Topic: Tip Cutters

Hello all, I'm new here. I make double reeds but not for the oboe or bassoon. I make bagpipe reeds. (is everyone laughing yet? haha)

Anyway, just a quick question.

I'm looking for a good tip cutter. I want to be able to take off very very small amounts from the tip without damaging the cane, I also want straight cuts and the blades to be even.

I've done some research on this forum and found the one thread about tip cutters already and with that knowledge I ordered a Reeds 'n Stuff oboe tip cutter from Forrest Music. It seems to fit the bill. However I'm a bit curious to know, from anyone who uses one, are you able to take very very small amounts of cane off the tips of your reeds with no problems?

The reason I'm asking; I make my reeds almost ready to go right after tie in. However, as always the very tips can be a bit uneven or very slightly textured so a very small amount of trimming is necessary to just clean up the tips and make them smooth and straight across.

So far I've been using a tool from Sears, similar to the HandiCut but it's a newer version which uses plain old utility type single edged razor blades, the wedge shaped ones. This works very well when the tool is new, however as the anvil part of it (which is plastic) wears in (a groove is made from the constant cutting as the blade presses down into it) the quality of the cut on the tip decreases and becomes jagged..... the solution is to replace the plastic anvil or get another cutter from Sears..... They did replace my first one for free btw...but the problem is I only get about 200 tip cuts per anvil...so over time this is not the best tool for the job as I will be making well over 200 reeds a month.

So just curious if anyone has a Reeds n' Stuff tip cutter for either oboe or bassoon, how do you find them to work? Does it cut off very small amounts without issue? (I'm talking 1/4 of a mm probably here when I say small amounts)

Thanks!

Shawn

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Re: Tip Cutters

Hi Shawn -

I've just started using a Reeds 'n' Stuff oboe tip cutter, and am very happy with it. I find the scale on the side useful as a point of reference, but most of the time start with the carriage portion of it further back than needed, then lay the reed onto it, and gradually advance the carriage until the reed tip is just at the edge of the guillotine. So far I've had great success - the cuts are clean, square, and capable of extremely nuanced cuts. It's a pricey little thing, but I'm pleased I went for it. (I had the occasion just a few days ago to meet Udo Heng - the owner/engineer of Reeds 'n' Stuff - in Chicago and see him demonstrate some of his other tools. He's clearly a meticulous and highly skilled designer, and is a gracious and kind man to boot.)

All the best,

David

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Re: Tip Cutters

Huh this Reeds n' Stuff tip cutter seems like an interesting thing to use. Since it's been a while, how is it? I'm still using the conventional razor with tip cutting and honestly I'm not very good with it and the cut ends up either being really sloppy or just I cut off way too much.

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