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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 04-17-2018, 12:28 PM   #1
plainspiper
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Default Dowel reeds

Has anyone tried to make their own reeds from dowels? I saw a tutorial for Uillean pipes somewhere where they turned dowels from ABW and made their own reeds, so I didn't know if anyone has tried it.

I attempted to do this and got a small squeal from it but not much. I don't think I have good tongue material.
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:47 PM   #2
Steve Law
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Default Re: Dowel reeds

Perhaps not directly transferable to GHB, but I had some fun last year building a set of smallpipes from plastic and brass tube and epoxy, courtesy Eric Reiswig’s online ‘how to’ instructions...

These use drone reeds made from 4&5mm brass tube nested together with tongues made from 60 thou acrylic sheet, Less than £1 for an A4 sheet....hardly the smoothest tone ever, but they worked.... much to my amazement 😀

Apologies for the mix of meric and imperial units.... it’s an age thing here in UK....brought up amphibious.

While cane ruled supreme for many years and I’m sure huge efforts go into finding commercial alternatives I don’t believe that should stop us amateurs having a go at using whatever comes to hand.... experiments always teach something, even if only what not to do!
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:52 PM   #3
zarb
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Default Re: Dowel reeds

I've made some from dowels. Then again, I've made dowels. I suppose you could make drone reeds from square stock. I'm enjoying my process, and have found some good benefits from doing so.
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Old 04-21-2018, 10:08 AM   #4
Rob MacDonald
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Default Re: Dowel reeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by zarb View Post
I've made some from dowels. Then again, I've made dowels. I suppose you could make drone reeds from square stock. I'm enjoying my process, and have found some good benefits from doing so.
There's an excellent article on 'drone vibrators' made from brass square stock written by Al James in Vol 12 #2 (December 1997) of Common Stock.

Mr. James had successfully devised this style of reed for his Hamish Moore SSP. I played his SSP with these reeds several times and was extremely impressed with their steadiness and tone.
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Old 04-21-2018, 12:02 PM   #5
plainspiper
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Default Re: Dowel reeds

I think I saw some square brass stock on amazon for that matter and wondered...very cool!
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:43 PM   #6
zarb
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Default Re: Dowel reeds

I've seen (and made drone reeds for various smallpipes with square brass stock, but I do not recall doing so with square wood stock, though there is no reason that it wouldn't work. I think Mike Nelson has a good page on making them in brass.
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:52 AM   #7
Anndrah
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Default Re: Dowel reeds

Much easier to make drone reeds from Spanish cane. I used to make my own back in the day. It was fun, and after you learned it you could really get the sound you wanted, along with nice strike ins fairly easily.
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:58 PM   #8
Beadle-blew
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Default Re: Dowel reeds

I've been keen to try to adapt the process posted here:
http://www.skep.com/britton/articles.htm#Drone%20Reeds

I think this is for Northumbrian pipes? But I'm not sure... Either way, the end product looks similar enough to GHPB drone reeds that I think you could apapt quite easily. I like the look of them

The article starts with a square blank, but if you have the dowel you can probably skip a step or two.
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Old 07-29-2018, 07:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: Dowel reeds

We do a lot of testing of new reed designs for various makers. I think the question should be "who hasn't tried making reeds from blackwood dowels". I have numerous examples here.
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