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Barrick Stees, Bassoon

Making Reeds

REED MEASUREMENT CHART

Except along the spine, it is not possible to measure the rest of the reed blade accurately when assembled. Therefore, I find it very instructive to take apart old reeds and measure each blade. You can learn much about your scraping tendencies. Being right handed or left handed can make you favor one side of the reed or one area over another.

Since symmetry in measurement is the most important principle in reedmaking, becoming aware of your tendencies and adjusting for them in future reedmaking sessions can improve your reedmaking.

Below are two reeds that I thought very highly of and used in many performances. Measurements that differ from top blade to bottom by .001” or .002” are negligible and do not need correction. However you will notice that I tend to leave the back of the right rail thicker than the left on three of the four blades. This would be something to correct for in future scraping. The following tables are in English measurements.

REED #1

Top Blade Left Rail Left Channel Center Right Channel Right Rail
Tip .009 .008 .010 .006 .005
1/8” .012 .011 .015 .011 .008
1/4" .014 .014 .020 .014 .010
3/8” .018 .018 .023 .018 .015
1/2" .018 .021 .025 .021 .022
5/8” .018 .023 .028 .024 .025
3/4" .021 .024 .030 .026 .028
7/8” .023 .028 .032 .027 .031
1” .027 .029 .034 .029 .034

Bottom Blade Left Rail Left Channel Center Right Channel Right Rail
Tip .007 .008 .009 .007 .005
1/8” .008 .012 .015 .011 .007
1/4" .010 .016 .020 .014 .010
3/8” .014 .017 .023 .017 .013
1/2" .016 .020 .026 .020 .018
5/8” .017 .023 .027 .022 .022
3/4" .022 .026 .030 .025 .025
7/8” .024 .028 .033 .028 .030
1” .025 .030 .035 .030 .035

REED #2

Top Blade Left Rail Left Channel Center Right Channel Right Rail
Tip .007 .006 .009 .006 .005
1/8” .009 .011 .014 .010 .007
1/4" .011 .016 .020 .016 .011
3/8” .016 .020 .025 .021 .016
1/2" .020 .021 .026 .023 .021
5/8” .024 .021 .027 .026 .024
3/4" .027 .023 .030 .028 .028
7/8” .029 .025 .032 .028 .031
1” .029 .026 .033 .030. 035

Bottom Blade Left Rail Left Channel Center Right Channel Right Rail
Tip .005 .008 .010 .008 .006
1/8” .006 .010 .015 .010 .007
1/4" .010 .016 .020 .017 .012
3/8” .013 .020 .024 .020 .017
1/2" .017 .022 .026 .022 .022
5/8” .020 .023 .027 .023 .024
3/4" .023 .024 .028 .024 .026
7/8” .027 .025 .029 .025 .031
1” .030 .028 .031 .027 .033