It's DIY Day: a day that would make even Martha Stewart proud to be an oboist!
When I go to schools to work with young players, I inevitably see students in need of the same basic supplies. Most often I notice that budding oboists open their oboe cases to get reeds out of either plastic “coffin” cases or plastic tube “vials.” These cheap plastic containers are usually used to ship commercial reeds, but don’t do a great job at protecting a student’s reeds on a day-to-day basis. Why? Because “coffin” cases often don’t stay shut and it is easy for students to crush their reeds in the case while trying to snap it shut. For the cylindrical vial cases, students often accidentally smash the ends of the reeds into the cotton or foam padding in the tube while putting on the cap to close them. Reeds are expensive and fragile, but sturdy reed cases can be made inexpensively!
Materials needed to make a sturdy reed case:
1 empty Altoids container (Altoids are a breath mint that is sold in metal containers in the U.S) or other similar box
Weather Stripping for doors, size can vary, but I use 3/8” wide X 5/16” thick (available at most hardware stores)
Razor blade or sharp scissors
- Cut the weather stripping into short pieces ( 20 mm or so) and
- Attach weather stripping pieces to the container. Make sure that the stripping is placed close enough so that reeds can’t fall out.
- An extra rubber band helps keep the box from opening.
Creative students can decorate the boxes with markers/paints for individuality (Make Martha Stewart proud!)