Powered by Bravenet Bravenet Blog

Subscribe to Journal

Wednesday, September 2nd 2009

8:44 AM

Gouging - the foundation of reed making

Before I start on the process I’ll tell you that I use a fine Rieger gouging machine to gouge my cane.  At the IDRS, I almost drooled over the new electric gouging machine made by Udo Heng of Reedsn’stuff and was also impressed by the Innoledy gouger, though only the oboe gougers are currently on their webpage.

Since few of us can grow our own bassoon cane, we are left with the duty of either gouging our own cane, or finding gouged and/or fully processed cane that will work for us.  Gouging is the process of cutting the inside pulp down to a dimension so that we can then profile the bark down to start the finishing of our blade. Consistently and accurately gouged cane is a necessary product if our profile results in good reeds.  First, though, if gouging ourselves, we must pick the proper diameter of tubes for the gouger.  If the gouger bed is 24 mm in diameter, then of course 24 mm diameter cane is best but you will probably have to buy 24-25 mm tubes.  This probably won’t matter so much as tubes aren’t perfectly round anyway.  Some 26 mm tubes may work but the larger tube diameter means the cane won’t sit flat in the gouger and result in cane gouged thinner in the middle than you intended.  Smaller cane than 24 mm will result in gouged cane that is thinner on the sides, though 23 mm will work well in my machine.  There are two types of gouged cane produced by machine and several variations thereof.  Concentric cane results in a gouge whose circle is parallel with the outer surface, the bark.  Eccentric gouge uses a larger diameter circle for the inside than the outside, resulting in thinner sides to the gouge than the center.  How much thinner depends on the shape of the gouger blade.  It also varies whether you are using a 24 mm tube or 25 mm tube.  There are many possible variations made by hand gouging, some of which are covered in The Bassoon Reed Manual, Lou Skinner’s Theories and Techniques, by James R. McKay


My gouger is eccentric, but only by .1 mm from center to edge, not as dramatic as many.  The reason for an eccentric gouge is to have the thin corners of the reed come from the harder cane closer to the bark so the cane will be stronger and the corners will tend to stay open.  The opening of the tip is also controlled by the diameter of the tubes.  Smaller diameter tubes produce reeds whose tips will tend to stay open.  This is extremely important to oboists, but less so to bassoonists who control the tip opening with the wires. 

There is no one perfect thickness of the center of the gouge.  You may purchase cane from 1.1 mm to 1.45 mm or even perhaps a little thicker.  I currently gouge 1.30 mm =-.1mm.  There will always be some variation in the thickness regardless of the type of gouger you use because of natural variations in the cane.  One of the best features of gouging my own cane is that if my reeds turn out a little bit too hard I can easily thicken the gouge a little on my machine where changing the profiling machine is a more complicated process.

Splitting cane is no art.  I use a commercial splitter that splits the cane into four segments.  Then I soak the cane in room temperature tap water for 2 hours.  I try to not let the cane soak for more than 4 hours as it gets a little spongy for good gouging.  At this point many reed makers cut their cane to gougjng length, usually 120 mm. I only cut the cane as necessary to pre-gouge.  I pre-gouge with a Reedn’stuff  pre-gouging machine.  This way, if the cane is a little warped on the end, I can cut off the warped or damaged end of the cane.  I always cut a little cane off both ends of the pre-gouged cane to my gouge length, again in order to avoid warped or damaged ends.   When gouging, I start in the middle of the cane and go to the end.  If I start at the end with the clip raised then the cane often raises a little resulting in a thinner end of the gouged cane than my desired dimension.  My machines are set up from the pre-gouger to the gouger so I only have to make two or three passes in each direction to complete the gouge.

When purchasing gouged cane you should determine the finished thickness in the center of the gouge before purchase.  Thinner gouges will make the surface of the profiled cane closer to the bark and result in harder reeds while thicker gouges result in the blade coming from softer cane.  Other growing factors determine softer and harder cane but the one factor we control is thickness of the gouge.  At least one manufacturer of gouged cane, Bonazza, on their website allow you to choose from three different gouge thicknesses and three different profiles as well as hardness and softness of cane.  You should ask your supplier the thickness of their gouge and information about concentric and eccentric gouges as well as various profiles.  Millermarketingco.com offers a webpage comparing cane dimensions and hardness from various suppliers that is very handy.  However, it is always wise to ask your supplier details about the gouge being currently produced and perhaps if that company can supply the type of gouge you require.  I hope to hear from many of you about this blog entry.



