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

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Old 05-31-2018, 10:22 AM   #11
BGP
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

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Originally Posted by Tedley View Post
Hemp thread and all hemp products were made illegal, along with the drug. Hemp fiber was not available until the early 1970's. It is sold in one-ply (half the weight of yellow "hemp") and two-ply.


Ah, Thanks for the additional background.
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Old 06-01-2018, 05:36 AM   #12
gisahag
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

“Shouldn'tever rot, as it's not natural!”
Yes but generally on this planet, where there’s moisture there’s life. So some micro-organism or other will end up living between the fibres. Probably a smelly one


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Old 06-01-2018, 06:24 AM   #13
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

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Curious to see if the current change in marijuana laws will make actual hemp available.
Hemp is sold in the beading section of craft stores (like Michaels or Hobby Lobby). I have it in four sizes.
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Old 06-01-2018, 06:35 AM   #14
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

Wondering how Ive survived since mid last century with plain ol’ yellow...then waxed yellow ‘hemp’ from piping supply shops. And some black waxed whatever.

Now every so often I discover yet another near full kop tucked away in a different stash box. I must have 8-10 kops to last this century.
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Old 06-01-2018, 07:18 AM   #15
mattpiper
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

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Originally Posted by gisahag View Post
“Shouldn'tever rot, as it's not natural!”
Yes but generally on this planet, where there’s moisture there’s life. So some micro-organism or other will end up living between the fibres. Probably a smelly one
I don't let moisture "pool" up on any of my joints, parts, or otherwise. And regular hemp can get pretty stinky too if not allowed to dry. A spritz of MacClens or other cleaner goes a along way toward keeping the thread (or whatever part) fresh, as does regular airing out of the pipe bag (I play a synthetic).

I've had this thread on my practice chanter for quite some time now and there's no hint of stinkyness, but again, I take it apart when I'm done playing and let it dry.
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Old 06-01-2018, 07:37 AM   #16
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

I get my natural hemp, one ply and two ply from http://www.piperssupply.com. I don't know Ted but his prices are great and his shipping is fast. Great products!
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Last edited by longwind; 06-01-2018 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 06-01-2018, 03:06 PM   #17
Peter.Bailey.Bagpiper
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

I've done this to my PC and pipes and will similarly report in with my results over time. So far, I'm loving what it has done for my PC - the joint suffers no swelling or binding after practice sessions and dries out no better or worse than waxed hemp. Given that this is a pricey MacLellan chanter that cannot be replaced, I'm quite happy that it's no longer ever difficult to remove the top.

On a broader note - I don't think on principle it's as bombastic an idea as some here are suggesting. New ideas often seem odd and that's to be expected, but when you consider modern GHB playing, there's a fair bit of kit in our instruments that's synthetic already so it shouldn't seem loony to suggest a synthetic alternative for joint assembly. I imagine the first person to make a synthetic drone reed got a few crossways looks in his day.

"Because we've always done it that way" is just about one of the worst philosophies to have if you care about progress. It even has a name in the pantheon of logical fallacies and there goes by Appeal to Tradition.

At any rate, I was curious enough to actually try it and not rely on suppositions for which I really have no basis. If it's a crap idea then it's a crap idea but so far so good!
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Old 06-01-2018, 03:45 PM   #18
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

Hemp is not the same variety of plant as marijuana, both are cannabis but hemp carries a low THC. That controversy should have been well dissipated by now. There is essentially no psychoactive substance in hemp, it grows differently, and has been de-regulated for a long time, and not just in Colorado. I would imagine it will make a comeback as a natural fiber as more farmers start growing it again. My hope is that someone will eventually sell the real deal bagpipe hemp is it used to be sold--just for the sake of historicity.

Incidentally, I've been told that the last words of any failing business or organization is usually ""Because we've always done it that way"...and agreed, it "is just about one of the worst philosophies to have". It does not benefit innovation, nor does it benefit any future success if there are better things to try out. Hemp or cotton works fine, but if it's ease of use and less hassle..give me my dental floss and/or a good poly thread.

Last edited by plainspiper; 06-01-2018 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 06-01-2018, 05:55 PM   #19
bob864
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

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Originally Posted by mattpiper View Post
The ferrules and mounts on most pipes are made out of plastic or metal that doesn't change dimensionally with the wood, and that doesn't equate to broken pipes, so I can't see how this is any different. I(
Metal ferrules would seem to be the cause of the infamous conical tuning chambers.
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Old 06-01-2018, 08:17 PM   #20
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Default Re: Polyester thread instead of hemp = game changer!

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Metal ferrules would seem to be the cause of the infamous conical tuning chambers.
I had a mechanical engineer as a student many years ago, and he commented how he didn't think the ferrules extended anywhere near far enough up the tops of the drone, given the range the upper chamber was expected to remain dimensionally stable for tuning purposes.

So... I agree, but that's more a fault of current (which is classic and seemingly unchangeable) bagpipe aesthetics vs. our instrument being engineered to do what we want them to! That is, if this engineer is to be trusted! (I'm certainly not an engineer, but his thoughts on the matter definitely made sense...)
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