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Oboe/ReedsnStuff profiler


Hi,Geoffrey! I have some problems with my new RnS oboe profiler. I use standard template N 22 and all the reeds I profile have a common issue. I measure its heart area from up to down with RnS micrometer and one side is always near 5 micron thinner than the other side. The other thing is that the template heart line is even and smooth, but the profiled  reed has a pit at the bottom which is followed by a huge hump closer to the tip. I try to avoid pressing hard while profiling, but the result is always the same. This profiler was adjusted by Lorenzo Masala and I am afraid of making serious own adjustments. I will be thankfull for your advice or any other thoughts on my problem.

Dear Vlad

Thank you for your question about the RnS profiler.
I have an early version of the machine myself and had quite a lot of trouble with it initially and sent it back a few times! I had lots of conversations with Udo Heng and he in the end changed it and sent me a bottle of Schnapps as a sweetener!! It now works as well as most other machines that I have.

I think the uneven side by 5 micron comparison is not too bad but irritating. I have a Rieger machine which does this and I compensate by profiling less leaving a thicker reed and finishing by hand. This way you know where the thickness is going to be with consistency and you can get a good reed form that procedure. You might like to try using a little strip of kitchen foil under the thicker side - under the template -that will raise the template towards the blade and even things up. Possibly!! I have tried this technique and it can work. At the factory they use a mallet to lower the tongue the side which is taking most off to even it up.

Another trick which also might help is to place a small strip of Scotch tape on the template on the side which is profiling thinnest. This will raise the blade slightly off the tongue and take less off the reed. You can use small pieces to build up an area you need thickening this way. It is likely to be come off in time but just put another bit back. What I would hesitate to do is start using files or Dremel stones to grind any areas. It is a very very delicate process. The nature of the profiling machine setting up is difficult and you will notice that the template is designed to give a scrape you want but in fact on close examination is not an exact replica of the scrape. This is because the geometry, pressure and profile blade angle are significant factors. The maker uses experience and computer guided technology to cut the profile template to give you the slope that you need.

Digging out is common in profiling. It happens usually at the base of the scrape length guide. Try a longer scrape and don't allow a dig into the cane at that point in the process. The blade should glide over the shape at the bottom of the bronze guide. Be careful that you don't push the blade carriage too hard when you move from the guide to the template. I find that the carriage for the profile blade is too light and I have tried to persuade Udo of this. The heavier carriage of say the K-Ge profiler has less tendency to "chatter" on the cane surface. There is more inertia inherent in the heavier carriage which propels it through the profiling process. You can get very close to the finished reed with this machine. I think with Udo's machine you should try for a thicker end result and finish by hand. That's what I do with mine. The variety of profile shapes is good which is a selling point and it the machine improved in its newest version beyond all recognition.

If your tips are thicker than they should be with a bump behind try moving the template slightly to shorten it and see if that helps.Keep note of where you moved it to on the little gauge.

So have fun!!

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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