Sunday, April 3

Wisdom of teeth and Knife Sharpening

What a week that was on the good ol’ BBoard! I’m always amazed at how much ado is raised on the subject of gouging cane and gouging machines. The discussion threads are really long, but really worth reading, if you’re considering gouging your own cane.

  1. Gouger Thread
  2. Single/Double Radius

For tooth (sooth?), my oboe!

The extraction and healing process went well, but the stitches that closed my gums dissolved a week to soon! It’s a bit scary to feel the threads on my tongue and then look in the mirror to see the white of my actual jaw bone! But not to worry, an emergency call to my dental surgeon put me at ease: the critical part is the first 3 days (well passed) while the blood vessels close and the hole in the jaw clots. After that, the gums can take up to 6 weeks to fully close.

But the dentist had said 2 weeks to start playing the oboe again… I suppose giving it a 3rd week would be prudent, so I’ll start again next week…. and eating real food too! Stir-fry is good, but eventually gets boring?

Lesson to all students of wind instruments:

  1. if you’re around 18 years of age, consider getting your wisdom teeth extracted while the roots are not yet settled and while your career will not topple for a month and some of absence!
  2. My procedure went very easily because the roots were not overly curved and they were nowhere near the nerve (THANK GOD!). With many adults, this is not the case: a fair number of people need to have their jaw-bone cut (not me – again THANK GOD) in order to extract the tooth safely.

How to sharpen knives and a whole lot more.

There have been comments from time to time about how people sharpen knives. People are buying books on the subject…. and still getting it wrong! In the mid 1990’s, I was a Scout Leader and I had been asked to give workshops on how to sharpen camping knives and so on. As a result, I put this book together. I’m giving this for free for many reasons:

  1. The wording betrays my younger years and lesser experience.
    (e.g. I still don’t have a green thumb, but I have dug enough fence posts by now to say that sharpening shovels is VERY productive!)
  2. The age shows: some of the tricks described are now commercialized gadgets.
  3. I think oboe students have enough to buy, I hope this will help out.
  4. The Oboe BBoard has contributors that can give much better tricks!

But its contents are still fully valid. It uses an approach of theory-to-practice and by explaining other commonplace tools, the principles of what helps or messes-up a reed knife should be easier to grasp.

At any rate, it’s always easiest to make reeds with ultra sharp knives. You can either buy a cheap knife and sharpen it every 2 minutes (takes 15 seconds), or buy an expensive knives that you sharpen once a week (takes 10 minutes). I have been using the same Graf folding for nearly 20 years and I can still get it to shave the hairs off my fore-arms. This, I must admit is a little too sharp: it tends to dig-snag the cane, especially when working the tip. But burrs… NO… never good!


Sharpening Tools -

3 comments:

Anna McNonymous said...

I have to say, when I first saw the title of this blog article, I wondered, "He's sharpening his teeth along with his knives?" :-D Gotta love English grammar....

RobinDesHautbois said...

Got your attention, didn't it? :-) :-P

Warren Santos said...

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