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Oboe/question regarding Hortnagl 99.1


Dear Mr. Bridge, Dear Geoffrey,

Firstly, I would like to thank you for the advice you have given me regarding reed making. Although naturally I'm still in the learning curve, I am now able to play solely on my own self-made reeds.
I have a new question and unfortunately I was not able to find the answer myself.
Per your advice, I used the Rigoutat -2 shape for which I have a hand shaper. By 'accident' I also received Hortnagl 99.1 shaped cane. Together with chiarugi 5 staples (45mm) and K.GE cane, this setup works really well on my Marigaux 901 and I would like to continue using this setup. Are there specific characteristics or qualities of this shape? Are there hand shapers available with this shape, or should I continue ordering already shaped cane? Last, which gouge thickness and diameter of cane should I consider? Currently I have 10.5-11mm cane gouged at 58mm.

Thank you in advance for your time and effort!

Best regards,


Dear Lucas

The Hortnagel 99 is sold in a straight shaper form by Reeds n Stuff (Udo Heng) so if you wanted to go down that route I am sure that Udo Heng would sell you such a machine. It is a very good device and having one gives you an opportunity for a huge variety of shapes to choose from. Bewildering in fact!

Udo's machine is a pretty fair copy, with modifications, of Hortnagel's using the same style of handles and blades. Shaper forms from Hortnagel and Jordanov will also fit as the mounting holes are in the same place exactly. I use Jordan numbers 12 and 13 as well as many of Udo Hengs. It does though lead to much confusion but if you like to experiment the world is your oyster!!!!

H99 It is slightly narrower (7.00 as against 7.3 across the tip) than the Rigoutat -2 and not one I have tried so I can't comment really. If it works for you then stay with it especially if you can afford to buy a shaping machine. I would suggest that your dimensions for cane diameter and gouge thickness will be just right. K.Ge cane works well too at the moment. The narrower shape - H99 - by the way may help both in sharpening the overall pitch, better first octave notes and ease of production of the highest notes as long as you are happy with the warmth of the sound you produce.

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.


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

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

Double Reed News/Australasian Double Reed Society magazine

LRAM, Cert Ed

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