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Copyright 2009 Dale Clark
Many reed makers like to put their profiling machines in adjustment and leave them that way. The problem is that blades have to be sharpened and replaced. That may result in a difference of thickness in the finished profile that will require an adjustment in the profiler thickness setting. One of the greatest improvements in the manufacturing or bassoon profilers is the addition of adjustment screws that allow small adjustments in the depth setting of the blade. I added one of these to my Popkin profiler and that has allowed me to sharpen and replace blades much more easily without the troubles I had before I had this adjustment. The old templates I used to set the blade (that screwed into the bottom of the blade carrier) were not nearly as useful as adding the blade adjustment screw. I highly recommend having a competent machinist add this blade adjustment screw to your machine. I’m going to have it added to my Pfeiffer machine as well.
Another great addition to my profiling has been the use of shim material on top of my profilers guide. Occasionally, one of my customers wants a blade slightly thicker or thinner. This can be accomplished very easily with steel shim material available in .05 mm or .10 mm thickness. I bought mine from my local machinist in 12” square sheets that can easily be cut to size with a pair of scissors. Shim material is available from many suppliers on the internet as well. I bend the shim into a shape that can be placed on top of my profiler guide and taped to the sides and then the blade is profiled slightly thicker. If I want the blade thinner I place the shim under the easel pins/flats, on each end, before I put the easel in place. Steel shims are an economical and easy way to adjust blade thickness without having to move adjustment screws or move profiler guides.
I welcome comments and questions about shimming and profiler adjustments.