Forming a tube means taking a flat piece of cane and making it into a circle. To form a tube you need to start with cane that has already been gouged, shaped and profiled. Cane must be soaked before making a tube. If you just finished shaping and profiling you can continue right on to forming tubes. Usually I form tubes the day after I profiled and shaped so I soak the cane at least 2 hours before making a tube. Don’t let the cane soak more than 24 hours!
I form tubes one of two ways:
“Chicago Style” – uses a hot mandrel and has a two-day beveling process
“Sydney Style” – uses a single day bevel; what I’m currently using
After forming the tube I let the reed REST on the mandrel. This means that I allow the reed a day to dry, and then I tighten the wires and soak the reed again. I let the reed dry, tighten the wires, and soak three times. That means the reed has a least four days on the mandrel before I take it off for storage. The reed then sits in storage (a dry cool location NOT air tight) for at least 6 months. Only after 6 months, and right before when I want to play on the reed, do I then wrap the reed and clip the tip to finish.