Bassoon Reed Making 5: Wrapping

[Music: Opening of Flight of the Bumblebee]

Welcome to this video that demonstrates wrapping the bassoon reed with what is often called the “Turk's head” wrap.

There are many ways in which to seal the tube of the bassoon reed. Some use a rubber cement alone. In the past I have used plastic electrical tape. Let me demonstrate how that works.

My reed has dried overnight. I am taking off the rubberband. The tube has formed nice and round.

I wet the mandrel so that it won't slip.

Let me demonstrate how to use electrical tape to wrap the reed. This was a method I used for many years in college. It is very simple and straight forward to wrap it like that. And then you just cut the tape and you are done.

Of all the methods for sealing the tube of the reed I prefer to use the traditional wrapping method. I find that the ball formed on the tube makes it easier to place the reed on the bocal. As a result the reed seems more stable on the bocal.

I use cotton thread (string) for wrapping, and a household cement for sealing the tube. I also make use (as you saw) of the pliers for tightening the wires and the knife will be needed at the end to cut the thread.

I start with a dab of household cement on the edge of the barrel reed barrel on the part that does not have the bark. I then lay the string along the barrel and then make a half-hitch that I place over the tip of the reed. I draw the string up and secure it along the edge like that. I then start my wrap along the reed, around the tube maintaining some tension.

Again it is good that I have wetted the mandrel so that it grips inside the tube of the cane.

I go along like this. I quickly wrap down the reed until I arrive at the third wire. Once I am at the third wire I then do another half-hitch. Turning my wrist like this, I place the end over the mandrel and place the string over the reed like that and draw it tight. That then secures all the work I have done up to this point.

Now I begin to build the ball that goes under the Turk's head. So on either side of the wire I wrap string around the bassoon reed .

When it gets to a point that I like the look and shape of that, once that is accomplished I start at the place that I clipped the wire, moving down and up I progressively create the typical Turk's head pattern.

Let me adjust the light so that perhaps you can see it a little better.

Moving back and forth I try to make an even weave on that ball. On the Turk's head this creates that pattern that I am looking for. When I am satisfied with the amount of wrapping I have done I then again make another half-hitch, go over the end of the mandrel, and then secure it at the bottom of the reed.

I pull that tight. With my knife I cut off the loose end and my Turk's head is now done.

I loosen the reed a little bit and then apply my household cement to the reed.

I liberally coat the Turk's head to seal it totally. I try not to miss any places. When that is well coated (I blow on it to help it dry a little bit) I then place it on the drying rack where is a few minutes it will be dry.

God bless you and thank you for watching this video. I hope that your reed making is successful and that you have picked up a few tips that I have given you in these videos. Bye.

[Music: Ending of Flight of the Bumblebee]