View Full Version : Pipes not played for four years or so
03-02-2002, 08:18 AM
I am quartermaster for our band and just this week retrieved a set of pipes that have been outstanding from our inventory for some time. I need to put a new bag on and reed them, but I am concerned about the drones cracking if I fire them up. I don't think they've been played much if at all for about 4 years. I'm told they were re-hemped in the fall, but I can't be sure how much use they've had. Any suggestions on how to get them playable safely? or is 4 years not too bad?
03-02-2002, 08:28 AM
1. Check every section for signs of checking. Check the hemp and the stocks for fit and adjust the hemping accordingly. Oil the stocks.
2. New bag would be a good idea here.
3. Reed them up and play to see what they sound like.
03-02-2002, 08:40 AM
Iain is right and I'll add another shameless plug for my site where I address a lot of these type of issues. It's at http://www.iserv.net/~macleod/learning/index.html
You'll get very similar results if you go there and click on "Bagpipe Restoration" and look under
"How should I bring an old bagpipe back into service?"
Personally, I would not blow into a pipe of dubious history until I KNEW it wouldn't crack - to me that means taking responsibility for oiling it to prevent rapid uptake of moisture.
03-02-2002, 08:53 AM
Try playing for only 5 min. a day for the first week or so, then gradually increase the time until you are up to 30-40 min. The pipes should be re-acclimated to moisture by then and you should be fine. :thumb: