newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

An on-line forum to discuss uilleann pipes

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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by the plod » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:31 am

For those of us colonists, where exactly is Bristol?
What is it near?

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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by Mr.Gumby » Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:01 am

Bristol

There are over a million people in the larger Bristol area. It's pretty much, well, one of the biggest things in the south west of England.
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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by djm » Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:28 am

Steve Turner is in Bristol. I don't know if there are any groups in Bristol per sé, but you could also try contacting the South Western Association of Uilleann Pipers.

Hope that helps,

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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by tracyk859 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:39 pm

Hi, I am Tracy . I am a new member of forum. Would a newcomer be warmly welcome here? Good day you guys!!!







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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by fancypiper » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:58 pm

tracyk859 wrote:Hi, I am Tracy . Would a newcomer be warmly welcome here?
Hi Tracy, Sure! Welcome to the dark side. :lol: Got any pipes yet?

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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by emiliebonam » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:56 pm

"Welcome to the dark side. :lol: Got any pipes yet?"

:P what dark side you mean? Lol

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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by fancypiper » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:47 pm

Reeds, the heart of the instrument. You have to learn how to listen to the cane.. :twisted:

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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by PiobROCK » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:16 pm

Hello there, new to the forum, though I'm glad I found it... excellent advice and an excellent resource.

Anyway, I've always wanted to play the Uillean and about a month ago got a Vignoles beginner set (just bellows bag and chanter)... and I've run into a few issues that if anyone would care to address or give advice on I'd be very grateful. :)

I've been playing the GHB for over 10 years now so some of this territory is familiar... but anyway...

Shortly after recieving my set two ferrules have come off... perhaps this was due to humidity changes in transport? Is this normal? I've had ferrules come off my GHB, but that was about 8 years or so of use.

The "hose?" from the bellows to the bag seems to be wrapped in electrical tape, or something like electrical tape... is this normal? I'm fine with it, I just hope it lasts.

Also where the chanter "neck?" connects to the bag... there was a lot of what seemed to be wet glue oozing out from the gooseneck of the bag. I'd like to mention that some of the ferrules that came off seemed to be sticky with this glue.

I was also surprised to find that the valve into the bag was a flapper valve... (lol I dunno from the GHB I was expecting something more like a litte mac valve or something more modern)... it seems to work fine (I guess, I really have nothing to compare it to) Save for it's resting position is not quite over the hole... and it "burps" when starting to fill the bag with air. Though admitedly, once the bag is full and there is adequete pressure... the valve seems to work fine. I was wondering... perhaps if I hemped in a little mac valve at some point if this would be OK? Or would the risk of losing it inside the bag be too great?

And here is the BIGGEST problem I've fun into so far... The reed is STUCK in the chanter. I know this seems odd, but being a GHB player was very surprised at the set up... the reed was not "hemped" into the chanter so much as it was custom fit. There is no hemp, but rather it seems the diamter of the chanter staple is just enough to fit the circumference of the chanter seat and keep it air tight. When I first got the set I could adjust the reed in and out just fine... but something happened (I'm assuming humidity related)... though the place were it's kept is climate controlled... where the reed is STUCK in the chanter. I can't budge it... I don't want to pull too hard and risk damaging the reed... any suggestions?

I want to get at the reed because after having practiced it for weeks now... and reducing the amount of "sqauwks" and other undersirable sounds down to nil, I'm getting picky about the tuning. My upper D is far to sharp... I was thinking of adding some tape, but I'd rather be able to manipulate the reed position first.

Anyway... I know I wrote a book but if anyone could comment on this or any part of this I'd be very thankful. :)

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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by PJ » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:16 pm

PiobROCK wrote:Shortly after recieving my set two ferrules have come off... perhaps this was due to humidity changes in transport? Is this normal? I've had ferrules come off my GHB, but that was about 8 years or so of use.
It can happen when the weather is cold and dry. Put a little wrapping or plumbers tape on the chanter and then (carefully) put the ferrule back on.
PiobROCK wrote:The "hose?" from the bellows to the bag seems to be wrapped in electrical tape, or something like electrical tape... is this normal? I'm fine with it, I just hope it lasts.
Nothing to worry about. The hose is usually perspex. I wrapped mine in leather but I've seen them covered in velvet too.

