Bagpipe Maintenance-Andrew Graham
Bagpipe Maintenance Part 2 now here .
Mouthpiece and blowpipe should have a 3/8" bore, any narrower will restrict airflow to bag making for excessive blowing.
Leather valve. Efficient, reliable and has strength required for large bore. Others restrict blowing. Use old hide bag.
Watertrap (may not be needed for canister type bags)
19mm poly tubeat least 22" long. To go from blowpipe stock to back corner of bag following seam. Rubber cork in end. 2 holes, 3/8"< > 1" on inner side about 3" from corked end.
Or two part stock with removable tube.
After every playing session remove chanter and drones from pipes.
Use airtight seasoning only every 3-4 months if needed.
Every week check stocks cannot turn in bag.
Yellow hemp and beeswax. Apply evenly and wind tight. One layer of ptfe optional on pins only.
Stock joints should be tight. Top joint of bass tight and showing 1/8" of hemp. Bottom joint of bass 1-2 inch up pin. Tenors show 1/8" of hemp. Tuning pins on tenors and bottom pin of bass should move evenly and smoothly, tighten with hemp then apply a drop of almond oil.
Synthetic. Ezeedrone/Wygent/Henderson/Shepherd. Easy to set up and no maintenance. Long lasting. Reliable.
Cane. Difficult to set up and maintain.Unreliable and don't last very long.
Brush through blowpipe and all stocks regularly (once a month).
Playing for hours at a time everyday will ruin your reeds. Play for 20 minutes a day. Of course this does not include band practise.
Once a year (or more frequently when necessary) brush out water trap tube, pour a little antiseptic (ie dettol) into blowpipe stock, insert corks into stocks swish round and blow into bag till tight, swish round and empty. Drink whisky and play pipes, the fumes from your breath will do the same job.
NEVER REMOVE A WOOD CHANTER BY HOLDING IT FROM THE BOTTOM, HOLD IT AT STOCK END, OR IT--WILL--BREAK.
Wood chanters are very fragile and will break very easily so take care.
Plastic should be removed like this aswell, get into a habit of holding at stock end.
Bagpipe maintenance part 2 is here . Details a major service of the bagpipe.