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

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Old 06-26-2019, 05:00 AM   #1
Søren E. Larsen
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Default Robertson bagpipes

I have just bought a set of 1920'ties Robertson bagpipes. Not sure what kind of wood it is, it has a red hue to it.

These pipes are superb in every sense - great bold and harmonic drone sound and very, very steady, you can not blow these out of tune.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:01 AM   #2
Pppiper
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Default Re: Robertson bagpipes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Søren E. Larsen View Post
I have just bought a set of 1920'ties Robertson bagpipes. Not sure what kind of wood it is, it has a red hue to it.

These pipes are superb in every sense - great bold and harmonic drone sound and very, very steady, you can not blow these out of tune.
With a reddish hue, I'd wonder about cocuswood. But I do believe African blackwood can have a wide variety of hues to it. My Hendersons are made of cocus, which is the only reason that I'm familiar with it. Here's a link to a closeup, you can see the reddish hue.

Did a little more digging, since I have seen Robertson pipes from time to time, but I can't recall seeing them in cocus. But then, I'm the farthest thing from an expert.

Anyway, whilst digging, I did come across this set in Jim McGillivray's archives. Reddish is one thing, but THIS is a whole other level.

https://piping.on.ca/product/circa-1...cocuswood-mix/

According to the site description, the really red portions are heartwood of "Pernambuco Brazilwood." Get a look at those stocks (below).

These are also evaluated to be around the 1920s ... so possibly similar to what you have?

Cheers,
~Nate

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Old 06-26-2019, 07:09 AM   #3
Pppiper
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Default Re: Robertson bagpipes

Quick followup on my last.

The same (I believe) set is exhibited on Ringo Bowen's site ... in fact, he references Jim's site:
http://www.thebagpipemuseum.com/Robertson_2.html

I've linked a full shot of the set on that page below. According to Ringo, the red stocks are from the 60s, the silverwork from 1938, and the drones themselves are from earlier, though he doesn't specify further.

Cheers,
~Nate

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Old 06-26-2019, 09:40 AM   #4
Alain Marion
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Default Re: Robertson bagpipes

Good for you! Can you show us a few pictures of the instrument?

A few months ago I acquired a Robertson replica from Jim McGillivray. The wood is Royal Mexican Ebony or Katalox. Absolutely outstanding pipe in every respect. And, as you mentioned, extremely steady.

Alain
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Old 06-26-2019, 11:10 AM   #5
Søren E. Larsen
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Default Re: Robertson bagpipes

Hi Alain,

Here are a few pictures:

https://ibb.co/zV4YPfm

https://ibb.co/jJK7Jpf

https://ibb.co/bQPp2tL
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Old 06-26-2019, 11:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: Robertson bagpipes

From my experience - based on Ringo’s website and my own 1930’s set is that your set certainly has the flared drone tops that were not as prominent in the 1930’s.

If they’re anything like mine tonally (and Robertson were known for consistency), then you’ll love them. Try them with Ezee regular length tenor reeds and either a Kinnaird (such as the Evolution) or Rocket bass and the drones have a wonderful blend with just a little harmonic ring to the tenors.

The wood in mine is redder than yours and was identified as Cocus by Ringo when he prepared me an appraisal a couple of years ago.

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Old 06-26-2019, 11:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: Robertson bagpipes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Søren E. Larsen View Post

Very nice. And sorry, I forgot to paste in the link to my pipes earlier.

http://www.nate-silva.com/pppiper/wp...6-768x1024.jpg

I do think it's possible yours are cocus, but that's purely conjecture on my part.

If you haven't already, I'd highly recommend getting in touch with Ringo Bowen.

http://www.thebagpipeplace.com/

Cheers,
~Nate
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Old 06-26-2019, 11:56 AM   #8
Alain Marion
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Default Re: Robertson bagpipes

Thanks Soren!

Beautiful set - and it also appears to be in great condition.

What is your set-up? In terms of overall volume, bass presence and bass/tenor blend, how does it compare to other sets you've been playing?

Alain
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Old 06-26-2019, 06:04 PM   #9
Keith Jeffers
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Default Re: Robertson bagpipes

The stocks would be made from Brazilwood.

Edit* Now that I see the rest of the tread Brazilwood was already mentioned.

Last edited by Keith Jeffers; 06-26-2019 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:41 PM   #10
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Robertson bagpipes

Any idea what wood the ringcaps are made out of? I’m guessing they replaced some old nasty casein.
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