Am I paying attention to the right Reed stuff?

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bobkeenan
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Real Name: Robert Keenan
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Am I paying attention to the right Reed stuff?

Post by bobkeenan » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:42 pm

I am on reed number 10 now. And its pretty good I think. I find that I am learning with each reed that I make. So I thought that I would created a database of the reeds and their different materials and measurements and then post them on my site here:

http://uilleannpipesbeginner.wordpress. ... -9-and-10/

I would appreciated it if there are other things that I should be paying attention to as I continue to learn from making reeds.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks.

outofthebox
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Re: Am I paying attention to the right Reed stuff?

Post by outofthebox » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:09 am

One thing you might like to think about is the length and width of cane you use for the reed head. I make my reeds shorter and narrower - about 20mm from the lips to the top of the binding and 10.5mm wide. I also use 5mm copper tubing which has a narrower bore than 5mm brass tubing. Copper tubing also I think gives a softer (less bright) tone than brass - so it's something you can experiment with. A creative approach to reedmaking can be shaped by things like how loud or soft you want your chanter to sound and the playing pressure you prefer.

bobkeenan
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Real Name: Robert Keenan
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Re: Am I paying attention to the right Reed stuff?

Post by bobkeenan » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:56 pm

Interesting. The Tim Britton style reeds (from his reed making kit) had brass tubing and the reed length was what you suggested although a bit wider. Interesting though, they would not work in my Angus chanter but did work in the Vignoles chanter. The main difference being the throat of the Angus chanter was around 4.2mm and the Vignoles around 5.2. But I did notice, or at least I think I noticed, that the brass staple seemed to have a little nicer mellow tone. I have temporarily given up on the Britton sized tubing reeds in favor a copper rolled staple and Angus sized reeds. My plan is to perfect that style and understand how the different scrapes affect the playing of the reed.

With that under my belt I want to go back and try Britton's sized reeds and see if I can make them work with some adjustments probably necessary.

I have also read and heard about making reeds with the wet method. I want to try that as well in the future.

billh
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Re: Am I paying attention to the right Reed stuff?

Post by billh » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:49 am

Hi Bob,

From your posts, it is clear that your Angus chanter is a narrow-bore D.

You need to realize that this is a totally different animal from a 'normal' concert pitch chanter, thus any and all reedmaking methods, dimensions, etc. that apply to 'most' concert pitch chanters will not apply to you. It seems from your posts that you haven't quite realized the extent to which this is true.

While I agree that some dimensions in reedmaking don't rigidly apply, this is not true of the staple. The staple dimensions for a reed are extremely critical dimensionally. A tenth of a millimeter in inner diameter is a fairly big difference.

6mm overhang from the staple top to where the binding ends is quite far. I would suggest trying to get this down to 3mm or less. This will challenge your tying skills.

Don't worry about brass versus copper, or wet versus dry tying - stick with the maker's recommendations, and the right staple and reed head width, otherwise you're likely to get lost in the wilderness of reed variables. The rest of the challenge has to do with skill in shaping the reed head and forming even blades of the correct stiffness profile, which only comes with lots and lots of practice. Concentrate on making precise, accurate staples, and preparing, tying, and scraping the slips.

- Bill

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