Reed design old and new

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Reed design old and new

Postby pipemakermike » Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:23 pm

A couple of weeks ago I spent an interesting hour browsing through a number of boxes of reeds and reed parts that came from Joe Hutton. I think that it is likely that some or all of the reeds came from the estate of Archie Dagg as there were a lot of similarities to Dagg reeds that I have seen in the past.
There were a number of interesting things that I noticed.
Most of the finished chanter reeds had a very thin area, approx 3mm square, adjacent to the bridle. On a few of the reeds it was so thin that the reed had collapsed in that area due to pressure from the bridle. I have heard that the old makers liked a "window" in the blade and I would guess that these reeds were showing that. So I wondered if this was a common thing and if anyone else has seen this or knows the what, why & when this stopped being done.

There were also a number of reeds that had plastic tongues, A clear, quite stiff plastic showing no sign of being a thermoplastic like a yogurt pot plastic, It looked more like a thermo-setting plastic like thick mylar or clear polyurethane. Has any one heard of experiements in this area? (I know about the coke can reeds<G>)

Next time I am in the presence of these reeds I will aim to have my camera with me and record them for posterity
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Re: Reed design old and new

Postby Richard Evans » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:20 pm

Doesn't this get a mention somewhere in Cocks and Bryan? I have certainly heard of it but never understood it. It is pretty much the opposite of what we aim for, which is a consistent taper from bridle to lips with plenty of cane at the base. This approach does not mean you get a hard-to-blow reed despite the description, but you do get a robust construction capable of a wide range of adjustment.
Richard Evans
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Re: Reed design old and new

Postby Tedley » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:08 am

I am not very fond of polystyrene chanter reeds. I prefer cane for tone. However, there may be a use for plastic chanter reeds for some. There are reeds now being made for SSP from 10mm thick Mylar film, which does not dry out and die like polystyrene. I will check the the reed maker I know who makes SSP reeds and see if he makes NSP reeds.
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