The Pipe Band Forum  
Hello Unregistered , welcome to the PBF!

Go Back   The Pipe Band Forum > Piping Area > Piping Maintenance, Technical Help
& Products Lab

Custom Search
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 27-05-08, 07:08 PM   #1
phyx
thread killer
 
phyx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Ottawa, ON
Age: 37
Posts: 2,940
Casino cash: $3131

Country:
Thanks: 1,488
Thanked 756 Times in 529 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Ouellette View Post
I'm also confident in Jerry's assurance that he will be turning the pipes himself & only using the very best & darkest ABW for the job...which we (he & I) have affectionatly labeled..."the Gibson Signiture series" pipe.
I was told that they do not use lower grade wood from one set to another and that it's all the same. They use the same wood for their lowest priced to highest priced pipes. Therefore, you cannot possibly have the best ABW for your pipes--just the same stuff that everyone else gets.
__________________
I rock to piobaireachd.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
phyx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-08, 08:06 PM   #2
Paul Ouellette
PBF Piping Advisor
 
Paul Ouellette's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Windsor Ontario
Posts: 839
Casino cash: $10894

Country:
Thanks: 42
Thanked 492 Times in 249 Posts
Default

Phyx :

As in many things...there's good, there's better & then there's exceptional...aren't all the girl's in the Miss Universe...pretty ??

My understanding of the process (subject to correction...) is this...

When ABW is ordered, the wood arrives at a pipmaker's shop in (set of 14) small blocks, of pre-cut sets by the wholesaler.

Nail, MacCallum, Gibson, Atherton, etc...(as I am told...) all get their original wood from the same 9 wholesalers...& it's all musical grade ABW.

It's in the process of turning the wood down to it's final shape, where an experienced pipemaker can determine how dark, knotted, grained & dense an individual bagpipe part actually is...since what's inside the square block is not always apparent by looking at the outside.

It's also true that any pipemaker who wants to survive, had best turn out a quality product...or risk being a subject for public ridicule in this forum & others.

With the love of the art assending & communication as instantanious as we have it today...is it any wonder why we have better products available for us all to enjoy ?

It's the natural evolution of our idiom.

Welcome to the brave new world.

P.

Last edited by Paul Ouellette; 27-05-08 at 08:27 PM..
Paul Ouellette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-08, 08:25 PM   #3
phyx
thread killer
 
phyx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Ottawa, ON
Age: 37
Posts: 2,940
Casino cash: $3131

Country:
Thanks: 1,488
Thanked 756 Times in 529 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Ouellette View Post
Phyx :

As in many things...there's good, there's better & then there's exceptional...aren't all the girl's in the Miss Universe...pretty ??

My understanding of the process (subject to correction...) is this...

When ABW is ordered, the wood arrives at a pipmaker's shop in (set od 14) small blocks, of pre-cut sets by the wholesaler.

Nail, MacCallum, Gibson, Atherton, etc...(as I am told...) all get their original wood from the same 9 wholesalers...it's all musical grade ABW.

It's in the process of turning the wood down to it's final shape, where an experienced pipemaker can determine how dark, knotted, grained & dense an individual bagpipe part actually is...since what's inside the square block is not always apparent by looking at the outside.

It's also true that any pipemaker who wants to survive, had best turn out a quality product...or risk being a subject for public ridicule in this forum & others.

With the love of the art assending & communication as instantanious as we have it today...is it any wonder why we have better products available for us all to enjoy ?

It's the natural evolution of our idiom.

Welcome to the brave new world.

P.
Meh...

Looks like a case of "There's the truth...and there's the TRUTH."

Guess only one of us got the truth...
__________________
I rock to piobaireachd.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
phyx is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to phyx For This Useful Post:
jsragman77 (05-06-08)
Old 27-05-08, 11:18 PM   #4
Bobby
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Reality
Posts: 3,714
Casino cash: $5065

Country:
Thanks: 801
Thanked 997 Times in 665 Posts
Default

I've moved this discussion to it's own thread in case someone wants to continue discussing it.
Bobby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-08, 11:34 PM   #5
Bobby
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Reality
Posts: 3,714
Casino cash: $5065

Country:
Thanks: 801
Thanked 997 Times in 665 Posts
Default

My interpretation/understanding of any bagpipe maker stating that a premium selection is being made, has always been that they use quality wood and dimensions in all of their products. To ME the use of the phrase "specially selected" has always meant that someone senior in the company has gone a step further to hand pick wood that has the same visual characteristics as the other pieces before, during and after the instruments are made. Closer looking colour, closer looking pattern to the grain etc.. It could also mean that they do have a very small stash of wood they have been adding to and saving for a special purpose. You would have to ask the bagpipe makers personally to find out for certain.

I've always thought that considering that the vast majority of their products are going to be in the lower price ranges and to customers on whose purchase their reputations are going to be made, why would they intentionally sabotage themselves by using inferior lumber for the market that matters most to them? I'm not a pipe maker and I don't pick their lumber for them or cure it for them. I would have to hear the answer from the pipe makers themselves to give a better answer.

I know that Jerry is quite advanced in years. I'm not sure how much of the day to day operation he is directly involved with, but I'm sure if you contact him or any pipe maker they'll answer your questions as long as you're polite and it doesn't give away any of their trade secrets or business information I would imagine.
Bobby is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Bobby For This Useful Post:
Paul Ouellette (28-05-08)
Old 28-05-08, 02:34 AM   #6
UpstatePiper
Super V.I.P.
 
