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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:54 am 
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Hello,
I am curious how you can take a very good care for chanter if you live in a place where in winter months it is too dry – or where humidity can move in one day from low to high.

Do you just keep the chanter in instrument case with some humidity device, or the best is to use humidifier (or fan when it is to high) to have your room humidity maintained 24h to that ideal of 45-50% humidity and 18-25 C temperature? In winter with dry air the wood will shrink and I want to avoid the need for future tweaking/reboring or repairs of the chanter bore. I am talking about boxwood (I gues it's more sensitive to humidity changes than ebony).

As I will receive my boxwood chanter with Air post service - can receiving the package of chanter and spruce reed from USA to Europe (in the HOLD) damage the chanter? If yes which time of the year the damage in the hold can be minimilized? I know the best would be personal pick up and then have it in the cabin with me when returning home, but that might not be possible. Any other tips or options you recommend.

Thank you :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:26 am 
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Location: Baychimo
Boxwood has a reputation to warp. I'm not sure if it is exaccerbated by humidity, but suspect that it would be. That said, these days boxwood's reputation is well known to experienced pipemakers, who take care to select billets which are less prone to warping.

I'm in Canada, and the temperature swings from (celcius) high twenties/low thirties with upto 95% RH, in the summer to minus twenties with 10% RH in winter. The wood on the chanter (and drones, regs and mainstock) will shrink in winter and swell in summer. Not much to do with that except add a little binding in winter to stop ferrules from falling off, and removing extra binding in summer to prevent parts which should be able to move from seizing (or even in extreme cases, splitting ferrules).

Some people (me included) will put light oil (grape seed, etc.) on the chanter (and other wood parts), but you should discuss this with the maker, as oil can stain the wood, or worse.

The main concern for me in summer and winter is not so much the wooden parts of the pipes, but more so the reeds. I don't go to sessions very often, and keep the pipes in the same room most of the year, so any changes in temperature and humidity will be gradual. Occasionally, in winter, I'll turn on a humidifier in the room where I practice. I've been playing the same cane chanter reed for 10 years. If I played out more, I'd probably go through reeds at a different rate.

I usually have a few weeks each year when my chanter doesn't sound very bright. This is usually mid- to late-April when the humidity is on the rise. In the past, I'd try opening the reed, but that just lead to other problems. For the past few years, I've let the reed alone, and usually by early May, it's back to its usual tone.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:32 pm 
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Quote:
As I will receive my boxwood chanter with Air post service - can receiving the package of chanter and spruce reed from USA to Europe (in the HOLD) damage the chanter?


You'll be pretty safe if you pack it as airtight as possible, either a container (with something to keep it humidified, if you want) or wrapped in clingfilm or something like that, that will prevent a rapid dry out.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:18 pm 
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Thanks PJ and Mr. Gumby for your help

PJ wrote:
The wood on the chanter (and drones, regs and mainstock) will shrink in winter and swell in summer. Not much to do with that except add a little binding in winter to stop ferrules from falling off, and removing extra binding in summer to prevent parts which should be able to move from seizing (or even in extreme cases, splitting ferrules).

So my obsession to keep chanter in the same environment for whole year is a bit unrealistic and unnatural.

Mr.Gumby wrote:
You'll be pretty safe if you pack it as airtight as possible, either a container (with something to keep it humidified, if you want) or wrapped in clingfilm or something like that, that will prevent a rapid dry out.

So for the package "In the hold" the rapid dry out is bigger concern than increased humidity.
Also I was afraid of clingfilm, as I thought the wood can't breath and moisture inside can cause boxwood going grey.
Probably the pipemaker will know what's the best. Hopefully the spruce reed will survive the flight.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:32 pm 
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Oldpiping wrote:
my obsession to keep chanter in the same environment for whole year is a bit unrealistic and unnatural.


A little maintenance from time to time will make sure that bits won't start falling off your set. Apart from that avoid playing when it's very warm, very cold, very humid or very dry, and you'll extend the life of the reed. Remember that you want to enjoy the instrument too.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:17 am 
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At 3:05 is what I do in the winter months here. Works well for me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL5KWcDMMBA


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