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

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Old 06-21-2017, 01:02 PM   #31
Paul M Burke
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Default Re: Uneven Drone Bores

Of course it is also possible to over, cotton, wool, dental floss, cork and any number of other weird and wonderful things that are suggested around here from time to time. It is my humble opinion that the problem here is with the over application not the material.

Before Teflon tape plumbers used hemp to seal some joints in heating systems, I'm sure there are some that still do. Maybe there are some pipe fitters out there that could enlighten us as to how PTFE is expanding, shredding and destroying our water supply pipes.

The paraffin wax used on pre waxed hemp acts as a lubricant. Are people over pre waxed hemping their drones because of it? Are these drones splitting under the furrels?

How many pipers among us has not had a hemped joint go tight? Ever been unable to take your practice chanter apart until it dried out a little? Were your pipes ruined because of it? When your tenor top went tight after playing in the rain did it develop cracks? I'd bet 999/1000 did not.


Anyway YMMV
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Old 06-23-2017, 08:46 PM   #32
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Default Re: Uneven Drone Bores

Good point about the oval bore, I suppose to maintain the exact ID you would have to add material at the wide spots and take away material on the narrow spots.

This is assuming that the current ID is the original one and/or is ideal. Might not be either.

All the ones I've done have been the other issue, of a bottleneck near the open end.

For these you're only increasing the ID of the portion which has narrowed, and making it match the ID of the rest of the bore.

(Assuming that it's a matter of one part of the bore narrowing, and not the other part of the bore expanding!)
proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first white settlers on the Guyandotte
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Old 06-24-2017, 06:03 PM   #33
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Default Re: Uneven Drone Bores

I'd be curious to hear from woodworkers and pipe makers about which scenario is more likely
Bore getting oval from parts shrinking in differentially
Bore getting oval from parts opening up differentially
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Old 06-24-2017, 07:51 PM   #34
el gaitero
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Default Re: Uneven Drone Bores

Hahahaha...talk about serving jello with a ladle....
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Old 06-26-2017, 07:11 PM   #35
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Default Re: Uneven Drone Bores

Jackhawk piper, its the same thing. Set a paperback book on the table with the binding up. Let the book splay out and the pages fan out, until the book is in a place it will support itself. If then you place a weight on the spine, the pages will fan out more. If you lift the spine up a bit from the original position, the pages will come a little more together.
At the time the hole was bored and reamed, the material is at one particular state. Variations in that state will make changes, some changes more important than others. Changes in the level of moisture will make the pipe change dimensions. The hole will change from oval to round and then back to oval again as the moisture levels go from below the state at time of machining to above that state.
The older I get, the more certain I am, that everything should be made from blackwood, beeswax, reeds, shellac and bits of string...
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Old 06-26-2017, 08:26 PM   #36
Jon Snow
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Default Re: Uneven Drone Bores

Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
It's a common thing, even with new pipes.

The various theories as to the cause are beside the point, seems to me. The issue is curing the problem, which is very simple and easy to do.

All that's needed is an adjustable hand reamer of the correct size. They're not all that expensive.

You adjust the reamer so that it's taking just a small amount of wood away, then adjust it a tiny bit bigger, going slow and taking away a small amount of wood at each size.
The problem with this is that these reamers are slightly tapered. (Even if the people selling them say they are not, they are tapered.) This will result in a drone bore that is tapered. It's not a lot, but it's enough to make the tuning joint noticeably tighter the farther in you go. If it's a hot day, drones tuning sharp, you push them up to flatten them out, suddenly they are loose, and you're madly adding hemp.

This is no problem if you are cleaning up a stock, but the drone joints are "blind holes", meaning you cannot put the tool all the way through. These reamers are not really designed for blind holes.

I have had good success with adjustable reamers like this that I modified. Basically I just use a bench grinder to grind off a little bit of the sharp edges of each blade up to about 1/2 inch from the top end. This means that only the top 1/2 of the blade is actually cutting, but it cuts perfectly straight, with out taper, up to the last 1/2 inch of the drone bore. (Note: I am calling the part farthest from the square drive the "top".)

If you want to try this, you must take each blade out one at a time and work on it, then put it back in the same place. The blades are NOT interchangeable and must be put back in the pocket they came from.

It's correct that this only takes out a very small amount of wood. I straightened out 20 years of wear on my bass drone by taking the ID of the middle joint from .721 in. to .725 in. Literally about the thickness of a human hair.
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