school chanter
The schoolpipe project 2018

Details of the 4 drone 7 keyed set development. )

It has been clear for some time that there is a need for a Keyed chanter and 4 drones for the School pipes. I did produce a
prototype 5 keyed chanter in 2000 and developed the coil springs to make the springing of the keys cheaper and better. At the time it proved too expensive to make the keys in sufficient quantities and the need for a keyed chanter was less pressing.
Now, in 2018, the need for this has increased. I started working towards this a couple of years ago but life delayed me until now.
Another element is the need to find alternative materials that are not going to be effected by the Cites rules. I have significant experience using Acetal sometimes refered to as Delrin. This material is cheap, available in rod form, easy to machine, capable of very fine finishes and Tonally similar to blackwood and ivory. The only downside is the difficulty of gluing it although even that can be solved if necessary.

Project status January 2018:
The drawings for the 4 drone Concert G School pipes.
There are already some of the components for this pitch set of pipes manufactured for the original 3 drone unkeyed sets. Some of these parts will need modification for the 4 drone concert pitch sets. I have grouped the drawings to reflect this. The bracketed number for each entry is the quantity required for a single drone set.
Drone Component Drawings
Existing parts
Parts requiring mods


New parts required
New drone valve parts

Drone assembly Drawings



Chanter Drawings Chanter Key Drawings Stock Drawings Stock Drawings

The drawings for the 4 drone Concert "F" School pipes.
The drones for the traditional "F" pitch Small pipes can use a large percentage of the same parts as the Concert "G" set. The list below is only for the additional drone parts unique to the 4 drone traditional pitch sets. All of the other components are common with the Concert G set. See the Drone Set Assembly (F) SP-SA-026 for the required quantities.

Drone Components, Assemblies and Drawings unique to the F set

Chanter Drawings

The chanter is still a work in progress and drawings will be along later.


The use of orings on the schoolpipes
Why Orings? Orings are cheap, easy to source and easy for a teacher or player to replace with no need for special tools or training. It has been clear from the start that there are a couple of problems with the orings chosen. The main problem is with the oring that seals the sliding part as it moves on the standing part tennon. The original orings are Nitrile rubber which is the cheapest and easiest to source. If you just ask for orings it is likely that they are nitrile rubber. The problem is that they stick to the bore of the sliding part after a few hours and need a good pull to free them. I spent a considerable time looking for a lubricant that would solve this problem but all the ones I tried were no better than a smear of Vaseline and the sticking problem remained unsolved. I also tried some Viton orings as these are resistant to most lubricants and solvents but they were no better. I now have some samples of silicone orings and am testing these and it is looking like this will be a good solution. Currently the silicone orings have been fitted to a prototype drone set and have shown no sign of sticking. They are more expensive and harder to source but they should prove more durable than the other forms of rubber.
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