Posts Tagged ‘Reed Knife’

New Double Reed Products from Jende Industries – April 2017

March 27, 2017

We’d like to announce our newest double reed additions to the Jende product line for all you oboe and bassoon players!

First up is the Jende Reed Tool Roll. This high quality leather tool storage roll features 3 large and 3 small sleeves, and one covered and uncovered pouch to store your reed making knives and tools. The larger sleeves can hold knives, reamers, mandrels, etc, and the small sleeves can hold your ruler, calipers, pencil, etc.. The covered and uncovered pouches can hold your cutting block, plaque, and razor blades. The black leather also features red contrast stitching and silver hardware, keeping the roll formal yet exciting.



Next are the Jende Leather Reed Knife Sheaths. These stylish sheaths protect your reed knife’s edge, and gives you a little flair at the same time!


Third is the Jende Cutting Block. This 38mm round cutting block is made from ebony hardwood, and has an indented lip to make cutting the tips of your oboe and bassoon reeds more manageable. It also features a non-slip rubber bottom.


The New 15K Jende Reed Knife

September 14, 2016

The New 15K Jende Reed Knife is now available! The 15K Jende Reed Knife has been around since Jende Industries first opened its doors, but it has just now received a complete overhaul.

The New 15K Jende Reed Knife now features a stainless steel that has slightly more complexity and wear resistance, giving a different type of edge that can hold up longer. It is still sharpened to 15,000 grit for control and effortless removal of cane. The handle is Madagascar Ebony, and is tapered to fit hands of all sizes. The handle has been laser etched with the Jende logo and sealed with 100% natural bee’s wax. The weight of the hardwood handle helps keep a neutral balance for scraping your oboe, bassoon, and clarinet reeds. The sheath is Stone Oiled leather for stylish protection of the blade.

Jake Lieberstein – Now a Jende Reed Knife Retailer!

November 20, 2014

I’d like to welcome Jake Liebertstein to the Jende Reed Knife family! I first met Jake a few years back at a reed knife seminar at Oboe Works when they were at Columbus Circle in NY City. He was one of those students who took a deep interest in reed knife sharpening, and subsequently, in my method of sharpening reed knives. I’ve always been impressed with his work ethic and dedication to his oboe, and I’ve been particularly proud to watch his sharpening skills mature over the years.

I bumped into Jake again this past summer at IDRS in Manhattan, and was happy to find that he is now living in Chicago, and that he was ready to take on a few items to sell in his thriving reed making business. I was, and still am, honored that one of the first things he wished to sell was the Jende Reed Knife. So if you are in Chicago, or know Jake, look him up. He’s in the process of getting his webpage up, in the meantime, please contact him at Reed Knife + 1,500 grit Shapton Pro Travel Sharpening Stone (2 Videos)

March 27, 2014

An introduction to using the Swiss Star Knife from Oboes.Ch on a custom 1,500 Shapton Pro grit travel stone by Tom Blodgett of Jende Industries, LLC.
This video first introduces the 1,500 grit Shapton Pro 1″ x 6″ stone, which is mounted to an aluminum base for better stability. The stone is stored dry in a sheath and just needs a quick splash of water before use. Then he uses the Swiss Star Reed beveled reed knife to demonstrate how to properly use the stone in order to refresh an edge that is simply tired or dull, but otherwise in good condition.

The second video shows how to effectively account for the rounding by using a permanent marker to mark the edge. On older single bevel reed knives, there is almost always rounding that has occurred at the edge, either through sharpening and/or stone wear over time. When touching up the edge of the reed knife, it should remove the marker from the edge of the blade. If you use the travel stone on your older reed knife, it may not work when the blade is placed flat on the stone. If it does not remove the ink when flat, then the blade should be raised off the stone slightly in order to abrade the actual edge.

This stone can also be used on hollow ground knives and of reed knives of all makes. Enjoy!