UpstatePiper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 1,428
Casino cash: $4716

Country:
Thanks: 116
Thanked 450 Times in 322 Posts
Default

When I go to the lumber yard and buy 2x4's they have all been graded. It's all #2 grade. That's probably similar to going to a specialty wood supplier and buying "musical instrument grade" ABW.

When I pick the 2x4s out of the pile, all of which have been stamped with the #2 grade stamp, I can see that there is a pretty wide range of quality from board to board. I pick out what seem to be the best at the moment. When I get home I pick the very best to go into door frames. I use the worst to cut up for blocking.

But they all start out the same grade.

Now if I was a specialty wood wholesaler, would I be willing to sift through the bin and pick out the better quality within the grade for one client? You bet I would. In any business you make most of your money from a small group of clients. You treat them best because you can't afford to loose them.

If I was a pipemaker would I set aside the best wood I got for for the best pipes? Seems kind of stupid not to. If I sort out studs why not blocks of ABW? When I use plywood in furniture I use the best sides for the parts of the furniture you see the most. It seems unbelievable that any woodworker wouldn't sort his wood. I even found a half of a 2x4 that was so nice once I decided to set it aside for a special project. Maybe a fiddle neck. It's got beautiful straight, tight grain, and it's probably 25 years old now. Just waiting.
UpstatePiper is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to UpstatePiper For This Useful Post:
Mike S (05-06-08), Paul Ouellette (28-05-08)
Old 28-05-08, 02:30 PM   #7
Bobby
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Reality
Posts: 3,714
Casino cash: $5065

Country:
Thanks: 801
Thanked 997 Times in 665 Posts
Default

Comments I've had from a number of pipe makers is that they do sift through what is sent to them by the suppliers. They'd be crazy not to. There is always a portion that they reject as not up to the standards they have, and some pieces that have enough of it that is usefull for small items or repair work that is sent to them such as repairing a broken tuning pin for someone, or making a projecting mount or stock. IF enough of the block of wood is good enough for those purposes, they will keep the good part and cut off the bad and dispose of it. If a piece of wood has a flaw in a section that makes it unsuitable for making a bass top section for instance, that doesn' mean there isn;t enough that can't be used to make a blowpipe or a few stocks. I once saw a set of vey old Lawrie pipes ( quite a nice sound to them from what I recall) where every tuning pin was threaded on as a separate piece. Lot's of people have seen old Robertson's, and other brands, where the ivory mounts were sometimes in 2 or three pieces. Why waste the whole piece if some of it is still useful to them? Seems logical and a good material management practice.

What you describe,Upstate,seems to be fairly common material management among many different kinds of musical instrument makers from what I've heard and read. Putting aside the odd piece of lumber here and there that is exceptional in their view, for some special project at some point. I would be surprised if any pipe maker or other instrument maker didn't do that. I've read comments and heard stories over the years that the amount of blackwood being used by bagpipe makers is considered to be a drop in the bucket compared to the overall production and use by other instrument makers around the world. Kind of humbling and puts us in our place in the grand scheme of things if true. LOL
Bobby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-05-08, 04:43 PM   #8
UpstatePiper
Super V.I.P.
 
UpstatePiper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 1,428
Casino cash: $4716

Country:
Thanks: 116
Thanked 450 Times in 322 Posts
Default

When my wife bought her "new" violin a few years back, the guy who made it also sent a little folder with key dimensions (so any future repairman can take the original design into consideration). He also had some photos of the assembly. I think those were mainly to show off the hidden quality. But the most interesting bit to me, was a list of all the significant pieces of wood (top, back, neck, etc.) along with where they originated (the state where the wood grew), what kind of wood they were, where he bought them from (the names of the suppliers) and how old they were before he worked them. The top, for instance, was 25 years old and I think the tree grew in New Hampshire.
UpstatePiper is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to UpstatePiper For This Useful Post:
Bobby (28-05-08), Mike S (05-06-08), phyx (28-05-08)
Old 28-05-08, 05:21 PM   #9
dharron
Secret Agent.
 
dharron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Santiago de Chile
Age: 65
Posts: 6,971
Casino cash: $13415

Country:
Thanks: 603
Thanked 831 Times in 574 Posts
Default

While not a piper, I do have a lot of interest in wood and in fine craftsmanship so have been following this thread.

Upstate, the documents you mention will greatly increase the value of the violin as years go by, and the difference can be huge compared to an similar instrument without such documentation. Make sure you keep the originals in a safe place and make a set of copies for other use, including insurance purposes.

When one pays a lot of money for a custom made item, but especially something as personal as an instrument, it has to be almost like adopting a child. Of course you want to know as much as possible about the child's background, right?
__________________
Some days depression is the only thing that makes the day worth living.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
My Countdown Counting down to: Guess!
Ok, that's one year down...
dharron is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to dharron For This Useful Post:
Bobby (28-05-08), phyx (28-05-08), UpstatePiper (28-05-08)
Old 28-05-08, 05:28 PM   #10
Bobby
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Reality
Posts: 3,714
Casino cash: $5065

Country:
Thanks: 801
Thanked 997 Times in 665 Posts
Default

Those papers could become historically significant in later years! Imagine if Stradivarius had done that!
Bobby is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Bobby For This Useful Post:
phyx (28-05-08)
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Who makes the best blackwood pipe chanter? joegoat General Piping Room 20 26-03-09 07:33 PM
Ebony vs Blackwood Reid General Piping Room 8 25-03-09 10:37 PM
blackwood prices Bobby General Piping Room 18 03-12-08 07:25 PM
if not blackwood or ebony.... Bobby General Piping Room 14 01-12-08 01:30 AM
If blackwood and ebony disappeared Bobby General Piping Room 29 14-04-08 05:00 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.