So … I shaped some cane today: 10 pieces of oboe, 4 pieces of EH. I’m wondering how long it takes other people to do this. I think I’m slow! I suspect it took me well over an hour. I’m also frustrated; I hate tossing razor blade after razor blade out, but it seems each piece of cane takes a new one. It seems awfully wasteful. It’s not about the money … it’s about waste. Anyone out there sharpen theirs rather than add to our trash heaps?

While I was shaping I finally tried out the “opera” station on Comcast. It isn’t all opera, but it’s all opera singers. I actually enjoyed the listening experience even though it was a little bit of this, a little bit of that.


  1. I sharpen mine on a diamond stone, as does my teacher…they’re easier to sharpen than reed knives ’cause you don’t have to add a burr.

    I’m pretty slow at shaping, I don’t think I could have gotten 14 pieces done that quickly; I’m also still on intermediate reed-maker. I’m much faster at splitting, profiling, pre-gouging and gouging in terms of speed!

  2. I think I would shape from gouged cane close to 50 pieces in an hour. Not sure why it takes you longer.

    I do remember you being very slow in your shaping, and I also remember you having a different shaping style of doing it in chunks, which made me believe that you were getting inconsistent shaping results. But perhaps you’ve changed this?

  3. Pingback: Shaping techiques « Adventures of Cooper and his oboe, Barbara.

  4. I was taught, Cooper, to start from the bottom and move up. I’d be very curious to hear what others in your department do. Could you check?

    I was told to start from the bottom because if you start from the top you might chop of a chunk inside the shaper tip area because of the grain (sorry, not explaining this clearly).

    I do work slower than you at nearly everything! I’m guessing I even clean my house slower. Part of it is our natures. You are so outgoing and “hurried” in that outgoing way, if you know what I mean! 😉

    Hope you’re enjoying school! (I’ve now “met” another of your colleagues at the school. It’ll be so interesting to read both of your takes on things.

  5. Oh really? Who’d you meet?