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

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Old 11-17-2018, 03:52 PM   #31
CalumII
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Default Re: Favorite blowstick? And worth it to repair a blowstick?

I have to admit, I've tried to set up a bagpipe in the way Stuart does, and while I can hardly say it doesn't work for him, it certainly didn't work for me. I can see the logic, but I had several issues that meant I didn't pursue the experiment for very long.


On ball-valves: they can improve a problematic setup, and certainly there's often an argument for making the smallest change that's adequate. But I've never felt my setup would be vastly improved by having the blowpipe coming out my mouth at a slightly different angle.
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Old 11-17-2018, 03:54 PM   #32
el gaitero
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Default Re: Favorite blowstick? And worth it to repair a blowstick?

My surprise was formed by not having seen any other ,that I could recall, top seed players using other than a traditional stick.
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Old 11-18-2018, 10:47 AM   #33
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Default Re: Favorite blowstick? And worth it to repair a blowstick?

Wow! Thanks to everyone for all the input. I appreciate every word.

The original blowpipe seems small-bore to me. I don't have a caliper but I'd be surprised if it's even .300. Smaller yet, of course, at the mouthpiece end. That said, I'd considered whether having it sleeved was an option, but I tend to doubt it would be a practical one.

I've considered a tilt. I have the head circumference and shoulder span of someone 6'4" (measured and referenced). Alas, I am but 5'8" before the first 15 minutes of gravity takes hold each day. When you add that to being new-ish to the pipes, I've wondered if the tilt and adjustable nature of said blowsticks wouldn't more easily facilitate finding the exact options for best positioning, posture, technique, etc. But, yes, to the eye, I find them lacking. Part of what's always drawn me to the pipes was the visual beauty of them. There's something about mucking that up with what looks more like I made a trip to the hardware store rather than adopt what a well-trained craftsman labored over that isn't as fulfilling. But I'm open to it. I play on a hybrid bag (Canmore extended small) so the positioning of the stick isn't adjustable. Early on, I found that the slightest relaxation of my grip on it meant it shot out of my mouth like it couldn't get away fast enough. The original mouthpiece was 6" on top of a 9" stick, so too much for me. I think having an adjustable length so I could experiment and find exactly the length that fits the best appeals to me. Maybe if there were just an angled adapter...

The Wylie blowstick has an ivorite mount that's a little yellowed, so it might better match visually what I've got, plus it sounds like some people who have them like them. And it looks the least like an adjustable.

Anyone else here use one? How have you found it?

At some point I'll get the original blowstick repaired, for the sake of keeping the original set intact. I've been in touch with Dunbar, and was also given the name of someone near San Francisco who I was told does great work (though I can't find the slip of paper with his name on it at the moment).
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Old 11-18-2018, 01:05 PM   #34
Pip01
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Default Re: Favorite blowstick? And worth it to repair a blowstick?







Greetings, Chicagopipes, and All,


Might as well get tore in to this one... just to add yet
another view... and reference... :)

First... you'll ne'er go wrong with Rick and Dunbar Ltd...
but that being said (as that is the case!! :) ... I have sent
many to... Lynne Miller... at House of Bagpipes... in San
Fransisco...that is probably on your missing paper... and
he and his shop are always turning out... marvelous work!! :)

That web site is... houseofbagpipes.com.

As to your possible blow pipe... and those in general... as
I have sets (ABW and Cocus) that are 75 to 110 years old...
and am ever on guard for their condition and preservation...
(as well as my own condition and preservation!! :) ... I have
come to the following solution... at least for me... :)

For many, many years... I have used... and exclusively... a
Delrin blow pipe that is of the "classical" appearance... being
fully combed and beaded... with a projecting mount... and as
GrandMama was wont to say.. "You couldn't tell the difference
from a galloping horse." :)

And... I place it in which ever set of pipes... I have chosen to
play. (True enough... this sometimes requires just a bit of the
re-hemping... but that is small price to pay... for surety. :)

Furthermore... in this matter of comfort (and because this is
supposed to be... fun... right? :) ... I have a curved synthie
mouthpiece... and a ReedWrangler Ergonomic mouthpiece
extending from that... which then places the personal end
of the blow pipe... going into my mouth... exactly on the level
of my jaw and teeth. No angle... no strain... no... discomfort !! :)

The first synthie curved blow pipe that I ever saw... was back
in the mid-60s... and was fashioned by an older piper... who had
labored over a pot of boiling water... with pairs of pliers... and had
fashioned his... from a straight synthie blow pipe.

These curved ones are now readily... and quite in-expensively...
available. (Ayrshire Ltd. comes to mind... and on our Forum. :)

In sum... however you may choose to go... just muck about with
it... until you are quite pleased... and then just... play away!! :)

Regards... and Good Fortune with it!!,

Pip01







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Last edited by Pip01; 11-18-2018 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 11-18-2018, 03:57 PM   #35
CalumII
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Default Re: Favorite blowstick? And worth it to repair a blowstick?

