First off, is this gouging machine pronounced ‘Innoledy’ or ‘Innoledy’? I was told it was pronounced ‘Innoledy’. Hope that helps!

This post and video will give you instructions on gouging cane with an Innoledy gouging machine. There are many different parts, and I’ve seen people assemble it differently. Just reading the directions can be daunting because it is one of those things where it is much easier to see how to assemble the machine than it is to read about it. The video below will show you how to set up the machine and how to gouge cane with it, but read all the information below for some additional tips and strategies.

One thing that sets the Innoledy machine apart from other gouging machines is that it is a push-through gouging machine. This machine is fantastic for gouging large quantities of cane all at once. The more pieces of cane you gouge in one session, the less time it takes per piece of cane. I only gouge two pieces of cane in the video below, but usually, I wouldn’t gouge any fewer than 20 pieces at a time. I would recommend gouging as many pieces of cane as you intend on making for the upcoming week. You wouldn’t want to gouge 50 pieces of cane at once and later realize that you wish you had gouged them just a little thicker.

You can also gouge dry cane with this machine, whereas with most other gouging machines, you have to soak your cane for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Does this really save time? Sort of. If you are soaking your cane for 30 minutes to 2 hours with a different gouging machine, you will have to plan ahead. But, if you need to quickly gouge some cane first thing in the morning or last thing at night, you can just quickly gouge a few pieces of cane dry.

The dial that is attached to the machine measures in hundredths of a millimeter. Most American-style oboists expect their gouge to be about 0.60 mm in the middle and 0.47 mm on the sides (exactly where the sides of the tip of the reed will be). On this gouge, you can easily adjust the center measurement, but you can not adjust the sides without removing the blade and filing it down, which I would not recommend doing on your own.

Innoledy gouging oboe machine
This Innoledy gouging machine is a type of push-through gouger.

I usually use this machine as a dry gouge, but some oboists still prefer to soak their cane before gouging with the Innoledy machine. While I don’t think it is necessary to soak your cane before using the Innoledy machine, one advantage is you’ll be able to get your final measurements when the cane is soaked. I care more about how thick the center and side measurements are when the cane is soaked instead of dry because we play on our reeds when they are soaked, not dry. Soaking your cane will cause it to swell up by about 0.02mm, so if you were told to gouge your cane at 0.60mm in the center, make sure you know whether that means wet or dry. I gouge my cane to be 0.58mm in the center so that when it is soaked, it will swell up to 0.60mm.

Keep in mind that the dial indicator you attach to the machine will likely read slightly off. A note will be included with your machine that will say exactly what the dial should be set at for your final pass-through so that you get a center measurement of 0.60mm. For example, my gouging machine is off by about 0.03mm, meaning to get a final gouge of 0.60mm in the center, the dial needs to be set at 0.57mm for the last pass-through.

Innoledy recommends that you pass each piece of cane through two times, once at 0.85mm and then once at the final thickness. If I want the center to be 0.60mm, then my final pass-through will be set to 0.57mm. Or if I want my final center measurement to be 0.58mm, then I’ll set the dial to 0.55mm for the final pass-through. Your Innoledy machine will come with a second handheld dial indicator that you can use to double check these measurements.

You should still pre-gouge or plane your cane before using this machine. Even though Innoledy recommends two pass-throughs, I personally do four pass-throughs: 1.10mm, 0.80mm, 0.63mm, then the fourth and final pass-through at 0.55mm. Because my machine is off by 0.03mm, and I like my center gouge measurement to be 0.58mm, I will set the dial on the machine at 0.55mm for the final pass-through.

For my third pass-through, I set the dial to 0.63mm, so that when I do a fourth and final pass-through, only about 0.08–0.10mm of cane is removed. I think this helps the gouge be more consistent up and down the reed. 

Where to measure center gouge measurement for oboe reed
Take a few measurements of the center of the cane to make sure you are getting a consistent measurement across the entire piece of cane.

All of this written instruction might sound complicated, but hopefully the video below will get you started. If you finish gouging a piece of cane and it is 0.01mm thicker than you wanted, just reset adjust the blade’s height and the dial to read 0.01mm less than before and run the piece of cane through again. Just keep in mind, you cannot add cane back on after it has been removed.

I almost exclusively use the Innoledy machine because:

1. it requires almost no maintenance

2. it is quick and efficient to use

3. and it produces a reliable gouge

Some oboists use an Innoledy as an extra pre-gouger though. If you have another gouging machine that you really like, you can use the Innoledy machine to gouge your cane down to about 0.80mm in the center and then finish gouging it in another machine. This will help preserve the gouging blade for your other machine so that you won’t have to replace the blade on your other machine as often. Sometimes, I will start to gouge my cane using the Innoledy and do two pass-throughs, once at 1.10mm and then once at 0.80mm. Then I’ll soak my cane and finish gouging using a Driscoll gouging machine.

For these reasons, the Innoledy machine is an efficient and versatile machine to own.

Check out the video below for a full demonstration. And don’t forget to take the spring off when you are done gouging for the day!

More information about gouging can be found in the Intro to Gouging Cane. Keep in mind, it is only an introduction though!

I was lucky to have a short private lesson with Tong, the creator of the Innoledy gouger, upon purchasing my machine. Here are a few things he shared:

Innoledy is pronounced IN —ALL—LOW—JEE. The name is a combination of INNOVATION and MELODY. He instructed to always use dry cane and never to use wet cane. He recommended using a different gouger for the prep (he approved my Ross), gouging to around 80, and then finishing w the INNOLEDY.

Hope this helps!

[…] Instructions come with the Innoledy machine, but I usually set the dial at 1.1mm for a center thickness, then go down incrementally to 0.58mm. On my machine, the dial needs to read 0.55mm so that it comes out 0.58, but every machine will be slightly different, and your machine will come with instructions. I like my last pass-through of the cane to remove a chip of 0.10mm. If the last chip is more or less than 0.10mm then the cane might be gouged more unevenly, so I set my second to last swipe at 0.65mm and last swipe at 0.55mm to make that chip 0.10mm. For more information about gouging with an Innoledy machine, check out this post and video about the Innoledy Gouging Machine. […]

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