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Brass Reed


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Brass is one of those odd materials that can only be deliberately hardened by 'working' the material. Much of the material available is annealed, that is softened. This working can be done by 'cold drawing' as in wire, or 'cold rolling' as in strip, bar, rod, or some sheet. An other way is to cold forge or whitesmith the metal, more simply, beat the crap out of it!

 

I always hammer brass for reed tongues to take it down by around 50%, just to make sure the brass is as hard as possible. Actually a bronze is better, being usually harder and springier.

 

As for a thickness to make a reed tongue from, this varies from frame/ reed size to size. I usually look at what's left under the clamp, check that the thickest part of the tip is no thicker than the clamp remnant (assuming that the tip is recovered) and then hammer the brass to the under-clamp thickness, plus a small allowence to abraide the underside of the tongue smooth.

 

Then its down to filing and sawing.

 

Dave

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