What thickness brass for keys?

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bobble991
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What thickness brass for keys?

Post by bobble991 » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:30 pm

Finally I believe I am ready to start looking at keys. What thickness brass should I be using? I tried a couple at 2mm but they seem a little flimsy. Im guessing about 3mm but I am happy to be told different.

Bob

billh
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Re: What thickness brass for keys?

Post by billh » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:18 pm

Bob, I think it depends on many things. For instance, chanter keys or regulator keys?

Also, the type of brass has a big influence, as does the method you'll be using to work it. Relatively thin brass may work fine if you work-harden it, and use the "folded" method of Kenna, or are making Taylor-style keys (Taylor style keys should be fine with 1.6mm brass, and short folded keys in the style of Kenna can be made from 1.6mm brass as well, though longer keys need to be deeper in profile along the shank). On the other hand, cast keys or fully annealed brass that isn't cold-worked may need to be quite thick. It also depends on the length of the key and the shape. Metal with a compound curve is much stronger than flat sheet, so slightly doming the key touches makes them stronger.

For long chanter keys I tend to forge from stock in the 3/16" to 5mm range at minimum. For regulator keys that are cut from solid metal, I use free-machining brass stock about 6mm thick (this may be thicker than needed but it allows the entire 3d shape of a short key to be incorporated with minimum bending. For forging regulator keys I would use a thinner rod, between 5mm and 1/4" round rod (of a cold-workable alloy) for instance.



Bill

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bobble991
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Re: What thickness brass for keys?

Post by bobble991 » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:34 pm

Thanks Bill. I rather like the Reid style regulator keys NOT that I am yet ready for regulator making, Im frustrated enough with the chanter. Made three reamers for it a la David Quinn. All measurements are within -0.02mm. Took two weeks to make them. Damn thing still giving back d problems. Its a rowesome derived set.

Bob

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bobble991
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Re: What thickness brass for keys?

Post by bobble991 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:31 pm

I think I sorted it out now. I reduced the head width of the reed to 12mm after trying a flat reed in and discovering it played well and consistently, albeit flat. Made a 12mm wide reed on a concert staple and bingo nice and stable. I assume that the internal volume of the reed head affects back d?

Bob

outofthebox
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Re: What thickness brass for keys?

Post by outofthebox » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:09 am

I have found that tapering a reed a little inward from the lips to the top of the binding will have the effect of sharpening back D and C#. I aim to make my reeds about 1mm wider at the lips than at the top of the binding. There is a tendency to blame the chanter for the weakness of back D, but I reckon, as you have found 8) , that weak back D is most likely to be a reed issue.

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Re: What thickness brass for keys?

Post by billh » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:05 pm

I believe Benedict uses reeds on the order of 12.3mm finished width, for such chanters.

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