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Oboe/Reeds n Stuff profiler


QUESTION: Hi Geoffrey

I hope you are well! I have just bought a profiler with template you say it works really well, however I am still experimenting with it and having a few problems, one is that as my reeds are thin by most peoples' standards I find that it is quite easy to take chunks out of the tip - is this profiler supposed to scrape reeds all the way to the playing stage or is there always some adjustments which need to be made by hand? The first reed I made was great with no adjustments needed but I have not been able to replicate this since for some reason...don't know if it is down to cane quality or what

Thank you again Geoffrey for your great advice

ANSWER: Dear Jade

Your problem might be something to do with the cane quality. A softer cane can lose the corners where the harder stuff holds up.
I suspect though that you are using too much pressure on the carriage as you cut the scrape. Do it very lightly and don't be tempted to press hard. If you do the tiniest extra downward pressure - even though the tolerances are very tight - can cause the blade to dig just a fraction deeper and spoil the tip. Let the blade take off the cane with as little downward pressure as possible. It is probably best to regard the machine as not quite a finished reed producer - but very very nearly.
I usually start at the tip, scraping from about 4-5mm back from the tip and then go back to the fullest length of the scrape. I think that you might be advised to back off a touch so that the final tip produced by the machine is about 10 thou of a millimetre. There should be no danger then of spoiling the tip by over profiling. It is so irritating when you spend ages getting the cane, tying it on after gouging and shaping only to wreck the tip!!!! The machine works best on a particular dimension of gouged cane - probably a difference of 0.15mm edge to centre. So roughly say, 0.58 in the middle and 0.43 on the sides.
On the Michel machine there is a curious wooden mushroom for resting the wrist upon thus ensuring that you only use fingers to move the profile carriage.  Just use finger movement backwards and forwards with the left hand whilst moving the tilt arm from side to side.
Another tip is to start the cutting from the centre and proceed to the left always being very careful as you near the edges. The go in the other direction.
Do some reeds starting from the centre to the left and some from the centre towards the right. This evens out the wear on the blade.
Don't forget to soak prior to scraping but don't over soak as this drags the cane off and can cause tip disasters.

These machines need careful use and a bit of getting used to. Howarth's have a day coming up demonstrating Reeds n Stuff machines. Might be worth a trip.

Best wishes and if I can help further get in touch on :


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Geoffrey

Thank you so much - yes the profiler needs no pressure at all to scrape, I have just discovered! I'm trying to find a decent supplier of cane where all variables can be specified...K-Ge does this but I've not been too keen on Chinese cane recently. Yes I've had an email regarding the Reeds n stuff day, I will definitely try to go

Thanks again!

All the best


Dear Jade

For cane gouged try Sanecane a business run by very fine Scottish oboist Sarah Cruickshank who lives in Glasgow.

Her website is

She supplies Alliuad, KGe, or Jordanov Choix

She tries to be prompt with her orders and her gouging is accurate.

I have used Alliuad and Jordanov with great success from her when I have been pushed for time..

Best wishes



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Geoffrey Bridge


Professional oboist with many years experience. Former pupil of Leon Goossens. Solo artist for Arts Council of Great Britain. Freelance recitalist/broadcasting/orchestras. Former Head of woodwind teaching in Hampshire, England. Questions on repertoire, playing styles, reeds, cane selection and processing.


St Andrews University Royal College of Music, Aberdeen College of Education Licenciate of the Royal Academy of Music General Teaching Council certificate Broadcast solo recitals/performed with major symphony orchestras/Music Club recitals/writings on double reed matters

Chairman and Trustee of the British Double Reed Society International Double Reed Society Association Hautbois Francais Orchestral Manager of Southern Pro Musica Orchestra/Aberdeen Sinfonietta

Double Reed News/Australasian Double Reed Society magazine/International Double Reed Society

LRAM, Cert Ed

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