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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 06-02-2018, 11:04 AM   #21
John McCain
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob864 View Post
Metal ferrules would seem to be the cause of the infamous conical tuning chambers.
Leaving pipes assembled is the cause.
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Old 06-03-2018, 02:18 PM   #22
thevoidboy
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

I just performed a test of my wooden and my plastic Peter Henderson chanters.

Put them in 1į refrigerator for 5, 10 and 15 minutes. These times were long enough to affect a change in temperature on the chanters.

Measured three lengths (full, top of high G, top of low A). Measured width at low A.

Absolutely no change occurred whatsoever on either chanter.

This is not to say that heat or cold does not have an impact. It is to say (1) assertions should be replicated before accepted as fact, and (2) it is far less likely that the chanter changes than does the reed.

If you see different results, post them. Iíll leave my chanters in for an hour and see if that makes a difference.



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Old 06-03-2018, 03:43 PM   #23
MichiganGaidar
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

Your experiment and my experience would indicate the same thing: Wood, when properly seasoned and properly worked, is very stable. Any appreciable dimensional wandering is a flaw.
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:25 PM   #24
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

Not quite sure what you were testing by calling the chanters. Anyway, there may be changes to diameter due to temperature.

Also, cold air is more dense than warm air, and I am sure that will affect pitch, but I have never tested it.

Charlie
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Old 06-04-2018, 03:31 AM   #25
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

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Originally Posted by Green Piper View Post
Not quite sure what you were testing by calling the chanters. Anyway, there may be changes to diameter due to temperature.

Also, cold air is more dense than warm air, and I am sure that will affect pitch, but I have never tested it.

Charlie


This was a cross-post, killing two birds with one stone.

On the one hand, lots of FUD about instrument swelling. Swelling is due to hemp, not to the instrument. (Of course, laws of physics apply to any material.)

On the other hand, thereís lot of FUD about pitch changes due to weather conditions. Again, the usual culprits cited are materials of the instrument. Pitch changes are due to impact on reeds.

(That said: this was a cold test. Heat test is up next.)

OP was mentioning the value of polyester thread. Makes sense to me: if a product does not react to moisture and temperature to the degree that hemp does, perhaps itís worth a serious look as yet one more innovative way towards stabilization and ease of maintenance.

Often, however, there is a very nostalgic, conservative dismissal of innovation supported by idiosyncratic tastes, romanticization, and/or pure anecdotal hearsay.

I just wanted to introduce empiricism into the discussion.



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Old 06-04-2018, 04:04 AM   #26
Paul M Burke
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

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Originally Posted by thevoidboy View Post
. ..,snip...........(Of course, laws of physics apply to any material.)

On the other hand, thereís lot of FUD about pitch changes due to weather conditions. Again, the usual culprits cited are materials of the instrument. Pitch changes are due to impact on reeds.

Snip

Often, however, there is a very nostalgic, conservative dismissal of innovation supported by idiosyncratic tastes, romanticization, and/or pure anecdotal hearsay.



I'm almost positive that reeds are made of materials also, and while I think technically a grass, they look very like and behave like wood. I'm sure that another major component of reeds is hemp.



I don't think you can say that the effectiveness of hemp is anecdotal hearsay. It seems to have worked fine for many, many years. As to conservative dismissal of innovation, I think that piping today in terms of playing styles, tune types, reed types and materials, bags, air management and even turning and decoration have undergone huge inovation in the last 30 years.

With regard to sewing thread on, say, tuning pins, if the condensation in the bore is not absorbed by this polyester thread does it "pool" in the bore? or find the area of least resistance and flow downwards? Will this flow of water erode the wood?

I'm sure I'll have other questions. I like a good inovation. But not change for changes sake.

Paul.
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Old 06-04-2018, 04:41 AM   #27
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

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Originally Posted by Paul M Burke View Post
I'm almost positive that reeds are made of materials also, and while I think technically a grass, they look very like and behave like wood. I'm sure that another major component of reeds is hemp.
The wooden cane of the reed is very thin and much more prone to heat and moisture. That's simple physics. It is much more likely that reeds are going to be the cause of pitch change in the instrument, than that the plastic or wood of the drones or chanter are the cause for pitch change. That's my point. And, if you like: replicate my experiment and report your results.



Quote:
I don't think you can say that the effectiveness of hemp is anecdotal hearsay. It seems to have worked fine for many, many years.
Not my argument. My argument is that while hemp may have been perfectly sufficient, the proposal that polyester string may hold more advantages is worth pursuing.

I have literally have people tell me that they hear a difference between yellow and black hemp. I find that either completely ridiculous, and worrying admirable that someone can hear so sensitively that the color and composition of thread on a chanter reed and pins can be determined by ear.

Etc etc. It is this kind of thing that happens a LOT in the piping world: assertions without backing. Hypotheses without testing.

Quote:
As to conservative dismissal of innovation, I think that piping today in terms of playing styles, tune types, reed types and materials, bags, air management and even turning and decoration have undergone huge inovation in the last 30 years.
And yet, we continue to hear how "cane is superior" and "hide bags make all the difference in the world to tone". These are conservative arguments that have little empirical support.

