RE: [Harp-L] Soldering Reeds

Matt Smart writes:
> I am about to attempt to solder reeds to make a low C.  I have never
> soldered before. I usually just file the reeds.  Can anyone offer
> tips/instructions? thanks

Matt and all, I tried soldering and even though I have a good deal of
experience in soldering electronics and jewelry, discarded it in favor of
Pat Missin's preferred method: brass powder mixed with an epoxy resin into a
paste. The trick is finding the brass powder, as the techique is not only
very easy and convenient to use but it has many other desireable attributes.

I can place the right amount of paste more precisely and I have much better
control when sanding it as I tune the reed than I do with solder. It's also
very convenient in the sense that if you don't like your result, you can
gingerly flick the chunk of hardened brass powder/epoxy mixture right off
the reed with an Exacto knife, leaving a perfectly clean and undamaged reed
surface. There's also the advantage of not having to use heat that may or
may not effect the temper of the reed. Very reed-friendly by any comparison
with soldering.

Check out Pat's "Altered States" web site for the details, And Oh, yeah. You
can find brass powder at sculptor supply houses. A little jar of it runs a
few bucks and it will go a long way, enabling you to non-destructively tune
a virtually unlimited number of reeds.

Works for me. And Pat Missin.  ;^)


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