Scoring the bark prior to forming discovery

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Home Forums Reeds The Bassoon Reed Room Scoring the bark prior to forming discovery

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    Richard Chick

    This may be old news to many but somehow I have escaped the realization that the best way to score the bark of the cane prior to forming the but of a bassoon reed is not to cut with a knife blade but to scrape with a miniature triangular scraper. This is the way a woodworker would proceed to produce a bead or other such detail on a larger scale in a furniture application.
    In reedmaking it is desirable to maintain consistency as much as possible and the scraping operation helps by making it easier to control the cut depth and provide a clear visual indicator of the location. Also scraping follows the grain better than cutting with a scalpel-like blade which can easily cross-cut the cane. After coming to this conclusion I decided to modify a knife blade to make it suitable to the task and came up with the shape shown in one of the attachments. This worked well as a scraper but the small residual cutter was difficult to sharpen correctly.
    I decided to look for a suitable tool online and was initially attracted to a tool used to score cement board prior to snap-breaking it. The tool came in both carbide and carbon steel and the steel version could be reground if necessary to offer the correct scraping profile. I decided to drop in to my local Ace hardware to see if they carried such a tool. They did not but instead had something far more suitable. It is the Fletcher ScoreMate Plastic Cutter (05-111) which Ace sells for $8.59 and is likely in stock.
    I took photos but was unable to attach more than one to this post so I created a PDF document instead which is attached.
    As a P.S. comment, I have in the past used a thread tapping cutter which also works as a scraper. The difficulty with a tap is that it requires much more pressure to work properly. I believe that a well designed handle which allows the user to put good force at the proper location would make this work well.

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