the center of the reed blade area (from middle of cane piece towards the collar)
You now have the exact thickness of that strip at the measurement wanted at the collar line point.
The ARROWHEAD pattern idea is carried out in the following manner. Start with the center strip you have just made (locating the thickness at collar location ) and make the first central taper cut down from about
1/4 inch from the tip of the reed to the tip of the reed. All of these cuts should thin the profile towards the center of the cane piece. Next, go up the profile towards the collar line area about 1/2 of the reed blade distance (maybe 15 mm); and cut a strip towards the tip that begins at that place, one on each side of the center scraped area; Now measure about 75% of the distance from tip of reed to collar point and make 2 cuts at that position down towards the tip of the reed; lastly, find the spot about 80% of the distance from the reed tip to the collar and make 2 cuts down towards the reed tip from that final position on left and right of reed blade center. When you have completed all of this Arrowhead patterning on both reed blades, then use a coarse file to smooth all of  your work in the hand profiling technique  just described.
At the back of Cooper's reed, the cane was .76 mm and at the tip of the reed was .35 mm thick. A gradual taper trip from collar to tip is wanted. The area about 5 mm in front of the tip is the MOST CRITICAL measurement and should not be less than .60 mm.
If you divide the reed blade's length into equal divisions from 1 to 10 (each being about 3.2 mm in length) these will be called station I (tip) and station 10 (collar): From 1 to 5 (vital heart area at 5 mm in front of tip) = .05 mm difference; From #5 to #7 is .10 mm difference; from #7 to #8 is .11 mm; this should give a reed healthy cane fibers everywhere, and a long-playing life for the eventual reed. "
Sincerely submitted, Gerald Corey, Ottawa
Additional measurements of Cooper's reed model:
Total length: 56 mm; wire III position at 6.35 mm from reed butt end.
wire II position at 19.3 mm; wire I position at 28.5 mm from reed butt end; collar position = 32 mm from reed butt end. Tip width = 14.3 mm; tip opening of finished reed = 1.6 mm at center spot.
Gouge original thickness was 1.27 mm at center of gouge and a bit thinner on sides of gouged piece.

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Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

Thank you Gerry !!!

Although I've been doing it slightly differently. I'm going to try this out.

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Re: Hand Profiling on Bassoon Cane

I know this thread is a few years old and one of the posters is no longer with us, but I might have something to add if anyone is still interested (sorry, I didn't join the forum until a few weeks ago!). 

I was a student of MaryBeth Minnis in my undergrad, who was a student of both Hugh Cooper and Bob Barris. She taught us all to hand profile, but in a different way than Mr. Corey describes above. We used 5" (127mm) cane, which was also Mr. Cooper's favorite, and did most of the work with a bastard file, after stripping the bark with a jackknife. She taught us to hand profile because that was the way she had learned and also because it was less expensive and more portable for the student (i.e. you didn't have to buy an expensive profiling machine, and when I did summer festivals and study abroad, I could fit all my tools in a shoe box). I also got a big kick out of being "that guy from the Midwest who hand profiles" when I went to summer festivals.

I then went to Michigan to study with Richard Beene. When I arrived, he was using a Rieger profiler for his reeds, so I bought one and used that. We did that my first 2 years there, and he was experimenting frequently with different profiles and measurements and the students would offer our opinions, etc, however he was never really happy with the results he was getting from us or from himself. Then my 3rd year, he announced that he had started hand-profiling and was going to teach us to do it too.

He said that when he had started teaching at Michigan, Mr. Cooper was still there. Mr. Beene was frustrated with his reeds and asked Mr. Cooper for help. Mr. Cooper then showed him his hand profiling method. Mr. Beene loved it and was, in his own words, "making the best reeds of my life." Mr. Beene liked it for the same two reasons Mr. Cooper did 1) Machine profilers compress the vascular bundles, which deadens the vibrations. Hand profiling tears the bundles, which allows them to stay open and vibrate freely and 2) Hand profiling allows you to put in the secondary taper that is standard in an American-style bassoon reed (what Mr. Cooper called the tip-tape reed), in other words a gradual taper from collar to critical point and then a steeper taper to the tip. Most machine profilers only do a single wedge tape from collar to tip.

Mr. Beene's method was similar to the one Mr. Corey describes with the "arrowhead," although the dimensions were a bit different (collar at 29mm, blade at 26mm). He taught it to most of us in the studio and I, for one, can say I was making the best reeds of my life at that time. I graduated that year and stopped hand profiling shortly afterwards due to time constraints and the fact that I had several students who needed reeds as well as myself. I haven't spoken with Mr. Beene in a few years, so I don't know if he is still hand profiling.

Hand profiling is extremely customizable and flexible and once you get the hang of it, it doesn't take that much more time than machine profiling. There is a higher margin for error, I suppose. After reading this thread, I hand profiled a couple pieces of cane last night and though I was out of practice, I don't think I screwed it up that bad. haha. I also have been re-reading the IDRS Journal article on "Cooper's Cubist Reed Concept." from a few years ago. It's a dying art - I don't know anyone who does it anymore, but I'm grateful that I was taught how to do it by two wonderful teachers and hope that others show interest in it, if for nothing else, than to keep Mr. Cooper's brilliant legacy alive.

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