Sep
15

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Pipehacker Project: The Chanter Cap Reed Dryer

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The chanter cap has become as ubiquitous a part of the pipe box as a roll of black tape. But moisture left on the reed after playing can have adverse effects while the reed is resting within that cap. Black spots of mold and general decay will shorten the life of any reed. Luckily, the modern piper has also got a slew of compounds to help deal with moisture issues. Moisture absorbing crystals or gel, combined with a trusty chanter cap, can certainly be an effective way to keep your main reed in good playing order between sessions. But why use a commercially produced gizmo? Dig out those spare pipe parts—and that spare “kitty litter” and craft an easy solution to keep your best reed in good condition. Read More

Sep
5

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Small Tunes Podcast: “The Red Coat”

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“The Red Coat” is tune that evokes the image of pressing red-coated English infantryman—something that inspired a good number of Jacobite rallying lyrics in the rebellions of the early 1700s. It has been forever burned into the American cultural consciousness as well. The “strathspey” is also something forever burned into the musical consciousness of all pipers. Download the score and listen to the podcast for more background and a rendition of the tune on the bagpipe.

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Projects

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The Salvaged Wood Smallpipe

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fellow bagpipe addict and pipehacker-in-training Johnny L. stopped by for a visit recently and he is the first recipient of the “Pipehacker DIYB award.” OK, I made that…

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Pipehacker Tip: The DIY Pipe Bag Seasoning Funnel

Friday, April 8, 2011

Bagpipe bag seasoning is messy stuff. The wide mouth opening of your modern container of Airtight makes it an easy matter to make a clean pour into your…

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Pipehacker Project: The Reed Capsule

Friday, March 11, 2011

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…

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Pipehacker Project: The Personal Reed Case

Friday, February 4, 2011

An enterprising bagpiper can accumulate a large number of chanter reeds over time. But once you find those choice bits of cane, what do you do with them?…

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Pipehacker Tip: Bagpipe Bag Hole Punch

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

For those new to the hide bag tie-in, it has always been necessary to measure out and place the spots where your stocks will insert. A quarter-sized hole is then cut into the leather and the stock pushed through. The trick is always to get as round a hole as possible. The more perfectly circular the hole, the less likely it will be to tear when you push your stock through. The only way to do this well is to have an ideally sized “punch” to stamp out that hole.

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Pipehacker Project: The DIY Blowstick Valve

Friday, November 12, 2010

Are there any pipers left who remember the days of leather blowstick flapper valves? The little circles of old bag leather that dried up and had to be gnawed back to life in order to function? No? Well, once upon a time pipers had to make their own flapper valves to tie on to their blowpipes.

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Pipehacker Project: The Black Art of Black Wax

Friday, October 22, 2010

Back in the day, the gooey black bits of “cobbler’s wax” were oftentimes a melted mess in a piper’s maintenance kit awaiting their next turn at a strand of hemp. What is simply globs of pine resin and pitch (otherwise known by the scientific name “soot”), the stuff was crumbly, sticky, and infuriating at the same time but has always been ideal for sticking that first wrap of hemp on your pipe tenons. But what do you do when your chunk of black wax has crumbled to nothing?

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Pipehacker Project: A Case for the Eyeglasses Drone Reed Case

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Over the years, I have acquired many sets of drone reeds. Right now, I’ve got two combination sets going for solo and band playing that comprise three different makes. It has been an ongoing challenge keeping them packed safe and sound while they are not being played or transported in my pipe case.

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