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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 06-20-2018, 04:22 AM   #1
TheHaggisMaster
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Default Tying In a Common Stock

Is there anybody in Toronto or the GTA that can tie in a common stock for a set of Scottish smallpipes? I have loads of experience tying in GHB bags so teaching me how would be even better! I'm thinking that spending a pile of money on a nice bag and then wrecking it wouldn't be a good idea.... Not happy with a gortex bag and would like to swap it out for a leather one. NOt sure what brand of bag yet though. Send me a message on the forum or an email at: haggismasterman@msn.com

Cheers,


HM
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Old 06-23-2018, 01:11 PM   #2
slomarch
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Default Re: Tying In a Common Stock...

My smallpipes use Kelleher bag and bellows.

http://www.kellehertrad.com/bags.html
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Old 06-27-2018, 12:42 PM   #3
jwhite@wlu.edu
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Default Re: Tying In a Common Stock...

If you can tie in a regular drone stock to a leather bag then this is really no different. When I put a leather bag on my old set of Shepherds I slit the gortex bag up the seam and laid it over the leather bag to mark to holes (to save the old bag you could make a paper pattern).


Put your common stock on your leather bag where you marked it and draw a circle. Measure in 3/8 or so IN from the edge of that and make another smaller circle inside.


Put a piece of plastic jug in the bag through the chanter hole to cut against. Cut four lines intersecting at the center of the circle and reaching to the inner circle (not the outer circle) so you have an * shape with 8 points.


Soft pipe bag leather stretches, so gently shove the stock through and push it back out and tie it.


I got these instructions from the fine folks on this forum years ago and I am glad to give them to you.
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Old 06-27-2018, 05:34 PM   #4
TheHaggisMaster
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Default Re: Tying In a Common Stock...

Sounds like a plan!

I was thinking along that line anyway but always good to get other opinions. Only one thing I've just realized, not that it should make much of a difference. I've come to accept the fact that the bellows are probably beyond me. I've been blowing pipes for too long and either the brand new McCallum bellows I have are way too stiff or more likely the co-ordination of squeezing on both sides is way beyond the four or five neurons that I have left... Not that I've given up but in the mean time I'll use my smallpipes/Reelpipes as a mouth blown instrument.

I've chosen a Gannaway smallpipe bag that comes highly recommended. The only hitch it is doesn't have a zipper on it so the pipes will be sealed in and the way the air drying system is set up a zip is needed to change out the dessicant. Thoughts now on using the instrument as a 'wet' instrument like the old days rather than bellows blown or air dry systems installed? If it follows through like the GHB before all this new fancy technology, which I'm assuming it is, the only issue will be moisture affecting the tuning. Again thoughts and ideas would be welcome.

HM
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Old 06-28-2018, 03:43 AM   #5
CalumII
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Default Re: Tying In a Common Stock...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHaggisMaster View Post
the bellows are probably beyond me

I am sorry to say that this is complete rubbish. Sorry for the strong phrasing, but there is simply no reason someone "cannot" learn to handle a set of bellows. You are trying to do too much and your expectations are out of whack. New movements take time to learn and that feeling of difficulty is what you should be experiencing when you are faced with a new skill.



As for whether the instrument is actually in good order, I can't say: in my experience MacCallum's bellows play just fine out the box. It would be good though to have someone look at your setup to confirm that.


Beyond that, do a few minutes a day, drones off, single note, and try and hold it steady. Keep the bag 95% full and never stop squeezing with your arm. No sudden movements. If you're still struggling, take a video and post it here.
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Old 06-28-2018, 05:36 AM   #6
jwhite@wlu.edu
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Default Re: Tying In a Common Stock...

Bellows take time to learn, but so many problems having to do with playing wet go a way when you learn them. Reeds last for years! You can learn it, just be patient.
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Old 06-28-2018, 06:22 AM   #7
Steve Bliven
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Default Re: Tying In a Common Stock...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHaggisMaster View Post
Not that I've given up but in the mean time I'll use my smallpipes/Reelpipes as a mouth blown instrument.
Another factor to consider is how condensation from the breath affects smallpipe reeds. These are much smaller, more delicate, and more easily offended by moisture from the breath than their coarser relatives in Highland pipes—especially if they are cane reeds. Drier air is perhaps the most significant reason that most smallpipe types (ssp, Northumbrian, border/lowland) are played with a bellows.



Learning bellows technique really isn't that hard—just think of it as breathing through your elbow instead of your mouth...





Best wishes.


Steve
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