We have been asked time and time again about staples (also referred to as tubes or corks). The staple is an important part of the reed that is, often times, not considered carefully. Since it is the foundation of your reed, you would be wise to evaluate what you are using. There are many metal used in manufacturing a staple with the most common being brass and nickel silver. Staples come in lengths from 45 – 48mm with 47mm ranking first in popularity and 46mm ranking second. There are also various textures for the outside of the metals. We find these characteristics to be things left to personal choice. However, the following characteristics should be considered carefully when choosing your staple:
1. Does your staple fit your mandrel (make sure you have a good mandrel!) The staple should be flush with the end of your mandrel to avoid bending any part of the staple when wrapping. AND YES … it is very important to wrap your reed with the mandrel inserted into the staple.
2. Examine the cork on your staple. First, it should be made of natural cork, not something that looks like a bunch of little specks of cork melded together (this particle-style cork tends to easily chip off and can become lodge in the oboe). Second, the cork needs to be free of splits or missing pieces.
3. The metal area of the staple needs to be free of damage.
4. The staple needs to fit snugly into the oboe. (You can use a small amount of Vaseline or cork grease to help with removing the reed from the oboe, but be sure is it rubbed in very well with no excess product visible.)
What do we use at Double or Nothing Reeds?
Stevens Staples, #2 Thinwall, Brass