How I Make Reeds: 2017 - 2018

Select Tube Cane:

  • I am currently using Medir/Gonzalez from Midwest Music Imports
  • Watch out for dark streaks.  If you can scrape the dark streaks with your finger, move along
  • Choose the straightest pieces or the pieces that are straight long enough to cut into cane


  • Split the cane bisecting any areas that are flat
  • Roll the piece to find where it settles
  • Mark and split through those sections
  • Pre-gouge
  • Gouge, be sure to not over-gouge
  • You need enough cane to achieve an effective profile  
  • Profile in a manner that will allow an even taper from collar to tip
  • Do not treat your profiler like a tip finishing machine
  • It is better to hand profile heavier blades after using a profiling machine
  • Leave enough cane to work with during the finishing process
  • Shaping is highly subjective
  • I am currently using/enjoying a Fox 1 straight shaper  
  • I start scoring 1 mm below the collar and breaking through the cane 3 mm from the butt

              Forming the Tube: Rian Craypo

Making blanks:

  • Using the side of a flat file, create a depression in which the top wire can sit without sliding down over time  (pictured above)

  • mark a 1/2 inch bevel (pictured above)

Internal Bevel: Rian Craypo

Place the Wires:
  • Place the top wire, 24 gauge, as close to the collar as possible
  • Place the 2nd wire, 22 gauge, 9 mm from the collar
  • Place the 3rd (bottom) wire, 21 gauge, 3.5 mm from the butt

Wrap/hot-glue/shrink-wrap to your liking:
  • I leave access to the 3rd (bottom) wire just in case I want to make an adjustment i.e. to fit with a different bocal

  • I use Rieger reamers
  • Course reamer first, followed by fine/diamond reamer
  • Finish with a round file as needed

Ream and tip opening on Rieger shape:

Tip opening on Fox shape:

Finish the blank:

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