Re: [Harp-L] re: Breaking-in

On May 15, 2010, at 1:15 PM, msky@xxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

I just sent away for a 5-pack of Seydel 1847 silvers. I generally use Sp20s, but I've enjoyed the one 1847 silver that I presently own more than any other harp I've tried, and I felt like I deserved a present from myself.

Anyway, having read Vern's comments below, and not being a metallurgist, is breaking-in a good idea for the stainless steel reeds? If so, what would be the recommended break-in method?

Breaking in a product has a lot to do with chrystaline structure. While not having a periodic table of the elements handy, I seem to recall that Fe (iron) is in one group of elements and Cr (chromium) is in another and Ni (nickel) is in another. All have atoms with a DIFFERENT number of electrons in their outer orbits. And they join with each other readily. The molecules will pack up tightly as long AS the heat used to amalgamate these elements is high enough. All are strong metals in and of themselves and as long as there are scant impurities in the mix, the reeds shouldn't need any break in period.

It has been MY consensus for most of my life that the reason things fail is due to:
1.... Impurities left IN a mixture and not drossed out properly.
2.... Poor engineering
3.... Poor choice of materials
4.... Insufficient structure to the item
and a whole raft of things. To wit: my Italian grandfather once told me. "When in doubt.......more concrete".

Brass and bronze are made from copper/zinc and copper/tin. These are MUCH softer metals (and heavier). This means that the atoms are bigger and hence don't pack in as tightly. The crystaline structure is looser. These metals can be stressed for that reason. They also don't make a good "spring material' for that reason. Yes, they can be hardened, but not without cold rolling pressing) OR adding other things (like silicon, arsenic, etc). Additives that for a spring material are detrimental...ergo....crap.

MY suggestion? Don't blow or draw as if you were trying to take the chrome off of a trailer hitch..and you should be fine.


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