S.Walter reed knife
The first rule of reed making is; always have a sharp knife. The second rule of reed making is; always have a sharp knife. The third rule is; well you get the idea. With the S.Walter reed knife you will always have a sharp knife, even if you are not confident in your ability to get your knife sharp.
When I first began reed making I was incapable of sharpening my reed knives to an acceptable sharpness. I would get a reed to resemble a reed-like creation and then with one misguided scrape, half the tip would disappear. After much frustration, I began scraping reeds with disposable razor blades. It was the only way I could take off cane without also taking off the tip of my reeds. The problem with utility blades is that they often chatter (bounce on the cane, causing nicks) when scrapping and can cause more problems then they fix. I wish there would have been a better option.
In walks in the S.Walter reed knife.
The S.Walter reed knife is a wonderful innovation for reed makers. The reed knife features interchangeable blades that can simply be replaced when dull. This knife is especially useful for reed makers that might not be experts at reed knife sharpening, but know how important a sharp knife is in the reed making process. It is a great option for students that want to focus on learning how to scrape reeds, even if they have not yet learned the intricacies of knife sharpening.
While I think this is a great option for students, I know that reed makers of all abilities will appreciate having a sharp blade always at the ready. I especially love this knife for fine tip work, when a razor sharp edge is needed.
The replaceable blades are held at angle that allows you to scrape just as you would with a standard reed knife. The solid wood handle if very comfortable in the hand and allows for ample grip. The reed knife is weighted similar to other reed knives, and users will not notice much difference for a standard reed knife while scraping. The overall balance of the blade and handle prevent the blade from chattering.
Comes with 10 extra blades and a tool for replacing the blades and a sheath. The blades can be purchased through most hardware stores or here.
Oboe reed sanitation against Corona Virus (Covid19).Oboe reed sanitation is something that every reed maker must be familiar with when selling reeds to the public. Reed makers must try and adjust every oboe reed or English horn reed I made to ensure proper function. I traditionally use Hydrogen Peroxide (HP) for a few reasons
Due to the recent covid-19 (corona virus) outbreak I have made a switch to using both Hydrogen peroxide along with Isopropyl Alcohol to disinfect oboe reeds and English horn reeds. Northampton MA has not yet had any cases of Covid-19, however I am approaching my sanitation process as though I have already been in contact with the virus.Disinfecting best practices from the Centers for disease control and prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/disinfecting-your-home.html
- HP seems to be more gentle on the vascular bundles/cell integrity of the cane.
- Hydrogen Peroxide is made up of 2 atoms of hydrogen, and 2 atoms of oxygen (H2O2).Hydrogen Peroxide decomposes to become water (H2O) and oxygen which are non-reactive, and have no taste.
- HP seems to be a great cleaner for older reeds that may need revitalization, making it a substance that all double reed players should have on-hand.
My new disinfection process is as follows.
- Wash hands thoroughly.
- Soak reeds in alcohol for 30 seconds, remove from alcohol and let let the alcohol drain through the staple.
- Let reeds sit for 3 minutes and then dip the reeds in fresh distilled water to rinse off alcohol.
- Allow reeds to dry fully away from reedmaking station (4-12 hours).
- Wash hands thoroughly.
- Place reeds in hydrogen peroxide for 30 seconds, remove from HP allow excess liquid to flow through the staple then shake excess moisture from the reed. Allow reeds to dry full
- Wash hands and insert reeds into their packages for shipping.
The Covid-19 virus can survive on surfaces for 4-72 hours.
https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/new-coronavirus-stable-hours-surfaces. As an added precaution I am allowing reeds at least 3 days to reach their destination after being packaged. This ensures that if the inside of the package was contaminated, the virus will spend enough time in the packaging to die. I will not expedite shipping until further notice, and packages expected to reach their destination within 1-2 days will be held 24-48 hours before being shipped.
Further precautions for oboe reed customersPackages being delivered may have been touched by many hands during transit. Customers wanting to take further precautions upon receipt of their oboe reeds may wish to take these steps.
I am very appreciative for all the support that I have received from my customers over the years. I am grateful that we are able to help one another to play the instrument we love and be happy oboe-ing.-Aaron Lakota
- Allow packages being delivered to sit for 72 hours before being handled.
- Wash hands after opening your packages and before trying oboe or English horn reeds. Be careful not to touch the reeds directly after touching the outside of the shipping box.
- Reeds can be sterilized again in a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution.
- Avoid sharing reeds.
The approximate current wait time is always listed on the front page of the website and along the top of each page on non-mobile devices. Please be sure to check the current wait time before placing an order.
Why is there a wait time?
I love making reeds and devote a very large part of my life to my profession as a reed maker. There are a lot of steps that go into making oboe reeds which can be read about here. I have worked very hard to develop efficient methods that allow me to craft hundreds of reeds each month to help my customers to enjoy playing the instrument we love so much. I love that I am able to help so many oboists of all levels! I ask my customers to understand that in the day of next day deliveries with large businesses, I am just one person working to improve my craft and desire to bring you the best oboe reeds.
Along with the crafting of each reed I am also solely responsible to answer any customer service questions, package and ship the orders, manage inventory, and do any other tasks that are needed to be done in the process of getting you high-quality oboe reeds. I currently devote 50-70 hours per week toward my business. When I have a lot of orders I devote a lot of time to making those reeds, but also more time towards answering questions and shipping those reeds. As demand gets high every part of the process becomes more laborious which adds time to the whole process. You can help to keep the wait down by noting the lead time before ordering and letting me know of any shipping delays outside of that timeframe, not within it. Every customer email about when reeds will arrive is time away from making reeds. I will gladly help with orders that may have been lost in the mail, or have problems for some other reasons. I want to provide the best customer service possible. If the lead time is 2 weeks and you have not received your reeds after 4 weeks, please do email me and I will help to identify if there is a problem and prioritize solving it. When the wait is 4 weeks and I am emailed after 2 there is most likely not any problem with the order.
The current lead time is a fairly accurate estimate of how long it will take from the time of your order to when I will ship that order. The lead time can be anywhere from 5 days up to 3 months depending on demand. I really want to get you your reeds as soon as possible! I do not like to keep customers waiting, I realize how frustrating it can be to need to plan so far in advance. I really do everything I can to keep your wait as short as possible.
How can I be sure I have reeds when I need them?
My suggestion is to order reeds when you still have plenty of working reeds in your reed case. I advise my students to always have at least 3 good reeds at a time. This means you should order oboe reeds long before you only have 3 working reeds. You or your oboist will be very disappointed if you wait until you have one working reed left when you place an order and realize it will be a month or more until you receive those reeds. If you have an important recital or concert coming up be sure to place you order as soon as you know about the event. I take the responsibility of providing you the best oboe reeds I can make, I hope you will take responsibility to plan ahead for all your oboe reed needs.