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

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Old 11-17-2020, 04:36 PM   #1
Tom1136
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Default Question on Hardies....

Greetings, I have recently purchased a used set of R.G. Hardie pipes for a student. I must admit that I am unfamiliar with Hardie's and wasn't expecting much considering the price. I have owned many different makers over the years, Gibson, Kintail, Shepherd, Mccallum, and Nail to the best of my memory but no Hardie's. Upon receiving the set it quickly became obvious that the set was of superior quality. Great sound, stable tone and balance, they play beautifully. They are adorned with plain silver and Catailin which I also know nothing about. Anyway to make it short, can someone enlighten me on the maker, history and what the heck Catailin is and why it was used on pipes? Thanks, Tom W.
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Old 11-17-2020, 06:48 PM   #2
EquusRacer
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Default Re: Question on Hardies....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom1136 View Post
Greetings, I have recently purchased a used set of R.G. Hardie pipes for a student. I must admit that I am unfamiliar with Hardie's and wasn't expecting much considering the price. I have owned many different makers over the years, Gibson, Kintail, Shepherd, Mccallum, and Nail to the best of my memory but no Hardie's. Upon receiving the set it quickly became obvious that the set was of superior quality. Great sound, stable tone and balance, they play beautifully. They are adorned with plain silver and Catailin which I also know nothing about. Anyway to make it short, can someone enlighten me on the maker, history and what the heck Catailin is and why it was used on pipes? Thanks, Tom W.
You can check on Ringo's site; for he has a ton of good information on most of the makers. In my experience, the quality of Hardie depends, in part, on the vintage (and this sounds quite vintage). I can add that many in my band have or had late 1950s through mid-1960s vintages, and they were all very nice. My instructor had a 1963 set, which eventually went to my very best student. It was just brilliant, and served her very well up through her grades (she's Grade 1 now).
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Old 11-18-2020, 04:52 AM   #3
CalumII
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Default Re: Question on Hardies....

Yes, some Hardies were great instruments. I always keep an eye out for 70s era instruments made for the MOD; I don't know what, if any, spec these were made to but these are often fantastic, steady drones.



Catalin was one of the first plastics that could be reliably machined and remained stable. For a time there was a massive craze for items made from it, from jewellery to radios. It was as functional as ivory and much cheaper.
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Old 11-18-2020, 02:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Question on Hardies....

RG Hardie (Robert G.), Joe Henderson, and John Weatherstone opened Hardie bagpipes in the mid 20th century and were renowned for using premium quality wood.

They managed to compete against Henderson and Lawrie pipes, and were the choice supplier for many years to the British military bands. Robert was a joiner (carpenter) in the Glasgow area by trade, a top solo competitor, and he was also the pipe major of the Muirhead and Sons band. Muirheads were on the top end of grade 1 for years.

Hardie's chanters were, in a lot of ways, the Sinclair or Naill chanters of the era. Everyone who was anyone played them, and they remained in demand until Naill chanters started to edge the solo competitive market in the 1980s.

Catalin, simply, was the plastic de jure for imitating ivory. It wasn't originally orange, but an ivory-like white.
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Last edited by jackhawkpiper97; 11-18-2020 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 11-18-2020, 09:45 PM   #5
Pip01
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Default Re: Question on Hardies....





Tom1136,

Well... Lucky Student!! :)

"Sounds like"... a 50s... 60s set... and they should
be quite lovely... for the next 60 years!! :)

Yes!!, and as above... go on to Ringo's web site...
TheBagpipePlace.com... and there is all of the
information you may need.

I have an early to mid-50s ABW chanter that Bob
made... and it is... and almost... unbelievably grand!! :)

Please tell your student... it's a "find"... and to be
careful with them!!

All the Best!!

Pip01



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Old 11-19-2020, 06:41 AM   #6
el gaitero
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Default Re: Question on Hardies....

In 87 I won my first Grade 2 solo march medal playing my 47 Robert Reid pipes ...with an early 50s Silver soled Hardie chanter my instructor ( George M. Bell,..himself an RGH student before emigrating) loaned me.
I was absolutely petrified for the days and whole weekend until I could hand it back to him unscathed the next week.
Interesting too, RGH was a student of hizzoner Rbt.Reid.
In 87 in CAN I met Willie Connell...who had turned my pipes while a Reid student working in his shop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pip01 View Post




Tom1136,

Well... Lucky Student!!

"Sounds like"... a 50s... 60s set... and they should
be quite lovely... for the next 60 years!!

Yes!!, and as above... go on to Ringo's web site...
TheBagpipePlace.com... and there is all of the
information you may need.

I have an early to mid-50s ABW chanter that Bob
made... and it is... and almost... unbelievably grand!!

Please tell your student... it's a "find"... and to be
careful with them!!

All the Best!!

Pip01



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Old 11-19-2020, 09:32 AM   #7
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Question on Hardies....

Quote:
Originally Posted by el gaitero View Post
In 87 I won my first Grade 2 solo march medal playing my 47 Robert Reid pipes ...with an early 50s Silver soled Hardie chanter my instructor ( George M. Bell,..himself an RGH student before emigrating) loaned me.
I was absolutely petrified for the days and whole weekend until I could hand it back to him unscathed the next week.
Interesting too, RGH was a student of hizzoner Rbt.Reid.
In 87 in CAN I met Willie Connell...who had turned my pipes while a Reid student working in his shop.
I met Willie Connell in 1979, the first year I was the Steward at Loon Mountain, and met Archie MacLeod, then PM of the Stuart Highlanders PB the same weekend and started lessons with Archie the foilowing month. Both had studied with Robert Reid, as I understand.
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:45 AM   #8
el gaitero
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Default Re: Question on Hardies....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klondike Waldo View Post
I met Willie Connell in 1979, the first year I was the Steward at Loon Mountain, and met Archie MacLeod, then PM of the Stuart Highlanders PB the same weekend and started lessons with Archie the foilowing month. Both had studied with Robert Reid, as I understand.
Yes....Willie was a Reid student. Apparently a good one...in so that Reid gifted him abw and ivory to turn his own set of pipes he told me.
He made two sets while in the shop...the ivoried second set he made were the set I had scored.
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Old 11-19-2020, 03:22 PM   #9
Greenpipe
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Default Re: Question on Hardies....

My first set of pipes were Hardies, purchased in London in 1980. The bass drone was very difficult to get in order - motor-boating under most conditions and reeds. And in those days cane was all there was. Another band member had a similar problem with his very late 1970s Hardies; he bought his in Canada.

Today I`d probably send them to Dunbar to bore out or whatever, but I was a beginner and knew very little about such matters. The tenors sounded pretty good I was told.
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Old 11-19-2020, 05:53 PM   #10
Chris C.
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Default Re: Question on Hardies....

Hardies were the standard 'beginner' set in my region, along with Lawries and maybe one or two other brands. Their chanters in the early 80's were excellent -- very good sound, and decent volume. I still play mine (my drones are Lawries).

As for Catalin, the other guys explained it well. When I first got my set of Lawries it was said that it was plastic that was designed to imitate ivory, in that it would darken over time. Which it did.
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