Re: [Harp-L] Embossing Tool

Despite being a professional writer for 10 years, I had to look up "inimitable" in the dictionary. Yes, it was an pretty simple word to get stumped on. Thanks...

There is always the penny. About the right shape for that sort of embossing, but the penny is too soft and it wears quickly. At one time I had the idea of using a steel penny. So, I drilled a hole in a 1942 steel penny and tied some twine to it so I wouldn't lose it. 
I hardly ever use the penny anymore. I use some sort of blade. I have, in a pinch, when I was out somewhere playing and wasn't happy with a reedslot, used a pocket knife. It'd have to be a real embossing emergency, though, to justify a pocket knife.


----- Original Message ----
From: Michelle LeFree <mlefree@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Sun, May 9, 2010 3:04:27 PM
Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Embossing Tool

When Matthew Smart asked:
> I once saw a picture of a tool that was esentially a ball bearing on a metal
> stick. Does anyone know what this is called and/or where I can get one?
The inimitable Dave Payne replied:
> It was a tuning fork.

Tuning forks do have a ball end, but so do these "Reducing Punches" from Micro-Mark, a more cost-effective solution if you are looking for a ball-shaped tool:,8010.html

However, I prefer to use tools of other shapes for embossing. A spherical tool like a ball cannot "reach" into the corners of the reed slot, an important area in which to reduce air leakage. A cylindrical tool like a socket (from a socket wrench kit) can reach further into the slot corners, but still the rounded edge of a socket cannot emboss the very corners of the slot plus they are clumsy tools for treating the end of the slot.

I used to use a socket but I found that because reeds are frequently not perfectly centered, I spent an inordinate amount of time "de-embossing" the side that was overembossed and too close or even touching the reed (even though both sides of the slot were embossed symmetrically by the socket). Now I use a precision screwdriver on which I've deliberately rounded all the sharp edges so as to render it useless as a screwdriver but handy for embossing single slot edges, corners and slot ends.

There are lots of ways to emboss a reed slot and you don't need to buy an expensive tool to do it. :-)


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