Staple dimensions

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Staple dimensions

Postby Francis Wood » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:23 pm

A posting today on Dartmouth enquiring about suitable dimensions for staple tube brought an interesting reply from Colin Hill, about having used the sheet metal from food tins, forming this around a 4mm drill shank. Like most of us he now uses the standard brass or aluminium tubing with the 5/32" (4mm) interior diameter and the 3/16" (4.76mm) exterior.

However, that's a useful reminder that the rolled staple method was the usual way of making historical reeds - they generally relied on the binding to keep them airtight. No doubt, that's exactly what the Reids did when they developed the present basic form of the instrument.

One possible disadvantage is the inevitable slight variability in that method. On the other hand, errors often lead to valuable discoveries. Just how invariable should the currently standard dimensions be? Is anyone doing any experimentation in this area?

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Re: Staple dimensions

Postby Barry Say » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:00 pm

This is another posting which almost raises more questions than it gives answers.

As to the variability of reeds, when Colin Ross was encouraging pipers to take up reed making, one of his arguments was that if you were making reliable, high quality reeds for others, once in a while a 'magic' reed would turn up and you could keep that for yourself.

At one time Colin tried tapering his staples by driving a tapered drift down the tube. This would widen one end of the staple to 11/64. He thought to match the outlet of the staple to the bore of the chanter, but insofar as he found any effect, it seemed that there was a slight benefit when the wider end was in the staple.

If we were to use a 5mm od staple, the id of the staple would then be closer to the 11/64 (4.35mm) of the chanter bore (given the same wall thickness)

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Re: Staple dimensions

Postby adrian » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:20 am

Why use a tapered staple in a straight bore?
Tapered reed, yes.
Normal staple, that I use, works well in 11/64.
If I was to use a narrow staple, I would have to scrape the reed more and open it out.
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Re: Staple dimensions

Postby Dave S » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:47 pm

adrian wrote:Why use a tapered staple in a straight bore?
Tapered reed, yes.
Normal staple, that I use, works well in 11/64.
If I was to use a narrow staple, I would have to scrape the reed more and open it out.


Hi Adrian,

The staple taper is a function of hole spacing on the top end of the chanter --- more taper the lower the notes thus the holes are moved up the stick -- and vice-versa. So the maker has to match his staple to his bore and hole spacing.
It has a lot to do with the implied impedance of the resonating tube, less so in parallel bores but more so in conical bores, where the reed replaces the missing length of tube that will allow free resonance at a given pitch -- I think you might call it back-pressure -- some of which is needed to make the reed close then open then close ad inf
I assume some buy in a batch of reeds, find a really good one and a selection of reasonable reeds and then place the finger holes based on the reed they consider the most re-producible. Others make the reed to the chanter which has already been drilled for convenience and comfort of hand, and save the details for the next chanter -- perhaps you are in this category.
Whichever the method it boils down to having the correct ratio of width of reed blade to the blade length in a staple that matches - and is placed at the proper position between the blades -- which can then resonate freely in the tube --

Cheers

Dave S
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Re: Staple dimensions

Postby adrian » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:30 pm

I use a flattened ended staple. Archie Dagg had a good scrape, which I use. I use a a staple which has the least taper because of gurgling on the middlle D.
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