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

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Old 12-20-2015, 11:49 PM   #1
Mctaorluath
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Default Bushes leaking air

After testing the air tightness of my drone tops I have found that there is air leaking out of the bottom of my silver drone caps. This is apparent with one tenor and the bass top. I suspect the air is leaking from around the bush seating and flowing to an exit path under the ring cap.
At times I have found my drones just finicky to lock in. Have checked everything else with pipe and all is well. I am wondering if the bushes leaking could be causing a problem with tuning/stability? Anyone had a similar issue.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:02 AM   #2
el gaitero
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Default Re: Bushes leaking air

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mctaorluath View Post
.


I am wondering if the bushes leaking could be causing a problem with tuning/stability? Anyone had a similar issue.
Yes, I have, and I believe it does impact drone stability. I sealed the leaky area with clear silicon beaded down with my finger to an invisible stopper.

While this has worked ok...I've never considered this a permanency fix...tho its been several years;.... Regrets i don't have the relative UK luxury of scattered 'nearby' good pipe makers for an appointment to properly pop the silver caps and re-affix the ivory bushes " While -U- Wait"
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:36 AM   #3
CalumII
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Default Re: Bushes leaking air

Yes, that will definitely cause an issue.

You could probably get a satisfactory short-term fix by sealing around the edges with electrical (chanter) tape pulled nice and tight over the join.
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Old 12-21-2015, 08:02 AM   #4
Jay Close
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Default Re: Bushes leaking air

I've spent a bit of time over the past few years reconditioning pipes and would say, "yes" a leak as you describe could be the source of tuning frustrations.

However, I have encountered drones that leaked like sieves and the owner experienced no tuning or stability problems. That pipe appeared in my shop for a cosmetic make over and longitudinal cracks the almost the full length of some sections were revealed --- yet the pipe was being played at the highest amateur level by a very successful competitor.

I would test the issue by wrapping the bell in tape and sealing around the bush with modeling clay. Then over a course of a few playing sessions see if you notice any difference. Bear in mind that the air inside a drone is not under tremendous pressure and that air will take the path of least resistance. The resistance offered up the bore and out is very much less than the sneaky route around a bushing and under a silver cap and out the sides.

If the leaky bush and cap seem to be the cause, the cap should probably be removed to effect a repair. But how easy it will be to remove can only be assessed instrument by instrument. Those old ones with small pins are my least favorite. Many are just pressed on with glue and will loosen with a bit of heat. Some of more modern make will have threads and need unscrewing -- it's good to know this before starting work.

Finally, I've encountered pipes that were fantastic sounding and very stable. Still, every so often, they would just be in a bad mood and refuse to settle in, making for a not-very-fun practice session. Then, the next day, all would be fine. One consistency I noticed is that these temperamental sessions were usually in the Spring or the Autumn when weather patterns were in flux.

I hope these notes are of some use.

Cheers!
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:44 PM   #5
Potsdam
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Default Re: Bushes leaking air

Yes, leak around the bushing will certainty cause a pile of problems.
I made the same discovery with my pipes a few weeks ago.
I cut a few stripes of teflon tape and wrapped them around the ivory bushing and pressure fit them back into the drone tops.
So far the pipe is a lot steadier and locks more easily.

Cheers
Ross


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Old 12-21-2015, 08:42 PM   #6
colinmaclellan
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Default Re: Bushes leaking air

A few years ago I was being driven mad by my pipes, for months they just would not completely lock in. At the time I had a synthetic set up and I was constantly messing around with everything, tubes, reeds, box, bag, the whole lot, trying to find out what was causing it. Eventually out of sheer desperation I plugged up one end of each wooden piece and blew through the other end, and on one tenor drone I was able to detect the very slightest leaking of air through the silver mount and the ivory bush.

I had to take the mount off by placing it upside down in half inch of boiling water (120 year old glue here holding it) and then sealed it up (I actually can't remember what I used, but it was a simple fix) and everything was fine again.

The air leak was very tiny.
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:38 AM   #7
Mctaorluath
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Default Re: Bushes leaking air

Thanks everyone for you replies. I have now resealed the two leaking bushes and right away I find the drones tune far easier and lock easier too. Amazing what havoc a small leak in the bushes can have.
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Old 12-22-2015, 01:15 AM   #8
donmacn
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Default Re: Bushes leaking air

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mctaorluath View Post
. Amazing what havoc a small leak in the bushes can have.
I guess it depends who's watching??
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