Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

Hi Jonathan,

You can get a set of three 6" Delta #37-658 (not De Walt: getting my D's mixed up) jointer blades in a blue plastic case at Lowes in the tool locker. As I recall they cost somewhere around $40-50. Made in Germany. Tool handle from Ace Hardware is about $12 or some such (maybe less) You might have to file down the opening slightly to get the blade inserted. Kerry Willingham got me set up with this jerry rig. As an aside, Tom Stacy (NY Phil EH) uses this setup as well. Sears has jointer blades for less, but the Deltas are better quality steel.  You truly  get  what you  pay for.

The cane is sweet!!! Especially the  Lorée. I'll let you  know how the other stuff works out. Thank you, my  friend, & Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Best,

john

Best,

john

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Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

http://www.amazon.com/Freud-C350-8-Inch-Jointer-Knives/dp/B00004RK6O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1259297925&sr=8-1

I guess the price went up some since I last bought some.  Still, if you actually keep them sharp they last for a VERY long time, and you can buy in with two colleagues.

This is the handle:

http://www.amazon.com/General-Tools-Adjustable-File-Handle/dp/B00004T7TG/ref=sr_1_38?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1259298074&sr=1-38

You need to file the handle opening about 1/8 of an inch to get the width of the blade to fit.

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: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

I have been thinking about building a dial indicator, but I'm not sure which dial indicator to buy. I've seen some quite cheap ones, but I'm not sure if they will work

One that would need little work to convert it into a reed dial indicator is this
http://www.amazon.com/iGaging-Digital-Indicator-Magnetic-Base/dp/B0031F038A/ref=sr_1_17?ie=UTF8&s=industrial&qid=1265567874&sr=8-17

That one comes with the stand, it will need just minor modifications, and it's digital, so it can go easy from inches to metric.

There is this other one
http://www.amazon.com/Premium-INDICATOR-MAGNETIC-ADJUSTMENT-Indicator/dp/B000HE7O1C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=industrial&qid=1265568018&sr=1-1

But that one is in inches, and I'm used to metric for reed stuff.

Any advice will be welcome!

Fernando Zuniga
DMA Candidate
Bassoon Performance
The University of Arizona

Last edited by fernandozuniga (2010-02-07 11:42:08)

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Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

Fernando:

    My biggest concern either way you go is how do you pla to mount the contact arm that goes between the reed blades when measuring. as well as drilling it perfectly on center, and through a piece of steel that already probably been hardened?
       
      When i used to build dial gauges i buile a whole seperate bracket. I have seem some made with indicator bases, but an additional clamping fixture will be needed to to hold the feeler arm, and them the jaborous process of making the feeler arm is a project in itself.

       I applaud you on doing this project, but I just want to let you know how involved this project can be. Its not a simple quick drilling and modification job.

                                                                   Best Regards,
                                                                        Chad

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

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Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

Chad,

I was thinking in using some kind of clamp, brace or bracket to attach the feeler arm. The issue is how to make the feeler arm. I need something thin but strong enough so it does not bend easily. What did you use in yours?

Thanks,

Fernando Zuniga
DMA Candidate
Bassoon Performance
The University of Arizona

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Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

Fernando:


          I never really found a material that i was totally happy with. The first few i made were from air hardening drill rod stock. The drill rod stock could be heated to high temperature and hardened after i filed it to proper thickness, but the problem was the air hardening stock tend to develop scaling after being hardened, since i was simply using a propane torch to heat the rod stock, there was always the chance I was going to overheat it, and make the metal too hard that it would be brittle and break.

          The next stuff I tried was oil quenching drill rod stock. This didnt develop the scaling that the air hardening stock did, but again since i didnt have the means to invest in a heat treating oven, I couldnt get the hardness consistant enough, and would have them get too hard, and brittle.

           The last 4 gauges I made I used stainless steel rod. this was OK but its does have a tendency to flex and bend.

             I finally just gave up and stopped making them, I just didnt didnt have the time or the financial means to make them as well as my competitors. I actually was beat on them price wise when Justin Miller came out with an extremely well made one for $150!!!

            Im sorry if thats really a big help, but thatll at least give you an idea of what is involved.

