The advantages of using a Dial indicator Thickness Gauge
I have found that using this tool has improved my reeds and saved time.
During the past 18 months, I have become a strong advocate for using a Dial Indicator thickness gauge, or what some call a micrometer, in all stages of my reed making. This piece of equipment can be purchased from many double reed supply dealers. Though it is a somewhat costly item, I think it is well worth the investment. This tool has made a huge difference in my reedmaking by helping me to accurately monitor the thickness of the hearts and tips of my reeds, thereby making my reeds more consistent.
For many years, I have used a standard Mitutoyo dial indicator while gouging cane and it has served me well. But, I was interested to own a dial indicator that would measure the thickness of each blade of my reeds. For those who are unfamiliar with this item, the "tongue" of the tool is inserted between the blades of the reed and the thickness is then displayed on the dial. The tool measures thickness from .01mm - 10mm. This tool is also made by Mitutoyo.
I acknowledge the importance of having a good source of light and a magnifying glass while making reeds. But, using this tool has saved me time by taking much of the "guess work" out of the scraping process which has resulted in more evenly scraped reeds. In this case, more information is a good thing.