Summer 2019:

A Swedish säckpipa. I have made one säckpipa before, about 12 years ago, for a friend of mine. Recently i've been wishing i had one of my own, and it took an embarassingly long time to remember "oh i could just go ahead and make one." Um.

So here we are. Materials will be myrtle wood. Actually that's the only material, since the säckpipa is basic enough that there's no extra plastic or metal parts at all, just seven pieces of wood.


Here are the stocks.


The blowpipe. Traditionally the Swedish bagpipe is mouthblown but since this is my own instrument i am of course playing it with a bellows.

Here are the two drone pieces. One interesting detail is that the tuning slide is kind of reversed from the drones i'm used to: the tuning slide tenon slides down into the drone standing piece.

The chanter, turned and with the fingerholes drilled. It's still waiting for some major work...


One really distinctive feature of the säckpipa is the deep scallops on the fingerholes. My personal theory is that no matter how cold the winter is in Sweden, and no matter how numb your fingers are, you basically can't miss the holes.

At this point we're ready for tying in and reeds.

(Jan 2020) The hunt has been on for suitable airtight leather for making bags. I have some other pre-made bags "in stock" but the Swedish pipe uses a different shaped bag than an uilleann pipe or Scottish smallpipe, so i wanted to make a suitable bag. Finding a source for good airtight leather has been uphill work. I wound up contacting Columbia Organ Leathers which made sense since there's lots of different leather inside a pipe organ. This is their "CCL Black Gussett Cowhide" and it is quite lovely. I like to use this style of glued bags - they're quick and easy to make, and quite a bit easier to tie in than a sewn bag, especially around the chanter stock.

Last updated on 23 January 2020, by Penny.
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