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Uilleann, Northumbrian, Smallpipes + For all types of (non GH) Bagpiping discussions.

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Old 05-17-2016, 06:32 AM   #1
TheHaggisMaster
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Default Corking...

Anybody ever thought about or gone ahead with using cork instead of hemp when it comes to joints? Some, all, none? Recommendations or thoughts? I'm just think that since it's a dry instrument when it's bellows blown, could this be a better or worse option?

I've had some friends do this with their GHB to some success but I wonder about the long term?

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Old 05-17-2016, 12:22 PM   #2
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Corking...

I used to cork my joints on all my pipes- GHB, SSP, Lowland pipes, and when they goy compressed through use, re-juvenated the cork by applying cork grease and gently heating over a candle flame. Why do I use hemp now? I found, over time, that the grease eventually penetrated all the way to the wood, causing the cork to let go. Picture your truly re-hemping a failed cork joint a few hours before a gig. Since then, it's been real hemp and ( believe it or not) lip balm for me.
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Old 05-17-2016, 12:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Corking...

Like the lip balm trick. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:18 AM   #4
CalumII
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Default Re: Corking...

The issue with cork is that traditionally, woodwind instruments spend the majority of their lives in the fully dismantled state. Pipes don't. The stuff therefore ends up compressed.
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:19 AM   #5
CalumII
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Default Re: Corking...

It's worth mentioning, the gaita makers use some sort of rubber material which does the same job and presumably is longer lasting. It might well be a good option.
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:17 PM   #6
Shawn Husk
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Default Re: Corking...

Cork will compress and eventually wear out. O-rings can not be finely tuned....the solution: real hemp. Not the yellow stuff but real hemp. It's available from several retailers, the Piper's Hut being one and from Tedley here (he's a member).
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:08 AM   #7
Nathaniel
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Default Re: Corking...

I have corked (GHP) pipes 3 times with real and synthetic cork. Just glued on with contact cement. 3 times because the first 2 times it compressed and I found myself wrapping hemp on top of the cork.
The third time has been fantastic and is still working years later just fine...but I have to admit that I don't remember if it is the real or synthetic that is on there at this point.
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