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Can/Should I use Yew for a practice chanter???

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PhilipL

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I believe a gun drill is the tool to use. There is a classic book on making wind instruments which I have had for many years but never got around to using in anger. It is on the top shelf of my bookshelves and I can't get to it to get the title just now due to boxes. It gives instructions on making tools.

You might also be interested in Handbook of Materials for Wind Musical Instruments | SpringerLink on materials for woodwind musical instruments.

Philip

Edit: "The Amateur Wind Instrument Maker" by Trevor Robinson
 
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As Philip says above a gun drill is the best thing to use, D bits can be used but I prefer gun drills.

I bought mine from Hammonds, I think it was about £60 at the time. If intending to make a lot of pcs then this is a worthwhile expense. Hammonds were good to deal with and very helpful when I explained what I was up to. I believe a number of makers have bought from them in the past.

A good place for advice on pipe making is over on Facebook, there is a group called 'Bagpipe Makers Exchange'. There's drawings and files available for practice chanters and many other types of bagpipes plus advice from some very knowledgeable amateur and professional makers.

Iain
 

Hornbeam

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I didnt think anybody played bagpipes. I thought they just made a racket.:LOL:
 
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Yorkieguy

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Some years ago when I made table lamps etc, I used a Record Power 'long hole borer' kit designed for the task. It used a special auger rather than a drill and bored perfectly straight holes with no 'wander'. There's a video of the kit in use at the link below, but they seem to be out of stock everywhere, so whether that means they're no longer made, I've no idea:

record power long hole borer kit - Bing video

Hope that's of interest.

Good luck in your endeavours Simon.

David.
 

Awac

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I've got some amazing Yew--and am aware of it's toxic properties--always wear a respirator when turning it--but I'd really love to use this for a practice chanter which would involve blowing into the thing. Can I do this? Should I use epoxy or something to seal the whole thing inside and out--or just go with a different wood equally as close grained?

all suggestions much appreciated--photo attached of blank on the lathe

Simon.
I like carving wood spoons, and it makes me worry when people carve them from yew, I got into a right “debate” with someone on instagram when I pointed out that yew is toxic….what do I know?


Those searching for evidence of yew wood toxicity will no doubt find reference to the observations of the Roman naturalist and philosopher Pliny the Elder who, in his Natural History (AD 77-79), noted that ‘even wine flasks for travellers made of its wood in Gaul are known to have caused death.’ In the modern scientific literature, however, evidence for yew wood causing health problems is limited to a few cases of irritation or dermatitis.

BUT AT THE END….

The toxicity of the taxine alkaloids detected in yew heartwood is not known. However, as the Kew chemists readily detected taxine contamination in wine into which yew wood had been placed, it would seem sensible to caution against testing Pliny’s observation and not drink wine from a yew wood utensil.

I can only assume that the poison is always there and it has a trigger with liquid. Your mouth has liquid which is why I don’t like the idea of a wood spoon or an instrument? Anyway, if you do make it from yew leave a uk workshop donor card for your tools to me please…..lol. Now there is an idea….!
 

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