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Halifax

In The Future, Perhaps Reeds Will Be Made From Processed Pine Wood?

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I am not a concertina maker, but I've been reading about reed construction (blue steel vs brass vs aluminum, vs new steel, etc). So when I came across this article about researchers at the University of Maryland who found a way to change the cellulose fibers of the wood, I thought perhaps the technology could be used to make concertina reeds. Crazy thought?

 

https://umdrightnow.umd.edu/news/umd-researchers-create-super-wood-stronger-most-metals

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I'm constantly amazed by the progress being made by enthusiastic researchers, who keep coming up with new possibilities in most any field of science, medicine, and technology - possibilities that we couldn't conceive of only a couple decades ago. I just hope we can turn away from our destructive tendencies enough so that these ideas can come to fruition. Yes indeed, now is the time to start out on a career that can immerse you in such exciting developments - at least for us privileged enough to benefit from the education and wealth that provide the basis for such a fortunate career.

 

Best regards,

Tom

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My vote is for bamboo, as if I'm correct, it's used for the reed in woodwinds. Now just work on those university researchers. But, if experienced minds here aren't wrong, reed material, at least in the world of steel metallurgy, plays little to no part in sound quality. Now a piece of bamboo....

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Actually it is not Bamboo that is generally used to produce woodwind instrument reeds but another giant grass called Arondo Donax, however some people are experimenting with other materials such as Spruce and other woods, plastics and metals too. So, who knows what developments may occur .

Edited by Geoff Wooff

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Why re-invent the wheel ? This is nothing but a wool-gathering of Academics. It reminds me of the Cretins at our Local University who got £500,000 to develop a polymer from Salt Flour and pulverised egg shells.. We offered to mould some for them. I told them that it was hygroscopic and would absorb water from the atmosphere. "O No, you don't know what you are talking about" said the Prof. 48 hours later the mouldings had reverted and had become a gooey blob

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I'm thinking to try making reeds on a 3D printer

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I'm thinking to try making reeds on a 3D printer

Keep us posted!

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Why re-invent the wheel ? This is nothing but a wool-gathering of Academics. It reminds me of the Cretins at our Local University who got £500,000 to develop a polymer from Salt Flour and pulverised egg shells.. We offered to mould some for them. I told them that it was hygroscopic and would absorb water from the atmosphere. "O No, you don't know what you are talking about" said the Prof. 48 hours later the mouldings had reverted and had become a gooey blob

Why reinvent the wheel indeed? I thought the article was interesting because a friend of mine dropped her 80-year-old Wheatstone, took it into Custy's and was told that she might have a cracked reed --- panic ensued of the "they don't make 'em like that anymore" type. So, when I came across the article about those researchers taking wood and processing it so that it's stronger than steel, well, it seemed like maybe someday, someone might put such wood to good use in a concertina. Regarding your experience with the academics and their polymer---Did you at least get to say: "I told you so"?

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I am quite happy with steel for reeds. I don’t really feel like there is much reason to find a substitute. I use a vaguely similar wood material in my concertina end frames and hand rests that is about the density of ebony and similar to brass in strength. Its advantages are water resistance and lack of need for any finish. Its density required that I reduce the thickness by half on the inside where it isn’t visible or it added too much weight to the instrument. Honestly, of all the parts of a concertina that could be improved, the valve material is the one I would vote for. Being able to have a perfectly graded set of valves that maintained their properties regardless of age or humidity would be very helpful.

Dana

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Honestly, of all the parts of a concertina that could be improved, the valve material is the one I would vote for. Being able to have a perfectly graded set of valves that maintained their properties regardless of age or humidity would be very helpful.

Dana

 

Since most accordions (and hybrid concertinas) use plastic valves, what would be some reasons to use plastic (or not), and how would they differ (good or bad) from traditional leather valves? Thanks!

 

Gary

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Honestly, of all the parts of a concertina that could be improved, the valve material is the one I would vote for. Being able to have a perfectly graded set of valves that maintained their properties regardless of age or humidity would be very helpful.

Dana

 

 

I quite agree about the valves. It is surely the most perishable component. I use plastic accordion valves on my accordion reeds, they come in a variety of sizes and work very well. I do want to try them out in a concertina reeded prototype I am working on at the moment, its something I am very curious about.

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Whilst not suggesting, Halifax, that your original post isn't food for thought, I can't imagine quite how dropping a concertina might result in a cracked reed :unsure:

A cracked reedpan maybe, but surely not a cracked reed.

Or am I missing something here?

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Whilst not suggesting, Halifax, that your original post isn't food for thought, I can't imagine quite how dropping a concertina might result in a cracked reed :unsure:

A cracked reedpan maybe, but surely not a cracked reed.

Or am I missing something here?

"Cracked reed" was what I heard in the retelling. It is possible that the word "pan" was lost along the way. You know what happens to stories. In the next retelling, there will be a bear involved. :)

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