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Thursday, August 12th 2010

1:39 PM

Reed Finishing, Pre-forming scrapes

While studying with Gary Echols I learned a process of pre-forming scrapes that he developed after studying with Lou Skinner.  After the initial profile by machine, place the reed on an easel for making the scrape.  A well-defined fold mark is required on the cane, a little deeper than may be required for folding so the knife will stop at the end of each scrape.  A triangle file is good for this purpose as the cut is a little wider than with a knife and less likely to cut all the way through.  I then divide the blade of the cane into three equal sections from shoulder to tip. In the section closest to the tip I draw a straight line with a pencil from the edge of the blade to the center line/fold mark.  This makes a small triangle that I will scrape with the knife towards the tip 12 times.  The scrape starts at the top of the mark I have made and goes to the fold mark in the center of the cane.  (Please see a drawing I have made of this stage of the finishing on page 2 of my photo album). I used a large V-shape knife for this process rather than a beveled knife as I would be pulling the blade towards me.  I don’t want to dig much into the cane where I start and I increase the pressure slightly along the scrape.  I then follow the same procedure in the next two sections though I decrease the number of scrapes with 8 scrapes in the second section and four scrapes in the third section.  When I am finished I have accomplished a taper of the cane much like Roy Skinner’s Straight Taper type of reed.  This is only the first stage of this finishing process.  The main difference with this and Skinner’s process is that rather than scraping parallel with the edge of the blade Echols scraped parallel with the spine.  Since this process is performed before forming a dial indicator may be used to check the scrape I have just described as well as the subsequent scrapes on the right and left side of the blade as well as on the opposite blade.

After the reed is formed Echols would then finish the tip of the reed and obtain the usual half-moon appearance.  The advantage to Echols’ pre-form scrape is that he could use the dial indicator and obtain a symmetrical blade that is more difficult to obtain once the reed is formed.

This has been a difficult process to describe though I hope the drawing helps. I look forward to your comments and observations.

Best,

Dale

11 Comment(s).

Posted by K.C. Chai:

Mr. Clark,

It may be my lack of familiarity with where you posted your picture of how you describe this pre-forming scraping, but I can't seem to find it. Can you help me locate it so that I can see what you're doing?

Much appreciated,
KC
Thursday, August 12th 2010 @ 11:49 PM

Posted by Dale Clark:

K. C.
On the right hand column under 'Things to do' press the photo album. The click on the photo and you will see a group of photos. Press on page two and you will see the photo you want on the right hand side.
Thanks,
Dale
Friday, August 13th 2010 @ 6:47 AM

Posted by Dale Clark:

K. C.,
Thanks for your comments. The space left unworked after you do the pre-forming scrape is the width of the cane at the shoulder, that may not be the same as the butt. I made my drawing not to show a particular shape but rather a way to finish the blade. My drawing program makes it easy to draw straight lines so I drew a straight line from the shoulder to the butt rather than ge a nice oval shape that would take me longer. The rails in this way of finishing are scraped first, the idea being that the spine was already the correct thickness and now you need a taper to the sides. Gary Echols profiler was set up to make the reed the same thickness from side to side rather than some that taper the reed making a thicker spine and thinner rails. Gary's Pfeiffer profiler will make the taper if you turn the pins on the easel ends over so the flat side is down. He thought that taper was too much so he did this process. So, the advantage is the control of the amount of taper you want from the spine to the rails. The consistency depends on the quality of your work. I think it is easier to measure the cane before forming especially with a dial indicator made for measuring cane rather than reeds. This method I am presenting is for information purposes and is not the method I use now because I do depend on my profiler to provide the initial taper. Again, thanks for your question.

Best,
Dale
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