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Half mounted bagpipe, in cocus wood with cocus button mounts and sterling silver ferrules, including ferrules on the mounts. Mammoth ivory ring caps and bushes.

In the 19th century cocus was the preferred wood for woodwind musical instruments, including the bagpipe. It was also widely used in the early part of the last century, but as it became scarcer and pricier it was gradually and steadily replaced by African blackwood. The tree grows in Cuba and Jamaica; with the depredations of communism it has become almost extinct. There are reasons it was preferred: from the customer's point of view it has none of the drawbacks of African blackwood and all of the advantages.

The bore design is the Kron Standard, and the profiles and shapes are as described here. The shapes of the button mounts are very typical of David Glen as can be seen in the pictures. The ring caps are made with a little step in the bead, similar to those made by Donald McDonald. The combing and beading is of course first rate. Overall the look is very much 19th century Edinburgh.

All the cocus parts are fitted according to proper tightness. The mounts are fitted so the threads touch closely only at the bottom, where the pin meets the mount; it is here that the short silver ferrules are fitted to prevent the mounts from cracking. From there the taper in the mount thread moves away from the wood as it approaches the end where the combing and beading is. This also helps to prevent cracking by having no outward pressure on the mount where the mount is thinnest. I have put very fine detail on the mounts, which use of cocus allows.  It is details like these, which are repeated throughout the pipe (and every other pipe made here) that set my products apart from those made by all other makers.

An important advantage of cocus over African blackwood is that it takes shellac very well. I have finished this pipe with shellac.

Everything on the pipe was made in this shop. Such control of materials allows me complete control over the quality of the final product.

I used ivory from two different mammoths. The color of the ring caps is milky white. The color of the bushes is much darker and brown. This contrast in colors mirrors that of the heartwood and bark of the cocus. There is a lot of bark on the tops, particularly one tenor top. It is very difficult to turn wood with bark, and care must be taken not to tear any of the combs.

The blowpipe is the "no-touch" brass sleeved system I invented a few years ago, with a brass tube connecting the brass tenon and aluminum tip at each end. They are sealed against moisture and air leakage, so the wood is protected from attack by external moisture.

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