Topic: Why Not a Short Tie Length?

I notice that few of you tie oboe reeds at short lengths. I have always tied at about 71mm, clipped the reeds to 70mm, and had very good results with these tie and clip lengths. The ends of the reeds (on the staple) tend to split a bit more, but I lose very, very few reeds because of this.

The advantages seem to be:
(1) the reeds close down better with the short tie length (I learned this on the Forum);
(2) because the reeds close down better, they tend to be easier to play;
(3) because the reeds close down easier, I can use harder, longer-lasting cane; and
(4) beause the reeds close down better, I have to take less out of the backs, and this should make a stronger, longer lasting reed.

But there must be other theories on this subject, because so many of you tie at longer lengths.

Edward B. Flowers (ob)
New York City

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Re: Why Not a Short Tie Length?

For me  the"tie length" is dictated by when the sides of the cane close when I am wrapping the twine.  With EE thread, I look for the sides to close @3-4 wraps from the top of the staple (and using thicker FF thread, perhaps 2-3 wraps).  The shape of the cane, in particular the width of the shape at the point where it meets the top of the staple, will therefore dictate how far down the staple the cane needs to be placed in order for the sides to close, and consequently how long the "tie length" will be.  If the cane is placed too far down the staple, then my reeds will tend to overlap excessively, be prone to cracking, and be inhibited in their vibrations.

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Re: Why Not a Short Tie Length?

The tie length, as my teacher, Bob Hubbard, has explained to me many times, (also Linda Strommen at July 2006 IDRS conference in Muncie), is determined for a given shape to be just at the point where the cane closes completely on both sides a wrap before the crossover. If the cane were to be lengthened a hair higher beyond this point on the staple, the cane would fail to close a wrap before the crossover. The reasoning is to prevent the cane from "bunching" where the oval (small ends) of the staple meets the cane, the theory being that if the cane is pushed lower than where it just closes, there will be mini-pockets on each side of the small ends of the staple oval, which will collect air, thus inhibiting the most efficient maximum transfer of moving air from diaphragm north to oboe bell end south. Chester has indicated other valid reasons not to tie short.

Ed, et al., would like to have your thoughts on this. Thanks.

Best,

john

Best,

john

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Re: Why Not a Short Tie Length?

Hey Ed and friends,

Great question (and responses)!  I have personally found that there seems to be a "sweet spot" tie-on length for each shape and staple (don't forget the staple!) combination.  I used to tie my old Jeanne "X" shape at 73.5 on a Loree staple.  Now, I am using a Joshua +2 shape on Chudnow staples (a larger bore than Loree), and am tying at 72.

As far as the cane sealing at a specific length, it depends on how much "overlap" you like, which also probably depends on the shape itself (for instance, a shape that's wider in the belly may not be stable in the upper register if the overlap is too severe, etc.).

When I'm trying to figure this stuff out (like when I buy a new shaper), I get truly anal about it and tie reeds in different colors depending on the specific variable being manipulated (i.e. tie length), and then I actually keep notes on the results.  It's important, of course, to try to limit the variables to one at a time (easier said than done!).

Good luck, and remember:  if it works, it works! big_smile

Last edited by Jonathan Marzluf (2006-12-03 21:56:02)

Jonathan Marzluf
Owner, Marzluf Reeds
SoCal Freelancer/Educator
www.marzlufreeds.com