Topic: How To Prevent Cracks

I have tried just about every method I could find and I still get a crack right up the middle through the collar and into the blade about 3-5mm.

Soaking until the cane sinks, hotter and hotter water, deeper scribe, two wraps of string instead of one, cross scribes where the wire goes, diangonal scribes, more scribes. The only thing I have not tried is scribing further up the tube now I stop at the middle wire.

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Re: How To Prevent Cracks

What are you using for a forming mandrel?

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds

Re: How To Prevent Cracks

Do you tighten the first wire as tight as possible before hand?

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Re: How To Prevent Cracks

Rieger Eliptical forming mandrel then put them on Rieger drying rack for 2 weeks

Dont put any wires on just heavy cotton twine

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Re: How To Prevent Cracks

Things I do that may help (since you're doing as I typically describe)
1. Soak and dry the cane half a dozen times over the course of two weeks before forming.
2. Start the binding above the collar, and be quite tight about it over the entirety of the bark area
3. Get the thread saturated in water AFTER you wrap the binding, BEFORE you start the forming.

Also, sometimes this is just a practice thing. I used to crack every other reed no matter what I tried... nowadays I never crack anything unless I torque with the pliers too much above the second wire area when putting the unformed cane on the mandrel.

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds

Re: How To Prevent Cracks

I rarely crack reeds.  Here's what I do..Soak GSP cane for 20 minutes in hot tap water.  then I use a 24 teeth/inch hacksaw blade to score the tube from about 1/2 way between 1st and 2nd wire locations to the butt.  Bevel tube from 2nd wire to butt.  Wrap tightly with twine from mid blade to butt..then insert forming mandrel to open butt, then remove forming mandrel and insert short mandrel to prescribed line.  Remove a few wraps of twine from the butt and place 3 turns of 21 ga wire and tighten moderately, then remove a few more wraps of twine, place 2 turns of 22 ga wire approximately where you want second wire and tighten moderately, then remove remaining twine and place 2 turns of 22 ga wire for 1st wire.  tighten moderately, then move 2nd wire to exact location (I use the thickness of a certain pair of pliers to measure between 1st and 2nd wire.  Then aggressively knead or mash the tube from the second wire to the butt and tighten all wires quite tightly (a bit looser for wire #1) and place on mandrel tips for several weeks of drying and settling.  After about 2 days of resting on mandrel tips I retighten all wires.. 1st wire moderately snug, wires 2 and 3 quite tight. I usually apply wrapping (hot glue for me) after about a week of drying.

This proceedure works fine for me...any cracks are small and do not extend more than a few mms into blade.

Hope this might be helpful to you..

Frank Watson
Greenville (SC) Symphony
Spartanburg Philharmonic
Converse College

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Re: How To Prevent Cracks

to prevent crack reeds when you are doing the forming. Some others reeds maker used kettle to steam up the cane once the cane heat up the cane will be easily for forming into mandel without any force. You also can try to get the reed making DVD from Miller Marketing. Now they having clearance sale. Good Luck

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Re: How To Prevent Cracks

I find that two things help me prevent cracked reeds, especially when forming contrabassoon tubes.  A shorter forming mandrel (I use tips copied from Van Hoesen's) and also making sure the collar of your reed isn't to thick.  If you have a clear collar "ledge" this helps the cracking stay away from the blade, and also keeps the cracking in the tube from becoming too thick.  If you would like, I can send you all the steps to how I form a reed - just go ahead and email me and I will send them.  I should also note that I use cane that has been soaked for a minimum of 6 hours in room temp water too.

Please keep us updated with your progress, I would be interested to see what works for you.

Good Luck!

Leigh Miller Munoz
GoBassoon Reeds

Leigh Munoz

www.gobassoon.com

Re: How To Prevent Cracks

There are many good suggestions that have been offered and I have one more possible solution. I have found that thicker profiles,
especially at the back of the reed are more likely to crack.  Do you remove much cane from the back when finishing? If so,
try a little thinner profile at the back of the reed and see if that helps.

Dale Clark

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Re: How To Prevent Cracks

I use two kinds of GP cane right now. Stock Rieger with a crisp collar and Gonzalez with a rounded collar. The Rieger usually cracks to the collar and stops. On this cane I use a Rieger tip profiler then blend the back to front. The Gonzalez usually cracks through the collar and about 3mm into the blade. Their profile is about .75mm at the collar and the stuff I have now is not the same thinkness on each blade so I do alot of filing and scraping to get them even so most of the time the crack gets cut away. Normally they are probably too thin because they bark on low notes when going up to FFF so they have a limit on how loud they will play. I am trying to get a profiler so I have more control either a Maxwell or MD. I soak the cane until it sinks then fold and wrap then soak it in HOT tap water until it sinks again stick it on a a Rieger eliptical forming mandrel then on a Rieger drying rack for 2 weeks or at least 48 hours if I am in a hurry.

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Re: How To Prevent Cracks

The reason you might be having more difficulties with the Gonzalez is that their gouge is significantly thicker than most other brands.  However, you should still be able form a tube without it cracking. Another thing that helped me when I first was forming tubes was with wrapping the reed using a thicker cotton string and wrapping it very tight - at the time the thinner string cause a few cracked tubes.  It is at least something else to try.  Also, I have the first wire (the one closest to the collar) on the reed before wrapping and putting it on the forming mandrel.

Hope this helps!

Leigh

Leigh Munoz

www.gobassoon.com