Topic: Opening a reed with a crack!

Hello everyone!
I have a problem I have a really promising fresh reed. In my style of reedmaking I need a really round 3rd wire(1st wire), and opening this reed will make it crack.
Does anyone have ideas about keeping the crack in check while opening the reed?

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Re: Opening a reed with a crack!

So your first wire is pretty flat but you'll need to round it at some point?

Soak the reed to the point of saturation (probably 24 hours, like you were about to form the tube). Then get REALLY hot tap water, and soak the reed in that for a few minutes. Insert a mandrel and slowly round the tube evenly making sure the second wire is round first.

And pray, if you're into that kind of thing, because it seems like you'll need every bit of cosmic mojo you can muster.

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: Opening a reed with a crack!

Thanks!
I'm in the process of doing what you suggested. And I understand that there is no guarantee.
I'm also burning some bad cane to appease the old reed gods of the north...

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Re: Opening a reed with a crack!

Thank you Trent!
I managed to open the reed without the crack developing further into the blade.

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Re: Opening a reed with a crack!

Depends on what you mean by "crack". If you mean a small crack in the blade near the ledge I suggest it would not be a problem for the reed (although some reed-makers routinely throw out such reeds). A small (perhaps 3mm) crack on the blade will not crack through to the underside of the blade because the cane becomes softer the deeper it is from the rind/bark/dermis.

Prominent cracks on the rind/bark/dermis are "normal" but can be reduced by scoring evenly from the ledge to the butt.

Another possibility is to use a rubber band after forming. Wrap it from the butt end up to the ledge to allow the reed to form completely around the forming mandrel.

Another possibility is that you are forming the tube with a mandrel that is too large.

Christopher Weait,
Principal bassoon, Toronto Symphony (1968 - 1985)
IDRS Honorary Member; Emeritus professor Ohio State University
www.weaitmusic.com