PiobROCK wrote:Also where the chanter "neck?" connects to the bag... there was a lot of what seemed to be wet glue oozing out from the gooseneck of the bag. I'd like to mention that some of the ferrules that came off seemed to be sticky with this glue.
Did you buy the practice set new or used? If used, the previous owner might have tried to season the bag. I wouldn't let any of that gunk near the chanter. If it gets on the reed it might damage it. Make sure you remove it from the ferrules.
PiobROCK wrote:I was also surprised to find that the valve into the bag was a flapper valve... (lol I dunno from the GHB I was expecting something more like a litte mac valve or something more modern)... it seems to work fine (I guess, I really have nothing to compare it to) Save for it's resting position is not quite over the hole... and it "burps" when starting to fill the bag with air. Though admitedly, once the bag is full and there is adequete pressure... the valve seems to work fine. I was wondering... perhaps if I hemped in a little mac valve at some point if this would be OK? Or would the risk of losing it inside the bag be too great?
Flapper valves are normal in uilleann pipes. Make sure that the hinge on the valve is in the "12 o'clock" position. That should reduce the "burps".
PiobROCK wrote:And here is the BIGGEST problem I've fun into so far... The reed is STUCK in the chanter. I know this seems odd, but being a GHB player was very surprised at the set up... the reed was not "hemped" into the chanter so much as it was custom fit. There is no hemp, but rather it seems the diamter of the chanter staple is just enough to fit the circumference of the chanter seat and keep it air tight. When I first got the set I could adjust the reed in and out just fine... but something happened (I'm assuming humidity related)... though the place were it's kept is climate controlled... where the reed is STUCK in the chanter. I can't budge it... I don't want to pull too hard and risk damaging the reed... any suggestions?
Don't pull. Try twisting it. It's probably the humidity change (although it's weird that the reed seat closed when the ferrules are falling off). Is it possible that some of the "glue" from the bag got into the chanter?
PJ

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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by PiobROCK » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:23 pm

Thanks for your suggestions PJ... I'll look into the plumbers tape for the ferrules... I used to use that on my GHB's until someone suggested regular crazy glue... seemed to do the trick... but if plumbers tape works better for the Uilleann's so much the better.

No, the set is not used (atleast I hope it isn't) I bought it new from Michael Vignoles... I doubt he would have seasoned the bag. The said "glue" looks more like clear hot glue... the kind you might use to make crafts? But it hasn't seemed to have set I guess.... though I've had the set for a month or two now. It almost looks like its purpose is to hold the wooden stock that connects to the chanter in place at the mouth of the gooseneck.

As for the reed... would you believe I can't even TWIST it? It is seriously lodged. I don't think any of the "glue" got in there for two reasons. 1. The glue is is pretty thick, it's not really dripping 2. I don't see any evidence of the glue on the reed or the reed seat and the reed seat itself seems to be air tight (hence glue tight) when the reed is inserted... which leads me to a question...

Is it normal on a Uilleann set for the reed not to be hemped in? It just surprises me that the reed seat and the reed staple would have to be so perfectily measured for a snug air tight fit. I always thought with the GHB the reason for using hemp to socket a reed was so it could accomodate the swelling of the wood.

In anycase the reed is still stuck in there like concrete, it won't even twist side to side. It's very frustrating. :(

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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by awilde569 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:09 pm

Well, you may want to get in contact with with Vignoles then and run the problems by him since he made them. If it wasn't something run of the mill you could resolve through communicating with him then you can probably have them fixed or swapped out if they are defective.
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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by PJ » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:22 pm

PiobROCK wrote:Is it normal on a Uilleann set for the reed not to be hemped in? It just surprises me that the reed seat and the reed staple would have to be so perfectily measured for a snug air tight fit. I always thought with the GHB the reason for using hemp to socket a reed was so it could accomodate the swelling of the wood.
Some makers make the reed seat parallel so that hobby tubing staples fit snugly. My pipe maker makes them like that but the reed seat is slightly wider and I have to deform the end of the staple very slightly so that it has some purchase against the inside of the reed seat. Also, a wrap of waxed hemp acts as a gasget to prevent air seeping down between the outside of the staple and the inside of the reed seat.

The best thing is to go back to the maker and get him to look at it. It might be something very simple.
PJ

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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by the plod » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:09 pm

Piobrock,

Where are you located?

Some maker's hemp the reed in, others use a sliding reed seat for tuning made of brass tubing. you may have some variation of the latter. Michael may have used a silicone type sealant on the reed neck to seal it - does it have a vinegar like smell?

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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by PiobROCK » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:22 pm

@awilde569 and PJ

Thanks for the advice, yes I will probably just have to get in contact with Vignoles, I hate the idea that I might have to send the thing off to Ireland, but that might be my only option atm.

@the plod

I'm located on the Eastern Shore in Maryland... I didn't detect any kind of vinegar smell. When I first got it I was able to adjust the reed just fine. After having played and practiced it for a month or so, it got stuck. I left it alone for about a week and a half -- the idea being that if it was humidity related it could dry out and I'd be able to remove it. No such luck. :( Thanks for the advice though.

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Re: newbies start here - New to the uilleann pipes?

Post by the plod » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:55 pm

hmmmm.... perhaps we could find you a piper nearby who take a look at it. I'm not sure about Maryland but I know there are some in the D.C. area.

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