The results achieved with the Opus1 gouging machine can be greatly affected by the preparation of your cane. The old computer expression, "Garbage In...Garbage Out", can be applied to reed making as well. Select and prepare your cane carefully using the following procedures and you should be happy with your results.
Always choose your cane carefully. Attention paid that this stage will save much frustration later. Your cane should be straight and flat. Watch the VIDEO above for a clear explanation. The diameter of the tube should be 10mm - 10.5mm. I prefer 10.25mm diameter. If you look at the planed surface of the cane, the grain should be straight and symmetrical. If you place the piece of cane on a flat surface with the bark side down, it should not bow at the ends or in the middle. When you consider that the gouge curve is cut "straight" into a piece of cane and if you cut this straight gouge into a crooked piece of cane, the thickness of the different gouge dimensions will be all over the map. In other words, when selecting your cane, STRAIGHT is GREAT! Pay special attention to cane that bows up in the middle. In this situation, the sides of the tip will want to be loose. You can visualize this by imagining this piece of cane folded, shaped and tied onto a staple. The tip will want to be open at the sides. Since the sides need to press tightly all the way to the end of the tip for pitch stability in a reed, this is a very bad situation.