Yes, interesting stuff and it does demonstrate what what enthusiasm and 
stickability was needed not so very long ago to get anywhere with pipe-playing 
and maintenance.

Who in earlier days could have imagined posting enquiries and receiving 
valuable advice from international sources within an hour or so? The present 
availability of pipes must have been unimaginable as well as the current 
popularity of the instrument. Colin's reed-making videos shot by Steve Douglass 
and placed on YouTube are an extraordinary resource and just one example of the 
benefits of the Web. A demonstration is worth any amount of unsupported 
description. And on that subject, any future NSP Instruction book will be 
missing a huge opportunity if it doesn't point towards video examples  showing 
in reality what static images and words can only suggest.

Yes, the reed-bank should be set up immediately! All reeds classified as to 
their reed groups, and tea and biscuits for all donors.

Interesting to hear a bit of background on the reeding on Cut & Dry, a hugely 
important album. Any further info about the pipes used would be really great!


On 18 Mar 2010, at 20:02, Anthony Robb wrote:

> Hello Francis, I know the feeling. 6 months after getting my set from
>  Bill Hedworth I  found myself alone in the Birmingham area (Sutton
>  Coldfield)  and stuck for any adivice on reeds. There were no
>  professional makers whatsoever in those days but I'd made contact with
>  Bob Reid who posted me 6 chanter reeds (I think about a quid each)
>  and I set to work wrecking them and getting to know what not to do! At
>  that time Finbar Furey lived in Coventry and we got together a few
>  times and he made me a copy of one of Bob's reeds but the Irish seem to
>  go for softer cane which didn't really have the tone I wanted.
>  No amount of watching or getting advice can match first-hand
>  tweaking and after getting through about -L-120 worth of reeds at
>  today's money I had learned a lot and was reasonably proficient and
>  setting reeds (thank you Colin Ross!) to suit my pipes. When I came to
>  make my own first reed (used in her F set by Carole on Cut & Dry Dolly)
>  I didn't have a gouge so made the slip by patiently sanding from the
>  flat cane on sandpaper drawing-pinned to a bit of broom-shank (not
>  recommended but showed tenacity)!
>  These days I snap lifeless reeds to stop me wasting time on them.
>  Perhaps we should start a free bank of working reeds that
>  "aren't really there" for enthusiastic, would-be makers to mess around
>  with?
>  As aye
>  Anthony

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