A forum to discuss the arcane art of making uilleann pipes, reeds, and set maintenance.
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This is something I do with my chanter reeds, which I haven't seen mentioned anywhere else. I cut a piece of plastic straw about 5mm long and roll it up so that I can slide it inside the staple. I then slide it carefully up until it gets to the flattened part, when it won't easily slide up any further. This creates a constriction at this point within the staple which creates a back pressure effect on the reed which I find very nice. This back pressure makes it possible to get a little something extra in terms of reed response - giving a better feel or definition ( its hard to describe this effect but it is significant ) from the notes of the chanter. The reeds I make are very light playing so I'm playing with a very low airflow. I suppose that those who play harder reeds at higher volume might not find extra back pressure so useful. But I just thought it was worth adding here for the record.
Are you using tubular or rolled staples? The reason I ask is that maybe your bit of plastic in a tubular staple is making up the difference to come closer to a rolled staple (just a guess).
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I use copper tubing staples. The constriction has the effect of changing the airflow from wide to narrow and back to wide again - something more along the lines of pumping air through an hour glass. I should say that I would only use this method in chanter reeds. This added back pressure wouldn't work well with regulator reeds.
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