Monday, February 18, 2008

The PVC nightmare

Soon, I came across a whole load of information about PVC bagpipe making, and then my nightmare began.

Having spent my childhood amongst a million tools my father used to have, or living in places where you can just go down the road and buy anything from the hardware centre it was really frustrating living in Munich, where every single type of screw is sold in a special little shop... and such shops are scattered all over the city and nowhere to be found in the internet.

Components like epoxy were impossible to find. I tried everywhere, including OBI and IKEA... nothing.

In the end I gave up the idea of building my own chanter and drones.

I did manage to learn about construction of pipebags in vinyl and plastic reeds. I made a practise goose with a really good bag, with no moisture problems. I used contact cement (others advice to use transparent silicon, the one which smells like vinegar) on the seam and then stitched it together with strong thread, two layers. The thing was airtight from the very beginning.

The idea for the flapper valve came on a dream, actually. I used some transparent flexible plastic (the one from the blisters you can by things on display, although some salads also come in a kind of container that is really good too) The valve was airtight like nothing else in the world could achieve, but it raspberried when blowing in :S

All together the thing was almost umplayable, because the chanter was the practice chanter I had, and the blowpipe was made of epoxy putty. The thing was so heavy that I had to lift it constantly with my lips, which is insane if you add the pressure of your blowing, etc.

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