First tools for reed making/adjusting

Here’s a quick shopping list for the (few) tools needed for beginning reed making/adjusting:

Mandrel. I recommend the forming mandrel #2130 sold by Womble Williams. You can make your own holding mandrel with a mandrel pin and a do-it-yourself handle.


Pliers. I made many reeds with a pair of 6-inch needle-nose pliers I purchased at Ace Hardware in 1970. Just be sure your pliers have a built-in wire cutter.

pliersWire. #22 soft brass wire is best. Sometimes craft stores carry wire like this, but you may want to check the double reed shops.22brasswirePlaque. It is important to protect the reed when you are working on it. I like a traditional arrow-head contoured plaque–available at double reed shops.

plaqueFile. I like my Grobet files, but any 4-inch warding file will do the trick.


Sandpaper. #400 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper is very handy. I use it to sand the reed tip (to improve response) and for fine finishing of the reed blades.

sandpaperWe like to use cotton thread to wrap bassoon reeds. Nylon thread tends to stretch and squeeze the tube closed. Cotton #10 crochet thread is an inexpensive alternative to the various specialty string available for wrapping reeds, and it’s available in many colors!

aunt-lydia-s-classic-crochet-cotton-size-10-6Duco is probably the most popular glue used to seal and waterproof the thread.



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