                                                         Best Regards,
                                                             Chad

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

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Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

I made my dial indicator stand in the early 60's and have been using it since without problems.  The base is a flat plate of mild steel.  The posts and the feeler arm are similarly 1/4 inch round mild steel rod.  The coupling brackets are 1/2 inch square steel about 1 inch long drilled on adjacent sides to fit the posts and then for set screws to hold things solid.  When I made the feeler arm, I just chucked the steel rod into a drill and filed on the rod as it was spinnig.  I put a taper on the arm so that it was somewhat larger near the base.  I then filed the tapered portion so that it was flat with a (flat) bump where the indicator point would rest.  I've never had problems with bending of the feeler arm (the thin portion is only about 1.3 inches long).  I also scored the arm at regular distances from the tip, so that I have easily found and consistent measuring points on the reed. 

My dial indicator is in inches and reads continously from 0-50 thousandths.  I find that a whole lot more useful than those that read 0-25-0 or 0-50-0.  Metric gauges have similar options.  It also has a threaded back (a 1/4 rod screws into the back) rather than the usual tab with a hole.  My teacher had a similar setup, but used a back plunger indicator and had commercial brackets.  That type of indicator nice in that the face of the indicator is horizontal rather than upright -- easier to read (unfortunately they're hard to find).  Go to a tool store and look at a Mitutoyo or Starrett catalog to see what's available.   

Chinese gauges are OK, but tend to have stiffer springs and apply more force when making measurements.  Perhaps that's why I haven't had problems with bending of the feeler arm (my gauge is a Starrett).   I made one for a friend about 10 years ago using a Chinese gauge and the whole thing came out under $40 (not counting my time, which was free) -- I've lost touch with the friend, so can't tell you how it's holding up..

I can send pictures (of my old one) if you want.   

tom schubert (schubert@sandiego.edu)

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Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

Anyone find a way to get some cheap holding mandrel things for when you leave your reeds on the rack?

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Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

mpartlow wrote:

Anyone find a way to get some cheap holding mandrel things for when you leave your reeds on the rack?

If you just need something to hold the reed upright you can just pound some nails through a board, turn the board upside down, and presto! drying rack.

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: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

Dean, he said it surprisingly not about a Chinese bassoon!
http://www.doublereed.org/IDRSBBS/viewtopic.php?pid=9421#p9421

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: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

Trent wrote:

Dean, he said it surprisingly not about a Chinese bassoon!
http://www.doublereed.org/IDRSBBS/viewtopic.php?pid=9421#p9421

Thanks very much.  I remember playing one of those bassoons.  I do not remember where or when or anything else about it for that matter.  I guess it was a bassoon that could be described as eminently forgettable.

Dean.

Bassoonist Ordinaire, all around nice guy.
If anyone needs a damn fool, I'm your man!

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Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

Look out, here I go again.  I was also looking for a seat strap to replace my old one, and once again, I came up with a workable solution for far less than anything else out there.  I wanted a seat strap of leather that was a minimum of two inches wide and thick enough that it would not stretch.  For years I have used a lower end Fox strap, and it is now so thin that I have to adjust my bassoon every four or five minutes. 

Well, I had been doing some maintenance on my house and had left my tool belt on the floor next to my music stand, and while I was pondering the seat strap problem, my eyes strayed to my venerable tool belt.  The belt that holds the tool pouches is made of leather, is two inches wide and 42 inches long and it costs 14 to 18 dollars.  It has, for many years, held my tool pouches without any stretching, so I figured that it might work.  I then sat on it to see if it was too thick, (it isn't) and tested it with a pull test, and to my great surprise, it did not budge.  At all.
 
So off went I to the local hardware store, I bought a small snap hook, a furniture closure, and a new tool belt.  I cut off the belt buckle, inserted the snap hook, used the closure (which is like a 2 inch bolt and a nut, except that the bolt and nut ends are closed and round.  They are tightened with an Allen key) and for the price of $22.00 dollars with tax in, I have a seat strap that will last for the rest of my life. As for a cup, well, I don't use one, but I'll see what I can come up with. 

So, to make this, you need:  One two inch wide leather tool belt.  They are made by Kuny's, ProPouch, Klein Tool and many others. The one I bought is here:  http://www.kunysleather.com/products/detail001.asp?partNo=EL-901  Ensure that the belt buckle has only one prong.
One small swivel snap.  they look something like this, but I got a smaller one than the example that I am showing here:  http://www.rona.ca/shop/~swivel-snap-ben-mor-328613_!swivel-snap_shop 
I cannot find a picture of a furniture closure, but you can use any nut - bolt combination that closes to 2 inches wide ( the width of the belt) and does not have any sharp edges to rub on the bassoon.