Except with cane. A post in another thread actually reports scientific, replicable tests and data that suggest a much greater harmonic frequency to cane. At which point, the question is one of trade off, the balance between maintenance and stability vs tone. That's why many of us avoid cane: we get perfectly fine tone with composite reeds, and they are a lot easier to manage. Not everyone feels that way, and that's fine. But at least we are now talking about empirical data.


Quote:
With regard to sewing thread on, say, tuning pins, if the condensation in the bore is not absorbed by this polyester thread does it "pool" in the bore? or find the area of least resistance and flow downwards? Will this flow of water erode the wood?
Let's call that a hypothesis. Test it and report the results.

Quote:
I'm sure I'll have other questions. I like a good inovation. But not change for changes sake.

Paul.
And yet, change for change sake allows us to experiment, test, reject, but also potentially innovate.

So - I guess I'll rethread my pipes and see if polyester threads are as good as the OP's experience of them.

:^)
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Old 06-04-2018, 05:58 AM   #28
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

My concern would be friction of polyester on my pipesí 80 yr old tuning chambers. However, if it were waxed the friction would mostly be negated.

But...... some pipers swear that unwaxed hemp on tuning pins gives better tone. Of course unwaxed hemp does swell when wet.

I suppose as a competent piper, one finds what works, but is also willing to try other things.

Charlie
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Old 06-04-2018, 07:06 AM   #29
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

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Originally Posted by Paul M Burke View Post
With regard to sewing thread on, say, tuning pins, if the condensation in the bore is not absorbed by this polyester thread does it "pool" in the bore? or find the area of least resistance and flow downwards? Will this flow of water erode the wood?
If you watch the YouTube I posted in the first post, you'll see that yes, the "water" does pool above the polyester thread. In this case, it was my practice chanter, and I had purposely given it a solid playing session without removing the top at any point to dry it out. There was a lot of spit and condensation built up and you can see it spill out when I remove the top. That being said, I was able to remove the top section with absolute ease as the polyester thread did not swell and caused no addition tension or binding (it's biggest benefit for me).

In my experience, you don't want the hemp absorbing *any* moisture, as that is exactly what causes the hemp to swell (the moisture has to go somewhere). A small amount of swelling of the hemp makes for a difficult joint to move (especially tuning chambers). A lot of swelling of the hemp could readily mean cracking your instrument.

That being said, I play my pipes *a lot*. I am fortunate enough to be a full-time professional bagpiper here in the Dallas area, and play my pipes for 60 to 90 minutes each day. Since re-wrapping my pipes in polyester, even after extended playing, there has not been enough moisture condensing on the bores of my drones to cause any sort of pooling of fluid.

I play a synthetic bag (the outlier here it would seem, preferring a simple Bannatyne medium bags to any sort of hybrid or leather bag), and I do use moisture control (the Highland Reeds MCS system to be specific). As Bruce Hitchings describes in his videos for this system, the moisture control also acts as a heat exchanger, so I find the cooler air getting to the drone is more constant regardless of outside weather and keeps my tone more stable. But in any case, I almost never have any real amount of moisture make it through this system into my drones; certainly not enough to cause any sort of pooling of fluid.

I purposely waited several months and played through a variety of weather and conditions before making my video and sharing this with everyone. Whether it's hot, cold, wet, dry... it simply didn't matter. The joints wrapped with polyester simply work better than any other material I've used. I've been playing and restoring/repairing bagpipes for over twenty years. I have re-wrapped well over a hundred bagpipes with hemp, be it real hemp, yellow unwaxed hemp, black waxed hemp, yellow waxed hemp, or some sort of combo. I've used dental floss. All sorts of different waxes. Teflon. You name it... None of these work as well as the polyester thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Piper View Post
My concern would be friction of polyester on my pipesí 80 yr old tuning chambers. However, if it were waxed the friction would mostly be negated.
I wish I could go back and re-wrap some of the heirloom instruments I've had the opportunity to work on with polyester, as I can make a completely airtight fitting with less tension on the joint and no fear of future swelling to cause cracking. For these older instruments, instead of hemp seal (which has mineral oil in it, which cause impregnate itself in the wood), I use Doctor Slick cork crease by Bore Doctor, as it is a tallow-based lubricate and cannot damage the wood. It's not quite as smooth as the hemp seal (toilet ring wax), but still helps lubricate the joint.

That said, I have found no abrasive qualities to the polyester thread when wrapped as a joint. i will continue to monitor this, and will report *any* wear on the pipes should it occur. No dog in this hunt financially; I just want us all using the best materials we can for our intruments.

Yikes! Did I type enough?
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Old 02-16-2019, 09:24 AM   #30
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

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I get my natural hemp, one ply and two ply from http://www.piperssupply.com. I don't know Ted but his prices are great and his shipping is fast. Great products!

I just ordered and received a roll of natural hemp. I bought a used set of vintage pipes last year that were hemped with natural hemp. Joints were still snug, no air loss. I really liked the way it felt/worked. Just ended up with a set of McCallum AB4's that I am thinking of hemping with natural. Any thoughts?
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