Boxwood for UIlleann pipes?

Boxwood for UIlleann pipes?

Hi all. I’m going to get a set of pipes and I’ve the possibily of get a 1/2 set (or 3/4 I don’t know yet) completly in Boxwood. I’ve heard that tends to fissure and warp with relatively facility, but I like how look these pipes. I also have heard that climate in wich pipes are is quite important. I’m in Spain. What do you think about that wood on UP? Anyone have pipes on boxwood or know anyone have them? Thank you in advance.

Toni

Re: Boxwood for UIlleann pipes?

I have a boxwood chanter and don’t have any trouble with it. Should be fine so long so long as you have a good piece of wood and a pipemaker who knows what they’re doing. I prefer the sound of box, as it seems a bit brighter to my ear than other types of wood.

Re: Boxwood for UIlleann pipes?

My pipes are blackwood drones and regulators, but all the ferrules and mountings — all the bits that used to be made of ivory — are boxwood. It is very stable, fine-grained and hard-wearing, and I have never had a problem with swelling or shrinkage in damp or dry weather. If the maker knows what he is doing I wouldn’t anticipate any problems with all-boxwood, and it is a very pleasing colour.

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Re: Boxwood for UIlleann pipes?

Toni:
Talk to the maker if possible. Tell him all about the climate and weather where you live, and ask what his experience has been.

Also, you might ask other bagpipers what their experiences and issues have been in the past.

They might play great highlands or gaitas, but there are paralells between the types.

Good Luck.

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Re: Boxwood for UIlleann pipes?

Long pieces of box will, chanters and regulators, react considerably different, in a dry climate, from small pieces like used in mounts.

If you’re in a dry part of Spain then consider carefully.

In general boxwood is more prone to warp than n blackwood, it won’t give a lot of problems in concert pitch sets in a damp climate like the Irish one. Longer pieces like for a B can be more troublesome and I have seen a Bflat set go ‘bananas’.

I have an old box chanter (around C# I’d think) that I don’t use. It has developed a bit of a bend in recent years. And that’s in the West of Ireland.

A dry climate can make matters more tricky, especially when the wood was turned in a higher humidity compared to the one it will be playing in. Talk to the maker who will make your pipes.

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Re: Boxwood for UIlleann pipes?

Thank you all. I’ll ask to my maker about it.

Re: Boxwood for UIlleann pipes?

Interesting discussion. I am not a pipe player, ut have other instruments. In Chicago, we have heavy duty winter conditions and many older buildings heat 4-6 months out of the year with steam or hot water radiators. Humidity is extrememly low- 0%to 5% Rh sometimes

Speaking of the ‘small bits’, I would exercise caution in low umidity. I lost a wonderful older guitar to low humidity causing failure of the small bits- The glue the maker used dried out and failed when the wood expereinced shrinkage year to year.

The advice to talk to players in your area as a general approach, most prudent. I didn’t realize Spain had humidity issues. Learned something today

Re: Boxwood for UIlleann pipes?

I have a laburnum chanter made by Robbie hughes, got it made in 1994, i asked him to make it with laburnum because i have a set of hamish moore smallpipes made of the same wood. He said he’d never used the wood before and said it would be £20 more expensive, best £20 i ever spent the wood ha darkened way down from the bright yellow colour it was at the start but the sound is lovely and sweet, no problems with the wood in other climates either, good luck!

Re: Boxwood for UIlleann pipes?

Toni:
I will speak what is to many blasphemy.
Plastics. Synthetic reeds. Economy pipes.

If this is your first set of pipes, what about synthetics? There are makers turning out decent pipes in plastics, and prices are competitive.

If you are just beginning, you could get your starter set without having to spend a lot of money you will regret not having in the better set you will eventually move on to.

Only a suggestion, as I do not know your experience level on the pipes at this point.

Good Luck/
Buena Suerte.

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Re: Boxwood for UIlleann pipes?

Who is making successful Synthetic reeds for chanters?

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Re: Boxwood for UIlleann pipes?

My bad, Prof. - probably me lapsing into Sackpipa Land.
(I heard something amazing the other day)

Ignore the reference to reeds, please, Toni.

Right, though - I have heard nothing either solid about a successful chanter reed for uilleanns.

Once in awhile, I read something about someone trying plastic from some odd source (yogurt cup lids, spatulas, pocket combs handles, whatever), but apparently nonoe of them can reliably do what a decent cane reed will do.

I think the answer might lie in abandoning the idea of making a "cane" reed out of plastic - the answer lies in abandoning the traditional design and finding a whole new concept.
Ie, thinking totally out of the box.

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Re: Boxwood for UIlleann pipes?

Synthetic reeds work fine for drones. Two out of my three are synthetic.

Re: Boxwood for UIlleann pipes?

The problem so far is the two octaves reeds need to play in the Irish chanter. Spruce and other wooden reeds have been making some inroads among US (dry climate) pipers but, that aside, for chanters cane hasn’t really been matched so far.

Yoghurt container plastic and Coke tin aluminium reeds for regulators are viable although for tone I’d probably take cane (I also find the unmovable tuning of the non cane reeds doesn’t move with the chanter reed like a cane reed does so you’re re-tuning your chanter more often during playing, something I don’t like doing).

Drones have more solutions but cane still sounds nicest. After elder ofcourse.

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Re: Boxwood for UIlleann pipes?

SS: If I may ask -

Which drone reeds, and who made them?

And are they the equal of natural reeds you have used?

Thanks.

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Hubert kwisthout pipe maker

Has someone heard about this uilleann pipe maker? Any owner of a set of his pipes? How are them? thank you