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Old 06-02-2003, 12:44 PM   #1
Stephanie Allen
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Default African Blackwood practice chanter and moisture

I have found much useful advice in the forums for tips on caring for my African Blackwood practice chanter... but I still have a question.

Should I remove the threaded mouthpiece in order to allow the threaded bit on the chanter top to dry out?

Obviously, a PC is meant to be used, and with use there is always a risk of cracking, etc. but I would like to have a better sense of how other pipers handle this.

When I tried to decide this based on what I know about the properties of wood, I decided that I don't know enough about the properties of wood to make a sound decision.

The more the wood is wet, dries, gets wet and so on, the more likely it is to crack. On the other hand, to leave this threaded piece saturated all the time doesn't seem like a good idea, either. I have nothing on which to base that last assertion, but it just seems unpleasant.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Thanks,

Stephanie
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Old 06-02-2003, 01:08 PM   #2
piping-hot
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Default Re: African Blackwood practice chanter and moisture

Hello there, This is only my opinion : leave the mouthpiece screwed on and hang the chanter upside down to let moisture drain out.
Whilst ABW takes a good thread, I doubt it will stand a lifetime of screwing/unscrewing on the wee thread.

Slainte
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Old 06-02-2003, 04:28 PM   #3
Richard Strayer
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Default Re: African Blackwood practice chanter and moisture

Is the mouthpiece truly threaded, as with a GHB blowpipe mouthpiece, or is it hemped?

I have a ABW practice chanter with a poly mouthpiece, and the wooden part that fits into it is hemped. I won't claim to be an expert on the subject, but I've decided to leave mine disassembled after practice so that the hemp can dry out between sessions. I also replaced the unwaxed hemp that it originally had with waxed hemp, so that it doesn't absorb as much moisture to begin with. I agree with you that it just didn't seem like a good idea to let the wood and hemp stay wet.
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Old 06-02-2003, 04:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: African Blackwood practice chanter and moisture

I assume, Stephanie is talking about the joint between the Plastic mouth piece and the blackwood chanter top piece. not the joint between the chanter top and the chanter itself.

I would think that working the wooden thread when wet will wear at the thread over a relively short period of time. The wood gets soft when wet.

I had a blackwood PC when I was young. I really abused things when I was young. I did not even hang my chanter upside down. It lasted many years, infact I still have it some 35 years later.
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Old 06-02-2003, 05:56 PM   #5
Richard Strayer
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Default Re: African Blackwood practice chanter and moisture

Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Miller:
I assume, Stephanie is talking about the joint between the Plastic mouth piece and the blackwood chanter top piece. not the joint between the chanter top and the chanter itself.
That being the case I'd think this would be the same as care for the threaded joint between a GHB blowpipe and the plastic mouthpiece (assuming you have a wooden blowpipe). That also becomes saturated (at least mine does), and I confess that although I've wondered what to do about it as well, I had the same thought that the mechanical stress of threading & unthreading it is probably more harmful than just letting it remain sodden. Is there a generally accepted practice regarding care of the blowpipe, which could also be applied in this case?
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Old 06-02-2003, 11:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: African Blackwood practice chanter and moisture

Quote:
Is there a generally accepted practice regarding care of the blowpipe, which could also be applied in this case?
Store it in a safe place, against the off chance you sell the Pipes someday... and actually use a workhorse poly blowstick. Same could go for the BW chanter top, its almost certainly sure thing.. IT will crack someday, thats why they dont make them as often nowdays.
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Old 06-03-2003, 05:23 AM   #7
Chris C.
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Default Re: African Blackwood practice chanter and moisture

I've lightly teflon taped the threaded joint where the plastic mouthpiece attaches to the top of my blackwood long p.c. I figure that's better than the water spritzing out from it now and then, which it was doing before I teflon taped it -- I didn't think the water leaking through was good for the threaded joint.

The other p.c.'s I've got have never had the problem of water spritzing out from beneath the mouthpiece, so I leave them alone.

Just frequent oiling, taking the chanter top off and allowing it to dry after heavy use, etc.
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Old 06-03-2003, 09:47 AM   #8
DoubleDavidson
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Default Re: African Blackwood practice chanter and moisture

Another idea, may be related, is that I purchased the top end of a Walsh PC that has a built in water trap. I worked with MCGILLIVRAY PIPING PARTNERSHIPS to obtain one. The fit was fine and I rarely have deal with a soaked reed anymore.
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Old 06-03-2003, 12:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: African Blackwood practice chanter and moisture

Stephanie,
Part of the answer is how wet a blower are you? I have a Henderson BW chanter that was used by my brothers before I got it in 1965. the belltop over the reed just cracked this winter. This chanter is almost 45 years old. I usually am not a really wet blower either, and that could make a difference. I have abused the chanter a lot over the years. I rarely took it apart. When I started, I used to take it apart every time I used it. My instructor told me not to do that because I would damage the reed one day, that the reed was not to be played around with. I got a cardboard shipping tube with a metal cap in the bottom of the tube, stuffed a rag in the bottom, and strung a cord into both sides at the opening, and through 2 holes in the lip portion of a tupperware cup that fit over the top of the cardboard tube. When i was done, I would slide it into the tube, put the tupperware lid over the top, and pull the cord up to secure the top. This tube is now over 40 years old, and has several addresses written onto it, and scribbled out as I moved through life.

Regarding the plastic (bakelite) top, I have only uncrewed it a couple times in my life, and only because I was bored at the time.

Stephanie, I wouldn't get too hung up about it. Play it, enjoy it, and in 40 years, buy a new one!

FD Piper
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Old 06-05-2003, 12:45 PM   #10
Stephanie Allen
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Default Re: African Blackwood practice chanter and moisture

Thank you to all for your great advice.

I hope I am as lucky as Mike and FD Piper and still have this PC 35+ years from now!

Stephanie
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