How to Sharpen an Oboe Reed Knife using the Tri-Angle Sharpmaker

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How to Sharpen an Oboe Reed Knife using the Tri-Angle Sharpmaker

Postby slevie » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:43 am

I have a double hollow ground knife for making oboe reeds. These knives are supposed to have a burr that catches the cane as the reed is scraped in the process of making it play musically.

How can I use my Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker to set and maintain a suitable scraping edge?

My first instinct is to sharpen the knife using a 20° angle on each side and the 4-step sharpening sequence with the medium-fine and fine stones, not worrying about the burr at this stage. Then I'd create and set the burr by using only one of the fine grit finishing stones. I'd draw the knife so the back side is against the flat side of the stone. I'd make 5 draws, encouraging the cutting edge to bend or bevel toward the front (cutting) side.

Any suggestions or recommendations, especially from someone who's use the Sharpmaker for sharpening an oboe reed knife?

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Re: How to Sharpen an Oboe Reed Knife using the Tri-Angle Sharpmaker

Postby spyderwa » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:17 pm

My wife has played oboe at a professional level for many years and also makes her own reeds. She currently uses a Landwell knife and sharpens it with one of the Spyderco medium ceramic whet stones. She is right-handed and evidently that makes a difference in how she sharpens the knife. She begins by drawing the knife, (edge-first), back at 15 degrees firmly across the stone 10 times. She then pushes the opposite side, (edge-away), at aprox 5 degrees six times. She then repeats the first step 4-5 times. This works for her. I have tried to make sense of the sharpening technique and I can't. This is what works for her. Everyone of her fellow players sharpens differently. Her method is fairly close to her friend who was a principal oboist of a major symphony. He first pushes the knife away which works for him but not her. She does not finish with a strop although some players use them. I hope this helps. I have great sympathy for oboe players because of the amount of time they have to spend making their reeds. It is part science and part art with a bit of luck thrown in. Good luck.
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