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Do It Yourself (DIY) Making and repairing of instruments, accessories, and more.

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Old 01-14-2007, 10:41 AM   #1
D. Ruetten
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Default GHB chanter keying

Hello All:
Due to a problem with my hands I am finding it increasingly difficult to reach the bottom tonehole, birls etc.

I may have to switch to a smallpipe in D or something, but I'd still love to continue on the GHB if possible.

I was wondering if anyone has had luck installing a key for this tonehole, or could point me in the right direction to get more info on the job.

Don Ruetten
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:04 AM   #2
Ian Lawther
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Default Re: GHB chanter keying

The only time I have seen anything like this was a Scottish smallpipe chanter in A made by Colin Ross for a lady called Maggie Sansone who has small hands. He put a key on the low G hole which was hinged below the hole with the actual key pad half way up the lever and the whole thing sprung to stay open unless the top end of the lever was depressed. The following hopefully illustrates what I mean:-


Something like this could possily work as a modification to a GHB chanter but you would have to mount the block rather than have it as part of the original construction as Colin did. Also you may need to experiment carefully with the shaping of the top end of the key. My experience with Maggie's chanter (which I have played a couple of times) is that if the top end was slightly rounded it would make playing a birl easier. As it is there is a good chance of bringing your pinky down on the end of the key and impaling yourself if you are not careful!!! However that aside for getting a low G you are almost unaware that you are using a key...you simply bring your pinky down as normal on the lever instead of the hole and it works fine. And no stretching.

Ian
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Old 01-14-2007, 12:53 PM   #3
TwitchyFingers
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Default Re: GHB chanter keying

You might be able to get by without a key block. If you get a plastic pipe chanter, you may be able to put on a key from a clairinet or sax using the pin system of those instruments. The pins should hold well if drilled and glued into postion. A plastic chanter may hold the glue better, but it seems to work in wood as well. Some uilleann pipe makers have gone to this style to have a less bulky chanter(use less wood).
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Old 01-14-2007, 04:22 PM   #4
Ian Lawther
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Default Re: GHB chanter keying

Just thinking over my own comments since posting I have adapted the illustration to show a curved key end. I think this would make a birl easier as the pinky would approach the key as shown by the arrow and close the key as it passed whereas the original needs you to adapt your birl to come straight down (or close to straight down) for the first strike.

Ian
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Old 01-14-2007, 05:22 PM   #5
D. Ruetten
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Default Re: GHB chanter keying

Thanx a million!!

The keyblock system looks very doable, and would allow me to move the block around a bit before final assembly to make sure it works perfectly. As the chanter(poly) is very thin, it would also be much more secure to glue it down, rather than fiddle around with tiny screws etc. which was a my major concern with using the pin and post system from other woodwinds.

If it works out, I'll be sure to post some pics.

Thanx again
Don Ruetten
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Old 01-16-2007, 02:30 AM   #6
Robin Beck
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Default Re: GHB chanter keying

Nigel Richard could do it for you.
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Old 01-16-2007, 02:46 AM   #7
Wulls
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Default Re: GHB chanter keying

Quote:
Originally posted by TwitchyFingers:
A plastic chanter may hold the glue better, but it seems to work in wood as well.
Facinating project but beware....... most pipe chanters are made of delrin a (polyacetal).
most glues do not stick to it worth a damn.
The secret to getting a good bond on Delrin & other 'greasy' feeling
plastics is usually to use some sort of surface treatment like a primer.
This etches the surface of the material, and gives the glue something to
hang on to.

Loctite has a design guide for bonding plastics that shows that the
difference between using their Prism 401 Cyanoacrylate with & without
their Prism 770 primer is a yield strength of 7200 psi vs 200 psi on
plain unprimed joints. Using plain Super Bonder 414 Cyanoacrylate
without a primer gets you 500 psi, which was the next closest they have
listed to the 7200 psi using the primer.

Surface roughening helps, and I would wash any polymer like this with
alchohol before bonding to remove the oiliness. The primers are
typically really nasty solvents or acids, and should be used with care.
So surface prep with 770 primer or be prepared to glue it on a lot!!!!!
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Old 01-16-2007, 03:29 AM   #8
TwitchyFingers
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Default Re: GHB chanter keying

Hmmm....That's good to know. That may save me a lot of heart ache in the future. Do you guys have something called "Gorilla Glue" in the U.K.? I wonder how that would work.
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Old 01-16-2007, 04:33 AM   #9
Wulls
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Default Re: GHB chanter keying

Gorilla glue is the dogs bollox........ It expands as it cures therfore fills up gaps.
It is the weapon of choice on loose ferules etc.
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Old 01-16-2007, 09:18 AM   #10
Paul Gretton
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Default Re: GHB chanter keying

I know for a fact that there are (mainstream) wind instrument repairmen who specialize in adapting instruments for people with disabilities. Finding one might be a bit of a problem, though. I knew one here in Holland who could do amazing work but he died a couple of years ago. He did things like fit special keys for someone who had lost half a finger and most of a thumb in an accident. (The example I saw was on a treble recorder.) He also put on extra keys for people who couldnít stretch far enough, which sounds a bit like what you are looking for.

I find it hard to imagine that there wonít be such a specialist in the Toronto area. Can I suggest asking (say) a clarinet or oboe prof. at the Royal Conservatory if they know of someone? You might also want to ask on an Internet forum for one of those instruments. I would think (JMHO) that that would be better than approaching a pipemaker who has no experience of this kind of work. (As Robin says, Nigel could do it, but you may be better off going to someone fairly local so you can get an exact fit.)

The necessary block can be attached with a metal band around the chanter, or glued on with the addition of tiny rivets for extra support (as is sometimes done when replacing broken blocks on old wooden flutes). Keys can also be attached using the pillar system, although a GHB chanter is a bit thin for that. But from what Iíve seen, these specialists can do virtually ANYTHING!
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