Is Curly or Quilted Maple A possible wood for Uilleann Pipes

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WyattKPauls
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Is Curly or Quilted Maple A possible wood for Uilleann Pipes

Post by WyattKPauls » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:24 pm

Hey,

I would like to ask the forum their oppinion on this:

Can maple be used as a tonewood for the uilleann pipes, borderpipes, or even SSP?

Thank you
Wyatt

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djm
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Re: Is Curly or Quilted Maple A possible wood for Uilleann P

Post by djm » Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:15 am

If you do a Search on this board you'll see the question has come up several times. The choice of wood for a wind instrument generally revolves around the density of the wood. The denser/harder the wood the greater its ability to reflect sound and add tonal characteristics of its own. There are several places on the web you can go to see comparative density characteristics for different kinds of wood. Just Google.

Most pipemakers opt for denser woods like ebony, African blackwood, etc. because they prefer the tone. Some makers have experimented with softer fruit woods like pear and apple. I only know of one pipemaker, David Quinn, who has experimented with maple. He only made the one set. He said he was satisfied with the results but that no-one had ever ordered a set from him in maple. See discussion here.

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Jonathan_P
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Re: Is Curly or Quilted Maple A possible wood for Uilleann P

Post by Jonathan_P » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:28 am

Michael Hubbert recently completed a B set made from curly maple. He had the timber vacuum-impregnated with resin, acrylic I believe, and told me it turned very easily and took crisp detail. He also acid-stained the wood after it was worked, like he has with boxwood. The results are pretty stunning.
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Ted
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Re: Is Curly or Quilted Maple A possible wood for Uilleann P

Post by Ted » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:44 pm

The color is due to the acid. Michael was delighted that the color came out like it did. Maple in its natural state is too soft for pipes. The acrylic loading hardened it considerably. I believe David Quinn's set he made of maple used Danish oil in the bores to harden them, rather than have them loaded with plastic. That set is in my area and plays great and looks beautifull.

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