Making Reeds Start to Finish – an Ebook by Nancy Ambrose King

August 18, 2013

Many people in the double reed world are familiar with Dr. Nancy Ambrose King, Professor of Oboe at Michigan University. Aside from being a truly gifted musician, teacher and a wonderful human being, she is the past president of the International Double Reed Society (IDRS), as well as a celebrated recording artist and international soloist. (You can read her extensive bio on her website).

Now you can add her ebook Making Reeds Start to Finish to her long list of accomplishments (2012). Obviously the book is about how Dr. King makes her oboe reeds, but the multimedia integration is what sets this book apart from all others in the field. As the iTunes site mentions:

…there are over 15 videos you can watch repeatedly…, multiple interactive images…, hand-drawn diagrams and a 3D interactive oboe reed which will allow you to spin around a computer generated version of her reed full screen to inspect details.

That 3D reed sounds pretty cool if you ask me! Like a Matrix version of reed making!

Perhaps most important is the following:

Dr. King will instruct from “Start to Finish” her entire process of making reeds including some invaluable insight about what tools she uses and recommends and she even provides a list of the major vendors in the United States from which you can buy these essential tools.

I’ll give you one guess as to what kind of reed knife she uses….

2012 Operation O.B.O.E and Bocal Majority Summer Camps – Austin, Texas

June 30, 2012

The second leg of my trip took me to Austin, Texas where the beautiful Chicago summer lake weather turned to hot and sunny Texas summer weather. I was scheduled to give some reed knife sharpening seminars to the budding oboe and bassoonists of the Bocal Majority and Operation O.B.O.E. Summer Camps, which are run by Bassoonist Jennifer Auerbach and her amazing admin team and student helpers/workers.

Jesse Woolery, who is the assistant director of the camp, and a band director at Denton High School in Denton Texas, met me at the airport and we immediately became the best of friends! This trip really needed to stop getting better already!

We headed over to the camp at Pflugerville high school, where I met up with Jennifer and the gang, and barged in on Martin Schuring’s reed making class to say hello. More on him later…

In the meantime, I received a phone call from Extended Stay America – the hotel where I was scheduled to stay – saying that they had overbooked the hotel, and they moved me to another hotel and were going to comp me 1 night! YEAH, BABY! And if things just couldn’t go any better, I even got a very nicely discounted rate for the second night!! Thank you for the great customer service, Extended Stay America!

The camp ended for the day, and we all headed out to eat at Kerby Lane. Their guacamole dip with melted cheese was just satanicly decadent. I ended up ordering the grilled chicken sandwich with a mashed potato side. As many of you may know, Martin Schuring is the current president of the IDRS, and with the 2012 conference in Oxford, Ohio only a week away, we ended up having a really nice, in-depth discussion some of the current IDRS issues. It is safe to say we all left fully satisfied after the great meal and a great conversation!

Tuesday was my seminar day. We got there a little early, and the door wasn’t open yet, so we ended up playing catch for a few minutes. 🙂

Oboists and Bassoonists Playing Catch

Since there are different age and level groups at these oboe and bassoon camps, we started with the beginner reed makers who were mostly middle school age and were making their first reeds ever this week. This was a new challenge for me, too, since my seminars usually cater to more experienced double reeders and reed makers. So instead of the usual knife sharpening demo, the seminar revolved around the introduction to the reed knife and its role in the whole reed making and adjusting process. We also passed around a few different knives of varying levels of “sharp”, and began to calibrate the students to the differences in feedback and results between a sharper knife and a duller knife. This worked out really well, and it was a great reminder that I can always learn something from my own seminars.

Just after lunch, Jesse conducted the more advanced ensemble, and I sat in for a bit. It was a little weird, actually. There are usually only 1-2 oboes and/or bassoons in an ensemble, but to see and hear 1st, 2nd and 3rd oboe and bassoon parts with multiple players on each part was a new experience for me – especially when one of the students is Martin Schuring!

