Topic: Gouging Blues (and Blacks)

Okay, the former Marine in me says I should just “suck it up” and not complain about my lot in life, but the new (and improved?) me says: “Help!” 

How can I save my poor little thumb from continued abuse from my Graff gouging machine?  Other than “Don’t gouge so much,” and “Get a different gouger,” can anyone offer me good advice on how to use a Graff machine without killing your thumb in the process?  My throbbing digit thanks you.

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

Re: Gouging Blues (and Blacks)

I could try to say something.

1º Try to adapt what you have with "something" cushioned into the contact area with your thumb.
2º Try if you can, to change your grip or the angle you use to gouge.

Hope it helps

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Re: Gouging Blues (and Blacks)

I have attached an old stainless doorknob to the little screw-top knob on top of my old Graf machine.  This made the palm of my hand comfortable.  Prior to that time I wore a leather glove on that hand.  My thumb has never suffered.  How are you manipulating the machine such that the thumb is negatively impacted?

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Re: Gouging Blues (and Blacks)

Hi Jonathan:

I am a bassoonist so I don't know the specifics of the machine you mention.  But I use an old sock with my profiler to save my hand when profiling a lot.  It works well.  Would a light glove work?  Kent

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

Re: Gouging Blues (and Blacks)

I presume you're probably placing your thumb on the screw that adjusts where the blade sits sideways. Try holding on to the head of the screw that adjusts the height of the blade. If you're really nice to the person who set up your gouger, you can ask him/her to put a more comfortable head on the screw, usually a plastic drawer pull. Also, it could be that your blade is dull and you need to press too hard.

Last edited by omjeremy (2007-08-23 11:36:41)

Re: Gouging Blues (and Blacks)

Jonathan,
I don't have a Graf, but have another well known gouger and I can only do about 15-20 pieces at a time before I get blisters and such all over my thumb. Frustrating! I know the feeling.

Shawn

Shawn Reynolds
Professor of Oboe/EH - Youngstown State University
Howland Schools - MS (director of bands); HS (Asst. Dir of Bands, Marching, Symphonic)

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Re: Gouging Blues (and Blacks)

I always place my right thumb on the lower right corner of the machine when I gouge.  I rounded out that corner with a swiss file to make it more comfortable, however I still cannot do a whole lot at once.  I think attaching some sort of cushion is a great idea!

Erin~

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Re: Gouging Blues (and Blacks)

Hello everyone,

I think I will chime in on this one. My orchestra just finished a 2 and a half month concert tour of the US last week, and to prepare for it, I had to prepare about 160 pieces of cane. Talk about blisters...ouch! What I did was try not to gouge too much at a time. Make sure your blade is super sharp, and that it is showing enough and that the guide isn't keeping it from cutting. This will make you push down too much and make an already tired hand worse.

I like the old doornob idea, or something similar. What I usually do is to cut and pregouge y cane and leave it. When I make a reed, I will gouge a few pieces.

Hope this helps,

Joe

Joseph Shalita
Principal Oboe State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra
Owner: www.makingoboereeds.com

Re: Gouging Blues (and Blacks)

I gouge once or  twice a  week using the Dan Ross, a great machine. I make a habit of  only gouging a dozen usable pieces in one session. I suppose this  takes about an  hour to include splitting with an arrowhead splitter, twisting to straighten if necessary, guillotining, pre-gouging & the actual gouging using the machine, followed up by measuring thickness & labeling. The part I like the  least  is the cleanup.

Best,

john

Best,

john

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