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Do It Yourself (DIY) Making and repairing of instruments, accessories, and more.

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Old 12-07-2017, 09:59 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Nantes
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Default Mold on chanter reed

I have some mold on my chanter reed, probably from my early days blowing when i did not always take the chanter out of the stock to dry!!!! My hands were shaking after the effort of blowing and i was nicking reeds on the stock during the removal processs .I figured it was less expensive to have mold after a while than to buy new reeds frequently.
I now religiously take it out without shaking but would like to know if i can get rid of the mold without destroying this reed to which i have become attached,
something i had not thought of .
My teacher says no and that the reed is still ok.... for the moment.
anybody any suggestions ??? or do i have to start finding another.?
Now that i have corrected the treatment will the state of the reed rest stable or is it doomed?
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:08 AM   #2
sheldon hamblin
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Default Re: mold on chanter reed

Your teacher is probably correct. I say probably, as he/she will know best your level of playing. I have tried to maintain a reed that was only a few months old and only a slight amount of mold by dipping it in alcohol to kill the mold. While this will stop the mold growth, it is still too unstable for my purposes. Then again, I use at least two reeds per stand of pipes per year. Mine are taken apart religiously, and maintained in a 50% humidity room when not playing. I find that after 6 months, even if no mold is present, and I am able to tune, they loose their "brilliance" and I am surprised at how much better a new reed sounds. I order about a dozen reeds a year, hoping to get 4 "good" tunable and stable reeds out of the batch. But that's just me, your results will vary.
Even if your on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. Will Rogers.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Mold on chanter reed

Reeds are like the oil in your car. It needs changed from time to time.

Mold spotting is generally not a problem. If the thing is black, time for a new one.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:48 PM   #4
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Mold on chanter reed

Dipping the reed in a hydrogen peroxide solution-standard Drugstore variety- will keep the mold down for a while. Just dip the blades into a little bit of the diluted Hydrogen peroxide, and take it out- you'll see the reed "Fizz" a little as the solution cleans up some of the gunk. After the mold have been in the reed for a while, it softens it, so the peroxide fix in not a long term "solution".
Slainte Leibh/ Slan Leat, Bob Cameron
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: Mold on chanter reed

The orchestral lot and our wind players have always used mouthwash to wet and dampen reeds for playing and storage. Things that have alcohol in them like Listerine. So safe you could almost put it in your mouth.
I know some of the pipers also use Listerine in the Piper's Pal reed conditioner because it stops the bugs and keeps the reed damp.
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Old 12-07-2017, 09:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Mold on chanter reed

Listerine make a mouthwash that has no alcohol and it would probably be even better as it would hang around longer to keep the reed damp but still the anti mold component and is safer than bleach.
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Mold on chanter reed

thanks for the advice . I was thinking of putting a little oregano oil or tea tree oil on a swab and putting it inside the reed protector cap and letting nature help.
After reading the fascinating and passionate thread on tone enhancers and the expert opinions of our scientific members on what happens inside the cap perhaps they could give an opinion
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:30 AM   #8
Dan Bell
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Default Re: Mold on chanter reed

If your reeds are growing mold, you're storing them too wet. Let your chanter reeds dry out for a bit before capping them, and you should not have problems with mold. Mold breaks down the cane fibers, so it will ruin your reeds if not controlled. If the cane starts turning grey-ish, the reed is pretty much done.
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