[Harp-L] Burnishing v Embossing

John Goodwin australia.goodwin@xxxxx
Fri Jan 20 19:31:20 EST 2017

Swaging isn't the correct term. Swaging infers stamping or punching along
with dies and less subtle hammers and presses. It is generally an extreme
form of material manipulation.
Burnishing is correct. You burnish the edge of a wood scaper to raise a
cutting edge. The extruded cutting edge is merely the useful result of the
burnishing the same as what's done when you burnish the edge of a reed
slot. Burnishing is much much more finessed than swaging.
Though like so much of our bastardised English language, I can't see the
term embossing being changed anytime soon.
I did my time as a toolmaker working on press tools, dies and punches.

On 20 January 2017 at 22:31, Aongus Mac Cana <amaccana at xxxxx> wrote:

> At the risk of being pedantic, I suggest that neither Burnishing nor
> Embossing is the correct term for spreading reed plates to reduce the gap
> to
> the reeds.
> When I went to engineering school this engineering operation was called
> Swaging and was employed by Blacksmiths, Boilermakers and
> Sheetmetalworkers.
> Car body repairmen might have had occasion to use the technique as well
> from
> time to time, but I never anticipated that there would be occasion to apply
> it to the delicate field of harmonica maintenance. Maybe I should have
> spent
> a few weeks in a Jewelery workshop after two years in the cruder
> environment
> of a railway maintenance works.
> As far as tools for this operation on a reed plate are concerned I have
> heard recommendations for coins, the ball end of a tuning fork, and small
> automobile socket spanners. I have not got around to trying any of them
> yet.
> At the Willie Clancy Summer Music School the specialty tools of Richard
> Sleigh have been suggested as the weapons of choice for those who wish to
> seriously attack their harmonicas with extreme prejudice.
> Beannachtai
> Aongus Mac Cana

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