Tips for Cane Preparation

  • Use a splitter to cut your dry tube cane. Then allow a minimum of 2-3 days for your spit cane to settle before proceeding to the next step. Cane in its tube form is under stress and will "relax" a bit after splitting. Throw out any crooked or oversized pieces at this time.
  • Expect only one usable piece of cane from a long piece. Most likely, the unused portion of the piece will crack while guillotining.
  • NEVER pre-gouge (plane) wet cane. You equipment will rust severely and quickly.
  • Don't store your cane in plastic bags or airtight containers, The trapped moisture will ruin your cane over time! Try using old cigar or shoe boxes with holes so the cane can "breathe."
  • Don't get discouraged by how much cane you may need to toss because it is not straight, or if it's the wrong size. The more cane you throw out, the better and more consistent your reeds will be.
  • Soak cane for 2 hours prior to gouging with the bark of the cane down in the water. Press the cane to assure it is submerged in the water for the entire 2 hours
  • Wipe any dirt and excess water from your cane prior to putting it in the gouging machine. Dirt or other imperfections could change the outcome/measurement of the cane.
  • Place the gouging machine on a flat secure surface to ensure the most accurate results.


...make better reeds!