double-throw bellows, anyone?

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dirk the piper
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double-throw bellows, anyone?

Post by dirk the piper » Mon May 30, 2011 12:05 pm

Double-throw, or double-acting bellows are capable of filling and expelling air at the same time on every push or pull - essentially with two distinct air reservoirs. A friend of mine was asking whether I had ever seen any examples of double-throw bellows that were made for bagpipes. I was stymied, having never imagined the possibilities. Has anyone here ever seen such a thing before - for bagpipes? Any experiments down that path known about?

Just to give some ideas of what I'm talking about, I can think of two typical configurations for such bellows. One would be like a see-saw, where there is an air reservoir at each end of the lever arm. Another configuration that more resembles typical bagpipe bellows would have a third wooden cheek in-between the two outer cheeks. The Center cheek would be fixed in place. The air reservoirs would each be attached to the center cheek and an outer cheek. There might be a push rod at the back of the bellows that keeps the pair of outer cheeks at a fixed distance from each other. Then, when one side is pushed shut against the center cheek, and expelling air, the other side is forced open, and takes air in. Here's a link with an illustration of the second type, as used for a fireplace bellows - http://www.1920-30.com/toys/things-to-m ... llows.html

It's just an idea that interested me a little. I don't know of a configuration that might work for playing bagpipes... Maybe someone else knows.

-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?

Hans- Joerg
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Re: double-throw bellows, anyone?

Post by Hans- Joerg » Mon May 30, 2011 12:52 pm

Interesting idea! The reason however why the piping world hasn´t seen one might be that it isn´t just volume that´s wanted but pressure too (think of 2nd 8ve A ... ...) and pipers are a bit like crocodiles :mrgreen: : You can easily squeeze a thing but try to apply the same pressure by pulling....

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macwarner57
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Re: double-throw bellows, anyone?

Post by macwarner57 » Mon May 30, 2011 5:36 pm

I worked on this idea a few years ago, but scrapped it. Just silly complicated, compared to a nice efficient "normal" bellows.

I'll try and dig up my photos.
J.G. Warner

"Understanding and making [uilleann] pipes isn't rocket science:- it's harder." -Driftwood

outofthebox
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Re: double-throw bellows, anyone?

Post by outofthebox » Tue May 31, 2011 4:19 am

A wooden double-throw bellows would feel very heavy for piping. As a fire bellows the design should work ok because of the more positive two handed operation and the extra leverage. I agree with Hans-Joerg - an easy delivery of air without any pressure back-up is what makes for a good bagpipe bellows - the air needs to be pushed through to the bag.

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macwarner57
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Re: double-throw bellows, anyone?

Post by macwarner57 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:31 pm

Hey OOTB, stop dumping on everyone's good ideas for a change! Jeez!

I kid, I kid :wink:
J.G. Warner

"Understanding and making [uilleann] pipes isn't rocket science:- it's harder." -Driftwood

outofthebox
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Re: double-throw bellows, anyone?

Post by outofthebox » Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:29 am

I love ideas - the more the better. Keep them coming 8)

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dirk the piper
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Re: double-throw bellows, anyone?

Post by dirk the piper » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:23 am

I'm interested in seeing pictures, when you get them, Macwarner. At first, the pictures I had in my mind of such a bellows were rather ridiculous looking. Perhaps, I'll get around to jotting them down, just for a good laugh. However, there are a couple of versions that are starting to seem less Dr. Seuss-ish and Rube Goldberg-ish than the others... Of course, this is just an idea, and probably not a good one, at that. Otherwise, we would have seen more examples, already. However, I already have an order from one person to make some fireplace bellows in this manner. :-)
-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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