Contrabassoon GSP

Contrabassoon Gouged Shaped and Profiled cane is now available at

www.kingbassoonreeds.com/cane

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Bassoon GSP

bassoon GSP

King Bassoon Reeds is now offering GSP for bassoon. The bassoon gouged, shaped, and profiled cane sells very fast and so is hard to keep supplying, but now with the school year out (less orders) we have more time to process cane.

 This cane is made using traditional Herzberg measurements and the Herzberg shape. This is all made with California cane which has a medium hard density.

Green Reed!?

Green Reed

I tried an experiment last week involving a Green Reed for Contraforte. I just harvested some cane in early January and decided to try to immediately make a reed out of it instead of letting it dry. And this is what turned out! I regular reed that sounded and acted like any other reed but it was fresh green cane and didnt need to be soaked in water before I played on it. The texture was similar to a very hard piece of cane so I had to make this thinner than I would normally. After a few days it started to dry out and warp and is now is playing very sharp. Next I’m going to try this on regular bassoon.

I would suggest trying it to all of the cane harvesters out there!

Hand Profiling Bassoon Cane

Bassoon predates profiling jigs and modern profilers, so early players profiled cane by hand. The process isn’t complicated but it takes practice to get used to the feel of carving off material. Just like a modern profiler takes off a “chip” of cane at a time, hand profiling takes off thin layers at a time. This also works just as well for contrabassoon cane.

To start, take a piece of soaked, gouged bassoon cane and strap it to an easel. Hand gouging is even easier than hand profiling (wrap sandpaper around an easel and keep measuring until you’re there) I use a rubber band to attach cane to the easel, I am using 120mm cane. Mark the centerline and mark the two collars. My finished reeds have a blade length of 26.5mm from the collar, so I keep 28mm of blade length for the blank before I cut it open. In other words, mark your collar line at 28mm from the center on both sides.

Marked bassoon cane

Then score the center line and the two collar lines, score deeply so that you can get a chip started. Then take your knife and remove then bark. Start at a collar line and pull towards the center, this step is just the bark so do make the chip too big. Bassoon Cane Chip

Now You should be left with a uniformly “peeled” area of an equal thickness. For people beginning to hand profile, the first few pieces of cane, this will already be a disaster. I like to use a double hollow ground knife for this whole process since I can get the edge sharper and control the cutting angle better.

Hand Profiled Cane

Now thinking ahead to what you’ll like to have when finishing the reed, the spine should be left alone. It is thick right now, but once it becomes too thin then it is ruined. Mark two lines on the center line dividing the cane into thirds. Then divide both of those outside thirds in half again. Hand Profiling Bassoon Cane

The center area will become the spine so it will be left alone for now. Take off another layer from the outside thirds (everything except the center) and another layer from the two outermost sections. So now in total; the center of the cane was only peeled, the outer thirds had been peeled and a layer taken off, and the outermost section has been peeled and two layers taken off.

Bassoon Cane Hand Profiling

At this point use sand paper or a large metal file to buff out the lines and sharp edges. I prefer course sand paper and then medium sandpaper. Make sure to give it another dip in water before folding and shaping.

Hand Profiled Bassoon Cane

The finished piece should look something like this. It will never be as pretty as when a profiler is used, and it will take much more time than using a profiler. Hand profiled cane will create a thicker blank which leads to more work in the finishing stage. I have relied on my hand profiling when my profiler blade was out being sharpened, and I started in high school when I didn’t own a profiler. There are 2 or 3 different patterns to creating the final dimensions this is the simplest and quickest. The biggest obstacle is learning how to set the chip thickness and feeling how deep to cut for each layer. I consider peeling the bark as taking off a layer, so each chip should be the same thickness as the bark.

Reed Machines

This is a post that I have dreaded doing for a long time. I debated whether this was necessary and useful to people, or if it would just be obnoxious. I realized that when I myself was buying reed tools there was very little information on a consumer level about how these machines stacked up against each other. If I was starting all over again in buying reed machines, I would have liked to have seen more information about them. So that’s the basis of including this aspect of my reed desk equipment.

