Silicon as bag and bellows seasoning... opinions?

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Postby Peter Laban » Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:39 am

On one of the discussion on C&F it was mentioned Cillian O Briain at one time used Silicon. It would make sense to ask him about his experiences.
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Postby billh » Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:08 am

Peter Laban wrote:On one of the discussion on C&F it was mentioned Cillian O Briain at one time used Silicon. It would make sense to ask him about his experiences.


It'd be worth asking Andreas Rogge too; I think he may still use a silicone-based coating on his bags (applied after stitching, I think, but similar in effect to what hpinson describes).
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Postby WilliamEReubens » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:17 pm

Have been watching the forums for a while and have decided it is time to dip my toe in the water so here goes with a first post


Peter Laban wrote
There have been posts on C&F about bags ruined by pour in rubber/silicon treatments.


It is in the faqs thread at the top of the page. From this it would seem you need to think very carefully about what you put in your bag if indeed it is leaking

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Postby hpinson » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:48 pm

Not to be applied after the fact, or: :cry:

I acutally would not encourage anyone to try this, unless they are just interested in the results, which might be really good... or might be really bad!

I was thinking about this last night. Four years ago, I applied some of this GE Silicon II as caulk to a window that sits directly facing south in the New Mexico Sun. This face heats to probably 130 degress F throughout the summer, and is in full sun exposure for about seven hours a day.

Four years later:

Image

Note the condition of the adjoining paint. Granted it is stationary and not subject to vaious lateral and horizontal stress.

So here goes. Time will tell:

Image

Despite the heavy coat, the bond to the leather knap seems good, and once dry, the leather reamains almost as pliable as with no sealant.
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Postby erniethepiper » Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:43 pm

As a painter in a former life I have recently run in Quad caulk available at home Depot. Miserable to work with but way better for adhesion and such than the GE Silicone II. Comes in clear, white and browns.

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RE: Bag seasoning

Postby patsky » Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:18 am

In my opinion a bag that needs seasoning is a bad bag. There are many leathers out there that have an airtight finish on one side and that will never need any kind of seasoning. The old grease and wax treatments come from the the Highland bagpipes, which are slowly rotted from the moisture in the breath.

This may sound heretical but I think the best Uillann bags are made of Naugahyde/ vinyl. I made one for Seamus Ennis in the Mid 1970s and it was still going until he died. Cost..one pound. I also ,around the same time, showed Paddy Keenan and his father how to make one and Keenan uses the plastic bags 'till this day. These bags are cheep and reliable. So you have to replace it every few years ( I played one for 10 years before replacement) whats the big deal.

One tip... if you have a leather bag, be sure to have a bag cover because the grease and salt from you arm will definitely destroy the leather.

Plastic lover,
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Re: RE: Bag seasoning

Postby dropkick » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:22 am

patsky wrote:

One tip... if you have a leather bag, be sure to have a bag cover because the grease and salt from you arm will definitely destroy the leather.

Plastic lover,
Pat Sky


This is the truth.

Captain Caustic Sweat,

-Joseph.

PS. While I have yet to be 100% convinced of a plastic bag, I will say that they are responsive to minute changes of arm pressure making piping all that more subtle, plus, they do feel nice when using them. I just need to find a way to make them last longer, once there, I have a feeling I won't look back at the leather variety.
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http://flojoereeds.com/
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Postby hpinson » Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:09 pm

Pat, in the spirit of synthetic materials, have you tried Hypalon?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypalon

Tough, airtight, durable in the long-term, weldable, has a fabric feel-- it has a lot to recommend it -- except traditional aesthetics. Maybe not a problem if a bag cover is used.

THen there is the new Gore-Tex Pro Shell Leather:

http://hellforleathermagazine.com/2008/ ... -in-d.html
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Postby djm » Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:28 am

The ad for the Gore-Tex® Pro Shell Leather says the stuff is breathable - not what I would want in a bag.

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Postby tompipes » Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:08 am

Interesting stuff there Pat.

Where do you buy the Naugahyde and the leather?

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Re: Silicon as bag and bellows seasoning... opinions?

Postby tompipes » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:13 pm

So heres a question,

What about a bag made from a layer of naugahyde and a layer of leather.
The leather stops the elasticity effect of the vinyl and your pretty much guarenteed an airtight bag.

But the question realy is what kind of glue do you need to stick leather to naugahyde and has anyone done it.

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Re: Silicon as bag and bellows seasoning... opinions?

