An overview of what happens at our workshop.
The cane is shipped to us as tubes from our growers in France and from around the world including Danzi, Donati, Gonzalez, Lavoro, Rieger, Rigotti, and St. Tropez.
The tube cane is split and sorted as segments based on diameter (with our machinery we use primarily 24 – 25mm. dia.), straightness (how well the “grain” matches the tube), uniformity, and other qualities.
The cane trimmed and cut to length, removing the excess material.
The segments are trimmed to fit our gouging machinery.
We then use our handy-dandy computer and some pretty amazing proprietary technology, developed by Cullen Blain, to measure and sort the cane based on its material properties.
This is the key to a great reed; it is also something no one else is doing- we like to be innovative, cutting edge and know our technology will change the industry.
We process the cane to customer specifications, anything between 1.20-1.60mm thickness, concentric or an eccentricity (center-to-side taper) of up to 0.20mm.
We recommend a gouge of 1.35-1.40mm, depending on reed shape, but found many of our customers appreciate all the options and being able to experiment too.
After gouging, the cane is shaped with either a straight shaper or a fold over shaper, depending on availability and manufacturer of the reed shaping tools.
The Blain Shape
The Fox BL Straight Shaper is our standard reed shape, developed by Cullen Blain and manufactured by Fox Products. It’s a Mechler style reed with an open tube and slight flare. It is free-blowing, resonant, and very responsive. Our other reed shape options include the Herzberg (Original), Fox 1, Fox 2, Rieger 1A, Rieger 6, Rieger 13, and Rieger 14.
Gouge Shaped and Profiled Cane
Gouged Shaped and Profiled, or GSP, Cane is a very popular point to start the reed making process for many bassoonists.
The Reed Blank
After the gouged cane is profiled and shaped, it is formed into a reed blank. There are so many ways to make a blank we try to keep our forming process in the tradition of our pedagogy and study. This process cannot be rushed and takes years to master.
This is the most time-saving and cost-effective place to start the reed making process, we recommend our blanks for the busy professional or practicing student, customization available.
The Finished Reed
The reed is then finished by hand and sent to players around the world. By selecting the best materials, and using a little bit of technology, CB Reeds can provide the best reeds and cane available.