Repairs: Reeds

Dale services early reed instruments. Some services, like repairing, padding and regulating keywork, or joints, is generic and covered under those sections (for recorders). Others, such as making reeds and adjusting tuning, are specific to reed instruments and covered here.

Dale makes reeds for historical instruments, including shawms, dulcians, capped double reeds (crumhorn, cornamuse, and others), oboes, and bassoons. For controlled double reeds usually all that is needed is the reed itself. He can build reeds for the Levin C shawm (wood and plastic), Cronin D soprano and G alto shawms, Körber F alto shawm and C tenor shawm with downward extensions, Wood (EMS) bass dulcian, Stanley Denner baroque bassoon, Moeck/vas Dias Denner baroque oboe, Levin Renaissance bassett ranket, and Wood (EMS) Renaissance bass ranket. Other instruments may have to be sent in to have a reed matched to them.

Installing a new reed on a capped double reed instrument almost always requires tuning the instrument to the reed. This means the instrument must be sent in to get a new reed, and charges are made for the reed itself and for tuning the instrument to it. Moeck has stopped making their plastic reeds (in fact, they have stopped making all historical winds) and the EMS plastic reeds are becoming difficult to obtain. Dale will attempt to work with existing plastic reeds if they can still be made to work. If not, he replaces plastic reeds with cane reeds. Despite popular opinion, cane reeds are not necessarily harder to maintain, should work when nearly dry, and provide a better sound and more pitch stability than plastic reeds, so they are often an improvement over the plastic reeds they replace.

Capped double reed instruments can be tuned without replacing the reed if that is all that is needed. If an instrument is sent in for a new reed and the old one can be made to work, all that is charged is tuning and perhaps some time for adjusting the reed.

Other repairs include soldering and patching bocals. These are undertaken on a time basis. It is best to email and send pictures, if you have them, before sending in a bocal for repair.