Pipehacker Project: The Reed Capsule

Even though you now has a portable reed case (as well as minty fresh breath) you still have need to store, transport, or otherwise protect your chanter and drone reeds from the abuses of modern piping activity and travel. Those band bus rides can be brutal after all. Hell, one day there will be the first piper in space and he or she will need to protect their reeds during escape velocity. So how does one protect their precious cane and carbon fiber? Surely, the enterprising pipehacker has plenty of scrap PVC laying around? If not, a quick trip to your local home builder megastore will have you stocked for a mere pittance. You are now supplied for quick, dirty, and easy assembly of industrial-strength containers for your chanter and drone reeds. The best part: they can be custom painted and decorated with your cool designs.

What You Need

  • Length of 1-1/2-inch PVC
  • Length of 1/2-inch PVC
  • two, 1-1/2-inch PVC caps
  • two, 1/2-inch PVC caps
  • Scrap piece of cotton cloth from an old shirt (6 x 6 inches)
  • Mitre or hacksaw
  • Deburring tool
  • Metal file or sandpaper
  • PVC cement or glue (optional)
  • Model paint or stickers, or other supplies for custom decoration (optional)

How to Do It

1. Prepare your materials. Cut your lengths of PVC using your mitre saw or hacksaw. Cut a 5-inch length of the 1-1/2-inch PVC (for drone reeds). Cut a 1-5/8-inch length of the 1/2-inch PVC (for chanter reeds). Debur and file the rough edges after cutting your pieces.



2. Assemble your first cap on one end and cement in place with PVC cement or glue if desired.



3. Assemble your drone capsule. Roll your drone reeds in the piece of cloth before inserting into your drone capsule. Cap the open ends of your capsules.


4. Assemble your chanter capsule. Place in up to five chanter reeds or fewer into your chanter reed capsule. Perfect sporran size!




5. Indestructible reed capsules ready for use and travels anywhere in the universe. Pipers a thousand years from now may unearth these and will still find your reeds in good working order. Continue making more capsules for as many sets of reeds as you need on hand.


6. Deocroated capsules will never be lost! A custom paint job with spray paint or Testor’s model enamel will give your pipe box some personality. Stick on color stickers from your downloads here and here or stick on your own designs.

  • josh-s

    How well do the caps stay on??

    • pipervin

      Very well, actually. PVC fittings are made for plumbing so they are very snug all by themselves.

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