Garrett Music Products
Reed Cases
- by Roger Garrett -

Reed Cases - Custom made by Roger Garrett

For many years I have used several different brands of reed cases. The first case I ever purchased was during my junior year in college.

David Shifrin used to sell them for $12 apiece (those were the days!), and it was a folding case with a fake leather cover over hardboard with plexiglas on the base for the flat part of the reeds to sit on and a cloth pad on the top that closed down onto the reed - pushing it flat against the plexiglas. It was made by one of his friends, and I never did find a source for them after I graduated from Michigan. Luckily, I had purchased two of them, and one is still in use 23 years later!

Reed Cases

The second brand of case I purchased was a Bob Harrison reed case. In fact, I purchased one for my Eb Clarinet reeds and one for my Bass Clarinet reeds. What attracted me to these cases was the beautiful wood that Bob used. Back in the 1980s, no one else seemed to be mass marketing reed cases, and I was willing to spend $35 for each case.

They were very similar to the cheaper cases I had purchased from David Shifrin, but they employed a glass piece inside the bass rather than plexiglas. Unfortunately, the clasps and hinges on these Harrison cases soon became bent and/or broken, and I had to resort to using rubber bands and velcro to keep them working. I eventually had to replace both cases because the hinges finally blew apart and the wood was too thin to reattach new hinges in their place.

Sadly, Bob Harrison passed away a few years ago, and no one was left making reed cases similar to his in an affordable price range. Subsequently, I discovered the Selmer cases - made with a fake leather exterior but with better clasps and hinges than the Harrison cases. The Selmer cases also employ a glass piece inside the base. The only drawback for this case was the price - over $35 for a Bb Soprano case - discounted. List was $45 or more.

Reed Cases

In 2001, I began making batons and baton cases. A student asked if I would ever consider making reed cases, and, after examining the cases I owned, I came to the conclusion that I could probably make such a case in my wood shop.

After spending an incredible amount of time working out a design for a jig to use with a router, locating quality hinges, choosing a simple but workable clasp, figuring out how to make an attractive pad for the top piece, and destroying quite a bit of superb quality oak and maple in trying to make a prototype, I finally was able to make a satisfactory reed case that I feel comfortable selling. I use plexiglas rather than glass - primarily because there is no noticeable difference in performance between my first cases that had plexiglas and my later cases that included glass.

The plexiglas is less expensive, easier to shape, and if you drop it, it doesn't break. Who can argue with that kind of product? Eventually, one of the bassoon students at Illinois Wesleyan University, Amy Plazek, asked if I would consider creating a double-reed case. After researching ways to hold the reed in the case, I settled on a foam rubber product created and cut specifically for these cases. Cases are now available for Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon, Oboe, and Contra-Bassoon.

 

Standard cases are made from Oak and Maple. Both woods are left natural, and both styles of wood cases receive a minimum of two coats of premium lacquer. Any other wood can be used to make a special order for reed cases. Possible choices might include Cherry, Rosewood, Walnut, Mahogany, and Aromatic Cedar. Please email if you have ideas for choices of wood that you are interested in. If given a few weeks, I can accommodate most requests.
 

The clasps are a simple hook design. I can purchase and install the spring loaded latches that are on some of the more expensive cases, but I have had these latches fail, and they are expensive and messy to repair. I decided to stick with the more simple and easy to adjust hook and screw latch. Bb Clarinet Reed Cases will also store soprano and alto saxophone reeds. They measure approximately 8 inches long by 3 and 3/4 inches wide, and they are about 7/8 inches thick. They will accommodate between 12 and 14 reeds (less of the alto saxophone reeds). The Bass Clarinet Reed Case will also hold Tenor Saxophone reeds, and measures about a 1/4 inch wider. It will store between 10 and 12 reeds. The Contra-Alto Clarinet reed case will work for Baritone Saxophone reeds as well. It is even wider by another  inch and will store approximately ten reeds.

Reed Cases

See the FULL SITE for custom cases for oboe, bassoon, tenor saxophone and bass clarinet ... using exotic woods, zebrawood, spalted maple, grenadilla, and rosewood.

 

- Call for Pricing -
309-556-3268

Any questions, please contact me at the following address:

Roger Garrett
17 Cashel Drive
Bloomington, IL 61704

I can be reached at Illinois Wesleyan University:
Phone: (309) 556-3268
Email:  rgarrett@iwu.edu

 

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