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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Other (not GH) Bagpipes > Uilleann, Northumbrian, Smallpipes +
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Uilleann, Northumbrian, Smallpipes + For all types of (non GH) Bagpiping discussions.

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Old 07-20-2019, 06:18 PM   #1
MichiganGaidar
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Default Scottish Smallpipes - New Reeds for an Old Set

I've recently come into a set of bellows-blown SSP in D. The previous owner said they were about 20 years old. The bellows are not 100% airtight, and I don't know about the bag or the tie-ins. The reeds are in definite need of replacement: the original owner seldom played the instrument in question, and it shows in the fact that the reeds are inoperable.

The silver lining is that the wood looks to be of good quality (though I cannot identify the species), and the workmanship also looks to be of good quality.

My questions are:

Where should I look for a new bag and bellows?

How do I measure for tie-in?

Are SSP reeds of standard design, and, if so, from whom should I order?

If SSP reeds are not of standard design, what information/photos would allow an educated guess as to the maker?

Are there any considerations I'm overlooking?

Last edited by MichiganGaidar; 07-20-2019 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:53 PM   #2
John McCain
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Default Re: Scottish Smallpipes - New Reeds for an Old Set

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiganGaidar View Post
Where should I look for a new bag and bellows?
Bags aren't too difficult to find. Ask all the quality US SSP makers and you'll find something. An quality alternate if you don't mind ordering out of the US is:

https://www.kellehertrad.com/bags.html

Bellows tend to be quite pricey. See Kelleher site above. I just got a set of inexpensive bellows from Dunfion from his eBay sale site. I haven't tried them yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiganGaidar View Post
How do I measure for tie-in?
There are several sources available. I'm away but I think the Lowland and Border Piping Society book "More Power to Your Elbow" is one such place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiganGaidar View Post
Are SSP reeds of standard design, and, if so, from whom should I order?
No, they're not. Figuring out the maker and getting one there is the best way. If the maker isn't in business, Chris Apps and Iain Allen are good sources.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiganGaidar View Post
If SSP reeds are not of standard design, what information/photos would allow an educated guess as to the maker?
About the same as GHB. Post good, focused photos of drones including stock, mounts, and the ends. Same with the chanter. The bellows may give a hint, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiganGaidar View Post
Are there any considerations I'm overlooking?
Dunno, I'm tired.
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Old 07-20-2019, 07:21 PM   #3
MichiganGaidar
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Default Re: Scottish Smallpipes - New Reeds for an Old Set

Images of the pipes (and supplied bellows):

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9...VrMzh2eDk1ZWRZ

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9...Ytb19Ic0xqVkJR

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9...NxcGFYeHhTay1N

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9...R4NVBLNF9uUXE4

Hopefully, those suffice to identify the make, and possibly even the timber. I really need to get a proper camera, or a phone that isn't from 2012.
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Old 07-20-2019, 07:23 PM   #4
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Scottish Smallpipes - New Reeds for an Old Set

Iain Allen ssp reeds are fantastic. They work whether your ambient environment is Houston, TX humid or bone dry Lubbock, TX. Ezee’s ssp reeds distort heavily when dried out, but not Iain’s; I love them and play them in several chanters by various makers (I believe he makes reeds specific to chanters that need them). Kinnear’s reeds are good too, but are specific to his chanters.
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Old 07-20-2019, 09:24 PM   #5
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Scottish Smallpipes - New Reeds for an Old Set

Sort of odd-looking drone ends there, I'm sure somebody will be able to identify the maker.

When I saw the thread title mentioning "Old Set" I got all excited, hoping I might find a fellow vintage SSP player. (My set is around 100 years old.)

About bellows, you don't necessarily need to replace leaking bellows. They can be sealed, or re-stitched, or you can replace the leather.

If you don't want to, or can't, fix the existing bellows I personally would look for Uilleann Pipe bellows. It's just me. I've played UPs so long that I prefer that style of bellows over the SSP and NSP bellows I've tried.

Now everyone will yell at me and tell me I don't know anything.

(Many years ago I was playing UPs, Lowland pipes, and NSPs in a band and I used the same UP bellows for all.)
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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 07-20-2019 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 07-21-2019, 03:47 AM   #6
will103
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Default Re: Scottish Smallpipes - New Reeds for an Old Set

Hi, great looking set of smallpipes. Reeds can be quite specific to the drones for smallpipes. I would suggest sending to a well known smallpipe maker and getting them to fit drone reeds for you. It will probably save you money in the long run. I found that out the hard way when trying to reed an older set and I now have a box of drone reeds I have no use for (sigh).

Ta Will
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:21 AM   #7
TwitchyFingers
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Default Re: Scottish Smallpipes - New Reeds for an Old Set

In what part of Michigan are you?
I might be able to meet up and help.
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Before you start fixing problems with your reeds, check to see if the bag or stocks are leaking.
http://www.youtube.com/user/Marcblur?feature=guide
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:38 AM   #8
David D.
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Default Re: Scottish Smallpipes - New Reeds for an Old Set

If you want cane drone reeds, you could send the drones to Ted Anderson to have him fit the reeds.

http://swedishbagpipes.com/Reeds.html

Seth Hamon sells a "experimental" set that has different bodies and tongues for the drones.

http://www.piperssupply.com/CustonMadeCaneDrone.htm

I have a Hamon D chanters and his cane chanter reeds and nice.
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:05 PM   #9
tjm
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Default Re: Scottish Smallpipes - New Reeds for an Old Set

Looks like Bocote drones with Tagua nut mounts and Purpleheart bellows. Correctly ID of the materials could help ID the maker.

--Tim
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