30 Comment(s).

Posted by spongebob essay:

uva favorite word essay essay outline scholarship essay https://essayscratch.com/
Thursday, January 13th 2022 @ 12:53 AM

Posted by extra credit essay:

stanford roommate essay dreams classification essay premium essay help https://essaysitesreviews.com/
Wednesday, January 12th 2022 @ 12:46 PM

Posted by gay top seek gay bottom dating app:

adam for adam gay online dating gay teen dating an older partner gay dating east tennessee https://gaysugardaddydatingsites.com/
Wednesday, January 12th 2022 @ 12:58 AM

Posted by black gay men dating sites:

dating site for gay white gay liberal dating interracial to avoid seen as racist gay autism
dating vancouver washington https://gaytgpost.com/
Tuesday, January 11th 2022 @ 8:28 AM

Posted by about dating gay spanish men:

central oregon gay datingabout dating gay spanish menadam for adam gay online dating gay dating site
s bareback https://gayprideusa.com/
Tuesday, January 11th 2022 @ 8:14 AM

Posted by Exipure reviews:

I am impressed. I don't think Ive met anyone who knows as much about this subject as you do. You are truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. Really, great blog you have got here. Exipure reviews
Sunday, January 9th 2022 @ 3:00 AM

Posted by gay video chat sites realty to dirty roulette:

You have got awesome thing in this article. https://gay-buddies.com/
Thursday, December 30th 2021 @ 11:34 AM

Posted by gay chat roulette adult:

You're an extremely helpful site; couldn't make it without ya! https://gaypridee.com/
Thursday, December 30th 2021 @ 3:22 AM

Posted by gay chat roulette adult:

Incredibly beneficial look ahead to coming back again. https://bjsgaychatroom.info/
Wednesday, December 22nd 2021 @ 8:02 AM

Posted by free vpn for linux:

You've got wonderful stuff here. https://vpn4torrents.com/
Sunday, December 19th 2021 @ 4:09 PM

Posted by best free vpn for mobile:

Greetings, good site you've gotten there. https://addonsvpn.com/
Saturday, December 18th 2021 @ 8:12 PM

Posted by online free vpn:

I love reading through your website. Thanks a lot! https://vpn4home.com/
Saturday, December 18th 2021 @ 2:15 PM

Posted by critical thinking health sciences amcas:

Exceptionally individual pleasant website. Great details available on few clicks. https://criticalthinkingbasics.com/
Saturday, December 18th 2021 @ 8:04 AM

Posted by vpn for firestick free:

Thanks, this website is really valuable. https://choosevpn.net/
Saturday, December 18th 2021 @ 7:04 AM

Posted by hotspot shield free vpn:

You're an extremely helpful site; could not make it without ya! https://tjvpn.net/
Saturday, December 18th 2021 @ 5:59 AM

Posted by writing a compare and contrast essay:

Amazing Web-site, Keep up the great work. Thank you so much. https://howtowriteessaytips.com/
Saturday, December 18th 2021 @ 2:18 AM

Posted by critical thinking assessments:

With thanks for sharing this terrific web-site. https://criticalthinking2020.net/
Friday, December 17th 2021 @ 9:31 AM

Posted by critical thinking for problem solving:

Thank you so much! It a great webpage! https://uncriticalthinking.com/
Thursday, December 16th 2021 @ 11:58 PM

Posted by free vpn for macbook:

Keep up the outstanding work !! Lovin' it! https://vpnsrank.com/
Wednesday, December 15th 2021 @ 3:06 PM

Posted by best vpn 2018 reddit:

Many thanks, this website is really useful. https://vpnshroud.com/
Wednesday, December 15th 2021 @ 2:26 PM

Posted by critical thinking synonyms:

Many thanks! This is an fantastic website! https://criticalthinkinginstitute.com/
Wednesday, December 15th 2021 @ 6:47 AM

Posted by an essay concerning human understanding:

I like reading your website. thnx! https://yoursuperessay.com/
Tuesday, December 14th 2021 @ 2:15 PM

Posted by free vpn for linux:

Extremely informative....looking forth to coming back again. https://windowsvpns.com/
Sunday, December 12th 2021 @ 11:26 PM

Posted by writing a literature essay:

Particularly helpful look onward to coming back. https://anenglishessay.com/
Sunday, December 12th 2021 @ 2:21 PM

Posted by write descriptive essay:

Thanks regarding furnishing these sort of superior written content. http://test.com
Thursday, December 9th 2021 @ 2:46 PM

Posted by writing an expository essay:

With thanks! It a astounding webpage! https://topessayswriter.com/
Thursday, December 9th 2021 @ 10:24 AM

Posted by Tamara Yeo:

There's only so far new money goes privateinvestigatorslexingtonky.com
Sunday, November 28th 2021 @ 5:25 PM

Posted by Tilly Racker:

It must have been her fault his heart gave out louisvillehearingaids.com
Sunday, November 28th 2021 @ 5:14 PM

Posted by Gigi Smith:

Don't kiss in front of me guitarlessonssaltlakecityut.com
Sunday, November 28th 2021 @ 5:05 PM

Posted by Santy:

This kind of clever work and coverage! Keep up the amazing works guys I've included you guys to my blogroll.

Properties Cirebon
Daftar Perumahan Cirebon
Wednesday, November 24th 2021 @ 8:43 AM

Post New Comment

No Smilies More Smilies »