staples and reed relationship

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staples and reed relationship

Postby ethnopiper » Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:25 am

Hi, can anyone advice about the relationship between the length of the chanter reed staple and the length of the reed blades? lets say we have the measurements of the northumbrian smallpipe chanter reed in F, and we want to sharpen the reed so it fits the chanter. the information given is to cut a bit off the top of the reed to make it sharp... but what happens if we cut a bit off the staple instead? would nt this make it sharper too? leave the blade alone and shorted the staple?
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Full Name: kevin Tilbury

Re: staples and reed relationship

Postby pipemakermike » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:48 pm

Shortening the staple is only useful if it enables the reed to be pushed further into the socket. There is a critical relationship between the tip of the reed and the finger holes. making the tip of the reed closer to the fingerholes will sharpen the holes nearest to the reed much more than the holes further away from the reed. moving the reed in and out is done to get the top and bottom of the chanter intune with itself i.e. top g and bottom G a perfect octave. Changing the geometry of the blades of the reed can change the whole pitch of the chanter. Clipping the tip of the reed will usually sharpen the whole chanter and may also require the reed to be moved in or out to restore the relationship between the top and the bottom notes of the chanter. reeds are all different and only trial and error will find the perfect setting for a reed and, hopefully, before the reed is wrecked. It has proved to impossible to find a method of putting the tip back on<G>
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Full Name: Mike Nelson

Re: staples and reed relationship

Postby Tpfairfax » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:39 pm

I have been experimenting with GHP practice chanter reeds (in order to try to get an off the peg reed solution for a wet blown chanter (see other threads on NSP practice chanters). These have a long staple. I have tried clipping both ends. As an observation, clipping the staple is actually not as easy as it might sound... requiring a certain amount of messing about to achieve the objective without destroying the reed. It also seems to have a more deeply complicated effect on the actual reed dynamics than my limited intellect could rationalise!

In the end, clipping and sanding the tip had a more predictable result...though within relatively tight limits - before the overall balance of the reed is knocked off....

The other option that I tried was to move the wrapping so as to be able to get the staple deeper into the chanter - Mike's post refers - this was partially successful in GHP PC reeds with a longer shank - but may be a challenge with NSP reeds.

The most effective result came from rebuilding the thing from scratch to the correct dimensions... (though this slightly defeats the off the peg objective).

Hope this helps!

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