Summer 2010 :

A flat set of uilleann pipes in C, for Darren M. of Victoria. Ultimately it will end up as a 3/4 set, although it'll take a while. They'll be made of cocobolo, boxwood and brass.

While i'm making parts for Darren's C pipes, i may just sneak in parts to upgrade/expand my own C set at the same time...

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

(2 June 2010) Officially under way! The first thing i wanted to do was to try turning the boxwood, to see if it could take the detail i want for the mounts. And does it ever! This is one of my new favourite turning woods. I suppose there's a good reason it's been so popular for so long.

Alongside is the chanter top "crown" for my own set, in plumwood and fake ivory.

Here's the chanter stock, fresh off the lathe. The cocobolo should eventually darken with exposure to a rich dark red.

(9 June) Chanter top crowns, blowpipes & stocks, and Darren's chanter stock, polished and ready for tying in. Darren's blowpipe is different from my "standard" design - it's made to mate with the bellows from his concert set.
(12 June) Chanter blanks: cocobolo & plum.
This is the drill series for step-drilling the chanter bore. Sixteen drills, alternating between "normal" long drills and my own homemade step drills. It's a long procedure but certainly not dull, and the step drills make it pretty easy to end up with a good, concentric stepped-cone result.
The cocobolo chanter blank after step-drilling, outside turning (to re-centre the bore) and reaming.
(26 June) Here is the plum chanter turned and ready to have the key mounts shaped and fingerholes drilled. I'm doing my own chanter first as a prototype to get any bugs worked out, so Darren will get the revised version.

I've switched to using this slitting saw for cutting keyways. It's got a couple of advantages over using endmills. It cuts a slot that's a hair closer to nominal size, meaning a better fit for the keys. Also, it leaves a curved bottom in the slot, which makes more room and a better action for the key springs.

(29 June) My prototype (plum) chanter, ready for reedmaking and fine tuning.
(28 Aug 2012) After WAY too long a hiatus, we're back to the C pipes! This project was one of the things that fell victim to my shoulder condition last year, and i've since been beating my head up against the wall reeding this chanter. It's (mostly) playing at this point, so i'm starting on the keywork. This is Darren's chanter, cocobolo & boxwood.
The chanter keywork is done - the practice set stage is finally ready to go!

(July 2013) I've been off working on other projects, and now this set has come back to the top of my list! I'm going to try something new this time: my plan is to make the drones for Darren's C set at the same time as the drones for Lesley's concert set. Certainly some parts are more sensibly made in batches, and all the materials will be the same. We'll see how it works out.

I've started with the mainstock, made of maple and brass.

Here is the back view showing the valve plate and the stock cup.

(29 July) Here are two bass drones' worth of bends and "pucks."

(31 Aug) Here's all the drone sections, turned round and bored out - ready to be made into actual drone parts. The C set is the back row, the D set is in the front.
The first drone sections. This is the baritone drone.
(28 Sept) Here's the tenor drone.
(7 Oct) And here are the wooden parts of the bass drone. That's all the drone parts made! From here it's finishing/polishing, assembling & gluing together everything that gets glued together.

(15 Oct) The drones are finished & assembled - just waiting for reeds & tying in.

(26 Oct) The drones are reeded, tied in and playing well!

(Click the image for a larger version.)

Last updated on 28 October 2013, by Penny.

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