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TITLE
Case showing different pieces of a set of bagpipes
EXTERNAL ID
AB_ACHILTIBUIE_001
PLACENAME
N/A
DATE OF IMAGE
2006
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Achiltibuie Piping School
SOURCE
Achiltibuie Piping School
ASSET ID
250
KEYWORDS
blowpipes
piper
pipers
Case showing different pieces of a set of bagpipes

The case pictured here bears the title: 'Examples of Highland Bagpipe Manufacturing Kindly Loaned by W Sinclair & Son, Bagpipe Makers, Leith, Edinburgh'. The pieces on display are:

1. Cut length of African Blackwood showing date (2010); For first boring and initial turning
2. Cut length (mid section of Bass drone); After first boring and initial turning
3. Cross section of middle part of Bass drone; Showing finished boring design and artificial ivory mounts
4. Lower half of Tenor drone; Showing finished combing design and artificial ivory mounts
5. Examples of Real Ivory Mounts During turning
6. Examples of Modern Artificial Ivory During turning

A set of Highland bagpipes consists of a covered leather bag, into which are inserted a blowpipe, a chanter, a bass drone and two tenor drones. These pipes are made from wood, turned on a lathe. African Blackwood is the wood most commonly used in present-day bagpipe making, as it is considered to be good for both tone and stability. In the past, many different woods were used, and some of the best antique bagpipes are those made from cocus or ebony.

Blackwood is an oily, medium brown wood which darkens to almost black with time. The wood is seasoned for two to three years before use to allow the moisture content to stabilise. Typically, it arrives at bagpipe makers as squared 2x2 inch batons about 18 inches long. These must first be turned into cylinders and a small pilot hole must be bored through the long axis. An initial rough shaping then takes place and the section is bored according to which piece of the bagpipe it will become. The best pieces of wood are used for chanters. When the sections have been sanded, waxed and polished, the finger and sound holes are drilled, the sections are hemped and assembled and the reed is inserted.

Traditionally, projecting mounts have been made of horn, pewter, silver or ivory. Today, real ivory is beyond the reach of most pipers but an artificial ivory has been developed from coloured resin, which does not fade or crack. These mounts serve not only as decoration, but prevent the wood from splitting.

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High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
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Case showing different pieces of a set of bagpipes

2000s

blowpipes; piper; pipers

Achiltibuie Piping School

Bagpipes from Achiltibuie Piping School

The case pictured here bears the title: 'Examples of Highland Bagpipe Manufacturing Kindly Loaned by W Sinclair & Son, Bagpipe Makers, Leith, Edinburgh'. The pieces on display are:<br /> <br /> 1. Cut length of African Blackwood showing date (2010); For first boring and initial turning<br /> 2. Cut length (mid section of Bass drone); After first boring and initial turning<br /> 3. Cross section of middle part of Bass drone; Showing finished boring design and artificial ivory mounts<br /> 4. Lower half of Tenor drone; Showing finished combing design and artificial ivory mounts<br /> 5. Examples of Real Ivory Mounts During turning <br /> 6. Examples of Modern Artificial Ivory During turning<br /> <br /> A set of Highland bagpipes consists of a covered leather bag, into which are inserted a blowpipe, a chanter, a bass drone and two tenor drones. These pipes are made from wood, turned on a lathe. African Blackwood is the wood most commonly used in present-day bagpipe making, as it is considered to be good for both tone and stability. In the past, many different woods were used, and some of the best antique bagpipes are those made from cocus or ebony. <br /> <br /> Blackwood is an oily, medium brown wood which darkens to almost black with time. The wood is seasoned for two to three years before use to allow the moisture content to stabilise. Typically, it arrives at bagpipe makers as squared 2x2 inch batons about 18 inches long. These must first be turned into cylinders and a small pilot hole must be bored through the long axis. An initial rough shaping then takes place and the section is bored according to which piece of the bagpipe it will become. The best pieces of wood are used for chanters. When the sections have been sanded, waxed and polished, the finger and sound holes are drilled, the sections are hemped and assembled and the reed is inserted. <br /> <br /> Traditionally, projecting mounts have been made of horn, pewter, silver or ivory. Today, real ivory is beyond the reach of most pipers but an artificial ivory has been developed from coloured resin, which does not fade or crack. These mounts serve not only as decoration, but prevent the wood from splitting.