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  • Stock length


    The blowpipe and chanter stocks on my pipes are the same length and seem to be both be blowpipe stocks. The chanter stock is somewhat longer on other sets I've seen and played. Is there a reason for stock lengths in general...particularly the chanter stock

    Chuck

  • #2
    While I'm not a pipe maker, I would think that the lengths on the drone stocks must account for drone reed length. My chanter and blowpipe stocks are about the same length. I'm not sure why some chanter stocks may be longer, though perhaps it's preferred by some for variability during tying in.

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    • #3
      I’ve read stories of people who accidentally tied their blowpipe stock in the neck and the chanter wouldn’t play right because of the wrong stock. I don’t have any firsthand knowledge of this, but it’s what I’ve read somewhere on the web
      You don't have fun by winning. You win by having fun.

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      • #4
        I have measured the stocks on a lot of sets, and

        blowpipe stocks have lengths varying from 88 - 95 mm
        chanter stocks vary from 102 to 110 mm in length, most are around 107-108.

        so about 10-20 mm in difference.

        It's clear that you could use a chanter stock for blowpipe stock if you need a longer stock for that, but not sure if a shorter chanter stock would be ideal.
        One could always experiment interchanging the chanter and blowpipe stock of varying lengths and see if it had an impact on the sound of the chanter.

        Regarding the bore dimension of the chanter stock, it's my feeling that a chanter stock with a bore of 21 mm makes the chanter sound better and is easier to blow than
        with a chanter stock with a 20 mm bore. Assume the chanter stock is 108 mm long, a stock with a 21 mm bore has 10% more airvolume than a stock with a 20 mm bore.

        Assume that two stocks both have a bore of 21 mm, but one is 108 mm long the other 98mm, then the longer stock also has 10% more airvolume, but I assume the effect of bore dimension
        is larger.
        www.selpiper.dk

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        • #5
          About stock ID's, I've measured around 30 vintage and new sets and a few things stand out.

          1) new pipes tend to have all the stocks the same ID. I can't recall measuring any old pipes that are like that.

          2) new pipes usually have narrower stocks overall than old pipes.

          3) vintage pipes always usually have four different stock ID's 1) Chanter 2) Blowpipe 3) Bass 4) Tenors.

          4) Chanter stock ID's vary less from maker to maker than Drone ID's.

          5) Some vintage makers have the Bass stock wider than the Tenor stocks, but other vintage makers have the Bass stock narrower than the Tenor stocks. (One might think that the various old makers would be on the same page in this regard, but alas.)
          Last edited by pancelticpiper; 09-14-2022, 02:48 AM.
          proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Søren E. Larsen View Post
            I it's my feeling that a chanter stock with a bore of 21 mm makes the chanter sound better and easier to blow...
            I would think that with chanter stocks "the bigger the better". Have you noticed how a chanter sounds better mouth-blown than in the stock? Think of how big the ID of your oral cavity is.

            About 21mm chanter stock ID, I did an online translation and it says that 21mm = .827 inches.

            I've not measured a chanter stock that big.

            Here are a few old and new chanter stocks I've had:

            c1905 Lawrie .789
            c1890 Glen .813 (the biggest I've measured)
            c1930 Lawrie .729 (I had Dunbar ream all the stocks on that set to Dunbar specs)

            1988 Kintail .79
            2010 Dunbar .791
            2006 McCallum .765




            proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

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            • #7
              Now most pipe makers do 21 mm bores on the stocks.
              But it seems that bores shrink over time (the tree is moving).
              www.selpiper.dk

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              • #8
                Originally posted by pancelticpiper View Post
                I would think that with chanter stocks "the bigger the better". Have you noticed how a chanter sounds better mouth-blown than in the stock? Think of how big the ID of your oral cavity is.
                I have to admit I don't understand the physics of the reed enclosure at all, other than that I've seen different claims over the years. I've definitely seen one chanter improved simply by putting it in a narrower stock. I know that the reed vibration system includes a wave that back-propagates from the reed and is reflected internally, behind the reed, and that therefore this reed in a stable oscillation regime must be affected by the shape/volume of that enclosure, but I don't know how to reason about it.
                http://www.callingthetune.co.uk
                -- Formerly known as CalumII

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                • #9
                  For sure switching the same chanter between different stocks will often change the scale a bit, so you have to move some tape.

                  It's long puzzled me how Pipe Bands will issue matching chanters and matching reeds, and often require matching bags, but not have matching chanter stocks.

                  Obviously if you put a dozen matching chanters in a dozen different stocks the chanters will all play a bit differently.

                  I suppose most of the difference is tuning which is easy to fix with tape. But what if there are other differences? What if a particular chanter stock ID and length makes the chanters stay on pitch better? Or have better projection?
                  proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

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                  • #10
                    Regarding matching stocks for pipe bands: I know of one grade 1 band where all chanter stocks are bored to 21 mm in diameter. Maybe they all have McCallum stocks.
                    The PM has a number of spare chanters already set up with reeds and tuned for an emergency - easy to issue a new chanter to the piper with a chanter problem.
                    www.selpiper.dk

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