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Heated Stocks?

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  • #16
    “For quite a few years we used the chemical hand warmers in fingerless gloves on the back of our hands, back of the hand keeps the blood vessels warm to the fingers. I had a notion to put one of these packs on the outside of the chanter stock with an elastic under the bag cover piece in an attempt to stabilize the reed. It is very successful as its just warm enough to help with the reed without harming wood or poly chanter stocks. The use of Bannatyne hybrid bags and moisture controls we have had a full pipe corps playing for Santa Claus parades into Dec., tuning time, standing around, and actual parade.”

    O, thanks Dave!! This is the first field research of heating stocks, proof of concept I’ve read or heard about. The fingerless gloves without heating pads of any sort weren’t enough at all to keep fingers functional.
    “Where’s my beer?”


    • #17
      When I lived in Sacramento, I used a Flir Infra-red camera to photograph my pipes, from Cold (room temperature, around 68 degrees F) to playing temperature, taking photos at 5 minute or so intervals. I included some photos at shorter intervals when I stopped playing. Without posting a series of photos, (and I won't), the short analysis is; In their un modified form, the pipes cool down quite rapidly and warm up quite slowly. Looking at the bag itself, transmitting heat from the interior to the exterior of the bag (nearly 100 degrees F) occurs fairly quickly (a couple of minutes. Seeing the transmitted heat on the outside of the stocks takes a fair bit of time 15-20 minutes). That goes back down to room temperature again quite quickly. What I've taken away from this short study is that a bit of insulation around the chanter stock and top of the Chanter specifically, is a cheap and cheerful way to lessen the impact of stopping play for a short bit. I've had that on there in all temperatures from the 40's thru 114 Degrees F. I believe the benefit occurs when on is warming up, and then walks to the competition board and chats with the judge as something that comes to mind. If I were to play in cold weather I'd think of insulating all the stocks (a bit of duct tape and a double layer of Sham Wow, and I'd add a bit of insulation inside the cover around the bag, probably more Sham Wow, or the material they add inside quilts and comforters. The goal is to maintain the nearly 100 degrees F of the bag interior on through the system to past the reeds.
      The older I get, the more certain I am, that everything should be made from blackwood, beeswax, reeds, shellac and bits of string...


      • #18
        Originally posted by Billy Boy View Post

        Those chemical hand warmers might work too. More good ideas! Though, I think it could get a bit expensive for poor me. I do hope to get out quite often this winter,SNIP

        My other problem, of course, is painfully cold and stiff fingers. I've found that tight and thin knitted gloves with tight surgical gloves on top allow me enough sensitivity to locate the chanter holes and make a note-giving seal. At least I can in a warm room with the practice chanter. Will give it a zero Celcius test tomorrow.
        It was cold and windy here near Boston this afternoon. Temperature slightly above freezing, but with wind-chill in the low thirties or high twenties (F). I played outside a Greek Orthodox Church for a wedding. I wore fingerless gloves under heated Wristies (r)with “HotHands warmers in them, toe warmers in my shoes and an adhesive body warmer on the inside of the bag cover, right next to the bass drone and blowstick stocks,
        No problems with the pipes the half-hour I played before and after the service. (That was actually 45 minutes before the service and 30 after, with just under an hour in between for the actual church service.
        Last edited by Klondike Waldo; 11-27-2021, 04:49 PM. Reason: Clarified the timing
        Slainte Leibh/ Slan Leat, Bob Cameron


        • #19
          Super temperature data collection and analysis, zarb! Had no idea that the bag air qould cool so quickly. You and Waldo have both hit on the insulated bag requirement. Here's a new product line for bag cover makers - quilted winter bag liners. And it qould be neat if they extended to the ends of the stocks.
          “Where’s my beer?”


          • #20
            Originally posted by Billy Boy View Post
            With the near freezing temperatures starting to make my reeds misbehave, I wonder if anyone has ever tried to invent such a thingy as heated pipe stocks? It seems to me that if the reeds were in a warmed micro environment, playing time in cold weather might be extended.

            If that is a possibility, how might one actually heat pipe stocks?

            Here's my musing: First, at least the internal lining of the stocks would have to be constructed of a heat conductive material, such as copper, or aluminum. Then, as there are rubber-coated heat cables for cold weather water pipes to prevent freezing, such a cable could be attached to each stock, as with moisture control tubing. Finally, a rechargable battery source, contained within the bag, as with MCS cannisters, could serve as a heat cable power source.

            Yes, no, maybe? Pipe bags on fire??
            I would suggest that when piping in the great white north, warm humid breath condenses in the cold drones and runs back into the reeds, I do not think warming the stocks would help much?.
            The simple answer would be, in the winter, have the drones set to hang just below the horizontal, thus making them self draining.
            Well, it's an idea.


            • #21
              With the warming weather, and a new thread on playing in the cold, I thought it time for me to post some results from my spotty field research on playing my poly pipes in winter.

              The best I managed for cold playing duration was -7C for 25 minutes. I also did -9C for 14 minutes, but that was a case of my lip strength giving out due to taking three weeks off during a cold snap of -20C temps which was just too damn cold to even try.

              There were three key elements to my ability to play in the cold.

              1) Heated bass drone and chanter stocks. With the help of heating pads powered with a small Anker power bank, I was able to warm up the micro environment around the reeds. I would plug in the stock heating pads just before my walk to my playing spot 30 minutes away as a pre-heat for best results

              2) Blanket insulation of the bag. I cut up and stitched a Hudson's Bay wool blanket to make two insulating layers of bag cover to reduce the environmental cooling of the bag air.

              3) Gloves. I used a two glove system with base layer of tight fitting knitted gloves beneath tight fitting nitrate gloves. The knit gloves for warmth, the nitrate gloves as wind breakers to form a seal over the chanter holes. The glove system could be improved, I believe, with the addition of battery-powered glove elements between the glove layers on the back of hand and fingers.

              The old saying was to never take the pipes out at less than 5C. I'm now confident to take them out at -5C. It also helps to keep your back to the wind.
              Attached Files
              Last edited by Billy Boy; 03-06-2022, 02:51 PM.
              “Where’s my beer?”