View Full Version : Drone Reed Material
12-02-2003, 05:49 AM
I'm looking for some suggestions on a ready made material I can use for making drone reed bodies. I don't have a lathe, so I can turn anything to a specific diameter. I've made some small pipe reeds using an old racking cane used for homebrewing. I'm looking for something with a bigger inside diameter and thicker walls. Is there anything I could buy at a hobby shop or home depot that would be similiar to this? Also suggestions on easily obtainable tongue material would be appreciated.
12-02-2003, 06:14 AM
.... tongue materials... hardware stores carry plastic shim stock in different thickness', that could be a start...
12-02-2003, 06:18 AM
In the "price of Delrin" thread there are a couple of links to plastic places. Also, you might scour some of the other threads for suplliers links. Most of the places I know of are all in here someplace.
LE phenolic (at least I think thats the grade) might be the ticket. The grade I am thinking of is what I call "grocery sack" phenolic. ITs brown, and kind of smells like grocery sack when you working it.
G-10 is a good tongue material. OR indeed, you can mix up your own recipe for carbon fiber. (most if not all who use carbon fiber, mix & make their own. it is not often sold in ready made sheet)
Delrin bushing stock *might* work. IF its close to you OD & ID requirements.
About not having a lathe.. IF you have a drill.. you could jimmy rig a lathe. Its certainly possible, and lots of people do it. Of course.. it leaves one wanting more.. but it works to a point. IF you already have a motor.. $150 or so gets you into a Taig lathe. 3" swing and 9" between centers. $300-$400 gets a fairly decked out Taig. Not too bad, really.
12-02-2003, 09:39 AM
Originally posted by Rodger the Mad Seamster:
About not having a lathe.. IF you have a drill.. you could jimmy rig a lathe. Its certainly possible, and lots of people do it. Of course.. it leaves one wanting more.. but it works to a point. IF you already have a motor.. $150 or so gets you into a Taig lathe. 3" swing and 9" between centers. $300-$400 gets a fairly decked out Taig. Not too bad, really. Some of the Mini lathes here aren't badly priced at all, especially when you don't need a 36"-between-centers machine:
12-02-2003, 02:13 PM
You are really going to need a lathe of some sort or another. Have you thought about how you are going to machine the flat and the tone hole?
For reed body material, try the link below and search for XX, CE, LE or G-10 phenolic rod:
Try a machine shop supply store for plastic shimstock in .015" (pink) and .020" (yellow) thicknesses for tongues.
12-02-2003, 03:01 PM
Years ago I seem to recall that David Daye made some GHB drone reeds from brass tube with one end plugged and a long, sloping flat filed or ground down the length. The tongue material was sheet plastic as found at the hobby shop bound to the reed body with waxed hemp. I know another reed tinkerer who swears that brass shim stock makes great sounding tongues for drone reeds. I guess the conclusion is there are many approaches to this and the field is wide open for experimentation. Who knows, you may come up with the next Rocket Reed.
This web site has all sorts of things one might need for making almost anything:
They have thousands of items, and you might be able to find something there.
12-03-2003, 05:32 AM
Originally posted by Jay Close:
Who knows, you may come up with the next Rocket Reed. Not looking to do that Jay... Just trying to save a few bucks and make a set of reeds in A=440.
Thanks to all for your suggestions!
12-03-2003, 05:35 AM
I think the David Daye reeds you described were made of cane with a brass tongue. Brass, aluminum, ect., sheet stock will work as tongue material for a while. But, those materials have a short life. If you're looking for metal tongue material, you might try phosphor bronze, if you have a way to cut and machine it.
12-03-2003, 06:24 PM
Daye also had reeds made of brass hobby tubing with Styrene tongues- regular hobby shop materials.
Plastic Ball Point pen bodies might also make a cheap drone body source...
12-03-2003, 07:32 PM
I think the David Daye reeds you described were made of cane with a brass tongue. I don't know about the tongue, but I do remeber that he played (plays??) reeds of a cane body and synth tongue. I only got a good look at them once, and that was way early in my tuition, so I don't remember what the tongues were for sure; they may have been plastic. Got a real purty sound from them, whatever they were.
12-05-2003, 12:58 PM
Scott, I used to buy tube with an 8mm bore 12.5od. from a phenloic mix. It is good for drone reeds but takes a lot of work to keep it smooth and rag free. I am sure you will get similar over there, if not I will post some offcuts for you to play with.
12-09-2003, 07:21 AM
You can do the flat with a 1" belt sander, very carefully. Actually, the cheapest way to do this to get a A-440 pitch, is to call Mark Wygent. I know he has done many A-440, at a fraction of what this will cost you.