assembled drone
Assembling the set

(updated 08/05/10)
Some notes on assembling the ferrules to the stocks.
I don't recommend gluing the ferrules to the stocks as I find that they always fall off after a while. The main task of the stock ferrules is to protect the stock against splitting caused by the fitting of the parts that plug into them.
I use ordinary button thread and wind it onto the tenon of the stock until the ferrule is a tight fit. It is not necessary to wind the thread neatly as trapping some air in the windings improves the resilience of the grip.

Assembling the Drones.
The metal tubes can now be fitted to the wood. I use one of the modern fast glues
Loctite high strength retainer for any joint which won't have to be taken apart - mainly the large tube on the sliding part and both tubes on the standing part. If using this glue first clean the surfaces to be glued using methylated spirits then apply the Loctite to the wood and slide the tube into place. You will need to be fairly quick because the glue is "anaerobic", that is, it sets in the absence of air. Any excess glue can be wiped away with a rag and a little meths. The glue reaches handling strength in about 1 minute but if the weather is cold this can be speeded up by holding a match under the tube to warm it. The traditional method of holding the tubes in place is to use thick shellac painted on and this does have the virtue of being easily removed if a repair is needed. I do use this method for the tube at the top of teh sliding part as it may need to be removed in the future if the seal of the tuning bead becomes worn or damaged. I have found however that the most usual repair on old sets is the regluing of tubes which have come loose!
The standing part mounts can be glued in place using "super" glue but you will need to be quick and firm in pushing the mount into position as any hesitation will allow the glue to harden prematurely with the mount in the wrong position. I now use one of the modern thin superglues and wick it into the joint with the mount pushed fully home. Care must be taken to avoid sloshing the glue around as it dries quickly and is hard to remove.
Tuning Beads
The tuning beads should be a close but not too tight fit on the cork seal. The hole through the cork into the bore should be checked to make sure it is clean and has no fluffy edges. Slide the bead onto the seal and make sure that it is in the correct place by placing an appropriate size drill through the hole in the bead and through the hole in the sliding part woodwork this should locate the bead perfectly providing the holes have been drilled in the correct place. The rotation control pin fitting hole can now be drilled. I drill this hole by hand as follows. set the bead so that the hole is open. I use the shank of an appropriate diameter drill pushed into the holes to maintain the alignment. Hold a 1mm drill in the pillar drill. Now offer up the sliding part to the drill so that the drill is perpendicular to the drone bore and at one end of the slot in the bead. drill the hole through into the bore not through but just in to the bore. The pin can now be made. I cut it from 1mm brass wire. round of one end by holding it in a pair of pliers and filing it with a fine file and fine emery paper. The pin is now pressed into the hole just drilled. It should be a firm fit and if it is too loose just squeeze it with some pliers to flatten it. Care must be taken not to compromise the drone boor - I slide the drill I used for drilling the bore into the bore and the push the pin into its hole until it meets the bore drill. The pin should not stick out too much or it will catch on clothing etc. It only need to to be just proud of the outside diameter of the bead slot.
Fitting the sliding joint between the drones
The thread wrapping used to seal the joint between the standing and sliding part is ordinary sewing cotton. Don't try to wrap it too neatly as the more air trapped in the windings the more tolerant of discrepancies it will be. I usually leave the wrapping till the final setting up of the drones in the stock. If the wrapped joint is too stiff there is a trick that I use. I roll the thread wrapped area between the table of my pillar drill and a 6" ruler whilst pressing down firmly. This has the effect of packing the thread a bit more and correcting the fit. If you find that you have overdone it you can increase the thread friction by fluffing it up with a fingernail. The final job is to cut a taper at the bottom of the bore in the standing part to accept the reed. This can be done using the tang of a file but it is better to make up a special tool as this area of the drone can be easily split.
Tying in the Stock to the bag.
wrapping the tennon joints.
making and fitting the leather valves.
fitting the keys to the chanter.

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