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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 04-26-2012, 10:58 PM   #1
Shawn Husk
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Default Complete reed making kits with tools

Okay, so I've been thinking about this for a long while.

From time to time the subject of reedmaking comes up and people express the desire to buy a reedmaking kit to learn how to make reeds from scratch.

Currently there is nothing like this on the market.

Yes there are DIY kits available from several reedmakers, this typically includes the blades, a staple and tie in string and hemp and you just put the reed together yourself.

BUT, if one wanted to actually make reeds from tube cane there is not much available.

You can easily find a gouge to cut the curve on the inside of the blades but, you can not buy a shaper (to make the triangular reed shapes), and you can not buy a dedicated profiler (to cut the angle down the blades).

Also, there is not a whole lot of information out there on how to exactly use all these tools AND more importantly how to tie in reeds and adjust them afterwards into great working reeds.

What if a complete kit were available to the average every day piper that allowed one to make reeds right from tube cane? What if this kit were 100% complete and included every single item needed to make your own reeds including the cane, staples, all the necessary tools and most importantly a step by step instructional DVD outlining every single step, and the most critical aspect, how to adjust the reed to make it work well in any chanter? And what if all this came at a price of around $225?

Do you think there'd be any interest?



PS. I'm talking about a complete kit to make reeds from scratch. A set of tools that would allow any piper to make professional quality reeds for a lifetime. Nothing else to buy ever except cane (just reuse the staples as the reeds wear out).
Get in the circle!


Last edited by Shawn Husk; 04-26-2012 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:56 PM   #2
Scot Kortegaard
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Default Re: Complete reed making kits with tools

So, I make an investment of $225.00, learn how to make my own reeds, and have my own tools to do so. I never have to buy another reed from Shawn Husk, or anyone else.

Aren't you talking about cutting your own throat? While I really do appreciate the sentiment, and I find it attractive, it does seem kinda like giving away your hard earned trade.

BTW, for what it's worth, I don't find it attractive from a monetary standpoint, in that I'd save some money on reeds over the years. I just find it interesting that I'd learn how to make reeds. For only $225? Seems like a very cheap education, and quite a bargain to me.

There's only nine notes ... how hard can it be?
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: Complete reed making kits with tools

Originally Posted by Scot Kortegaard View Post

Aren't you talking about cutting your own throat?

No: Shawn is talking about cutting your own fingers first!
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:23 AM   #4
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Default Re: Complete reed making kits with tools

As i see it, i think maybe 2-5% of pipers would be interested in making their own reeds for ever. This being the case, Shawn would not be out of business. I base this on having built my own fishing rods in the past. I love doing it and i love the finished product but the time required to do it proved to be my downfall. I would love to buy a reed making set so i could try to replicate something made by a professional but i know that after a handfull of reeds i would still be buying Shawns originals !!!
I am here to learn and immerse myself in piping culture. Want to help?
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: Complete reed making kits with tools

I'd buy it!

I love seeing how things are done and being able to try my hand at it. As others have said, I doubt this is going to stop me from buying reeds from the pros, but it would be nice to try it.

Would it cover both straight cut and ridge cut reeds? Or your hybrid variety? Or all of the above?

EDIT: I'd love to see something for cane drone reeds too. Perhaps a separate package.

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Old 04-27-2012, 04:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: Complete reed making kits with tools

Tis a good idea to learn to make your own reeds, but at the price you pay for GHB reeds for me would be a toss up to invest in couple hundred bucks or so. Have to make quite a few reeds to make up for the cost..


I did get a kit to make my Uilleann pipe reeds. You don't buy irish pipe reeds for $15 or $20 bux.. Cost me $95 bux to buy a reed and then not always works depending on make and style of chanter. Uilleann chanters are a lot more finicky than GHB in context of almost all different makes have different sized to make that particular chanter happy.. Pretty much the same format to making either reed just different shape and dimensions is all. Can be very very costly to purchase .. Uilleann reeds run anywhere from $95 that I purchase from the maker of my set upwards to $150 bux or more.. That is a good incentive to start making ones own reeds..

But even GHB reeds would be great to make.. It is quite the process.. Not too many tools are needed. Main one tho to be carefull of is to get the PROPER gouging chisel.. Has to be a In-cannel gouge which is totally opposite of the regular Out-Cannel gouge that is so common.. Other tools too that are common to find..

For me I don't want to spend the time making GHB reeds. They are cheap enough and usually plug and play pretty much once you find the brand to use on ones particular chanter..

Getting long winded here must go..


ps There are quite a few videos on reed making on YouTube.

Last edited by Johnniez; 04-27-2012 at 04:25 AM.
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Complete reed making kits with tools

Actually, Shawn, it sounds like a really great idea! It's one of those things that I would love to learn in my spare time...oh, wait, I don't have any spare time ! As gaspipe observed, only about 2-5% of the pipers would ever have the time to actually dedicate to making their own reeds. I suspect that a significantly larger percentage -- like myself -- would buy the package and place it on the shelf "for the day I'll have more time." Then, (like the significantly larger percentage) I will continue to buy reeds directly from Shawn (until, you understand, that long-overdue vacation, second retirement, etc., occurs). SOOO, great idea for the 2-5% of us who has the time to dedicate to it, great idea for Shawn's business (because a larger percentage will buy the thing from Shawn, not use it due to lack of time, continue to buy reeds from Shawn), and great for piping in general to FINALLY have somebody send you a neat and tidy package that "unravels" [pun intended ] the mystery of how in the wide, wide world of sports such an essential contraption as a chanter reed is made, adjusted, recycled, etc.....

GO FOR IT!!! [I think I have a few inches of shelf space left in the garage... ]
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: Complete reed making kits with tools

I don't think Shawn would be cutting his throat doing this. I think a lot of wanna be DIYers (like myself) would look at this and go, "I could invest $200 on tools and things and then never have to buy a reed again!" So you spend your $200, get the equipment, make a few reeds and they sound like crap. Then you get discouraged and just end up buying profesionally made reeeds anyway.

It's like the old joke: A guy walks into a computer reapir shop, he has a problem with his computer. The tech says, "I can fix this for $50 or give you the instructions for free and you can do it yourself." The guys says he'll take the instructions. Thankfully, he asks how the repair shop stays in business. The tech responds, "I usually make more fixing all the problems you're about to create by doing it yourself."
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: Complete reed making kits with tools

I'd buy such a kit.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:17 AM   #10
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Default Re: Complete reed making kits with tools

Count me in!!!
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