To cut off the buckle, I used the handyman's other secret weapon, the Dremel.  You have to remove the prong by levering open the gap where it is folded around the buckle.  This can be does quite easily by inserting a largish flat screwdriver and turning it to pry the prong open.  On the Kuny's belt, the prong must be removed first because the buckle is made in such a way that the prong is held in place between two metal flanges on the buckle.  If you cut the buckle at the side of the belt, it will not come out.  Don't ask me how I know that...  Anyways, remove the prong, then cut the buckle using the Dremel or a hacksaw.  Now if your significant other looks at you in horror and says, "Honey, don't do it, I love you, please, just put the hacksaw down.  Just put it down, nobody will hurt you.", just put it down, and get a friend to do the work for you.

Now, insert the ring of the swivel snap into the notch that was occupied by the prong of the belt buckle.  Insert the bolt into the side, attach the nut, tighten it, and voila! one heavy duty leather seat strap.  Cut it to length and go and practice.  Your bassoon will not budge.

Total cost:  $22.00, tax in!

Last edited by Dean (2011-07-25 19:10:34)

Bassoonist Ordinaire, all around nice guy.
If anyone needs a damn fool, I'm your man!

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Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

... A Fox seat strap retails at under $20... Probably the best deal in seat straps if you don't use a cup style one.

Although you're not the first person I've known that has modified a regular belt for a seat strap, they just usually don't go buy a new one for the purpose, they use an older one that they don't want for wearing anymore.

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: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

Trent wrote:

... A Fox seat strap retails at under $20... Probably the best deal in seat straps if you don't use a cup style one.

Although you're not the first person I've known that has modified a regular belt for a seat strap, they just usually don't go buy a new one for the purpose, they use an older one that they don't want for wearing anymore.

True, but I did not have any belts that came close to what I was looking for.  All of mine are one one inch nylon types.  The one that I am replacing is a Fox strap, and I am not satisfied with it, so I am not going to buy another one. One of my friends has the B&H seat strap, and I really like it, but at 70 bucks plus?!?? It's just not gonna happen.  By the way, the BH strap was the one that made me want a thicker and wider strap, so basically, I was looking for something comparable to that because I could see right away how much better it worked.  So, seeing as I could not bring myself to buy it, I figured out another way to get what I wanted.  Besides it really works well.  I was practicing for an hour today and I adjusted my strap a grand total of one time..... the first time I sat down.  That has never happened with the Fox strap, even when it was new.

Last edited by Dean (2011-07-17 14:42:00)

Bassoonist Ordinaire, all around nice guy.
If anyone needs a damn fool, I'm your man!

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Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

Fair enough! I have a nylon seat strap that I've owned for more than a decade now. I adjust it all the time... but it cost me a whopping $6 in 1999. :-D

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: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

Damn, damn, damn....  I just found a much cheaper source for leather belting.  I could have paid $6.50 rather than $18.00 for the belt.  Here is the link. This would reduce the price to $10.50, tax in.  Not half bad.....

http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/home/home.aspx

Last edited by Dean (2011-07-19 06:51:30)

Bassoonist Ordinaire, all around nice guy.
If anyone needs a damn fool, I'm your man!

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Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

Trent wrote:

Fair enough! I have a nylon seat strap that I've owned for more than a decade now. I adjust it all the time... but it cost me a whopping $6 in 1999. :-D

I can relate.  My old Fox strap and ring were actually free, as it was given to me by my old high school band director!  I'm still glad to be rid of it, though!

Bassoonist Ordinaire, all around nice guy.
If anyone needs a damn fool, I'm your man!

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Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

This definitely has a DIY ring to it. After seeing some students at the Sarasota Music Festival with special straps sewn into their Bonna cases, I decided to improve on the design I saw and implement it in my own case, and in a way where adjustments are easy to make as it isn't permanent. You can see more information and pictures on my blog here. http://joshualutybassoon.blogspot.com/2011/07/bonna-case-modifications.html

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Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

Hello bassoonists.

I'm an amateur bassoonist and also an amateur machinist, and I made myself a dial indicator out of scrap metal and a dial I got for cheap (see attached).  It works great!

I'm thinking of making some more of these and selling them, but I'm trying to figure out if there's a market for them.  Do you or your friends/students/colleagues want to buy dial indicators but find the price prohibitive?  What price would you/they be willing to pay?

Alternatively, do you run a double reed supply shop, and would you be interested in purchasing several less expensive dial indicators to resell to your customers?

