is this reed dead?????

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is this reed dead?????

Post by rebelpiper » Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:53 pm

ive got a great reed that i had been playing on for about 2 yrs. i played an outside show in south alabama right after a serious thunderstorm. needless to say i played about 3 tunes on the pipes before that reed completely went flat and unresponsive. i switched to another reed and after about 3 or 4 more tunes it was gone too. so i finshed the gig on GHB pipes and whistle.....but back to that first has not recovered from that gig. it has a very weak sound and no volume. it is basically useless..... ive tried a few things to get it back going again but no success. ...any ideas on what to do?.... one more thing about this of the lips is now flat while the other one is curved.

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Post by the plod » Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:05 pm

There may yet be some life in it, I posted this a few days ago in a different topic but it seems reasonable to copy it here:

A pipemaker of some repute (ill or otherwise) recently told me that he has resurrected some dead reeds by untying them, soaking them in water and then rubber banding them onto a sanding cylinder and letting them dry. He says it can put the spring back in a reed that has "flattened out" - doesn't work for all reeds, but may save an old favorite.


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Post by dropkick » Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:31 pm

That's worth a try.

In my limited experience, I have often found that when you see one side of the reed flat and the other still curved, it can indicate a spilt in the cane somewhere... in the blade that is flat.

By following the advice of plod, you can also check for a possible split.
There are two ends to every pudding... -Cptn. Jack Aubrey.


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Post by Goldy » Tue Apr 19, 2005 9:25 pm

I'll just add to the Plod's comments with the reccomendation to do this to both slips rahter than just the one that is flat. This will ensure symmetry at the lips. If it's gone really flat, you might want to use a smallish tube (say...60 or 70mm) as when you re-tie the reed, it will flatten out considerably due to the thinness of the cane in the scrape region.

Good luck.
We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

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Post by Thistledowne » Tue Apr 19, 2005 10:54 pm

I don't recall if it was here or on Daye's UP list, but someone advised recovering dead reeds by cutting off the tiniest little bit from the end.

The tool suggested was fingernail clippers, but I cannot imagine that they meant the keyring kind where the blades are curved, but instead one of the toenail kinds where the blades are straight and wide enough to clip the whole thing at once (I expect to clip a part instead of the whole would likely crack the reed where the blades end.) There are also fancier scissor styles with straight blades that look much like side cutters.

I would imagine that 1mm or even 1/2 mm back from the tip the strength is nearly double that of the blade ends.

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