View Full Version : Sticks to playing in 1 1/2 Hrs

25-02-10, 09:12 AM
Due to my continuing unemployment, and boredom lol, I offered to set up my my friend Scott Wallace's newly acquired Stark drones. ( just love messin' about wi drones )

These duly arrived as I said........a bundle of sticks.

Step one, ripped of all the old mixture of hemp thread 'n crap.
Step two, brushed all drones thoroughly......( no oil, I'll explain later ;-) )
Step three, rubbed some cobblers wax on the bare hemping pins, waxed the first foot or so then continued on with the hemping. When the correct amount was applied I then sealed the hemp with cork grease. The tops were easily brought down onto the button mounts ( sign of a good bore ), once this was done I fitted the pipe cords.

The reeds, Scott had two cartons of dolly mixture cane reeds for me to pick from.
The next step is how I set his drones up with cane reeds. ( a must fer SLOT )

My tenor reed was used as a guide, I corked off the remaining tenor and bass, used mine as a guide setting the desired height on the tuning pin to his band chanter.

Then came the task of finding a reed to match the position of the outside tenor, once that was done the bass was last in line.


Blew them up without the chanter just to get a feel of the drone sound. TBH I didn't know what to expect, but these particular drones are a great set. Bass is a tad lower than my Logan's tuning height ways, but I set it to where he requested, tenors have roughly 1/4'' of hemp showing.

Nice deep bass complimenting two warm tenors which lock in beautifully. Had to keep checking both were indeed going.

Now, my reason for not oiling is that these had been lying a while, so I've told him to blow them for a while prior to a light oiling.

My only reservations are these have a shitty shellac finish, al be telling him to take them to Fraser Warnock to get them stripped and a buffed waxed finish.
These pipes have the Stark heavy duty beading and the tiniest ferrules av ever seen, lovely bell tops capped off wi Ivory. Short tuning pins on the tenors, button mounts.

The more I look at these pipes the more I like them, it was a great afternoon, but I also learned a few things myself too working with a pipe of this age.

Hope they serve him well in his future with SLOT, no problems wi these pipes, if anything is wrong it'll be him / drone reeds. ATM these pipes are boomin'.

Good luck m8.

( very easily reeded for a pipe of this vintage.)

Fred Fomm
25-02-10, 12:28 PM
(...) I also learned a few things myself too working with a pipe of this age.

Just curious, Iain... How old precisely are they, any idea?


25-02-10, 03:22 PM
I love doing the same thing. Like bagpipe hospital!
I just gave a sweet little set of pipes a full makeover. By the time I was done I wanted to keep them....which is funny because they used to be mine!

Fred Fomm
25-02-10, 03:29 PM
Like bagpipe hospital!

When there's seasoning involved, feels like Gut Surgery ward...


25-02-10, 03:46 PM
Oh, I miss seasoning! I miss all the old things that made it such a yucky adventure. Chest hairs and seasoning and chewing on leather flapper valves. Such fun.

Fred Fomm
25-02-10, 03:53 PM
Oh, I miss seasoning!

Statistically someone has to, I believe.


Scarlet O'Hair
25-02-10, 05:31 PM
Here is a link to more of Starck's work, on Ron Bowen's The Bagpipe Place


25-02-10, 06:19 PM
Just curious, Iain... How old precisely are they, any idea?


He was told pre / early 1900........ can well believe it too.

scots wa hae
27-02-10, 08:15 AM
He was told pre / early 1900........ can well believe it too.

I think that would be about right mate! Theres a set almost identical lying for sale in stirling bagpipes and theyve been aged to around the same time.

27-02-10, 01:29 PM
Had a wee chat wi Craig Monroe last night 'n he agrees with me regarding the stripping of the shellac finish and having a buffed wax finish.

He also liked the pipes too and agreed pre 1900's, his own pipes were superb too ( Wallace Bagpipes ), I've set a set of these up with the Selbie reeds that come supplied with them. Great drones 'n a nice full bass sound. Great piping from Craig too, 'n ma wee m8 Gareth outa FM accompanied him on the bongos, very entertaining set.

scots wa hae
28-02-10, 08:36 AM
Is it a big job removing the shellac? I thought it would require a full bead and comb! I wanted the varnish removed fae ma robertsons n waxed but it was a full bead n comb job n that would take the age aff the pipes.