Spring/Summer 2009 :

This is a tenor regulator for for Bryan H. of Ladysmith, BC. Once again, this is to go with his Chris Langan chanter, and the drones i made for that set a few years ago.

The project so far (scroll down for the latest update):

Here's the before picture. This is a square of mopane, which is what we chose for the drones, as a decent colour match for Bryan's Chris Langan chanter. So far, mopane is my absolute favourite pipemaking wood.

Here is the drill series for the bore. There are 9 drills, including 3 stepped drills of my own design, which helps keep the steps concentric.

On the right is the tapered reamer. It's reverse-spiral fluted, and is one i got in a group purchase a few years ago. This is the first time i've used it, and i had to make the handle for it before i could. (A day may come when i can just go make an instrument without having to make any new tools - but it is not this day.)

Here is the blank after rough turning, step drilling, re-turning (to centre the bore) and reaming.

Next is turning the outside profile, leaving the key mounts proud.

(23 Mar) The outside turning is complete!
(31 Mar) Here's the ferrule and end cap. Once again, i'm trying to follow the lines and shapes from the Chris Langan pipes i've examined. Since i've never seen one of his regulators, i'm having to extrapolate things a little - hopefully this will come out looking like a cohesive set.
(13 Apr) Things are going slowly but surely. Here i'm using my homemade milling spindle to work on the key blocks. I've cut away the bulk of the excess wood, drilled the key pivot holes, and slotted the mounts. Next is to clean up the final shapes of the blocks, then drill the toneholes and mill the keypad seats.
...Ready for keys!
(4 May) I've started the metalworking. On the left is the tuning plunger with a brass ball attached, and on the right is the first key, fresh off the torch. (Well, it's got a ways to go before it's a key, but it's a start...)
...And this is what it looks like after being turned into a key. That's one down, four to go.
...And another!
(1 June) That's 3 down, 2 to go! Hopefully i can get the remaining keys made in the next week or two...
(15 June) That's the lot! Now on to reedmaking and fine tuning.

(19 June) Complete! The regulator is reeded and playing well!

Regulators are typically fine-tuned by running a wire up the bore, and flattening individual notes by adding "stuff" to the wire near the offending holes. By pushing the whole assembly in or out, the player can move the lumps around to control the fine tuning. I'm using a .026 guitar string, with lumps of "blu-tack" poster putty.


Last updated on 19 June 2009, by Penny.

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