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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:15 pm 
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Hello
still pretty new to uilleann piping and still trying to get the best out my Charles Roberts half set. I have a pinhole (less than 1mm) in the side of the chanter just above the A hole. I generally cover it with tape but it seems to be related to the hard D. If I cover it, the "hard" D is not terribly hard but in tune compared to high D and A, with it open it's about 20-30 cents sharp but really honks.

I've not read about this being a common thing - has anyone seen it before? Any tips for using it while flattening the hard D enough to be usable? I've already got a couple bits of plastic in the bell.

I also have always had a rather sharp hIgh E and F# with this combination if that helps. I live far away from reedmakers so I'm making do with what I've got at the moment.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:43 pm 
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I've never heard of this. It almost sounds as if your chanter is drilled to have a G# key but the key is missing?

Do you have a picture you can share?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:49 pm 
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I think I have seen a chanter long ago that had one or two little vent holes near the bottom of the chanter. I forget who made it and why it was done although it did have something to do with the bottom D. I believe either the owner or the maker claimed it was something done by oboe makers. But it was long ago and the memory very hazy.

Always wondered how that sort of thing would affect tight fingerings, it doesn't seem a good idea from that point of view.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:41 pm 
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I have a book on recorder (and woodwinds in general) tuning that mentions this...but I don't have it handy.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:56 pm 
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You can see it here, just above and to the left of the hinge pin for the Cnat key:

https://imgur.com/a/8avncWp

It produces quite a noticeable stream of air and I had the idea that it might reduce the responsiveness of staccato etc. so I've always covered it in tape. As far as I can tell with my calipers it's around 0,5mm.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:59 pm 
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It almost looks like a chunk of the mount/chanter is missing. If so, I wonder if the hole is evidence of a bad pin-job repair(?)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:44 am 
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It almost looks like a chunk of the mount/chanter is missing. If so, I wonder if the hole is evidence of a bad pin-job repair(?)


It certainly doesn't look much like an intended vent hole.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:02 am 
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Woodworm ? :o

If your hard D is not strident and 'in tune' then perhaps it is better to block this tiny hole and be happy . Sometimes a hard D can be much louder than the other notes and whilst this might not be disturbing to the piper , the listener might get the sense of a tune flowing happily along with the occasional blast from the bottom note. :really:


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:15 am 
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I had a Matt Kiernan chanter years ago when I lived in Australia.The chanter was grand when I got it but I moved to South Australia after I got the chanter and that's when the holes appeared.The chanter ended up covered in small holes.Some kind of wood borer had a good feed out of it.I can't remember what I did with it but I think I just plugged the holes.This was over 40 years ago in Australia and chanters were not plentiful.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:20 am 
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I found something similar on the bass drone in a set of GHB. A quick conversation with the maker and I was told that Blackwood sometimes has oil pockets in the wood and it’s nothing to worry about. Just fill it with some filler/glue mixed with Blackwood dust to colour it.
I too, thought my pipes were woodworm’s dinner :o


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:19 am 
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As has been suggested just cover the hole with tape or fill the hole in. Have you tried removing the bits of plastic in the bell, this could soften the the hard "D" sound. Like Geoff said if the chanter "tuning" is fine otherwise I'd leave it alone. There are so many variables to consider regarding the reed and tuning, and if you're new to uilleann piping this can be a minefield.

You write that "If I cover it, the "hard" D is not terribly hard but in tune compared to high D and A, with it open it's about 20-30 cents sharp but really honks."

Yes, I'd definately cover the pin hole and live with less "honk".


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