Dear Richard,
I was hoping you would come into the discussion. Anita's method is certainly 
different in the initial stage of tying the cane on to the staple but I think 
the main thing to be looked at is the rubbing down and final scrape
of the cane. I aim for a gradual thinning of the cane towards the tip with a 
side scrape to bring in the tone. With Arhie Dagg he would go for a distinct 
central scrape that would create a 'window' as he called it in the centre of 
the reed when looked at against the light. This had the effect of giving a kind 
of rich 'gazoo' type of tone that can be heard on Joe Hutton's pipes. I have 
aimed for the clearer tone that Billy Pigg got from his reeds although I must 
say I have not studied the making of Billy's reeds so I am not sure how he 
acheived it. 
I know that Jack Armstrong scraped the sides of his reeds so there was no skin 
left at the sides unlike Anne Sessoms reeds which do have skin left on the 
I hope this gives a little more insight into the arcane art of reedmaking.
-----Original Message-----
Sent: Mon, 9 Apr 2007 11.48AM
Subject: [NSP] reed making

Julia said:
'To the best of my knowledge only Colin has written down his method.
Others regard theirs as trade secrets or have simply not got round to

Anita has an illustrated description of her method on our website:

The biggest difference between her method and Colin's is that she works 
with dry cane. She makes it flexible when wrapping round the staple by 
heating the end of the staple using a camping stove. The heat is 
conducted up the staple and into the cane. This works very well.


BTW, I have no idea how Archie Dagg made reeds, but I'd be very 
interested to know.
Richard Evans

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