 

Reiger Bassoon Gouger

Reiger bassoon gouger
bassoon gouger

 

Reiger Bassoon Gouger
bassoon gouger

This gouger was a recent acquisition, it was a graduation gift from my uncle. Outside of this gouger I have only used the Reeds ‘n Stuff gouger, and I do really prefer the Reiger. The guillotine (which is included, and a big reason for choosing this machine) is very easy to use and cuts to a perfect fit to the cane bed. Once the cane is at that 120mm length, it fits right into the cane bed and never slips out. I have had some problems with other gougers where the cane jumps off of the machine once you use a little strength.

www.georgrieger.com

 

Berdon Bassoon Profile

Berdon Profiler
bassoon profiler

 

Berdon Profiler
bassoon profiler

This machine is an ANTIQUE! It is very old and I found it on eBay from an oboe player who had it in his closet for a few decades. This machine represents a very simple single barrel profiler with two basic adjustment screws, a removable blade, and no measurement systems whatsoever. There are many simple machines like this still being done by a few companies. What I like is that it is very easy to use, easy to remove the blade to sharpen myself and easy to adjust. I don’t like that when I adjust the profile I have to waste a few pieces of cane on trial and error experiments with no way of knowing what my current settings are. I found this for $300 and it works great, if you can find a cheap simple profiler you can probably get a good blade fit to it and get it working. Otherwise I would suggest finding something newer and more sophisticated.

 

Reeds ‘n Stuff Tip Profiler

tip profiler
bassoon tip profiler
tip profiler
bassoon tip profiler

This tip profiler I also found used. This is the only thing that I own by Reeds ‘n Stuff and I’m quite sure that he now makes a fancier version of this. However this is very similar to the Reiger tip profiler and it makes all reed finishing a dream. Every tip is the same every time. I cannot enough stress how much this machine changed my reed making and my consistency of sound. I know that they also make oboe tip profilers, that is most of what I hear oboe reed makers complain about is creating an even tip. I have also had some luck using this with contrabassoon reeds without even having to adjust it. If I just put the reed on and keep it a few millimeters shy of the guideline, I get a great tip.

www.reedsnstuff.com

 

Reeds & Tools gouger

Contra Gouger
contrabassoon contraforte gouger

 

contra gouger
contrabassoon contraforte gouger

 

These Reeds & Tools machines are my newest additions, just over a month old. They represent the fanciest machines with flexibility and technology and controlled results. The gouger I currently have set up for processing contraforte cane, this means that I am using a 160mm long 30mm diameter cane bed with a 30mm diameter blade. The cane beds on this machine are interchangeable, so I also have a contrabassoon length bed (150mm) that I can slide use. I also have a 28mm diameter blade and carriage If I want to have eccentrically gouged cane instead of concentric. This machine can also fit a bassoon cane bed, so for doublers who only want one machine to process both instruments’ cane this may be a good choice. Again the guillotine has been great and the bed hold cane firmly.

gouged contra cane

This is an example of the gouge from this machine.

 

Reeds & Tools Profiler

contra profiler
contrabassoon contraforte profiler

 

contra profiler
contrabassoon contraforte profiler

 

This machine is a blast to use! So easy and fast. I have two scoring blades so I can score the collar and the center line of the cane. Chris van O’s was also nice enough to include a spare blade and a dial indicator for adjustments. Unlike my bassoon profiler, this machine has it all. I can accurately change my profile by hundredths of a millimeter by using the attachable micrometer…

contra profiler
contrabassoon contraforte profiler

 

This pair of machines make cane processing fast and accurate, and I would recommend them. So far Reeds & Tools is the only company making equipment for contraforte. The machines that I have are for cane up to 160mm in length but he is also making machines at 170mm and 180mm for contraforte player who want to experiment with longer tubes or blades.

reedsntools.nl

 

 

 

Reeds Finally!

I have been putting out reed orders for the past few months with great success and have had a great time connecting with customers. However it has been a hassle to manage reed orders along side regular gig emails etc. so I decided to create a reed website! It is a site that will be constantly updated with new products and cane sources. So feel free to check it out!

There is an icon (will make more sense in a few updates) at the bottom of the webpage linking to my eBay store. That is where I sell sale reeds or inventory that I need to move, usually at a reduced price.

kingbassoonreeds.com