I’ve just tried the five different templates on the Reeds ‘n Stuff oboe reed profiling machine. First, a caveat. This is the first time I’ve tried a profiling machine. I found it very easy to use and to figure out. I’ll spend this blog going over the general features of this profiling machine. Then I’ll go into each template separately.
The machine comes with a number of handy features.
There are several ways to make adjustments.
- The clamp that holds the cane onto the tongue can be put on at different levels to adjust how much cane is taken off the back of the reed.
- There is a dial which adjusts how much cane is taken off over the whole template.
- There are different templates available to purchase to get different results.
- The amount of cane taken off at a time can also be adjusted.
- There are three lines on the tongue as a guide for how far you want to put the reed on. This will affect the length of the tip of the reed.
The machine is very portable and has features that keep it safe in transport.
- A screw holds the carriage in place when not in use so that the blade does not touch the tongue.
- The handle can be removed and screwed into the end of the machine to fit in the handy travel case.
- The travel case holds the machine snug and also has a zippered pocket on the top for Allen wrenches and instructions. (See picture below.)
Now I’ll discuss the template options.
This is the standard U.S. template that came out first for U.S. customers. It puts in a nice back with a spine, a heart, and a tip. It makes a very workable reed with a dark, warm tone.
The Alex template is one of two that were inspired by Alex Klein’s reeds. This one is the least finished or maybe I should say it is the least like I make my reeds so I was not able to make it work for me. As can be seen in the picture, the V of the tip is very sudden and the back is very short.
The Klein has a more gradual slope into the tip and a longer back. This template was easier to make the reed vibrate quickly with.
The USLO stands for U.S. and Lorenzo, the oboist who designed this one. It has a little bit shorter tip with a prominent spine still in the tip (at least on my attempts) and a shorter tip and back. All in all, it made a nice reed.
The BRAM tip also has a more prominent spine into the tip but a much longer tip. It worked pretty well, also.
I would need to do quite a bit more experimenting with the various templates before giving more detailed descriptions. I did learn a few tips that, if I were to continue to experiment, I would apply as I tried various set-ups.
- Keep in mind that the further the clamp is over the reed, the less cane is taken off the back of the reed. I would start with having it clamped all the way and back it off one mark at a time to see how it affects the reed at each mark until I found just the right amount for my preferences. I did find that, for myself, all the way was too thick and the last mark was too thin. Also, don’t forget to put on the clamp! That makes the back way too thin. (Speaking from experience.)
- If you like long tips, push the reed to the third line on the tongue. For me, I think I might push the reed in between the second and third lines. I like a long tip but the furthest line seemed a little too long on some of the templates and the middle line seemed too short.
- I think it makes sense to find the right spot to set the clamp before making adjustments to the overall thickness knob. Once you feel like you have the balance between heart and back right, then turn the thickness adjustment knob for thinner or thicker reeds as you desire.
Lastly, watch the video to observe how it works .
If I’m able to experiment a little more, I’ll add to this blog as I can. If anyone would like to add their own experiences with this profiler, please do.