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Beer Tent The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...

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Old 12-24-2016, 09:05 AM   #31
Keith Jeffers
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Default Re: Bagpipe woods

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Originally Posted by Green Piper View Post
Keith,

Thanks for the insights. What about temperature hardwoods? At one time, someone was making maple chanters. They obviously didn't become all that popular.

Also Murray Huggins is successfully making chanters out of a resin/wood mix. Maybe some development based on that concept could combine a sustainable source of wood material with man-made materials that would provide good tonal and working properties for drones?

Charlie
I hear a lot of folks commenting on the Maple chanters and drones. I doubt anyone of them was made from strait Hard maple. They would have been impregnated and or plasticized, which inherently turns it into a plastic. You will be way out of the range of Hard Maple after this process. It will be as hard and heavy as plastic at that point. It does retain a little bit of it's wooden properties. From what I have found it still will bend and warp (destress) after turning even after the impregnation, depending on the species of wood of course.

Give it 15-20 years and this may be more of a normal thing for pipers to buy. I don't see anything wrong with it really. Murray has found a good material to work with.
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Old 12-24-2016, 09:15 AM   #32
Keith Jeffers
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Default Re: Bagpipe woods

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Very interesting, thanks Keith. Do you have any experience or comments on hard maple, apple or pear Wood?

Best regards,
Kevin
I just talked with Master pipemaker Mike MacHarg about fruitwoods a few weeks ago. We came to the same conclusion.

Fruitwoods.... brother, forget about it. Unless you were wanting a period set of drones turned, I could understand that. They don't have the brightness of tone or stability for holding tuning, they warp like crazy under moister from the pipers breath and they would break a lot easier at the pins.

I have worked with Hard Maple a lot and if you stabilized it with a concoction of materials and dyed the wood darker I bet you wouldn't be able to pick it out of a crowd. I formulated my own recipe a couple of years ago. I haven't tried it yet however...
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Old 12-24-2016, 01:18 PM   #33
acadianpiper
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Default Re: Bagpipe woods

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Originally Posted by bob864 View Post
According to what I've heard from US pipe makers, the US will not be issuing import licences. That is, so long as the country harvesting the timber is OK with letting it out of their country, then the US is happy. It sounds like the UK will be taking a different stance and treating Appendix II just like Appendix I. According to your letter, it sounds as if the UK will be requiring licences that the US will not be issuing.
According to the Environment Canada website, this is also the case in Canada. The importation of products containing woods listed in Appendix II, such as ABW and cocobolo, requires an export licence from the exporting country, but does not require a Canadian import licence. This is welcome news as it can take up to 40 days for an import licence to be issued in Canada.
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Old 12-25-2016, 07:39 AM   #34
Rob MacDonald
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Default Re: Bagpipe woods

I'm told that pipes were made from local woods such as yew, box, apple, and pear before exotic tropical woods became accessible.

Each has its own tonal characteristics
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Old 07-13-2020, 04:24 PM   #35
MacCormaic
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Default Re: Bagpipe woods

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Originally Posted by Keith Jeffers View Post
Let me shed a little bit more light on this subject. I will just make a simple list of the woods/substrates mentioned with my explanation and opinion on them as I have turned pipes or samples of almost all of them mentioned.

Genuine Lignum Vitae. Forget about it, not going to happen. Awesome turning wood, very rare, very expensive and will bend and warp like crazy. You will never get it to dry.

Bogwood... Forget about it.

You see, getting most of these woods in high grades and quantities is very difficult, and that makes them unviable. If the timber isn't specifically cut for musical instruments then you will struggle to find the high grades of it you need.
The two woods you mention

Bogwood - I assume that is Bog Oak (or is there a timber specifically called Bogwood). What is Bog Oak like for making drones? Does it warp easy?

Lignum Vitae - I have access to a large quantity of Lignum Vitae that has been air-drying for the past 50 year (1970), it's in small beams (3 inches x 7.5 inches), would you recommend that for making a set of drones?
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Old 07-13-2020, 07:18 PM   #36
CalumII
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Default Re: Bagpipe woods

Bog Oak can be anything, and by the time it's been in the ground for a thousand years or so it might as well be. It does not turn well, it's not commercially available, and it has debris in it that tools do not like, though it has been successfully used for string instruments.


Lignum vitae is available, the cost is similar to blackwood and it's used by Uilleann makers often enough.


You need more than 7.5" for most of the drone pieces, I'm afraid. Though what you have should be pretty sellable in it's own right - nothing to stop you selling them to pay for lumber of the right dimensions.
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Old 07-14-2020, 07:30 AM   #37
MacCormaic
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Bog Oak can be anything, and by the time it's been in the ground for a thousand years or so it might as well be. It does not turn well, it's not commercially available, and it has debris in it that tools do not like, though it has been successfully used for string instruments.

You need more than 7.5" for most of the drone pieces, I'm afraid. Though what you have should be pretty sellable in it's own right - nothing to stop you selling them to pay for lumber of the right dimensions.
I should have said the Lignum Vitae is in 7 foot planks, 3" x 7.5 " height and width.
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:04 AM   #38
CalumII
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Default Re: Bagpipe woods

Haha, that should just about do it


Turning it into a set wouldn't be much of an issue - it's popular with other pipemakers, so I can't imagine it would be a terrible idea. Every wood does sound slightly different, so the only answer is really to try it and see...
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Old 07-14-2020, 11:50 AM   #39
Roddy Livingstone
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Default Re: Bagpipe woods

I believe that N&A MacPhee of Wellington New Zealand made a number of sets of pipes from lignum vitae.
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Old 07-24-2020, 11:08 AM   #40
Keith Jeffers
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Default Re: Bagpipe woods

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Originally Posted by MacCormaic View Post
The two woods you mention

Bogwood - I assume that is Bog Oak (or is there a timber specifically called Bogwood). What is Bog Oak like for making drones? Does it warp easy?

Lignum Vitae - I have access to a large quantity of Lignum Vitae that has been air-drying for the past 50 year (1970), it's in small beams (3 inches x 7.5 inches), would you recommend that for making a set of drones?
Hello MacCormic, nice to hear from you and thank you for the questions.

I've never made a set of pipes out of bog oak and I probably never will because it probably isn't suitable for pipemaking.

If you can get this genuine Lignum Vitae and get it re milled for pipe making go for it! It is an awesome wood. It will produce a very bright tone. Just remember even though it has been sitting for 50 years every time you cut it or turn it down it will distress and could warp or crack badly in use if it is not allowed to still sit for a while once you re-mill it. Working with wood is always a gamble, even when you take the most precautions you can and will still have issues that come up. It actually may not even be dry (stablized) yet. Those are thick planks of one of the most resins woods in the world.

If you need help selecting the timber you can get in touch with me and I can steer you in the right direction.

Last edited by Keith Jeffers; 07-24-2020 at 11:10 AM.
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