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 Post subject: Leaky bag!
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 5:28 am 
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Posts: 312
Location: Surrey, United Kingdom
I've just bought a set of beautiful Dave Shaw smallpipes on ebay, 25-30 years old and on delivery found that they are not properly playable. The drones sound just fine but the rubber coating around the chanter stock has deteriorated, letting all the air escape before it hits the chanter reed (see photo below). I'm not sure if the seller was aware of it, and have contacted him, but in the meantime I'd be grateful for advice from all you experienced pipers! I definitely don't want to return them for a refund, as I've been coveting tiny D pipes since first encountering them a year ago, but could not afford a new set.

Is it possible/sensible to re-rubberize just that part of the bag?
If I need the bag replaced, who should I turn to and how much would it cost (roughly)?

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 Post subject: Re: Leaky bag!
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:19 am
Posts: 97
Location: U.K
Congratulations on acquiring your new set.

Personally I do not like the Shaw rubberised bags but if you do like them then contact Dave Shaw directly through his website for a replacement.

However there are other options.

I can see you are located in the UK so there are a few options,

Jackie Boyce in Ireland - http://www.pipebagmaker.com/products/7-scottish-small-pipes.aspx
Bennets bags, Scotland- http://bennettpipebags.com/index.php/smallpipe-borderpipe-bags.html
James Begg, Scotland - http://www.beggbagpipes.com/shop/bags.html
You will need to contact Begg for details because their smallpipe bags are not on their website.

I know Simon Hope in Essex is experimenting with bags and may have something suitable, he can be contacted through his website - http://www.hopepipes.co.uk/7.html

I may have missed a maker or two and so apologise but someone on the above list should be able to help.

Iain

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 Post subject: Re: Leaky bag!
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 3:14 am 
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Location: Surrey, United Kingdom
Thank you for your suggestions, Iain - I'll follow that up!

I've not been playing pipes very long and have no knowledge of bag types, other than that the one that's on there now is rather ugly. My bigpipes are Jon Swayne student pipes, with a rather handsome leather bag. Could you explain why you don't like the rubberised bags?

I would like to go for whatever is most durable, really.


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 Post subject: Re: Leaky bag!
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 1:50 am 
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Location: U.K
It's down to personal preference,
I didn't like the shape or the feel of the rubber bag, I found it too 'springy'.
Admittedly I did not use mine for long but I think mine possibly had a leak and was a bit perished so needed replacing.

Of course another option is to buy a synthetic bag made by either Canmore or Bannatyne.
Advantages to these are low or zero maintenance.
http://www.bannatyne.ltd.uk/wp/online-store-synthetic-pipe-bags/
http://www.canmorepipebags.com/products.html

Its really a decision you need to make yourself, many people will offer their opinions but really it's what you are comfortable with.
Me, I'm for a well made leather bag.

Iain

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 Post subject: Re: Leaky bag!
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 10:05 am 
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Thank you again - you've been extremely helpful! I think I'd rather have leather than anything else, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Leaky bag!
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 12:23 pm 
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The seller refunded the cost of the bag replacement, and the bag is on its way to Bennett Pipebags in Scotland, thanks to Iain's recommendation!


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 Post subject: Re: Leaky bag!
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 1:56 am 
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Congratulations on your new set of pipes - you are in a fortunate position with your seller.

For reference; my experience of these rubberised bags is that they do have a limited lifespan (and I've seen 10+). The coating goes brittle and then crumbles after ~20 years - this is normal and to be expected. In addition to this Dave uses a non-standard bag pattern (in NSP/SSP terms). I would *always* factor this in to the purchase price of an older set and expect to replace the bag (with leather).

cheers

Rob

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 Post subject: Re: Leaky bag!
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 6:02 am 
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Congratulations!

About the bag, I'll say that at least with experienced Highland pipers when one buys a set of pipes the condition of the bag isn't considered, for a couple reasons:

1) a bag is like a set of car tyres, or a set of guitar strings: something which needs to be replaced regularly.

2) a bag is like a brass instrument's mouthpiece in that each player has strong personal preferences. Even if a bagpipe comes with a perfectly playable bag, an experienced player will almost invariably switch it out for his preferred bag. Each piper has a certain preferred material and shape.

It's why Highland pipes are so often sold as "sticks and stocks" as pipers say (that is, just the wooden parts). You buy a set of pipes, tie on your preferred bag, put in your preferred reeds, and you're good to go. No experienced Highland piper expects any set he buys, new or vintage, to be playable (to his standards and preferences) as it comes.

My 100-year-old smallpipes are tied into a GoreTex bag which has the great advantages that it never requires any maintenance, is totally air-tight, and allows moisture to pass outwith the bag. A company in the UK that makes a variety of bagpipe bags out of GoreTex is Canmore. In Australia a firm named Ross makes GoreTex bags but I don't know if they make smallpipe size. I got my GoreTex smallpipe bag from Gibson in the USA, who uses a vast number of them on their popular smallpipes (which they call "fireside pipes" for some reason).

Here's the plain Canmore bag that can be tied in to any smallpipes

http://www.canmorepipebags.com/products.html

Now with my Highland pipes I strongly dislike GoreTex bags (go figure) and much prefer good old sheepskin. However, a sheepskin bag can cost around 200 pounds, about three times what I paid for my GoreTex bag.

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