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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:40 am 
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I bought an Oak in four months ago that came saying "made in Ireland" on the packaging


They have been saying that for years, while Feadóg Teo were reportedly making them. That's also the reason why I took notice recently when I saw 'made in the USA' on the packaging again. I'll double check next time when I am in a shop that stocks them. Several webshops list it as US made (LarkitM, Andy's Front Hall) while others (Whistleshop) list it as Made in Ireland, possibly based on old(er) stock.

The US made Oaks used to look like this:

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You couldn't get them in Europe for a long time. Whistlers from the US would have them and Micho Russell brought one back from one of his trips. The distinct black headed whistle, in the days when whistleheads were red or blue only, was envied by many. After Micho died Gussie played it for a while.

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Materials-wise it's maybe of interest to note many forum members here complained for a period of time that playing their Oak would cause a tingling sensation or numbness of the lips.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:32 am 
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an seanduine wrote:
Ahem. "Cedar" is a very ambiguous term. In the Western/NorthWestern US where they use 'cedar' for roofs and siding, they use thuja plicata, not a true 'cedar', rather a 'cypress'. Got into the middle of this when making reeds for uilleann pipes.

Bob :D


Quite right, The cedar used in the US for things like blanket chests is actually a juniper, though sold commercially as "eastern red cedar"
I have been making Clarke style whistles and use the thinner gauge tin-plate, black locust for the fipple block, and a lead-free solder called silvergleem.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:20 am 
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I'll double check next time when I am in a shop that stocks them.


I walked past Custy's just now and thought I better follow up on this bit. The D whistles I had seen a while ago were all sold out. They did have a few Cs left and those were marked 'Made in Ireland' but also had the logo of Oak publications NY. If anything they were made on license I suppose. The heads on them were very different from the old Oak design and more like the current Feadóg ones. I'll keep an eye out for the Ds.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:21 am 
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That is a very nice picture of Micho playing the Oak. I wonder why he only brought back one to Ireland. I kind of like that about the old timers; they were careful about spending money.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:23 am 
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picture of Micho playing the Oak


Just accuracy's sake, it's Gussie.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:37 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
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picture of Micho playing the Oak


Just accuracy's sake, it's Gussie.


Ok, thanks. I thought the picture made Micho look thinner. By the way, did Micho or Gussie scrape off the Oak label for some reason? Maybe it just wore off.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:25 pm 
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Who knows, things wear when you carry the whistle around in your pocket all the time. Although I can't remember any label on it, even when I was trying to figure out what make of whistle Micho had when I first saw him with one with the black head.

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(Gussie again)

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:42 pm 
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Hello again all -- some follow-up for those interested:

As someone suggested, I went ahead and asked the makers about the woods used for Shaws and Clarkes. Each responded promptly and personally (unlike Generation!): Shaw uses maple, and Clarke uses cedar. Clarke's rep said "The wood we use is either Western Red Cedar or Lebanese Cedar," which isn't totally satisfying, since (as explained above by others) the two are very different woods.

Meanwhile, as I may have mentioned, I too acquired a couple of Oaks within the last few months or so, which is where my initial enquiry started. The packaging says "made in Ireland", and the C whistle head does indeed look identical to that of my Feadog C, internally as well as externally. By that I mean that the ending of the airspace underneath the windway in both ends in a flat angled ellipse. The D whistle head looks like the one posted by MrGumby, and is notably different inside as well, with a smooth spheroidal surface and no flat ellipse. However, the packaging for the Oak D also says "made in Ireland". Perhaps Feadog Teoranta figured that the D would be more carefully scrutinised by dedicated whistlers, and adopted the original USA-made Oak design for that, but figured they'd save money and just use their own design on the C?

And finally, I've been remeasuring my whistles more carefully, and it does indeed look like all of the non-Gen heads are in fact ABS, and that only (modern) Gens use polystyrene. This might also explain why Gen heads are glued on, as polystyrene is a more brittle plastic, and in tuning mine I sometimes get tiny bits of plastic fluff scraped off that wind up in the tube. ABS (which contains polystyrene -- that's what the 'S' stands for) is more flexible, and takes abrasion a bit more kindly, so it doesn't shred into fluff when the head moves on the tube.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:11 pm 
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Perhaps Feadog Teoranta figured that the D would be more carefully scrutinised by dedicated whistlers, and adopted the original USA-made Oak design for that, but figured they'd save money and just use their own design on the C?


