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mouthpiece definitionsMeasuring a mouthpiece


It is possible to order on this website your tailored mouthpiece 3D design to fix the for years missing part of an ancient clarinet or try a modern mouthpiece on a old c-melody soprano or other exotic woodwind instrument. This article explains how to measure the relevant parameters of your mouthpiece. For 40 euro you can get the stl file according to the measured parameters that can be send to any 3D printer.



mouthpiece definitions


The following parameters are relevant to define a standard mouthpiece for single reed instruments like clarinet and saxophone.


Tools needed to measure a mouthpiece

  • a caliper
  • plate of glass
  • piece of flat paper
  • graph paper
  • feeler gauges 


Measuring the first general parameters

  Definition Description Accuracy Importance
the general parameters
1 l_table length of the table  0.1mm H
2 p_table angle of the table compared the centerline of the mouthpiece 0.2 degrees H
3 d_barrel_max maximum diameter of the barrel 0.1 mm M


 l table


This is easy to measure. Take care to measure the length along the line of the flat part of the table. 


p table


P_table can be measured with a bevel. Place the mouthpiece with the bottom of the shank against the arm of a bevel. Hold the other arm along the table and fix the screw on the corner.

A suitable bevel can be easily made:

hoekmeter 2



measuring the shank


  Definition Description Accuracy Importance
 the shank dimensions    
4 l_shank Length of the shank  0.5mm  M 
5 l_cork lenght of the cork part on the shank (clarinets only)  0.5mm   L
6 d_shank_bottom diameter of the shank   0.1mm  H 
7 d_shank_top diameter of the shank on the barrel side (saxophones only)  0.5mm  M 
8 d_shank_mid diameter of the shank in the middle (saxophones only)  0.5mm  H 
9 d_shank_cork diameter of the cork part of the shank  0.1mm  M 


 l shank


All the measurements of the shank can be done with a caliper. The value d_shank_mid is measured to define the curve of the saxophone mouthpiece shank.


Measuring table and tip

  Definition Description Accuracy Importance
the table dimensions     
10 w_table_tip width of the table on the tip side  0.1mm  H
11 w_table_shank width of the table on the shank side  0.1mm  M 
12 h_tip height of the tip opening  0.1mm  H 
13 l_facing length of the facing  0.5mm   H
14 r_tip radius of the tip  1mm  M


l facing

Measuring of the most tip and table values can be done directly using a caliper. The height of the tip opening and the length of the curve of the tip opening have to be measured using a set of feeler gauges and a flat glass plate. The tip opening itself is difficult to measure. I did it with a stack of feeler gauges but it can also be done with special concave gauges to measure the tip opening.





The radius of the tip can be estimated using the following selfmade circle template or any official one (click here to download the pdf version). Find the cirlce that has the best fit to the tip bow and measure the diameter and divide it by 2 to get the radius.















Measuring the beak

  Definition Description Accuracy Importance
the beak dimensions     
15 p_beak_outside angle of the beak compared to the table  1 degree  M  
16 p_beak_inside angle of the beak compared to the table 1 degree M
17 l_beak length of the beak measured along the centerline of the mouthpiece  1mm  M 
18 r_beak Will be derived from r_tp  0.5mm   M 
19 h_beak_tip  thickness of the beak at the tip   0.1 mm  M 


p beak

The angle of the beak can be measured with a bevel. If you don't have that it can also be done with a rod and and piece of paper. Place the rod on the top of the beak and hold the flat part of the table in line with the bottom of the paper. Draw lines parallel with the rod on the paper and measure the angel using a protactor. p_beak is the measured angle decreased with the measure p_table.

l beak

The measurement of l_beak and h_beak_tip are quite easy. For the measurement of the radius of the angled top of the beak a perpendicular cross-section anywhere on the beak has to be figured. The width of the beak (value A) and the height of the curve (value B) of the beak have to be measured on the same cross-section location. It is difficult to measure, but it is not a highly critical parameter.

The value r_beak can be derived using the mystereous formula: r_beak =0.5*A / sin(2*atan(2*B/A))


 Measuring the window


  Definition Description Accuracy Importance
the window dimensions     
20 w_window_tip width of the window at the tip side     
21  w_window_barrel  width of the window at the barrel side     
22 l_window length of the window    


l window


The figure above shows the measurements needed to define the window.


Measuring the inside

p baffle


  Definition Description Accuracy Importance
the bore and chamber dimensions    
23 d_bore diameter of the bore at the shank side    
24 l_bore length or depth of the bore    
25 p_baffle angle of the baffle compared to the centerline of the mouthpiece    
26 l_baffle  lenght of the baffle measure along the roof    




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Johan Jonker Saxofoons gevestigd in Houten, is verantwoordelijk voor de verwerking van persoonsgegevens zoals weergegeven in deze privacyverklaring.

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