Wood dimensions for pipemaking

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eric f.
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Wood dimensions for pipemaking

Post by eric f. » Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:25 pm

Hi,

I would like to know what are usual dimensions of dried wood blanks, used for a set of pipes (concert D and B set). For Chanter with wooden top, drones and regs. With what dimensions of squares most makers start. Is it 4x4 cm for chanter or smaller? What about drones, regs? And what are the lenghts?

Thank you a lot :D

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dirk the piper
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Re: Wood dimensions for pipemaking

Post by dirk the piper » Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:42 pm

Wilbert Garvin's book on uilleann pipe making has a cutting list in it with all the suggested blank sizes for his design. It's not universally applicable to all concert sets, but it gives you an idea...
-Dirk
I'm a piper, you're a piper, he's a piper, she's a piper - wouldn't you like to be a piper too?

billh
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Re: Wood dimensions for pipemaking

Post by billh » Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:16 pm

Hi Eric,

4x4 cm is about right, but 37x37 mm (i.e. 1.5 inch square) is less wasteful, if you're careful. Regs can be a couple mm smaller.

It's possible to turn a chanter with blocks from a smaller piece of wood but it requires placing the piece off-center and it's harder to turn the blocks if they don't go all the way around - I'd save that treatment for a special, but undersized, piece of timber.

For drones I'd suggest 2x2 cm for most things, you may want 2.5x2.5cm for the bass drone slide. Lots of people just get 1x1 inch squares and ignore the waste.

You'll need something nearly 3 inches square (i.e. 70x70 mm) for a mainstock. 63x63 will just about work but it's tight.

If you have any doubts about surface checking on your wood (as it comes from the supplier), it may pay to get billets a couple mm larger - but better to just get more carefully seasoned timber. Overlength is a very good idea, since checking starts at the ends. Beyond that, lengths are more likely to be determined by what your supplier has in stock. For concert pitch drones there's no real need to billets longer than 33 cm or so - of course for chanter and baritone reg you'll want closer to 40 cm (to pick a round number).

regards,

Bill

eric f.
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Re: Wood dimensions for pipemaking

Post by eric f. » Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:49 pm

THANK YOU Dirk & Especialy BILL for all help, Best Regards :)

chris bayley
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Re: Wood dimensions for pipemaking

Post by chris bayley » Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:07 am

Do NOT use the Garvin measurements (looking at first edition) - chanter blank is given as 14" long which is too short even for a 14" chanter
You need 14.75" to 15" to allow for trimming
New Website now live at http://www.uilleann-pipes.co.uk. It is still under construction with more to be added
My original website http://www.bagpipeworld.co.uk remains in place as historical

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dirk the piper
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Re: Wood dimensions for pipemaking

Post by dirk the piper » Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:23 am

Hmm. Well, I guess that underlines the importance of checking our sources. I will endeavor to do a better job of that myself from now on. I guess it really hasn't worked out for me to use a cutting list, so far.

Though I initially liked the idea of making a cutting list, the reality is that the sources I have found for the kinds of timber required come in pieces that are not usually cut to the right length. Otherwise, we see logs, or half logs, and I need to cut the pieces to size, being mindful of the individual pieces that I'm making. Each piece of timber has its own personality, perhaps with knots, end-checks, interesting figures, and such. I think several makers that I respect have suggested that getting to know your wood collection, and the personality of each piece is a good approach. Also, I have noticed that the places that sell exotic timber usually expect their customers to inspect each individual piece before buying. This is also true of Gilmer's online store, which supplies photos of many individual pieces and logs.

However, I am still a novice, still working on making my first half set. Is this the way that the production makers select wood? Bill or David, do you have something to add about managing a stock of wood in the shop?

-Dirk
I'm a piper, you're a piper, he's a piper, she's a piper - wouldn't you like to be a piper too?

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