Harmonica Slot Customizing Tool

The videos above show you how the burnishing tip of the Harmonica Slot Customizing Tool makes it easy to close slot gaps on your harmonica reed plates. I call the process burnishing when you work on one side of the slot only.


The burnishing tip is machined from 1/8th inch thick stainless steel for the Harmonica Slot Customizing Tool.

Below are photos of the other end of the Harmonica Slot Customizing Tool. This is the embossing end of the tool. My definition of embossing is that the tool works to close both sides of the slot at the same time.

emboss 2 emboss 3

What you are looking at in the photo above is the end of pin vise handle that has been changed to make it a better embossing tool.

The reason I did this is because I can’t see where the tool contacts the reed plate when I have it on my light box. The light box is at an angle:

Emboss tool - before

When I ground of the end of the pin vise handle at an angle, suddenly I can see what I am doing, where the tool touches the slot:

Emboss tool - after

This gives me a lot more control over the process of embossing a slot because I can see what I am doing AS I DO IT. No more “give it a stab and then take a look” groping around…

I’ve been refining this tool for twenty years now, and my research has consisted of customizing hundreds of harmonicas (I lost track years ago) Using the new version of the light box and this tool has made a huge difference in the time and effort it takes me to close up slots accurately.

I look at everything that annoys me about customizing harmonicas as a research project. Closing up slots was for a long time a nerve wracking process filled with disasters. I destroyed a lot of reed plates over the years learning how to re-shape slots.

These tools make what used to be a miserable, risky process into a predictable and efficient system. I can now close the gaps in a set of reed plates in less than half the time it used to take, and the results are better than ever.

I am now including this tool in my Deluxe Tool Kit and it is also available as a separate item…. For more information, contact me directly – rrsleigh@gmail.com

For more information on light boxes, check out the other posts on this website…

And by the way, if you decide to use this idea and make your own tool, that’s OK, but please give me credit for the idea – is that a deal?




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