There is a logical and efficient way to work on harmonicas. I came up with this idea while working on a project.
The Customization Stack is a depiction of the organisation of tasks. You can do any of these tasks separately but you will get better results with much less effort if you "work the stack" from the ground up.
- Most things affect the tuning of the reeds so it makes sense to do tuning last.
- It's not possible to adjust a reed perfectly if the slot is warped, curved or off-centre. It makes sense to take care of those problems before doing reed work.
Framework is done first and it includes making all the pieces flat, airtight, and fit together perfectly so that they all vibrate together. The slots must provide a solid frame for the reed to swing through. The reeds must be perfectly centred.
Reed work is the adjustment of the reed so that it passes through the slot from base to tip all at the same time. Gapping only considers the height of the tip of the reed. Reed work considers the height of the reed at every point.
You will get the most accurate tuning if the reeds are responsive and all play consistently.