Re: [Harp-L] reeds and bending

I think what's going on is one of three things: First thing, when you tune you usually wind up decreasing the gap. Check the gap. It's probably too tight. A gap too closed will be hard to bend. 

Second thing when you tuned may have created a burr on the reed... as you removed brass you have pushed some of the brass over the side of the reed. It can sound normal before you bend it, but in the bend, it gets hung up inside the slot. 
Take it apart again and plink the reed and compare it to how the reeds plink beside it. The length of time it vibrates should be somewhere between No. 1 and No 3. If what I think is going on, it will either plink dead or the length of time it vibrates post plink will be shorter than the amount of time No. 3 vibrates or both. 
If that's the case, lightly file the sides of the reed where you tuned, then plink 10 or 15 times. You might even be able to plink it away without filing.
Third thing, you have Same scenario as thing 2. You've made the reed wider by dragging brass over the side when you tuned. But, the remedy could be alignment. I find this especially true when embossing, at the factory, they align the reeds center, but not always at the top, extremely-anal dead center. Thus a very slight alignment adjustment might help, so you might still have room in the slot if you scoot it over a bit. Try one or both, whatever floats your boat.
Dave Payne Sr. 
Elk River Harmonicas 

----- Original Message ----
From: Winslow Yerxa <winslowyerxa@xxxxxxxxx>
To: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx; Robert Ross <robertrossband@xxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 1:12:17 PM
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] reeds and bending

Normal touch-up tuning by itself won't make a note hard to bend.

However, in the tuning process you may have changed the action of the reed, and that could make a difference.

I use "action" as a catch-all term for the things you can do to a reed to change its response. If you raise or lower the offset of the reed to the reedplate, change the gap at the tip, change the gap at the base, or anywhere in between, you change the action.

Another possibility is that if you pried off one of the reedplates and then reattached it with nails, the reedplate may not be completely snug to the comb, and the resulting air leakage could compromise you ability to influence the behavior of the reed.

If you have another F-harp, compare the snugness of the reedplates to the comb. Can you slide a thin feeler gauge shim between reedplate and comb? If so, you need to tighten the seal by pressing the nails in more strongly (pliers or a nail punch can help, but be careful).

If either the blow or the draw reed action has been changed, you may need to persuade the reed(s) back into a profile relative to the reedplate that is more like the other harp. Your objective is to have the reed just above the level of the reedplate along its entire length, rising gently to a gap at the tip that is approximately equal to the thickness of the reed tip - again, comparison with another harp and with the neighboring reeds can guide you.

To change the profile of the reed, **gently** flex it by lifting away from the
reedplate to raise it or pulling through the slot to lower it. (There
are more aggressive methods but these are good to start with.) If the reed makes a sharp upward or downward curve, you need to smooth out this curve without changing the rest of the reed. To isolate the curved portion of the reed, first support the part of the reed extending from the base to the bend: place a shim (such as a thin feeler gauge) under the base of the reed to support it, and press on the top of the reed with a finger. Then go to work flexing the curve gently up or down.

Once you have the reed action set, you may find that the reed is no longer in tune. Tune it gently so as not to change the action again - always set action first, then tune.


Winslow Yerxa

Author, Harmonica For Dummies ISBN 978-0-470-33729-5

--- On Tue, 11/18/08, Robert Ross <robertrossband@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
From: Robert Ross <robertrossband@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Harp-L] reeds and bending
To: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 7:04 AM

What would cause the two hole draw note on an F harp (Marine Band) to be
unusually hard to bend? And how do you adjust the reed so that it will bend
properly to normal pressure? The harp was bending normally until I adjusted
the tuning and then things went wrong.
Robert Ross
Harp-L is sponsored by SPAH,

Harp-L is sponsored by SPAH,

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