Ensemble Rehearsal


The afternoon seminar was for the high school level students, who had more reed making skills overall, and knew about the importance/requirement of a reed knife. So this was familiar waters for me. We grouped the bassoon and oboe students together, and enjoyed a lengthy, in depth reed knife sharpening demo. After the initial demo had concluded, students had the choice to break off into their reed making groups, or stick around for more sharpening. Those who stuck around got their knives sharpened and questions answered. A nice treat was one bassoonist’s reed knife that was a beautiful single bevel knife made in Japan. It was very well made from laminated steel, and it was an absolute dream to sharpen. Even though my technique for sharpening that knife was not the usual method prescribed in my reed knife sharpening book, I was more than happy to get a little geeky on the student and produce a more aesthetic (yet every bit as sharp)  finish that was more the style of a Japanese sword polisher off my Shapton Pro stones.

As I was sharpening, it was really great to see Martin interact with the students. This man receives the utmost levels of respect in the double reed world, and I can totally see why. He was having a great time with the kids, patiently and informatively answering every question thrown at him, and making fun little jokes while enthusiastically encouraging them through the trials and errors of beginner reed making. All the students were relaxed and felt completely at home. I easily could see why there were about 50 participants in this week’s camp alone!

One interesting moment came when one Martin mentioned a reed knife at the table needing a little TLC. I naturally said that we can just happen to do that today… This knife was an older Herder, but the stabilizer on the shoulder was much lower than the rest of the blade. I didn’t want to ruin my stones too much over this (we’re actually talking a lot of time to fix this issue on just the stones) so I took Ashley, one of the assistants in the camp (who showed great interest and improvement in her own sharpening since I had met her a couple years ago at Michigan University) and gave her the “graduate” level sharpening class, which took place under the hot Texas sun on the curb just outside the music room. Yes, I literally took the knife and got medieval on it – scraping away the height of the shoulder to bring it up to level with the rest of the blade. Ashley even gave it a try. With the knife somewhat evened out (more of a band aid, really), I proceeded to sharpen it up, much to the satisfaction of everyone.

After the day died down and I cleaned up, we went to Tino’s Greek Café, where the food was plentiful and oh so tasty! I had a Gyro platter with beef, rice and vegetables along with a nice lemon chicken soup. The conversation centered on bassoon, which is an interesting change from all the oboe talk I’m more accustomed to.

I said goodbye to Jennifer, and thanked her for such a wonderful experience. I told her just how impressed I was with everything they were doing, and that I would love to come back again next year. On my way back to the hotel, Jesse and I had some more great conversation, and after a sound sleep, headed out to the airport, where I started getting ready for our sharpening party in New Jersey.

Shapton Glass Stone Scratch Marks

July 31, 2010

This is a rough comparison of the scratches made by the Shapton Glass stones (white and gray). The process was the same as the with the Professional stones, I sharpened by hand using a single Jende Reed Knife for the entire shoot, working up from the white #120 to the 30K in order. I then went back from the 30K to the 4K, 6K and 8K  Gray stones, or High Carbon (HC) stones, labeled here as the JP stones (see this post that addresses the Shapton nomenclature). The Jende Reed Knife is a Medium Carbon Steel RC 60-61, and the steel type is from the Japanese standard SK series. I do not know the equivalent US Standard. It should be noted that results will differ on different metals.

The idea behind these pictures was not to produce high magnification shots of the edge, but more of an normal look at the results. The pictures were taken in the “worst” light so as to really see the surface of the bevel. You’ll notice just how “smooth” and polished the bevels come out in the 2K to 10K range, then how the scratches reappear at the 16K and 30K level.

Scratches from the Shapton Professional Shapton stones are here.

Better pictures of this chart can be found here and here.

IDRS 2010 – Oklahoma University

June 28, 2010

The 2010 International Double Reed Society (IDRS) Festival was held at Oklahoma University in Norman, OK. This was my 5th festival since starting in 2004, and it was a great week of music, fun and friends. It is also a chance for my mom and me to spend some time together since I really only travel to the US for business. She helps out at the table and has become a fixture as part of Jende Industries.

