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Saturday, January 16th 2010

9:28 AM

Bevel and scoring

The preparation of profiled cane for forming requires at least two adjustments to the tube, scoring, in order to make the cane easily fit to the round shape of the bocal, and beveling, to make the reed edges fit together in an air tight seal and in some cases to increase the effectiveness of the fulcrum (please see fulcrum diagram in my photo album, page 2).

I score the tube with a machine I purchased from Bonazza that is called a reed carver.  This machine allows me to make an accurate and consistent score on every piece of cane.  It does score completely through the cane but that is no problem as I always cut into the butt of the cane with an X-acto knife up to the third wire before I used this machine.  Before I had this reed carver I would apply seven score marks on the cane starting just short of the first wire and continuing to the butt of the cane, the first score in the center and three on each side.  The minimum depth of the score should extend through the bark of the cane and may go deeper as the cut progresses towards the butt of the reed.  I set my reed carver to start scoring at the second wire because it does score deeper, knowing that the score marks will extend some towards the first wire.  I like to compare the score marks to kerf marks in woodworking.  When you want to bend a piece of plywood to make a half-circle window frame you make kerf marks to make the wood bend easier.  It is the same principle on making the tube of a bassoon reed.  The score marks serve the function of kerf marks.  So, the deeper the score mark the easier the cane should be to bend around the mandrel in forming.  This of course should be accomplished without causing cracks that extend so far up the cane that they appear in the blade or cause leaks.  That is one reason I was taught to glue the tube all the way to, but not including the first wire.

Beveling can be accomplished in a variety of ways. I use an X-acto blade and bevel starting just inside the first wire and continuing to the butt of the reed making the bevel shallow at first and deeper as I progress the cut trying to accomplish a 30 degree bevel at the butt with the depth of the cut reaching the bark half way to the butt.  I bevel the right side of the cane only.  This bevel on my Fox #2 or Rieger 1A shape allows me to assemble the reed with an air tight fit that won’t need reaming to work on my bocal, also resulting in the fulcrum action working well on my reeds.

I welcome comments and hope to hear from many of you.

Best,

Dale

 

 

 

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