All bassoonists who make their own reeds have their own methods and I think it is wrong to claim that one way is right and should always be used. In an attempt to remove some of the mystique from the process, here is a description of how I go about reed-making. If it gives encouragement and some useful tips, I hope it's worthwhile.

At the start of my career, I used to buy reeds - mostly from Herman Windeler. When he died, I took the plunge and started to make my own. For a long time, I bought gouged cane which I then shaped and profiled on a profiler. I now buy tube cane so I have as much control as possible. If you prefer to use 'gouged' or 'gouged and shaped' or 'gouged and profiled' or 'gouged, shaped and profiled', you obviously will be able to skip some of the earlier stages below.

Please click on the relevent stage below.

Stage 1: Selecting the Cane, Splitting and Pre-gouging

Stage 2: Gouging and Shaping

Stage 3: Profiling and Scoring

Stage 4: Bevelling and Wire 

Stage 5: Forming the Reed 

Stage 6: Binding the Reed, Reaming and Cutting the Tip Off

Stage 7: Knife Safety, Knife Sharpening, Dial Indicator 

Stage 8: Breaking in a new Reed, Reed too old? Mending a Split Reed