Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A DIY profiler

Here's a profiler made out of particle board, old pipe, and a Dremel tool. You'd think this wouldn't be stiff enough to meet the specifications required for high quality profiling, and you'd be right: the maker thinks 0.1mm is required, and this doesn't meet it. Hertzberg's profilers were made to a tolerance of 1/10000 of an inch, which at 2.5 ┬Ám is about 40x higher than 0.1mm. To me this seems silly, you're still going to be dominated by variation in the cane even at a much lower tolerance. Still, this profiler is a 2D profiler, mimicking the template both along and across the blade, and might conceivably be superior to no mechanical profile at all.

The rest of his site is interesting too. He's an analytically minded amateur, like myself.


  1. Very clever, very cool. Glad it's here, the other links are dead.

  2. And it's really a 3D profiler: it follows the thickness along both the length and (by rotating the pipe) along the width of the reed. Adaptable to single reeds also, methinks, with some tweaking (needs a flat mounting surface on the pipe to keep the reed from rocking.

    1. Thanks for pointing out the dead link. The author is Philip Le Blas, but a little google-stalking hasn't found me an updated location.

    2. The first and 7th pages, unfortunately without the photos, are at http://web.archive.org/web/20110213204424/http://www.plebas.dsl.pipex.com/Reeds/reeds1.html

      The Angelfire site is gone.

    3. Sorry about the disappearing website! I had stored it for the last 6 years behind a school website (I teach Physics), which I finally closed down last month. I've now stored the files at:
      I hope this will help those who still want to access them.

      The home-made profiler itself was just an experiment of mine. Since then, I have managed to get hold of a proper one made out of metal, and this serves my reed-making needs much better.

      Happy reed-making!

      Philip Le Bas

  3. Good job! I loved it and continue your passion.

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