I use a Wylie blowstick with my S/I Naills, and though you can see from a reasonable distance it's not original to the set if you look, it blends very well visually. As for the blowstick itself, it's certainly my favourite of all I've ever tried.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:53 AM   #36
Pip01
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Default Re: Favorite blowstick? And worth it to repair a blowstick?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pip01



The first synthie curved mouthpiece that I ever saw... was back
in the mid-60s... and was fashioned by an older piper... who had
labored over a pot of boiling water... with pairs of pliers... and had
fashioned his... from a straight synthie blow pipe.

These curved ones are now readily... and quite in-expensively...
available. (Ayrshire Ltd. comes to mind... and on our Forum. :)








Greetings & Apologies to All,

I have taken the liberty of quoting myself in the above
paragraph because upon re-seeing it... I discover that
I used an incorrect noun.

The original reads... "first synthie curved blowpipe"
when it should read... have read... "first synthie
curved mouthpiece."

Your patience is greatly appreciated.

Regards to All.,

Pip01




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Last edited by Pip01; 11-19-2018 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 11-19-2018, 12:38 PM   #37
el gaitero
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Default Re: Favorite blowstick? And worth it to repair a blowstick?

I knew what you meant. I curved a mouthpiece in early 80’s...by heating in the oven then bending. Ha,..I never used it more than a few minutes....still have it
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Old 11-20-2018, 07:25 AM   #38
Steve Law
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Default Re: Favorite blowstick? And worth it to repair a blowstick?

Just my two pennyworth...

Given the original problem I’d definitely consider a professional repair when funds allow, to maintain the integrity of the set.

Meantime (and probably forever) go with whatever suits YOU. I have a few sets, but only one gets any playing... the others wait paitiently in the loft awaiting refurb, but if I had 3 active sets I’m sure I’d end up only using one regularly... they’d be my favourites and can’t imagine why I’d want to play ‘less than favourite’ sets...perhaps allowing exception for a clunker set for use at rowdy or foul weather gigs...perhaps other with greater talent have preferences for different gigs, and that’s fine but I’ve never been at that level.

I hear all the comments about it not being possible to tie a stock to get a comfortable lie and can only say “hogwash”... when I was taught to tie in a new bag about 50 years ago I had to adjust the tying such that when playing, releasing the lip-grip still left the mouthpiece between my lips.... if it sprang away it needed retying until it sat without tension. Similar adjustments can be made to drone stock lie for comfort and security. Doing that simply requires a little practice imho.
I guess it’s possible that some have never used sheep or hide bags and maybe the bad lie is forced by the pre-installed grommets on synthetic bags, but I’d trade playing comfort over ease of tying if the synthetic forced an uncomfortable style...my current synthetic sits just fine

I had a friend who adjusted his mouthpiece to a curve by dunking in hot water and bending, but it didn’t feel comfortable to me....didn’t make it bad, just not for me.
Back then the standard plastic mouthpieces tended to have a bore around 1/4”, as noted by Pip above, but drilling out to 3/8” made such a difference that I’ve kept the habit ever since, even though I’m no longer playing gutbuster reeds.

Acknowledging everyone’s different, I’d see value in preserving the integrity of an ancient cherished set, but if modern gizmos allow improvement in the music or ease of playing don’t let anyone tell you’re wrong to use them if you wish....they’re your pipes and if you can make them fit you better by any means then go for it; I’m sure the ancients would have used carbon fibre if they’d had it

Last edited by Steve Law; 11-20-2018 at 07:28 AM. Reason: Typos
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Old 11-21-2018, 07:58 AM   #39
pancelticpiper
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Default Re: Favorite blowstick? And worth it to repair a blowstick?

Just thought I'd share photos esp of that interesting 2007 Kintail blowpipe with the larger-than-normal threads.

Here are four sticks
L-R
1) one-piece poly .356 all the way through (unknown maker)
2) RG Hardie MaxiStick .375 blowpipe .300 mouthpiece
3) 2007 bespoke Kintail .360 all the way through
4) wood brass-lined .330 blowpipe (unknown maker) with random .300 mouthpiece



The thread difference between the RG Hardie MaxiStick (with the normal/universal threads) and the bespoke Kintail (with much larger threads)

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Last edited by pancelticpiper; 11-21-2018 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 11-21-2018, 08:12 AM   #40
el gaitero
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Default Re: Favorite blowstick? And worth it to repair a blowstick?

Yeah,..those threads can be a real PITA sometimes when replacing or upgrading a mouthpiece. Or always seemed to be in the ‘70’s-‘80’s.

I might be wrong here but seemed to have learned that in Scotland 30tpi is ‘commonly’ used...while in England a different British Standard is used.

Of course, the diameter of the thread tenon often seems(ed) to vary.

Anyone...?
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