Graham Salter

Machine Shaper Forms

True Dimensions

 

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Because a piece of oboe cane is wider when folded than when straightened out, the Template width of a Machine-Shaper in no way resembles that of the finished reed. Templates can be narrower by a full 0.25 mm at the reed Tip than their specification would suggest, the result that would be produced from a hand Shaper-Tip. Furthermore even this applies only when the cane is fully soaked (but not over-soaked); yet cane is cut better after only a brief immersion, when the results will emerge a good 0.2 mm wider again. This divergence anyhow reduces as the shape grows narrower.

This means that the catalogue widths specified to date are highly misleading. The true width (in different regions) needs to be researched before purchase, or much time and money wil be wasted.

The conversion formula has been generously provided by Udo Heng of Reeds 'n Stuff, and is quoted in Understanding the Oboe Reed, where Chapter 8C explains in reassuring detail the numerous problems and their routine solutions.

The Table below is offered to assist oboists in their researches. The 'true' cane widths quoted in the right-hand columns are those which should emerge from a Machine Shaper Template when the cane is soaked just until it sinks in tepid water. Recommended variations according to soaking technique are detailed in UtOR.

Fortunately all Templates may be exchanged between the machines of Adolf Hörtnagl, Reeds 'n Stuff, Willy Wettstein, Rimpl and Le Roseau Chantant. Attempts are being made to clear up items of confusion, for a few quoted widths are intermingled that already include the conversion.

 

THE CHART WILL FOLLOW SOON.

APOLOGIES FOR THE DELAY WHILE RESULTS ARE BEING CROSS-CHECKED and ERRORS ELIMINATED.