Oliver Seeler's
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The "Kitchen" Pipe
Special Instructions
For Current Owners of the
Dunbar Millenium 2000 Practice Chanter

Dunbar Practice Chanter Reed-Cap New Style
Dunbar "Millennium 2000" Reed-Cap (new style, two pieces)

The airway - the hole through which one blows - of the reed-cap/blowpipe of the J. Dunbar Ltd. Millenium 2000 practice chanter is quite narrow. This is fine for supplying air to the single reed of the practice chanter, but creates an uncomfortable amount of resistance when inflating the Kitchen Pipe's bag and running all three reeds.

In order for the Dunbar reed-cap to function properly as the blowpipe for the Kitchen Pipe, it is necessary to have a larger airway. When we supply the Kitchen Pipe with the Dunbar chanter, we take care of that here. But if you're reading this, you either already own the chanter, or you are planning on buying the chanter and then later adding the Kitchen Pipe.

This used to involve drilling out the airway (see below if you are interested or if you have a chanter more than a few years old). However, Dunbar changed to a two-piece top-half design, with the narrow tip (mouthpiece) having male threads which screw into the main body (see photo above).

Drilling to enlarge the airway is no longer advisable unless you have a lathe and some skills (I won't bore you with the reasons). Instead, we can provide a new mouthpiece, already bored out, for a nominal price (our cost) of $9. (If you are ordering just a practice chanter for now but plan to get the rest of the KP later on, you are welcome to specify the large bore and there will be no extra cost).

The larger airway will not disturb the functioning of the PC when it's off the KP.

The mouthpiece may be fairly tight and it can be hard to get a good grip on the smooth, small diameter pieces to unscrew it. By far the best way to get a good grip is to use some of that bumpy soft rubber material used to keep things from sliding on shelves or in drawers.

WATER TRAP: If your chanter has a water trap installed, you'll want to remove it as it presents too much obstruction to the airflow necessary to operate the bagpipe.

As always, feel free to write or call if you have any questions or problems.

Stop! You only need to read the below if your long J. Dunbar M-2000
practice chanter was made before about 2013.
If you can unscrew the mouthpiece from the main body (see above),
then none of the below applies.





Dunbar Practice Chanter Reed-Cap Old Style
Dunbar "Millennium 2000" Reed-Cap (old style, one piece)

The airway - the hole through which one blows - of the reed-cap/blowpipe of the J. Dunbar Ltd. Millenium 2000 practice chanter is quite narrow. This is fine for supplying air to the single reed of the practice chanter, but creates an uncomfortable amount of resistance when inflating the Kitchen Pipe's bag and running all three reeds. (By the way, too-narrow airways are a common and often overlooked problem in many bagpipes - it's sometimes amazing how much more manageble a pipe becomes when the airway is unrestricted.)

Thus, in order for the Dunbar reed-cap to function properly as the blowpipe for the Kitchen Pipe, it is necessary to enlarge the airway. When we supply the Kitchen Pipe with the Dunbar chanter, we do that here. But if you're reading this, you either already own the chanter, or you are planning on buying the chanter and then later adding the Kitchen Pipe. So, you will have to enlarge the airway yourself.

Enlarging the airway involves running a 1/4" (one-quarter inch) drill through the existing bore. This is not difficult, using an ordinary hand-held electric drill in one hand and holding the reed-cap/blowpipe in the other. However, there is a complication. The drill should be started from the bottom of the existing hole - that is, from up inside the reed-cap/blowpipe. This is necessary because if one tries to begin from the top, at the point where the blowpipe is held in the mouth, there is a good chance of making a mess of the hole while starting the drill-bit into it. When starting from the bottom, inside the reed-cap/blowpipe, it doesn't matter if the very beginning of the hole isn't perfect.

An ordinary-length drill-bit will not reach far enough to do the job from the bottom. The solution is to use a 12-inch long bit. If you don't own one, these are available at most hardware stores for about $10, but if you like we will send one with your pipe - you'll return it to us in its provided mailing tube when you're finished with it. Return postage will be on you - probably about a dollar.

Something else to be aware of is the temperature of the blowpipe. We have noted that if the blowpipe is cold, the Delrin may chip as the drill emerges. Have the blowpipe at a nice comforatble room temperature before drilling (rather than at winter garage/workshop temperature, for example).

If you blow it and ruin the top, it's not the end of the world - I'll provide a new top for $24 plus postage. You can also simply buy an extra top in the first place, which we'll bore out. This can then be left on the KP, making switching back and forth from bagpipe to PC mode that much easier. This also allows a water trap to be installed (or retained) in the top being used on the PC (see below).

One remaining problem involves the water trap - if you have one installed in the practice chanter, obviously it needs to come out before boring out the airway. If you're not sure if one is installed, look through the reed-cap/blowpipe - if you can't see through it, there's a water trap in there. You need to push it out the big end, using a slender stiff rod (welding rod works great). You may have to push hard to get the trap moving. Be careful not to stab yourself when it pops out the big end.

If you can't find something with which to push out the trap, we'll send you a suitible rod along with the Kitchen Pipe.

Re-installing the water trap is less hassle because you can use something larger, like a pencil, to push it up, through the big opening. If you lose track of which end is which, the beveled end of the trap, without the o-ring, goes in first. Put that end in, and then start the o-ring in with your thumb - then switch to the pencil. Be sure it goes all the way in - otherwise it may not clear the tip of the reed and crush it when you put the chanter back together. (If you have any doubts, take the obvious measurements before reassembling the chanter). But you should leave the water trap out for a while until you get a feel for the air demand of the pipe; then wehn you re-install it you'll be able to tell if it creates more restriction than is comfortable for you.

Finally, If you don't want to perform these operations yourself, we'll be happy to do them for you at no charge if you send us your reed-cap/blowpipe, which we will then return along with your Kitchen Pipe - but of course you'll be without your reed-cap/blowpipe while it's going back and forth.



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