Re: [Harp-L] attaching reeds using screws

In the US, machine screws in 00-90 and 0-80 sizes are used. The 00-90 screws are small enough in diamenter that only a slight enlargement of the rivet hole in the reed is required. Ricahrd Farrell pioneered the isntallation of threaded rods in the reedplate, allowing you to install a reed in seconds by pushing the reed's rivet hole onto the rod, then screwing on a tiny nut to hold the reed down.This method means you'd never strip the threading in the reedpalte if you had to change a reed more than once. As long as you're getting reedplates custom made, you might want to consider this as a way of protecting your long term investment.

However, I've noticed that some reedplate rivet holes, once you knock out the river, are a bit on the large side and won't easily hold a 00-90 thread. The next size up in the US system that's easily available os 0-80, which would require considerable enalrgement fo both reed hole and rivet hole. You might do some research on the inside and outside diameters of these two screw sizes (which you can easily find through Google) and then compare them with metric sizes. Find one  in metric that's just a bit bigger than 00-90 and then see if you can get the screws and the tap drills. US suppliers for both US and metric screw sizes include MicroMark and McMaster-Carr.


Winslow Yerxa

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

Resident expert at

Harmonica instructor,


--- On Sat, 5/29/10, Doug <mr4chnt@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

From: Doug <mr4chnt@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Harp-L] attaching reeds using screws
To: Harp-L@xxxxxxxxxx
Date: Saturday, May 29, 2010, 8:22 PM

I am having some reed plates custom made and intend to attach the new reeds with screws rather than rivets.  I have seen examples of small self-tapping screws being used but I want to tap the holes myself and use small machine screws, similar in size to the ones used to hold marine (and other harps) bands together.

I need to find out:

What size screws are those that are used on reed plates?  

What is the next size smaller or is that too small?

What is the diameter of the typical (Hohner) rivet hole?  How do you measure that accurately?  Is there a special tool?

Where would I get a tap for threading the holes?

Etc, etc.

If any of you tech oriented folks has some answers, or some leads, please let me know.  Thanks in advance.

Doug H

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