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Beer Tent The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...

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Old 11-12-2020, 02:10 PM   #51
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 940
Default Re: Polyester thread replacing hemp?

Here's my unsolicited two cents on the topic:
Bagpipes are a wet instrument because they are mouth blown. To prevent damage, you have to manage moisture. There are basically only two options, fight the moisture or work with it.

--The "fight against it" approach comes with a major con: what happens with the moisture that just sits. For example, what stops moisture from getting underneath the "hemp"? And then what happens?
--The "work with it" approach comes with a different, no less major, con: you have to manage the swelling.

There's really no right or wrong way to do it. You should probably avoid abrading bores, just for the sake of keeping your instrument functioning well. But, whichever approach you take really just depends on you: your environment, your climate, how wet you get your pipes, etc.

So, yet another debate with a tepid "resolution."
Serving Jello with a ladle since... forever
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Old 11-12-2020, 03:01 PM   #52
Dan Bell
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Default Re: Polyester thread replacing hemp?

Only pipers could generate 6 pages of discussion about what kind of thread we use to hold our instruments together...

Seriously, rotting hemp? How long do you all play at a time? What are you using for moisture control? Don't you ever swab it out? Ew .

I'm a wet blower, I play a hide bag (Gannaway) and I commonly play for 2-3 hours at a time (back when we were having band practices...). I don't play that long when I practice, but I also don't start and stop when I practice.

I've played in all kinds of conditions, and other than pouring rain, I don't encounter big moisture problems. Unless you play a perfectly dry system (and even then, there's a limit to how much moisture it can absorb), moisture is ALWAYS something that has to be managed. There is ALWAYS a limit to how long you can play before you reach the limits of ANY moisture control system. Because water is so destructive, our instrument is never going to be maintenance-free. If one product works better than another for you, that's great. It may or may not work as well for someone else.
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Old 11-12-2020, 05:36 PM   #53
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Location: St louis
Posts: 273
Default Re: Polyester thread replacing hemp?

I just rehemped my ebony practice chanter using the Mandala Crafts 0.8mm waxed polyester product. I am a wet blower and my PC rapidly condenses a lot of water. I play the PC for a couple of 1 hour sessions daily.

Before rehemping, I would remove the top and use a paper towel to try to absorb as much water from the hemp-wrapped tenon. I could never get it ‘dry’ and had to leave it in the open to dry out over a couple of hours.

With the waxed polyester...the water does not absorb into the wrap. I just give it a wipe with a paper towel and it’s dry.

As for the pipes, I will leave well enough alone for now. They’re not failing and I don’t need to apply a fix for a problem that’s not there. The PC was a problem with the yellow hemp swelling, not drying quickly, and fraying from my daily handling.
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:06 PM   #54
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North America
Posts: 3,775
Default Re: Polyester thread replacing hemp?

Yet Another Very Partial Quote

Originally Posted by Dan Bell

Only pipers could generate 6 pages of discussion about what kind of thread we use to hold our instruments together... :laugh::laugh:

Greetings to Dan, and to All,

Well... yes!!... Dan... The Old Adage... "A half-dozen
pipers... will get you... fifteen opinions!!" :)
And... 'twas ever thus... :)
("World Without End... Amen." :)

I have just completed a rather lovely bit o' chat... with
the Mandala Crafts folk... and this new (to me :) thread
should be in hand... sometime mid to late next week.

And... sometime... thereafter... (not sure when... but not
too long :)... when the work is completed... I shall report
here... on both the ease of the application... and... on the
efficacy... of the material... :)

And... trusting that everyone shall have...
and enjoy... a relaxed... and Safe... weekend!!, :)

Regards to All,


My friends all know,
With what a brave carouse...

Last edited by Pip01; 11-13-2020 at 03:12 PM.
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