Tailor fitting bags and pipes

An on-line forum to discuss uilleann pipes

Moderators: the plod, snoogie, dropkick

Post Reply
User avatar
fancypiper
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 4:41 pm
Real Name: Phil Sexton
Location: Sparta, NC USA
Contact:

Tailor fitting bags and pipes

Post by fancypiper » Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:39 pm

I am a fairly isolated piper, living about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Pat Sky.

I suspect most beginner pipers go through what I have experienced. I have had to adjust my posture for each new addition to my set and I suspect that I need to replace my bag in order to reach the bottom keys on my regulators.

My mainstock length (from bag to end of mainstock) on the C set is approximately 8 5/8" vs 7 5/8" for my concert set. I doubt that I will go any further with the concert set.

I have to use a shoulder strap and twist to the left to pull the reg keys closer to my wrist and I find it very difficult to reach the bottom keys even doing this, so I hope that moving the main stock tie in location and possibly the blow stock location will help.

Here are my main questions:
1. What have others experienced?
2. What was your proceedure to fit the set?
3. Did you use a vinyl bag to test?
4. Who would you recommend to help me figure out where things should tie in and how long the neck should be?
5. Did you finish up with a leather or vinyl (or other) bag?

From the feel of a vinyl bag (I couldn't play it as it was on a left handed set) vs leather, I think I would like to end up with leather.

davy s

From my hospital bedside

Post by davy s » Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:07 pm

Here are a few pointers to be going on with, I may not cover every eventuality here but I,m sure that others will follow on with constructive critisism.

One thing I would like to point out is, like an item of clothing, it should fit the person using it, we know that a personal fitting is not always possible by your pipe maker, but you can give them a few body measurements, IE, humerous length, and total arm lenght from arm pit to finger tip, this will help in all of the following tips.

When the bag is full it should sit comfortably under the arm and sit there with the minimum amount of grip, swede side outwards gives the best grip, if the bag is trying to burst from below the elbow before it is full, then it could be to deep in section and needs changing if you want to be comfortable especially during lengthy periods of playing.

The shape of a bag is also important, a sausage shaped 3 - 1 ratio is ideal, wth around 4 cubic litres of air, there is a missconception that a larger bag is more efficient, because it is only as efficient as the bellows driving it, a 4 - 1 ratio works well, any more and the balance of refilling it if you accidently let it get too flat, can upset the overall playing ratio of the set, IE you could end up concentrating more on working the bellows than you need to, however this part becomes instinctive once you get the practice in.

If the bag is more than half empty you will start loose overall playing control because your arm fulcrum has less power the nearer it gets towards the side of your chest, this all sounds rather complcated but it does make scence and help playing if everthing is in balance.

A neck length is also quite important for the paticular type of chanter and top being used, IE most of the flat chanters are longer and need a slightly longer neck, so if your planning on using flat chanters, tell the bag/pipe maker etc about this, it can save you buying more than one bag, one bag can acommodate all your different pitched sets, but its good to have a spare, especially if you want to play in practice set mode without a drone stock sticking out of the side.

The positioning of the stocks are also important, also how the regulators are used can be effected greatly by how the bellows work, I will try to explain, flexi versus rigid., because your arm works in a swnging twisting motion, not like a door hinge,

On many sets of bellows you often find them fitted with a solid or metal rigid hinge, they do look good, but, this can restrict the full movement of the arm when reaching down to press the lower regulator keys, if the bellows are allowed to twist and move as you move down towards the lower keys, the overall movements will be much much easier.

What material a bag is made from is not all important, but the overall structure is, if one wants an accurate feel to what the bag is doing whilst sqeezing it, the bag should stay firm and not balloon during this motion, I have seen so many bags that are too thin walled, which can cause many problems when first starting out.

The positioning of the whole system is down to the individual using his or her set, but any maker should be able to supply a decent set-up, and last but not least, second hand buyers beware, try the set out for yourself first before buying.

For more detailed explanations of bags and bellows please PM me..

Davy.

User avatar
MattMc
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:37 pm
Real Name: Matt McNeely
Location: Oak Ridge, TN
Contact:

Re: Tailor fitting bags and pipes

Post by MattMc » Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:38 pm

fancypiper wrote:I am a fairly isolated piper, living about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Pat Sky.

Here are my main questions:
1. What have others experienced?
2. What was your proceedure to fit the set?
3. Did you use a vinyl bag to test?
4. Who would you recommend to help me figure out where things should tie in and how long the neck should be?
5. Did you finish up with a leather or vinyl (or other) bag?

From the feel of a vinyl bag (I couldn't play it as it was on a left handed set) vs leather, I think I would like to end up with leather.
Things that've helped me reach the 2 low chords on the baritone/tenor regulators are;

1. Slightly longer bellows tube (1" to 1.5"). I use black aquarium/radiator hose which is extremely helpful ($$) in finding the perfect length.

2. Shorter main stock cup (connecting to bag). I've recently tied in one that is .25" shorter than the original. Pulls everything to the left. A quarter of an inch is a lot!

3. I've made scores of vinyl bags so I've pretty much figured out the ideal stock placement for my body build. Vinyl is great for this. I now have a leather bag tied-in exactly where I want it. I like leather too, more of a grip.

4. Experiment with bag neck length. This is extremely important as it dictates where your right hand will lay on the regulators.

5. Maybe you could raise the main stock up 1".

c-ya Fancy!
~MMc

User avatar
djm
Posts: 703
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:27 pm
Real Name: David Moulton
Location: Canadia
Contact:

Post by djm » Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:12 am

I agree with MattMc about replacing the bellows tube. Being of rotund persuasion, I found it greatly helped to get rid of that ridiculous little 6" tube my pipemaker supplied and replace it with 18" of flexible pond pump tubing. This makes it much easier to reach the drones to tune as well as hitting the regs.

Don't forget, too, that besides pulling your bagside shoulder away, you can also swing out the knee that supports your drones and regs, bringing your bottom hand outwards with it. This can make the difference in hitting the bottom reg keys cleanly.

djm
Sex and drugs and uilleann pipes

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest