Welcome to
the forums at bobdunsire.com
bobdunsire.com forums bobdunsire.com forums
You can reset your password by going here. Be sure to try your current email and any email addresses you may have had in the past.
Otherwise please use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the forums. In order to help you, please provide the following info: Your Display Name from the old forum and any possible email addresses you would have used before. Without that info we cannot locate your account.


Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Technique & Instrument
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

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

Platinum Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-03-2019, 05:55 PM   #1
bob864
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 9,366
Default Radical reed shaving

I had a Ross reed that someone gave me. It was so hard that I couldnt make it sound no matter how hard I blew. So it must have been more than 40 of water.

Having nothing to lose, I took a knife and cut the shoulders off. Basically I converted it to a moulded reed. Its now straight from the staple to the lips. It sounds great. Its stable, and its probably around 32 of water.

I had a G1 Platinum reed that was also too hard, though not as bad. I did the same thing, with the same results.

I only tried it because I had no use for the reeds as they were, but it was a great outcome.
__________________
bob864 is offline   Reply With Quote
Gold Sponsor
Old 12-04-2019, 12:57 AM   #2
William McKenzie
Forum Clasp
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 878
Default Re: Radical reed shaving

I wonder if I should try this . I have quite a few old reeds of all sorts of different makes.
__________________
Will
William McKenzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2019, 10:16 AM   #3
John Bolt
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: 240 K east of Vancouver
Posts: 1,407
Default Re: Radical reed shaving

Hi all,


Years ago when I first started I did this with every reed and it worked great on the reeds I was using and over the years I have whittled less and less. A year ago I started using Husk easy's that require nothing more than a dip and a wee pinch, perhaps my whittling days are over!
__________________
John Bolt

Single malt scotch more than just a breakfast drink
John Bolt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2019, 11:34 AM   #4
KeithAlex344
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
Posts: 35
Default Re: Radical reed shaving

I got a batch of pretty old Shepard's I shave down. My instructor says the key is hydration as well. Store them in a container of sorts for about a week or so before fighting with them.
KeithAlex344 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2019, 12:51 PM   #5
el gaitero
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Estados Unidos
Posts: 6,625
Default Re: Radical reed shaving

Rory Grossart posted a very helpful reed adjustment piece on his MG Reeds web page.

He mentioned one method Ive used for donkey years...rounding the square edges of the blades.

On (Shepherd) standard reeds I use a 4 short fiberboard nail file on which I cut about 2 of the length to ca 1/4 wide.
I run the file 1x lightly over each 90 degree square shoulder of the reed ...1/8 above the binding ..using a 1/4 wide pass.
I remove only termite dust and play a bit...it will be a tich easier.

YRMV...you might make another 1 or 2 passes with the file to get it to where you like...but wait 10 min or so between passes til the reed dries a bit out of the chanter stock..

Only 1 pass at a time on each square edge...might take 2-3 at most...starting with an Easy- Medium reed. ~28 is my target.....
el gaitero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2019, 01:00 PM   #6
Troy Jesse
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 1,061
Default Re: Radical reed shaving

Quote:
Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post
Rory Grossart posted a very helpful reed adjustment piece on his MG Reeds web page.

He mentioned one method Ive used for donkey years...rounding the square edges of the blades.


I run the file 1x lightly over each 90 degree square shoulder of the reed ...1/8 above the binding ..using a 1/4 wide pass.

To clarify, you round the shoulders, but not the actual blades... is that correct?
Troy Jesse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2019, 07:17 PM   #7
John Bolt
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: 240 K east of Vancouver
Posts: 1,407
Default Re: Radical reed shaving

Hi all,


Yes and to varying degrees to the point it looks like a molded reed!
__________________
John Bolt

Single malt scotch more than just a breakfast drink
John Bolt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2019, 08:41 PM   #8
el gaitero
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Estados Unidos
Posts: 6,625
Default Re: Radical reed shaving

Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy Jesse View Post

To clarify, you round the shoulders, but not the actual blades... is that correct?


Yes correct...as John Bolt noted...rounding the square shoulders towards looking like a molded reed.
But...in my experience with a standard Shepherd Easy-Medium reed ( ~30/31) ....the 1-3 light passes with the fine-ish grit emery file is barely noticeable ...and did bring the strength down ~2.
Different maker non-ridge cut square shoulder reeds may take more obvious rounding.
el gaitero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2019, 03:41 AM   #9
gisahag
Forum Silver Medal
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Southeast of northwest Englandshire
Posts: 303
Default Re: Radical reed shaving

My first thought when I saw the title here was "brazilian?"
I need help.

My second thought was; if you're having to radically shave reeds, you're probably buying the wrong reeds.

Neil
gisahag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2019, 08:24 AM   #10
Green Piper
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 1,639
Default Re: Radical reed shaving

Quote:
Originally Posted by gisahag View Post
My second thought was; if you're having to radically shave reeds, you're probably buying the wrong reeds.

I agree, but many of us have reeds that weve acquired in the past but never used because they were not right.

Luckily for me, I have two great sounding MacLellan reeds. I ordered six at medium strength. They are too hard for me. However, Id prefer to buy too hard a reed and bring it down rather than get one thats too easy. Furthermore, when theyre stored in dry conditions (as here in Colorado), they feel way harder initially.

So, I have two great reeds, which means that I have four more MacLellan reeds that I know are well-made by an expert reed maker, which can be manipulated to my personal sweet-spot.
__________________
"Melancholy as the Drone of a Lancashire Bagpipe" (Behn, Aphra 1678. Sir Patient Fancy)
Green Piper is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Silver Sponsor

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:16 AM.