“We become what we behold. We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us.” —Marshall McLuhan
This blog series will review the machines I use for Basso Vento Bassoon Reeds. I will provide a brief description of the capabilities/features of each tool, as well as the pro vs. con factors that steered my purchasing decisions.
First up is the bassoon gouger made by Reed Machines (provider of double reed machinery, based in Netherlands, https://reedmachines.com/). The Reed Machines gouger is a fabulous addition to my tool collection, because it’s very easy to use and it’s customizable. I love the power of choice with this gouger! I do not find the customizable options overwhelming—in fact, I have found adjusting gouge thickness, bed length, etc. very easy to manage. The following link provides information on dimensions: https://reedmachines.com/files/support/gouged-bassoon-cane-dimensions.pdf
- Adjustable guillotine bed, for changing the length of cane
- Cane bed holds cane up to 160 mm in length (average size is 120 mm)
- Adjustable gouge thickness
- Cane bed dimensions allow the customer to choose between eccentric or concentric gouge and the diameter of the cane bed/knife during purchase (I chose a 26 mm diameter for both)
- Able to gouge cane for contra and baroque bassoon, if desired
- Exchangeable carriage and cane bed, if desired
- Adjustable knife
- Includes clamps for securing to a table
- Currently sells for 1,235 Euro
- The guillotine handle’s size provides great leverage for cutting through cane, and I appreciate that it’s included as part of the machine
- Blade is designed to avoid chipping or scraping against the cane bed—many, many thanks to Reed Machines for eliminating a giant snag in the gouging process
- Overall gouging motion is extremely smooth
- Cane bed is loosened and tightened with a hex driver provided by Reed Machines (I’ve circled this in red in photos); this may be cumbersome for some reed makers, but I find the tightening and un-tightening method of securing cane to be fairly quick and easy
- There is no online or hard-copy manual for the gouger, but there is a YouTube demo video; despite the lack of an instructional manual for the gouger, I could still figure out machine adjustments
Overall, this is my favorite gouger that I’ve used. The machine is well built and the materials of the base, carriage set, etc. seem very durable. I love how the blade is held away from the cane bed at all times. I love how easily the teeth mechanism works. I love how comfortable the guillotine is, especially when cutting a lot of cane. This gouger is just a joy to use!
A shout out to https://blog.feedspot.com/bassoon_blogs/ for including the Basso Vento blog on its Top 20 Bassoon Blogs list. Thanks everyone, for reading and joining the discussion!