The original Oak C wasn't particularly held in high regard so it makes sense a new design was used.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:00 pm 
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I don't have proof, but I'm fairly certain Generation whistleheads are ABS, not polystyrene.

Bear in mind, ABS plastic is a mixture of acrylonitril, butadiene and styrene monomers, and the proportions vary according to the properties desired in the finished product. I wouldn't be surprised if the plastic Generation uses contains more styrene than the plastics Feadog, Waltons, etc. use. I would guess that styrene is the cheapest of the three resins used in ABS plastic and cheaper plastic will contain more of it.

"ABS is a terpolymer made by polymerizing styrene and acrylonitrile in the presence of polybutadiene. The proportions can vary from 15 to 35% acrylonitrile, 5 to 30% butadiene and 40 to 60% styrene." ~Wikipedia

ABS plastic doesn't have a specific melting point, but it becomes more and more fluid as it heats up, rather like honey. Most ABS plastic begins to soften around 220 degrees fahrenheit, just above the boiling point of water, which means you can immerse the whistlehead in scalding water to loosen it without damaging the plastic.

However, the pre-1980's Generations (and also Oaks and Acorns) are made with a plastic that begins to soften below the boiling point of water. I recommend against dipping those whistleheads in scalding water to release them from the tubes because you may find you've permanently deformed them by twisting to get them off. (Use the "Joannie Madden smackdown technique on those whistles." Search for it. I'm pretty sure it's on C&F somewhere.)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:28 am 
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If you searh for whistles on Aliexpress, the Chinese eBay, you see some odd stuff including whistles with the Feadóg label saying made in Ireland

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Tin-Whi ... autifyAB=0

Oddly enough these whistles are no cheaper than the Feadóg whistles I can buy in the US.

Aliexpress is a rich source of grammatical comedy and other mishaps, like whistles assembled upside down



You can find a “ceneration” Bb whistle with what appears to be the generation label saying “British made.” You can also find a sindt/Killarney clone that sells for about the same as a Killarney whistle


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:41 am 
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Hehe, I hadn't seen that. If one crowd can do it, they all can. Turn it into a free for all. Would be interesting to try one (it's here )

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Oddly enough these whistles are no cheaper than the Feadóg whistles I can buy in the US.


And why would they? Should we value Chinese labour less than Irish labour?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:13 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Hehe, I hadn't seen that. If one crowd can do it, they all can. Turn it into a free for all. Would be interesting to try one (it's here )

Quote:
Oddly enough these whistles are no cheaper than the Feadóg whistles I can buy in the US.


And why would they? Should we value Chinese labour less than Irish labour?


I never said we should. I'm not sure why you think I did.

It is a fact that average per capita wages are lower in China than in Ireland. It has nothing to do with how I value the labor of Chinese persons. The point it makes me wonder about is whether or not Feadog is making them in ireland, since classic economics suggests that higher wages should translate into higher prices, and that chinese manufacturers would seek to undercut irish manufacturers. Yet they are selling whistles with Feadog labels for the same price.

It's certainly possible chinese manufacturers are simply pirating the Feadog label. Please note: I'm not assuming chinese businessmen are any more or less ethical than Irish or American businessmen.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:37 am 
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I was just gently poking :poke: :D

There is an assumption everything from China will be dead cheap. And some of it is, I have been buying things from China recently and while it sometimes takes a while for them to get to Ireland, I haven't been disappointed. And sometimes it's just amazing how cheap some things are, especially when the postage is included in the price. And if there's no rush, it certainly beats driving to Galway or Limerick on the off chance you may find what you need there.

But as far as whistles go, the Chinese manufacturers seem to have priced them at a level comparable to European makers. Which is fair enough. The Sindt clones look interesting and could be promising instruments.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:47 am 
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For example, look at this listing:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Brass-Irish-6-Holes-Whistle-Treble-D-Flute-Feadog-Tin-Whistle-Metal-Pocket-Feadan-Musical-Instrument/32831836084.html?spm=2114.search0104.8.13.659967c77HfnY7&priceBeautifyAB=0


It's unmistakably a clone of a Sindt or Killarney. Somebody in China decided it was worth it to tool up to make this, but they are not undercutting Killarney, which makes an excellent Sindt clone. And also they assembled it backwards, suggesting not a lot of knowledge or attention to detail. So why is it selling at basically the same price as a whistle from Killarney? Any economist would think that's odd. (note it's not identical to a Killarney--the blade and opening and ramp are different. I don't know how it compares to a Sindt as I've never held one. I have one on order though).

I'm just interested in what to make of it.


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