To start off the trip, we missed our flight due to the heavy traffic at Newark airport, long lines, and an even longer security line. I’m guessing arriving late with only 1 hour to spare didn’t help the situation…

We were put on standby for the next flight, but they only called my name, so I declined and we were put on another standby list. We made that flight and went out to Houston, then connected to Wills Rodgers World Airport in Oklahoma. For some reason, my suitcase for the show didn’t make the connection but our clothing suitcase did. Continental’s staff at the luggage carousel were very nice and accommodating, and I was surprised at how quickly they found and rerouted my suitcase. It was left in Houston, so it was put on the next flight later that day and was delivered to the hotel a few hours later. I wasn’t worried, but was relieved.

During the setup we ran into the usual suspects. IDRS is a small world, and many of the vendors have been part of the exhibitions forever, but it’s always nice to see a couple of new faces. The most important face, however, must be that of Norma Hooks, who is the coordinator of the exhibitions. She runs a tight ship, and I have never heard of a problem that she couldn’t fix. IDRS would fall apart without her. Her staff of volunteers were also great and helpful – a special thanks to A.J. (I didn’t get his last name) who was Norma’s right hand man, and the Student Union staff for getting me my lost box (which the postal service misrouted).

Since I am somewhat unique as a “knife guy” in a world of oboes and bassoons, my table is full of knives and sharpening stones, my book, and my demo setup. We asked for additional lighting, and someone from the student union maintenance staff (I didn’t get his name) delivered one, and naturally, the conversation turned toward knives (since he asked). I invited him to sit down and he showed me his little Every Day Carrier (EDC) which was a little 1.5” buck knife. It was dull, of course, and I started to sharpen it on the 1K Shapton Pro stone while we chatted. His eyes lit up when I was finished, and he left satisfied. 20 minutes later, he came back with 5 more guys. 🙂  Not all of them had knives, but I did a couple more, including 2 Spydercos and at least 1 SOG and it was a great way to pass some of the time until we were ready to return to the hotel.

Opening day of the exhibitions brought some immediate customers. I offer reed knife sharpening demos and services and people come and drop off their knives, check out the exhibits, see a few concerts, then come back to pick up their knives. As I sharpen their knives, there is a constant group of interested people sitting on my end of the table watching me sharpen and either listening intently or asking questions. Some people literally make a morning or afternoon out of it. This year’s official “camper” was Clyde Morris (below). He was absolutely delightful to spend time with – and he has very good sharpening technique! We talked knives, but not the usual stuff. We got into the types of steels and their qualities and potentials, the differences between the edges and longevity depending on the grain structure, integrity, and hardness – things that musicians generally don’t talk about without their eyes glazing over. We also talked about a wide variety of musical topics, including concepts of musicianship and values of today’s instrumentalists. It was a total treat.

Sometimes I get lucky and some of the more visible names stop by my table to say hello. Delmar Williams and Harold Emert  (pictured below) are two active forum and IDRS community members who stopped by. I met Delmar a few years ago, and it was great to see him again and chat for a few minutes. With Delmar, six degrees of separation are reduced to about 2. This was the first time I met Harold Emert in person, who has been playing in Brazil for the last couple of decades. I was completely surprised by his very heavy New York Jewish accent (he sounded exactly like my Uncle Sol). When I looked over and saw the name tag I did a double take because his voice sounded nothing like his posts! He ended up buying a knife and we got a good picture. 🙂

Speaking of visible – one of the most easily recognized people at the IDRS has to be Frances Colón, Principal oboist in the Puerto Rico Symphony. She is a beautiful woman (both inside and out) with such flair and pizzazz.  An extremely accomplished player, she has been an “Oboe Angel” to the more impoverished students in Puerto Rico by providing instruments, supplies and lessons for students without the means. She is now up to 19 (I think) students. For the first couple of years, Frances personally funded the entire thing from instruments to reeds to music to accessories. Her efforts have now been recognized by several foundations in Puerto Rico, and have given her some support and funding. I offered to send some of my knives to her for the kids. Her jaw dropped, tears swelled, and hugs and kisses followed.