Last edited by morangm (2012-01-26 16:17:08)

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Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

Having recently introduced a quality and inexpensive dial indicator to the market I can tell you that the demand for these must not be very high.  This is just my own experience of course.  And this is despite using a quality Mitutoyo brand indicator as a starting point.  It may help you to describe more about it...does it have etch marks on the pin?  If so, at what increments?  Also, the pin appears to be aluminum.  If that is the case it may suffer from inaccruacy because it could bend.  A spindle lifting lever may help as well.

In the spirit of this thread, I found an electronic measuring tool that is very handy and very inexpensive ($20).  The only flaw is that it cannot measure finished reeds.  You can get it here:

http://www.infinitytools.com/Digital-Th … o/DTG-001/

Paul
www.mdreedproducts.com

Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

Having mistakenly thought this thread was about thread (!) until I read the comments, I thought I'd chip in. For my oboe and EH reeds I alternate between using waxed dental floss and extra-thick upholstery thread for tying on.

To wire my EH reeds I use florists wire (rose wire I think), slightly thicker than rigotti oboe wire. And of course cling film rather than goldbeaters skin to seal.

To take this thread to it's extreme here is a link to the scrap heap woodwind section created for a BBC Prom Concert last year. All made from rubbish but don't sound too bad!! Take a look!

http://cambridgewoodwindmakers.org/info … ns+98.html

Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

I just put together a very inexpensive seven-bassoon-reed case, for about $3 in parts:

http://davidawells.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/reed-case-filled-300x199.jpg

Just a little plastic box from the Container Store (http://www.containerstore.com/shop/trav … &N=253) with some pieces of foam glued in. I've done a more thorough write-up on my web site, if anyone's interested: http://davidawells.com/2013/04/the-3-bassoon-reed-case/.

David A. Wells
Lecturer – Bassoon and Music History
California State University, Sacramento
davidawells.com

Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

I don't know why I do this to myself, but I do.  I thought I had the perfect seat strap, but then I changed my setup again, so the perfect seat strap that I had went out the window.  I was using a thick leather strap with a swivel snap that I attached to a ring that was fastened to the bottom of the metal butt cap Pretty standard, foolproof, and not a bad way of doing things. But detaching the bassoon every time I wanted to put it in its stand was a bother, so it was time to change things again.  I started using a bassoon stand, so I wanted a seat strap that would never move and a cup that would hold the bassoon in a death grip, but that was also loose enough that I could take out the bassoon simply by lifting it.  It also had to be stiff enough that it would not sag and that I would need both my hands to straighten out before I could put the bassoon back in; light enough that I could easily carry it in with all my other crap, and small enough that it would stay on the bassoon in the gig bag.  Once again, I found nothing in any stores or websites, which led me to that point that I know all too well, Do-It-Yourselfer's desperation.

I was in Tandy Leather when I saw what I needed.  In Montreal, there is a belt maker or furniture maker who sells its scraps back to Tandy, and I found a bin that was full of a nice thick latigo (vegetable oil and wax treated) leather scraps.  I decided to sew myself a cup, and use a long scrap strip to make myself a matching seat strap.  Being a typical DIYer, I did not let certain things stop me... such as a total ignorance of simple procedures like sewing leather.  I went and bought leather needles and strong nylon thread.  The leather gods looked at what I bought and just started laughing at me.

Sewing leather is not easy.  I tried a needle and thread, (logical, but impossible) using a thimble, (lol) and even using pliers to push the needle through the leather.  I succeeded in bending a lot of needles... and not one stitch.  I even resorted to a hammer and finishing nails.  It worked, but it was ugly.  After turning fingers and thumbs into human pincushions trying (and miserably failing) to push the needles through the leather, I decided that heavier artillery was necessary.  Back I went to Tandy where I bought myself a sewing awl.  Then I had to learn how to use it.  What better source of learning and instruction than... you guessed it, YouTube!  I found a nice video of a nice man using an awl to make a holster, which makes some sense if you think of a boot cup as a holster for a bassoon.

For this project, I needed the following materials:  three quarter inch nylon webbing, a three quarter inch welded D ring, a nice piece of latigo leather with some method of cutting it in a straight line, and of course, the sewing awl. 

Version 1.0.

Instructions:
1.  Take the boot cup of your bassoon and wrap the piece of leather around it.  Mark it with a pencil to find both the length and the angle at which you have to cut it.  Then take the leather lay it flat and make some kind of sacrifice to the leather gods.  Pray.  Aaannnd cut.  Once you have the proper size, lay it aside.

2.  Take the 3/4 inch webbing and the D ring.  Put the webbing through the ring and sew it together right below the ring  One end of the webbing should be about two inches long, while the other end should be about eight inches.  The two inch end will reinforce and hold the D ring, while the longer end will go under the cup and up the opposite side to hold it in its oval shape.  Now comes the hard part.  Start sewing the webbing and d ring to one end to the leather piece in such a way that when the leather goes all the way around, it will meet the other (sewn) end inside the nylon webbing.   Don't worry, I will post a picture.  Once you have finished the first line of stitching, you then have to do the second line.  This one is far more difficult because you have to go through the strap and the leather, but this time you have no support behind the workpiece.  Good luck keeping it straight.  The leather gods will not help you here.  When you have finished, you should have an open ended cylinder of leather with a piece of nylon strap and a D ring hanging off one side.  If you have this, you are on the right track, if you don't, well, have fun making whatever you are making, because I have no idea what it is.  Then, put your metal boot cap into the cup and glue the long end of the nylon webbing into position with contact cement.  You do not have to sew it, as it will be sewn in the two next steps.

http://imageshack.com/a/img841/5425/nrpn.jpg

3.  The next step is the reinforcing strap. Is a three centimetre wide strap (1 1/8) inches of leather that goes around the top of the cup to keep it from stretching and to help the cup hold its shape.  Why 1 1/8?  I have no idea, but it looked good.  Then, sew the leather strap around the top of the cup to reinforce and stiffen the top as well as to ensure that it will not stretch much, if at all.  If you want extra insurance against stretching, sew a nylon loop to the same circumference as the bottom of the cup and put it in under the reinforcing strap as you sew.  If your leather is thick enough, the nylon loop is not necessary.  This takes a long time.  You can use your metal boot cap as a support while sewing.  It makes driving the needle through the two layers of leather much easier.

4.  The next (and last) procedure is the bottom.  I have made nine of these cups, and I hate this part the most. First of all, cut a last piece of leather larger than the bottom of the cup.  Take your metal boot cap and put it inside the project to ensure that the shape is correct and remains so while you are sewing.   Start sewing around the side until it is done.  If you are lucky, the bottom will be covered.  If you are not lucky, the bottom will have shifted leaving a part of the bottom uncovered.  Don't ask me how I know this.  To avoid any shifting of the workpieces, make sure that you are always lining up the pieces of leather as you are sewing them.  Once you stitched the pieces all the way around, cut the edges off, and you should have a wonderful bassoon boot cup.  In order to avoid having the ridge on the bottom of the boot cap unduly stretch the centre line of the bottom of the cup, you can glue two small hemispheres of leather together and then glue them inside the bottom of the cup so that the ridge has enough space to settle into the bottom.  This also keeps the bassoon from twisting inside the cup.

http://imageshack.com/a/img836/4756/qx3z.jpg

The seat strap was much easier.  I found a piece of scrap about two and a half feet long that was tapered from about four inches down to one and a half inches.  I went to a hardware store, bought a swivel snap, and a 2 inch furniture retaining bolt.  I bent the narrow end of the leather strap around the furniture bolt, and riveted it in place, then cut off the unneeded extra.  I then cut a slit in the middle of the bend to allow the eyelet of the swivel snap to pass through.  At the other end, I rounded off the seat strap just to make it look nice, and voila! One luxury looking and acting seat strap and cup.

If the straps are made of leather that is thick enough and tapered enough, it will not move.  I set mine in position at the beginning of a practice or concert and I never touch it again the entire evening.  If I get up, it is heavy enough that it does not move on the chair, and I just sit back down, put the bassoon back into the cup and start playing.  This is due to the fact that leather seems to offer more friction than does nylon and extra friction is provided by the extra area of the outward taper  So my bassoon does not move. Ever. Unless I want it to.

Another advantage of this system is that you can use the seat strap with the cup or with a ring that attaches to metal boot cap.  The disadvantage is that the seat strap and cup are heavier and far bulkier than any others that I have seen on the market.  They have to be made for a specific bassoon as they cannot easily be stretched to fit another one.  Bell, Fox and Moosmann all seem to have very similar sized caps, so as far as I can see, they are interchangeable.  So if anyone else is crazy enough to do this, the resulting cup will fit their bassoon but it may not fit another one that you want to play.  As an example, Heckels are very inconsistent in size, so if it fits one Heckel, it might not fit another.  If you should decide to try to do this, one warning I must give you.  When sewing with an awl, make sure that you know exactly where your fingers are.  If you don't know, the awl will find them.  Don't ask me how I know that either.


