Duco cement and bassoon reeds

October 15, 2009

duco cementSince I moved to the lovely and historic Mississippi Delta about two and a half months ago, it has been on my to-do list to find a local source for Duco cement to use in bassoon reedmaking. I used to be able to buy it at a certain notorious chain store, but my local store here doesn’t stock it. One well-known double reed supplier sells it for $3.95 per one-ounce tube, which is four times the price I usually pay for it locally.

The Devcon website makes it hard to find information about retail locations, and in fact you have to head over to another web domain to find it. After an unsuccessful morning driving around looking for Duco, I went home and dug up this link:

http://www.itwconsumer.com/wheretobuy.aspx

Select DUCO® CEMENT, TUBE CARDED and your state. The website doesn’t give retailer addresses, but does provide names. I found a store within a half-mile of me that had it for just under a dollar per tube.

If you aren’t familiar with the use of Duco cement in bassoon reedmaking:

After the reed blank is formed and thread-wrapped, apply Duco cement liberally to saturate the thread. When the glue is first applied and at its wettest, you may need to keep the reed on the mandrel for a few minutes, rotating the reed so the the the glue doesn’t drip off. Within a few minutes the glue dries enough that you can move the reed to a drying rack.

After a few hours, the cement dries completely and turns clear and hard, making the thread wrapping into a solid shell. This helps ensure an airtight seal between the two halves of the reed tube, stabilizes the reed tube for the reaming process, and provides a sturdy handle for getting the reed on and off the bocal. It also adds weight to the back end of the reed, so that if you drop it it won’t land tip-first.

Applying Duco cement
Applying Duco cement

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