Friday, December 10, 2010

The Chanter

It's December now, and I have been working toward making chanters.    Though I have made a single chanter before, the plan is to make the next one differently.  Before I could finish the chanters, I still needed to finish the reamers, and finish modifying the metal lathe so that I could use it to drill tone holes.   That work was completed last week. Then I began drilling some tone holes.

As of yesterday, I now have a chanter that can be played.  Like my first chanter, this one does not yet have keys.  This second prototype chanter will have three keys, when completed.   This chanter is made from Indian rosewood.

Included is a picture of the tone-hole setup, with the first tonehole, and another of the chanter in its current state of development.  The chanter still needs fine tuning, some mounts, a windcap, keys, ferrules, and finish work.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Chanter Work.

It has been a long time since I updated the blog.  Basically, I decided to put-off working with regulator keys in favor of working with chanter and regulator bores.  This included refining my techniques for measuring bores, studying bores, making reamers, and matching reamers to the target bores.  This study in boring has paid off well.  I now am able to produce reamers that more-closely match the bore they should produce, and I can make them more quickly and efficiently than I used to.

 Now that the first set of probes is done, and I can measure the chanters under development, and I have a spreadsheet that can compare the reamers I make to the bore I make, the time has come to rework the chanter design.  I am starting this development phase now, an attempt to develop a concert-pitch chanter.  Like many modern makers, I am aiming for a design that is based on the work of Leo Rowsome.  I will start by making the best copy of a Leo Rowsome chanter that I can, based on some published measurements of bore and tone hole data.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

“The novice, noting a fine agreement among his observations, is often deceived into supposing he has attained an accuracy far greater than the measurements really justify. The surest way to obtain enlightenment is to remeasure the same quantity by an entirely different method. The lack of agreement that is apt to result is often a disagreeable surprise and gives one, as nothing else can, a just estimate of how grudgingly Nature permits the real truth to be extracted. A close agreement in the results of measurements made by two or three entirely different methods gives, on the other hand, the highest assurance that a real precision has been attained.”
From Methods of measuring electrical resistance  by Edwin Fitch Northrup  (1912)
This quote is pertinent to my current project.  I am making more than 140 little Delrin probes that will allow me to measure and profile the conical bores in the uilleann pipe chanters and regulators.  Essentially, when constructed and used properly, they should allow me to measure what I make, and to study the works of other makers, especially those makers who are no longer with us.  It's a tiring project, laden with meticulous measurements with calipers and micrometers, and very careful work on the metal lathe.  However, I am already learning a great deal from this exercise.
In other news, I'm thinking of ditching Blogger.  The features are very limited.  I can't upload video or Mp3 recordings, and the editor stinks.  for instance, it doesn't have a simple underline for text formatting (without using wiki-style commands.)  I had to go out of my way to enable copy/paste.   So, I'll probably host a real site, and run my own blog engine on it, and a Wiki...  Coming soon!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Here are some photos of the setup used for boring wood, such as the uilleann pipe drone pieces and chanters...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Onward march!

I needed a week to recover from the mania that ensued from the completion of the drones! Then, this week, I reassembled the bass drone loop with the wrap in the other direction. It just fits better, and it matches what seems to be the more common convention.

Other than that, I have begun working on brass keys. The keys will be for chanters and regulators, and will have tempered brass leaf springs. The brass for the springs will be made "springy" by running it through the rolling mill.

The next major goals are to build a better chanter than the one I made before, with three keys, followed by a full set of regulators. Of course, the regulators have thirteen keys.
Here we go!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Video and sound.

Here is a video clip. The playing's not very good, but it's me :


I'll put a new sound file up soon.

Two more pics:

Pictures and sounds.

Here are some photos and a video clip to demonstrate the uilleann pipe drones I constructed in the shop. This is my first prototype set of drones. Next come the three regulators, and of course , the chanter for this set.

Though I have made a couple of chanters before, they were not ones I would want to play myself. So, the goal is to produce a fully-keyed chanter that performs reasonably well. The regulators must meet similar criteria.

Many thanks go to Bill Haneman and to David Quinn,
who provided so much valuable instruction. Without them, this set would have been far less than what it is. For instance, Bill's excellent article on constructing a hollow main stock, and David's classic article on the Taylor drones were relied-upon. In addition, both David and Bill taught a week-long seminar on uilleann pipe making that I attended at the 2009 Willie Clancey Summer School. If my first instrument is playable at all, it's a testimony to their teaching and writing ability. Thanks again!


These are images taken on my cell phone camera as I worked on the hollow mainstock for the set. In a while, I'll take some photos of the half-set, now that it is playable.

Big day! I got my first half set of drones tied-in and playing last night. This morning , I played an air for Debbie. I'll post some pictures shortly.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

More photos... This time, I practiced taking them with the Cannon 10-D and a macro lense...

Some pipe-making photos from my phone camera:

Here are a few shop photos, taken over the last few months:

Welcome to my new blog. It's a precarious balance to strike between making my first full-set, and blogging about it. Here is what the bass drone looked like about two weeks ago. Since then, I completed the baritone drone.