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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > General Discussion > Do It Yourself (DIY)
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Do It Yourself (DIY) Making and repairing of instruments, accessories, and more.

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Old 04-26-2012, 04:23 PM   #1
longwind
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Default Any pointers while making my first pc?

Been making a bunch of stuff on the wood lathe. Got the center bore and exterior of my first practice chanter turned. Any pointers before I set out to drill the holes? I'm going by the chanter that I have which doesn't sound bad. It's a learning experience and kind of nifty. Doesn't look bad so far. Any secrets to improve the tone?
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Last edited by longwind; 04-26-2012 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:57 PM   #2
Ken Gordon
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Default Re: Any pointers while making my first pc?

Make certain that the hole diameters and spacings are correct.

I made my PC out of ABW back in 1978 or so. I still have it. I copied the dimensions of a good-sounding Hardie that had been loaned to me.

My PC sounds quite good.

Choose your reed carefully.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Any pointers while making my first pc?

Pay attention to wall thickness as this will affect pitch. If you are copying a chanter you now use , be sure to tune it with the same reed. I would recommend trying a couple of maple versions first and then go for it with a good piece of tone-wood. I've made 20 or so, but it took a couple to get something I was really proud of. While you're working things out you can also be working towards your personal style so that the chanter is more uniquely yours.

Good Luck

Jeff
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Any pointers while making my first pc?

Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I usually drill my tone holes before turning the chanter profile. The blank rests easier in the V-block that way.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Any pointers while making my first pc?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwitchyFingers View Post
Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I usually drill my tone holes before turning the chanter profile. The blank rests easier in the V-block that way.
That would work, as long as you know that the wall-thickness at each hole is critical, as is the distance from the center of each hole to both ends.

What I did, was to drill the length-wise hole in the square blank first, then use the ends of that to center the piece. I did not have a self-centering gun-barrel bit, so I "turned" the body around that hole.

I cannot now remember the exact sequence of steps, but it seems to me that I then laid out the positions of the various finger holes in relation to one another, leaving extra material at both ends.

Then, as you do, I drilled the finger holes. After that, I carefully turned the main part down so that the wall thicknesses at each hole were correct. I cannot remember for certain, but I believe I had a taper-attachment for the South Bend lathe I was using.

I then turned the upper end with its "knob", and adjusted the length from the reed socket to the first (hi-A) hole by milling off material from around the reed socket in small steps until hi-A was the correct pitch.

Lastly, after making the top and adding its imitation ivory ferrule, I adjusted the length (cut off or ground off) the bottom, from the bottom to the low-A hole so that it was neither flat nor sharp, but was in the proper pitch.

Then turned the bottom section so I could install an imitation ivory sole I had bought from some piping supply company.
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Any pointers while making my first pc?

Drill you tone holes undersized. This will make them sound flat. You can install the reed and enlarge them incrementally untill you have the pitch you need.

Jeff
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:05 AM   #7
Robin Beck
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Default Re: Any pointers while making my first pc?

Best to practice on old table legs.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: Any pointers while making my first pc?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Beck View Post
Best to practice on old table legs.

I used to practice on cheap 1 1/4" Walnut or Cherry dowel rods many moons ago.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:46 PM   #9
Don Robertson
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Default Re: Any pointers while making my first pc?

Make sure your drills are really sharp.

Also, I can't imagine wall thickness making a difference with a practice chanter though. I could be wrong, it's just a thought.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:31 AM   #10
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Default Re: Any pointers while making my first pc?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwitchyFingers View Post
Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I usually drill my tone holes before turning the chanter profile. The blank rests easier in the V-block that way.
Gibson does the samething.
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