Topic: Anyone using the Flexter?

Hi:
There were some good reports when the Flexter made by Reeds 'n Stuff came out.  I am wondering how many are using one and what you think of it.  I would love to experiment with one but the price, though possibly worth it, is what is holding me back.  Thanks, Kent

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

Re: Anyone using the Flexter?

I have the "Flextor" tool, and am in the middle of a research project in which I intend to compare the results of testing cane by three methods:  a mechanical hardness tester, the floatation test of density, and the Flextor.  I hope this will result in an article in the Double Reed before too long.

It's too early to tell if there is going to be a strong correlation between the three methods.  I have tested a few hundred pieces of cane by all three methods, and am now having the results subjected to various kinds of statistical analysis.

Of course, the final determinant is the reed itself.  If one obtains a great reed (an oxymoron?) from a piece of cane, then none of the statistical analyses make any difference.  The only point of this research for me is that I would like to be able with some assurance to decide which pieces of cane to use and which to discard, so that I don't waste time on a piece of cane that isn't going to produce a reed.

I hope you'll be reading about my results in the Double Reed before too long.

Ed Lacy
University of Evansville

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Re: Anyone using the Flexter?

Thanks Ed.  I very much look forward to your article.  Kent

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

Re: Anyone using the Flexter?

Ed..I believe Jim Pope uses both a Flexter (his invention?) and a hardness indicator, and has worked out a grid for various results.  He selects cane based upon his grid results, and finds much more consistancy.  At least that is the impression I got talking with him at the Popkin/Glickman Camp this summer.

-Frank Watson

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Re: Anyone using the Flexter?

Hi Frank:
You are right about Jim Pope.  His were the initial results I saw that were very promising.  I am anxious to hear what others think.  I tried looking for the Pope article so I could provide a link but I can't find it at the moment.  Kent

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

Re: Anyone using the Flexter?

You must mean Jim Poe.

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Re: Anyone using the Flexter?

Thanks Louise.  You are right.  That is why I couldn't find the article.  Kent

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

Re: Anyone using the Flexter?

I am not sure why the search feature for the journals wasn't working or perhaps it was me, but I found it in my hard copy and then looked it up and here it is.  It is in Vol. 26 No. 2
http://idrs2.colorado.edu/pubidrs2/dr26.2//60.pdf   Kent

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

Re: Anyone using the Flexter?

Hello Kent,
I would be glad to answer any questions you may have on the Flexter and correlation with hardness test results.
                                                                                       Jim Poe

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Re: Anyone using the Flexter?

mea culpa...Jim Poe of course......I play some golf with a guy named Tim Pope....senior moment LOL

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Re: Anyone using the Flexter?

Hi Jim:
Thanks so much for your offer and also for writing that great article.  After reading your article, I really wanted to buy a Flexter and I still might some day but with 2 kids it is not something I can easily afford.  I was really interested to see if there were others who have tried it and if they liked it.  I have a hardness tester and I generally use cane that is measured between 17 and 22.  I suppose what I am wondering is if I used the Flexter would I be eliminating some of these pieces as good pieces and also would some of the pieces that fall outside this range then be considered good pieces.  I don't normally use a 24 piece, for example, but I wonder if I tested all of the 24's with the Flexter what percentage might be acceptable.  I imagine that is difficult to answer because it would be different for each batch of cane.  I think I will have to read your article again some time soon.  Anyway, thanks again.  Kent

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

Re: Anyone using the Flexter?

Kent,
Just a couple of quick comments. Not all hardness testers are created equal - I found this out while talking to Udo Heng, "Reeds and Stuff". So, my hardness data may be slightly different than yours. However, the numbers you quote are in the range I use. One of the things the flex test determined for me was that softer cane required lower flex numbers, harder cane required higher flex numbers to make a good reed. I was able to establish an eliptical envelope on the ploted data that had a slope in the opposite direction of the data chart you see in the article - selecting cane from this area resulted in a very high persentage of good reeds, no matter who the supplier was. This does not mean that my prefered readings will work for everyone - there are so many different reed shapes and concepts that each reedmaker must establish what works the best - but the system will work.
My wife and I love the state of Arizona. Most every spring we travel there with our motorhome. Perhaps we could set up a time to discuss this reed issue - there is much more to cover.
                                                                Jim

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Re: Anyone using the Flexter?

Hello Ed Lacy,
I met you at the Muncie conference - during Jim Laslie's and Paul Nordby's seminar on Bassoon restoration. I also read your comment, on cane testing, to Dr. Kent Moore about the article you plan to write. I look forward to reviewing your findings.
I noticed that you refer to three methods: hardness testing: Flotation testing (density); Flexing. I have seen reed makers manually flex cane to decide which piece to use, so just flexing alone is a valid comparison. However, it was the combining of the flex and hardness data that exposed new insight for me on selecting cane.
I am sure you already understood my article, but I just wanted to be helpful in the comparisons. I am willing to share anything I have learned over the years -  Evansville isn't too far away.
                                                               Regards,
                                                                      Jim Poe

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Re: Anyone using the Flexter?

Hi Jim:
Interesting about the hardness testers being inconsistent but I guess that makes sense.  Yes, I remember the conclusions of your test that the softer cane required lower flex numbers and vice versa.  That is what is interesting to me, to try to further eliminate the back pieces of cane or to find good ones that I may be discarding. 

We love AZ and Flagstaff too.  Great.  If you make it this way, let me know and we can get together.  Kent

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