Two days later, we had an exciting lunch meeting with Hannah Selznick – only she is the “Oboe Fairy”. Hannah is also doing what she calls “missionary” work by supplying low cost and sometimes free (mostly second hand) oboes that are fully serviced and ready to play. She also includes some basic accessories out of her own pocket. While Frances is focused on Puerto Rico, Hanna’s efforts are spanning the globe. We had a great brainstorming session, laying down some  groundwork for networking and working together to possibly form an official non-profit organization in the future that will promote oboe playing (and perhaps even more).

Again, I offered my expertise as a knife guy to supply inexpensive reed knives that are sharpened correctly and easily maintained. Frances immediately called me the “Knife Fairy”, but I don’t think it portrays the right image of me…

Below is a picture of “The 3 Fairies”

As this idea progresses, I will be making individual posts.

One last highlight was sharpening 2 wonderful knives owned by Yoshiyuki Ishikawa, the bassoon professor at the University of Colorado. These were Japanese made, and of very high standards. The first one was a hollow ground single bevel. The hollow ground side was easy, but the bevel had rounded over. This was some hard steel – about RC 63-64. I eventually took it down to the #320 Shapton Pro. When I got the bevel straightened, I noticed some chips in the edge. Ugh… It took a while, but I eventually got them out. I went from the #320 to the 1K, then the 2K, and finished with the 5K. This thing was sharp. I also used alternating scratches at each level to really make it like polishing a samurai sword. The second knife was a flat almost Scandinavian grind. This was softer steel, about RC 58, but much thicker. The original grinding on the bevels was flat, and was therefore very easy to sharpen up. I used the #320 and alternated the scratches on a 1K, which really brought out the grain of the steel and the temper line. I touched the edge up at a slightly higher angle on the 5K. It made Yoshiyuki smile. Sadly, as it was near closing time, I did not get a picture of the knives.

That was pretty much it. We went out to an excellent Thai-Fusion restaurant with Dimiter Jordanov of Le Roseau Chantant at a place called ChaTime, right down the road from the hotel. If you are ever in the OU or Norman, OK area, it is a great place to eat. I had the Thai Green curry one night, and as a tradition after a successful show I had an incredible rib-eye steak the last night. Also, a special thanks to the staff and drivers at the Norman Best Western, who carted us around and picked us up all week. I can’t wait until next year!

The Jende Book of Sharpening Double Hollow Ground Reed Knives

November 9, 2009

I just wanted to post a shameless plug for my reed knife sharpening book – The Jende Book of Sharpening Double Hollow Ground Reed Knives.

The book is based on my reed knife seminars, and teaches the same exact method that I use to sharpen every Jende Reed Knife. It walks you through the entire process with lots of color pictures and descriptions along the way. The first half of the book contains a lot of sharpening theory and information (including an illustrated glossary) and is a useful reference for any reed knife user. The second half of the book focuses on the sharpening itself, taking you step by step through the shaping, refining and polishing stages of sharpening, and includes detailed instructions and pictures for both right and left-handed knives.

This book is a must have for any reed knife user’s library.

COVER-4 150 height

Jende Reed Knife – Find Out For Yourself….

October 30, 2009

Jende Reed Knives are the sharpest reed knives on the market right out of the box for making and adjusting oboe, bassoon, clarinet and even saxophone reeds. But I’m just a salesman if I write a post about how great I think they are. I suggest trying one for yourself.

Here is a list of current Jende Reed Knife retailers (in alphabetical order):

  1. HB Oboe Reeds
  2. Hodge Products, Inc
  3. Jende Industries, LLC
  4. Midwest Musical Imports
  5. North Texas Oboe Reeds and Cane
  6. Weber Reeds
  7. Weiner Music
Original JEnde Reed Knife

Original Jende Reed Knife