Topic: opening at end of tube

I just started making my own reeds and im having some trouble getting the hole that goes onto the bocal be a nice circle and not a half-way square or oval. I tried beveling opposite sides and all four sides already. Any suggestions?
Thanks

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Re: opening at end of tube

beveling the sides of the tube at a 45 degree angle is a good start.
The next step is to score the bark five or six times towards the end of the tube.  One starts at one inch from the bottom to the end of the tube.
Attach the first wire and wrap with a wet shoe lace soaked with water.
Gently squeeze the sides of the tube of the reed while inserting a heated forming mandrel.
The steam allows the cane to assume the round shape of the mandrel.
Tighten the first wire and unwap the string from the first wire down and put the second and third wires at the correct positions.
Allow to dry 24 th 48 hours on a drying rack of mandrels.
Tighten all the wires and position in the correct places.

I hope this helps.

The are excellant reed making manuels with pictures to help you.
I would suggest if possible, have a teacher help you make your first reeds.

Good Luck,

Larry

Last edited by larryfulton (2006-08-13 20:43:10)

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Re: opening at end of tube

When one forms an oval tube there are many things consider.
1. Soak the cane well.
2. Pre-bevel
3. Scoring lines - There are many ways to do this. I prefer to use a single edge razor blade and put 6 to 8 equally divided lines along the entire tube. These lines should be half way through the cane; some people prefer not to put one down the center of the tube. I use a piece of 1” PVC as an easel.
4. Fold the reed and add a wire at the throat if you wish (I do not do this). Wrap the reed tightly with rubber bands or string (I use braided nylon plumb line found at my local hardware store) I wet the string before I wrap it around the reed. Braided nylon will stretch and stay tight while the reed dries.
5. Open the butt end of the reed slightly with a pair of pliers. Insert a hot or cold mandrel until the tube is round and the seams in the sides of the reed are slightly apart. I prefer to use a mandrel that is just long enough to reach the shoulder, if it goes further it may cause the reed to crack down the center. The throat should be oval at this point. If you torque the reed be sure to re-align it. You must have a compatible shaper and mandrel tip.
6. Let the reed dry as on the mandrel long as you can, I prefer 3 or 4 days but I know players that let there reeds dry for up to a year.
7. At this point I bevel again. Take a tongue depressor of flat 6" ruler and glue some 400 wet-dry to it. It should look like a large nail file. Untie the string open the reed; it should hold its shape. Do a light beveling to all 4 edges, fold the reed together and check the seams. There should be no holes or gaps and the blades should be on top of each other. If your shaper is wide enough you can do a light bevel at the narrow point of the shaper or first wire and your blades will not slip. Remember that the narrower your throat is the sharper you will play.
8. Wire, turban, ream as necessary.

John Campbell: Professor of Bassoon
Ca. St. Long Beach, Chapman University, Ca. St. Los Angeles, Biola College. Los Angeles freelance bassoonist
Come to Universities in sunny Southern California

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Re: opening at end of tube

One other thing to keep in mind is to make sure you insert your forming mandrel all the way up to the registration line on the mandrel. Otherwise the tube will not be completely opened and you're sort of beat before you start.

Gene Carter, Owner
Linden Reeds

Re: opening at end of tube

When I form my tubes I fold the cane over and put the first two wires on then wrap the entire tube with wet butcher's string (I also wrap about a quarter of the way onto the blade with the string).  Then I use a standard nail punch to start the opening in the tube.  I insert that until I the butt of the reed begins to separate.  I then remove the nail punch and use a Reiger mandrel the finish the forming.  I push the reed all the way to the line on the mandrel (that puts the tip of the mandrel just past the first wire).  I then crush all around the tube below the second wire with a pair of pliers, first with the string on and then I take the string off and do a little more crushing.  Then I put the third wire on and put it on my drying rack.  Sometimes I also heat my mandrel over an alcohol lamp a bit before I insert it.  I get a nice round tube every time.

_________________________________________
Mike Millard
Student of music - Bassoon
West Chester University
West Chester, Pa

Mike Millard
Repair Technician and freelance bassoonist
Taylor's Music
West Chester, Pa

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Re: opening at end of tube

sorry about the double signature, I forgot that I had made one....

Mike Millard
Repair Technician and freelance bassoonist
Taylor's Music
West Chester, Pa

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Re: opening at end of tube

While teaching, I found that the biggest culprit for oval butt openings was not pushing the formed blank far enough on the mandrel.  While forming, if you can see a slight amount of space on each side of the blank, you should be good!

Glenn

Glenn West
Bassoonist, US Military Academy Band
West Point, NY
www.westdoublereed.com

Re: opening at end of tube

Thanks for the suggestions, I think Iv'e got that part of the process down.
Thank you,
Kyle Lehnick

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Re: opening at end of tube

Please excuse my poor grammar (I've).

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10

Re: opening at end of tube

Hello, Please read the posts on the Norman Herzberg bevel to have help in making your tubes close properly on the mandrel. That will make a big difference in the success of your bassoon reeds. If you want to, some players add a 4th wire right at the butt end of the reed, in order to more fully keep closed the butt end at the bocal. In a few days, this wire can be removed, as an advantage of arundo donax is that once it is pressed to a new shape it tends to hold that shape indefinitely. Sincerely, Gerald Corey, Ottawa

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