Setting up cane drone reeds

Pipemaking, reedmaking & maintanence. Expert pipemakers are eager to answer your questions

Re: Setting up cane drone reeds

Postby iain allen » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:16 am

Hi Mike

To be honest I didn't pay much attention when I used them, I only used them when playing with a band which I haven't done for years.

I don't think its a linear relationship, I may have time to check later if so I'll post tonight.
Its quite possible it will vary from one brand to another.

There are various ideas regarding the 'screw' some use a plunger with o-rings and some move the whole body on a stem which fits into the reed seat as per usual. There are some very elaborate designs out there with prices to match.

Iain
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Re: Setting up cane drone reeds

Postby iain allen » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:49 pm

Update

Just tried a quick test with a reed that uses a plunger system rather than a screw.
It was a quick and basic test and more controlled conditions might give different results but..

Result is....the drone moves further on the pin than the plunger moves so movement is not linear.

That does not mean that other reeds are not linear.

Sorry for such vague info but I'm trying to get ready for the Whitley Bay course and I really am a beginner on NSP's :oops:

Iain
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Re: Setting up cane drone reeds

Postby pipemakermike » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:19 pm

Thanks Ian That is quite helpful
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Re: Setting up cane drone reeds

Postby Tedley » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:28 pm

I agree that the bridle is best used to set the tone and air demand of the reed and weight used for tuning. However, weight can be removed from the tip of the tongue by carving it off to sharpen the pitch of a flat reed. The closer to the tip the more effective the adding or removing weight is. Sealing wax can be applied to a reed by not melting it to liquid and dripping it on. The wax can be softened in the flame then stuck onto the reed directly and the blob manipulated with your fingers while it is still warm. Once adjusted the wax can be passed over the flame to polish the surface and make it neat. An alcohol lamp or candle flame is best for this. It is good to practice using wax on a chopstick to become skilled at working with it. I use dop wax, a type of sealing wax with extra grip that is used to mount gem crystals on a dop stick for faceting. I sell dop wax and other supplies at: piperssupply.com .

I use a single edge razor blade from the hardware store to make the end cut. I use a triangular file to make a small notch on the reed and set the blade in the notch and press down for the cut. I do not manipulate the blade to "naturally" split the tongue. Instead, I use the corner of the razor blade aligned with the axis if the reed and pointing at the center of the tube at the end cut, pressing it through the wall to cut one side of the tongue. Repeat on the other side. I have a bridle tied onto the reed to prevent the cuts from going too far down the sides. This way the exact tongue width you want can be made. Most pro reed makers I have talked to prefer to cut the sides rather than trying for the "natural" split. A much higher percent of working reeds can be made by doing this. It is important that the blade be aligned properly so it cuts between the fibers rather than cutting across them. I have made thousands of reeds this way.

I never heat set the opening of a reed as it will not last as long as lifting the tongue against the bridle to 30 to 40 degrees which breaks down some fibers at the bridle. This may be repeated as needed to open the tongue. I also hold the tip of the tongue open and run my thumb nail up the top of the tongue toward the tip to form a slight curve to the tongue. Slowly opening the tongue this way makes for a long lasting reed. Lifting the tongue and releasing it, known as "snapping the tongue", may be repeated during the breaking in process until the reed settles into playing. Over time, this will be needed to be done less and less, until the reed reaches stability. This technique is normal for using cane reeds and the feeling for doing it can be developed with practice. Following this method results in stable and long lasting cane drone reeds. Those I have taught to do this become familiar with using cane reeds and are usually delighted with the superior tone that cane reeds deliver, if properly fitted and broken in. I find cane reeds easier to work with than the Tupperware or composite reeds and prefer the tone. All it takes is practice to develop the sensitivity needed to work with cane reeds.
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Re: Setting up cane drone reeds

Postby Tedley » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:56 pm

Bridles on cane drone reeds are usually made from cobbler's waxed thread tied onto the reed. These are considered to give the best results, but must be replaced over time. I find o-rings to be less satisfactory as they have a tiny point of contact. I sell silicone tubing at piperssupply.com which has a 1mm wall thickness and a 2mm bore. 1/16 to 1/8 inch rings can be sliced off the tubing and stretched over a nail set or other tapered pin and the reed set onto the pin so the bridle can be rolled onto the reed. The tubing I use works well on drone reeds from 4mm diameter up to 9mm diameter. I have replaced o-rings on some composite reeds with these bridles with good results.
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Re: Setting up cane drone reeds

Postby andymay » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:39 pm

Hi Ted,

Thanks for your detailed response!

I may have to check out this silicon tube bridle idea - I also investigated o-rings but was dissatisfied with the results.

Cheers
A
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Re: Setting up cane drone reeds

Postby pipemakermike » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:25 pm

I have used silicone tube bridles on the composite reeds I have been making for the schoolpipes. I source the silicon tube from model shops where is is used as fuel tubing for model engines. There is usually a choice of diameters and I am very happy withthe results. I did publish a description of how I cut the bridles from the tube which can be a bit messy if not carefully done.
http://www.machineconcepts.co.uk/smallpipes/reed_design/reed_design.htm

Image
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Re: Setting up cane drone reeds

Postby Tedley » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:52 pm

Mike, you have done a lot of R&D on these. I would interject that you may want to try Mylar (polyester) plastic sheet for tongues. It has the advantage of not aging, like the yogurt pot plastic, which loses flexibility over a year or so of use. Mylar PC reeds last for years as the Mylar doesn't loose plasticizers and dry out, requiring replacement. The second point is that the silicone tubing you are using has a much thicker wall than what I use. Mine also came from a hobby shop as small engine fuel line. It has a 1mm wall thickness and a bore of 2mm. I have used these on reeds up to 9mm in diameter, but they aren't ideal for 3mm dia. reeds, where I tie a cobbler's waxed thread bridle. I like it better than the heavier wall. I slice off bridles with a razor blade, only making a bad one now and then. I like how you are cutting them.

I find well made and broken in cane reeds to be fine. They are stable and can last for years and easier to make than composites for me. Once broken in, mine have not had to be touched in years. They change some with environmental changes, but they always work. It may take a couple of different reeds to get one that is stable.
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Re: Setting up cane drone reeds

Postby Tedley » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:54 pm

Mike, you have done a lot of R&D on these. I would interject that you may want to try Mylar (polyester) plastic sheet for tongues. It has the advantage of not aging, like the yogurt pot plastic, which loses flexibility over a year or so of use. Mylar PC reeds last for years as the Mylar doesn't loose plasticizers and dry out, requiring replacement. The second point is that the silicone tubing you are using has a much thicker wall than what I use. Mine also came from a hobby shop as small engine fuel line. It has a 1mm wall thickness and a bore of 2mm. I have used these on reeds up to 9mm in diameter, but they aren't ideal for 3mm dia. reeds, where I tie a cobbler's waxed thread bridle. I like it better than the heavier wall. I slice off bridles with a razor blade, only making a bad one now and then. I like how you are cutting them.

I find well made and broken in cane reeds to be fine. They are stable and can last for years and easier to make than composites for me. Once broken in, mine have not had to be touched in years. They change some with environmental changes, but they always work. It may take a couple of different reeds to get one that is stable.
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