Archive | February, 2016

Northumbrian Pipe Maker – Drone Stocks

 Northumbrian Pipes Drone Stocks

When starting a set, I quite like to building the drones from the stocks upwards.  This means I need to make the stock first, then rough out the standing sections and finally the sliding parts of each drone.  Following this plan, I’ve made up the drone stock for the keyless smallpipes set.

northumbrian pipes

Starting with a rounded length of blackwood and a section of brass tube.

northumbrian pipes

The Blackwood is roughly shaped and drilled to take the drones.












northumbrian pipes

The stock is reversed in the lathe and the taper shaped.

northumbrian pipes

Now the body of the stock is hollowed out.












Northumbrian pipes

The brass ferrule is fitted and it’s ready for final polishing.









Now this is complete I can start turning the drones and build the set up form this base.

For more information contact




Northumbrian Pipe Maker – Tagua Nuts

Northumbrian Pipes – Materials for Mounts

Tagua Nuts

Tagua Nuts

I received a nice parcel containing Tagua Nuts recently.  These are from the Palm Nut family, and are also known as Vegetable Ivory.  They’ve been used over the years for making buttons and for decorative carvings.

Each nut is about the size of a Satsuma.  Under the skin, the nut has a hard, waxy texture and is a lovely creamy, ivory colour.  Always on the look out for new materials to experiment with, and as makers of other types of bagpipes have been using these for mounts, I was keen to give them a go.

northumbrian pipes

On the lathe, they turned beautifully and easily and I was excited by the way they worked.  But then I found their problem.

Pipe Mounts

Each nut has a hollow area in the centre, which only became apparent when the work was almost completed.

Because drone and chanter end caps are relatively large, I couldn’t turn them without encroaching on this ‘space’ in the nut.

Sadly, it doesn’t look like these will be viable.  It would be possible to cut the nuts open before using them, and select a piece which would be suitable to smaller mounts or ferrules, but it’s a shame they wont be suitable for end caps as it’s a lovely material.


Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes