Machine Shaper Forms


English Horn, Cor Anglais,

Bass / Baritone Oboe,


True Dimensions


As explained on the previous (Oboe) page, the Template width for a Machine-Shaper in no way resembles that of the finished reed, because every piece of cane appears much wider after folding than when straightened out. This means that the catalogue widths specified to date are highly misleading. The true widths (in different regions) of the cane that emerges needs to be researched before purchase, or much time and money will be wasted.

For your practical application, the Table below converts the complete catalogue of A. Hörtnagl. (The outstanding originals are shown in Italics, maybe for special order.) They will be most easily read on a large monitor. The products stocked by each supplier are colour-coded for clarity, and listed together in order of increasing width.

The 'True' Cane Widths converted in the right-hand columns are those which should emerge from a Machine-Shaper Template when the cane is soaked just until it sinks in tepid water, but after later folding. Many players prefer, however, to soak for a shorter time, so, inevitably, their wider results will vary considerably. A complete description of the required controls and recommended variations according to soaking technique is detailed in Understanding the Oboe Reed (Chapter 8C).

A few minor discrepancies have been cross-referenced in pale orange, for certain templates have been listed both under 'English Horn' and 'Baroque Oboes'. If anybody can please supply the elusive dimensions for the Roseau Chantant E.H. templates, these will be added gratefully.

Although these conversions have been created in good faith, I can sadly take no responsibility for errors that lead to purchase. You are welcome to copy the tables for your own use, but not to publish them please. They remain Copyright © GS 2020.

Amendments and additions from readers will be much appreciated. Please contact me. The oboe fraternity will thank you likewise.


Templates for the Oboe, Oboe d'Amore, Musette, Bass/Baritone Oboe, Wiener/Viennese Oboe, and Baroque and Classical Oboes may be found more quickly from these links, along with the measurements of Shaper-Tips for comparison: Oboe, Oboe d'Amore, English Horn, and Baroque & Classical Oboes.

Understanding the Oboe Reed