Version 2.0.


Things were going swimmingly until I made one as a surprise for a friend.  She said thank-you and then told me that it worked great on her Fox but did not work on her Moosmann.  When I asked what the problem was, she sent me pictures of her bassoon.  I got quite the shock.  It has a trombone-like water drain on the bow of the bassoon which is accessed by a slot which has been cut in the metal.  On the opposite side from the key, three holes have been drilled that allow the water to drain.  (It turns out that it was played be a musician in India for quite some time, and the constant high humidity caused huge amounts of condensation in the instrument.)  At any rate, when she put the bassoon into the cup, it pressed the key and there was a major leak in the bottom of the boot joint.     

Not. Good.

On looking at the pictures, my first thought was that making a cup for this was impossible.  Then, I thought of a few solutions, all of which hinged on one thing I did not have.  The obvious solution was a cup with a slot that would allow access to the water key.  But in order to have any structural integrity, I had to make the cup with a reinforcing strap that was uninterrupted.  But doing this would mean that the player would be unable to remove the bassoon from the cup without pressing the water key first.  Failure to do so could result in the key being ripped off the bassoon, which was not acceptable.  I needed something that would give the cup stiffness while providing a gap through which the water key could easily move. 

Basically, I needed a bridge. 

To make one, I needed to be able to make a piece of plastic that would hold the cup in the shape of the bassoon, but would also provide enough clearance so that the key could pass by unimpeded when the player simply lifts the bassoon.  However, I do not have a way to mould plastic, so that looked impossible.  Then I remembered hearing about thermo-formable plastic, which can be heated and formed, and when it cools it keeps its shape.  Finding it on the web was very difficult, as they wanted to sell me bulk amounts, which I will never use.  Then, by sheer coincidence, I found sheets of Kydex in Tandy Leather, and one of them came home with me.

Kydex is a thermo-formable plastic.  I cut off a half inch strip, put it in the oven and then formed it around a metal butt cup.  Then, when it was cool, I used the other handyman’s secret weapon, a Dremel, to grind off the parts that I did not need and to thin it out so that I could easily fit it under the reinforcing strap.  Yes, the reinforcing strap is wider than the other three centimeter straps that I usually use.  To lock the strap in place, I used a Dremel with one of the smallest drill bits that I have and I drilled through both the leather and the Kydex bridge.  Then I stitched it in using an awl, and the result is a cup with a gap that is even stiffer than a standard cup.

On the other end of the cup, clearance had to be provided for the three holes through which water drains.  Here, I had to make a matching gap in both the wall and the bottom of the cup.  Here I simply cut a gap in the wall that accommodated the hole there.  In the bottom of the bassoon in question, there are two holes, and I matched the gap in the wall with a gap in the bottom.  This allows the water to flow freely out of the bassoon and the seat strap cup.

http://imageshack.com/a/img841/7785/b5r41.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img838/2448/mi86.jpg

Now it’s off to England for this cup where it will begin its user trials. We’ll see how it works in the real world.

I have started making these on a limited basis, so if you would like to purchase one of these fine looking and working seat straps, feel free to send me a personal message.

Bassoonist Ordinaire, all around nice guy.
If anyone needs a damn fool, I'm your man!

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Re: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

Dean wrote:

But detaching the bassoon every time I wanted to put it in its stand was a bother, so I bought a bunch of tools, learned how to sew leather, injured myself repeatedly, designed from scratch and built a custom cup holster for my boot cup and a matching strap. Oh, and I melded plastic.

You're insane Dean. I like your style.

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: The "Cheap Alternatives" thread

Trent wrote:
Dean wrote:

But detaching the bassoon every time I wanted to put it in its stand was a bother, so I bought a bunch of tools, learned how to sew leather, injured myself repeatedly, designed from scratch and built a custom cup holster for my boot cup and a matching strap. Oh, and I melded plastic.

You're insane Dean. I like your style.

Well, I would not go quite THAT far, but... yeah, you're right.  But it works well.  Really REALLY well!!!!
And to tell you the truth, I have only stabbed myself three times.  It does not really hurt, but it is really surprising when it does happen because I never expect it.

Oh, and btw, if you are interested, I do have one for a Moosie sitting right here in front of me...

Last edited by Dean (2014-05-01 04:30:36)

Bassoonist Ordinaire, all around nice guy.
If anyone needs a damn fool, I'm your man!

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