Weird Back D problem... Help?

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bobkeenan
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Weird Back D problem... Help?

Post by bobkeenan » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:36 pm

I have a nice Brad Angus Concert D pitch chanter that he says was modeled on an old rowsome. I also have a concert D chanter from Michael Vignoles that I do not play much. Brad has worked with me on a reed for my Angus chanter that plays pretty well. I also have a couple spares that play well but take more pressure than I like to get to the 2nd octave.

So..... I want to learn enough about reeds so that I can either fiddle with one of my spares or make some on my own.

So I got Tim Brittons reed making kit. I am on reed #5 now. Two cracked. And Three do not have a back D.... it plays as a B or C. Also B is shaky.

But..... Here is what is driving me a bit of crazy. If I put those reeds that wont do the back D with a shaky B and they play GREAT in the Vignoles Chanter. What the Hell?

The chanters are the same length. The throat (crow?) of the chanter on the Vignoles is about .52MM and the Angus is about .4mm. Also the Vignoles Back D hole is a few MM further downstream from the end of the chanter than the Angus.

The britton staple is a formed brass 3/16" tubing, Brad's staples are rolled and formed copper. I checked the ID's of the the Angus and Britton staples (seat end) and both are close to being the same, the other end shape and size of the eye are similar.

So... why would be reed play well in the Vignoles with the larger throat and slightly different back D hole location? And I bet if someone knows that then they couple probably tell me what do to the reed to make it work in the Angus Chanter.

Other info. Both reed are close to .5" wide. The Britton reed length (from staple end to reed lips) is about 15/16" (winding stops at stapel end) the Angus reed is 1 1/4" (but his winding goes 1/4" past the end of the staple. Overall length of the Britton is 2 15/16", Angus 3 1/4". There is still a fair amount of scraping that I can do to the Britton reed before it approaches a similar scrape to the Angus reed. The angus reed is bridled for squeeze use only. Britton's reeds do not have a bridle and if made right (his claim) they do not need a bridle. You get the gap you need by squeezing the staple.



Any thoughts?

Here are some pics. In all cases the Angus reed or chanter is on the right and the Britton reed or Vignoles Chanter is on the left. Taken with iphone. Loose binding threat is not cut yet.

http://bobkeenanphotography.zenfolio.co ... #h555ce918
http://bobkeenanphotography.zenfolio.co ... #h555ce952
http://bobkeenanphotography.zenfolio.co ... #h555ce8fa
http://bobkeenanphotography.zenfolio.co ... #h555ce8fa
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outofthebox
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Re: Weird Back D problem... Help?

Post by outofthebox » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:40 am

My first thought on this is that your Angus chanter may respond better to a reed with a wider staple. I assume that you have checked for any obstructions in the bore that might flatten your B etc. If the back D is strong when you put the reed in the Vignoles chanter then the cane itself should be ok and you just need a small increase in the internal volume of the staple so that it compliments the narrower throat of the Angus chanter.

An experiment you can try is to cut a small piece of a plastic drinking straw and insert it into the reed seat of the Angus chanter. Then insert the reed staple into the straw. This will provide a small increase in internal volume above the reed seat, which should raise the pitch of the chanter a little.

bobkeenan
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Real Name: Robert Keenan
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Re: Weird Back D problem... Help?

Post by bobkeenan » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:04 pm

Your thought about higher reed volume seems correct. I have since used a little longer and little wider reeds that are more typical of the reeds that Brad Angus makes. That seemed to solve the problem for me.

billh
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Re: Weird Back D problem... Help?

Post by billh » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:37 am

Hi Bob,

I've been following this thread and trying to figure out from your comments what is really going on. You say that the throat of your Angus chanter is ".4" (I assume you mean 4 millimeters, but this does cast doubt on all the other measurements... )

If the throat is 4mm then you are almost certainly dealing with a narrow bore D and not a typical wide-bore concert pitch chanter. In that case, your staples need to be much *smaller*, and the Britton measurements will be totally inappropriate to the task. That alone would explain a lot of your trouble.

Using the suggested figures from *any* reed making method book, without consulting the chanter maker's recommendations, doesn't make sense. The appropriate reed and staple dimensions for a chanter are critical to success. So the first order of business is to consult Brad to find out exactly where you should be starting; alternatively you can carefully measure the existing Angus reed for a starting point. A difference of a tenth of a millimeter in staple inner diameter can be significant, so the measurement should be as precise as you can make it.

For what it's worth, the small size (i.e. 5/32") hobby tubing staples, as opposed to the large size, have about a 3.17 mm (i.e. 1/8") inner diameter. That will come close to working in some narrow-bore D chanters, but it may be a bit too small for others. Probably you will need to hand-roll the staples for that chanter.

best regards,

- Bill

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