Postby hpinson » Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:59 pm

That would be similar to the GoreTex-leather proshell laminate, i.e leather bonded to a synthetic material. I would imagine that some sort of press is used to acheive that laminate. Perhaps thinned Barge or similar contact cement would work? Just a guess-- i really have no idea. It would probably make a difference if you bonded to the smooth or rough side. Rough side would probably be better. Pipers seem to perfer the rough nap side of the leather facing out... You would probably want to use a roller to work out air bubbles. And then press between plywood sheets. Long term bonding might be an issue. Would it delaminate over time?

Some other notes:

As an experiment, I obtained some OSI Quad Clauk, as was suggested, at the local Lowes, and spread it on nap side and smooth side leather patchs. I can't say it worked out very well. It is much more gummy and difficult to apply than the Silicon II, and smells quite toxic. After two weeks of curing, in the sun, it is still tacky. It also does not seem to bond as well to leather as the Silicon II. After two weeks I was able, without too much trouble, pull it away from the nap leather, and it comes off in nice uniform sheets. The Silicon II was more difficult to delaminate.

There are certainly a lot of other materials to experiment with.

Also, I found that the difference between GE Silicon II and Silicon I seems mainly to be the inclusion of fungicides.
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Re: Silicon as bag and bellows seasoning... opinions?

Postby erniethepiper » Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:15 pm

Pressing between the sheets of plywood would probably help (me thinks?) Consider this for a moment if you can get the equipment. A vacuum pump can give enourmous amounts of pressure. Quick, completely blue collar scientific. Atmoshperic pressure is about 14.7psi, if you could get a perfect vacuum then that equates to 14.7 x 144 (144 inches per square feet) = 2116.8 pounds :shock: . Easier than 10 or 11 of your best friends balanced on each other's shoulders standing on your bag, but less interesting to write home about. :D This technique has been in use for quite some time now vacuum forming layers of fiberglass together.
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Re: Silicon as bag and bellows seasoning... opinions?

Postby David Stephenson » Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:26 pm

Most Silicone compounds have a certain amount of amonia content, which can attribute to the destruction of your reed, the gasses within can react with the natural sugars left within the cane and harden things up.

A good way to obtain an airtight bag, is to make her out of plastic or patent coated leather, if the stitches are tight it should need no further attention for at least ten years, I find that gore-tex type bags do not give the support that is needed to keep a full set in the right plane while playing and some of the heavy sets with them need an extra strap to hold things up.

Bellows need to be air tight, but not to the extent that you are using your utmost strength with both hands to find those leaks, any reed will sound well before this kind of pressure is asserted, I use normal leather for the bellows, because plastic coated leather doesn't have the longevity, as it is subjected to lots of bending which will quickly crack away any coating it may have on it, seal her up with a mixture which is warm and molten when applied, this liquid fills any tiny holes that might be lurking in the corners etc, and then dries to a semi wax/lard state and seals them.

If you are making your mixture for the first time, mix things up and leave it to set until you find what you desire, try this one, a mix of 500 ml of neetfoot oil to four small ingott's of beeswax, I think they are an ounce each, but don't quote me on that one and one violin rosin tablet,melt everything together,
but don't get things so they are smoking or you could have a chip pan fire type senario on your hands and you will also burn the oil rendering it useless, it should cool down into a very thick lard type of consictency, it can be added to if needed over the years, it also keeps the bellows nice and supple.

Davy.















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Re: Silicon as bag and bellows seasoning... opinions?

Postby hpinson » Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:46 pm

I know I started this thread, but...

I just want to make sure that everyone understands that my own conclusions are that there are very questionable benefits to this approach... while siliconizing the bag results in a nice tight bag and bellows, longevity is questionable, and toxicity and reed degradation may be issues. Better to obtain proper leather; chrome tanned elk hide that needs minimal or no seasoning, or quality upholstory leather plus beeswax + oil (neatsfoot or olive per preferance, rosin) seasoning; or go with an airtight synthetic like Naugahyde or the more durable/costly and less stretchy Hypalon. And, use a bag cover.

Obtaining the proper leather seems difficult right now in the US. Several current sources have been suggested, and they have been discouragingly unresponsive, at least to my queries. Leather Factory / Tandy does not usually have the "right" stuff, though occasionally something suitable is in stock.

Perhaps there is an international bagpipe leather cartel. How do I join? :)

I learned a lot in the process.
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