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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Technique & Instrument
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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 05-08-2012, 07:25 AM   #1
Bag(pipe)Lady
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Default Naill Colo(u)r

As I'm working on First Bagpipes, round 2 -- which I think I've narrowed to 2 choices -- I had this observation about Naill pipes: They seem to be consistently dark, almost black. Other ABWs I've seen, at least sometimes, look lighter in color.

At first I chalked this up to different lighting in display pictures, but having attended my first band practice with many band members playing Naills, they really are darker.

Is this a difference in the way Naill treats/dries the wood or is it the finishing or something else?

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Old 05-08-2012, 07:44 AM   #2
Steve Anderson
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Default Re: Naill Colo(u)r

I have made a few sets of pipes out of ABW and have found some natural variance in the tone of the wood. I have also heard that a few makers use stain to make the appearance more consistent.

It does seem that my 100+ year old sets are consistently darker than my newest set of pipes. Either way, I like the idea of being able to see some grain in the wood because I like the way the wood reflects the light.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:01 AM   #3
jonnyives
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Default Re: Naill Colo(u)r

The McGillivray bagpipes website mentions something about Naill seasoning their wood for a minimum of 2 years.

I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it, but ... ??
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:29 AM   #4
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Re: Naill Colo(u)r

Probably the stain. The Naill's I've seen have a fairly shiny finish whereas a lot of pipe makers these days are going to oils or waxes which seem to let the true color of the wood shine through as opposed to reflecting the light. Just a guess though. One of the lightest colored chanters I ever played was a Naill from about 2009.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:42 AM   #5
John Bolt
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Default Re: Naill Colo(u)r

If it means anything my McCallums are 2 years old and were a brown color 2 years later they are as black as a poly set so . . . . .
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:54 AM   #6
seanathon
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Default Re: Naill Colo(u)r

Participated in a lecture with Craig Munro from Wallace Bagpipes this weekend, where he spoke about the process of selecting blackwood, showed the variations, and explained the colour differences. He showed a cross section from a blackwood tree that was cut, and the streaking and colour differences were evident. Essentially, he said the lighter colours were from the side of the tree that faced the sun the most. Made perfect sense to me. Email Craig and I am sure he'll gladly describe in more detail how the colour differ and why.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:30 AM   #7
Randy McIntosh
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Default Re: Naill Colo(u)r

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
Probably the stain.
Naill uses a tongue oil. At least they did on mine when I inquired. No stain or wax was used.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:39 AM   #8
Don Watts
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Default Re: Naill Colo(u)r

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy McIntosh View Post
Naill uses a tongue oil.
Eeewww!
I hope you mean tung oil!
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:40 AM   #9
Adam Sanderson
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Default Re: Naill Colo(u)r

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McLaurin View Post
Probably the stain. The Naill's I've seen have a fairly shiny finish whereas a lot of pipe makers these days are going to oils or waxes which seem to let the true color of the wood shine through as opposed to reflecting the light. Just a guess though. One of the lightest colored chanters I ever played was a Naill from about 2009.
Patrick, you can't just say "Probably the stain" and then add "just a guess". That's on the very edge of invention and that's where rumours start. I'd saying the same to any forum member making guesses about the manufacturing processes of any maker. I see plenty Naills and they don't look like they have shiny finishes to me, they have the oil/wax type finish and the wood pattern and grain is clearly visible.

And, BTW, Naill keep a lot of wood on their premises which mean they can season their woods for four years.

AWB does darken with time, but I don't know if that would explain Naills being darker than other sets of pipes. I can't say I've noticed this.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:45 AM   #10
Randy McIntosh
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Default Re: Naill Colo(u)r

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Watts View Post
Eeewww!
I hope you mean tung oil!

LOL good catch...my bad!!
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