Softening the Response of a Hard Reed

A forum to discuss the arcane art of making uilleann pipes, reeds, and set maintenance.

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Softening the Response of a Hard Reed

Post by outofthebox8 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:33 am

The reed I made for my chanter was producing a nice clear tone, but didn't have the 'flex' that I was looking for. I found that I could get the cane to give a little more by applying a really tiny amount of water across both blades just above the bridle. This softened the cane fibres in just this area - the lip area unchanged - giving the blades that little bit of 'flex' or 'bend' that I was looking for, in terms of easier response and softer expression.

Of course when the water dries out it needs to be repeated, but I don't mind that as it is easy to keep a little bottle of water handy for this purpose. The good thing about water is it leaves no residue on the surface of the reed, so a temporary and non-destructive intervention, as long as it is remembered that only a very tiny amount of moisture is be applied.

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