Back to solutions

Help for a Pipe Major please

  • P.Allchin
  • Shelved

(posted by Paula Allchin)

Andrew, aged 41, was the Pipe Major in a Scottish Pipe Band.

He contracted a bacterial infection which was destroying the tissue of his fingers and toes, and the only way to prevent this spreading any further was to amputate the infected tissue.

He would like to return to playing, if only to teach others, and his consultant contacted us and then referred him to Remap.

This is the gist of the message I sent to Andrew:

“I have looked at several solutions, but nothing so far is satisfactory. One line was keys like a clarinet, but that works “the wrong way round” – you press the key to open the hole. Also, the chanter is the wrong shape and the holes are too big. Another possibility is a palm-plate with articulated plates to close the holes (photo); I have made a rough “proof of concept” one with leather hinges, but they twist. Small metal hinges seem to be the answer, but they need to be sprung, and they need to be orientated in the right direction. The length is critical, and we still have the problem of closing the holes in the chanter – we need soft, shaped pads”.

Have any other Panels any experience of this problem? Please contact

Thank you.



  • Skills involved:
  • Issues Addresses:
  • Activities Helped:
  • Location:
  • Solution:
Print this page

2 responses to “Help for a Pipe Major please”

  1. patrick wormell says:

    No specific experience I’m afraid, but it strikes me that it will be easiest to use parts from a scrapped instrument e.g. a clarinet, compared with starting from scratch – v. fiddly! Spring directions can be reversed.
    Good luck!

  2. Andrew New says:

    A couple of thoughts – I suppose you might have to manufacture some hinges – give me a shout if you need help with this. The spring from a wooden clothes peg is handy if you need a torsion spring, you may be able to adjust it to give you the right amount of resistance according to the capabilities of your client and the geometry of the plate you wish to load, I imagine it will need to be co-axial with the hinge pin. Sugru might work for the pads – I believe Remap has a standing arrangement with the supplier to take any of their out-of-date stock which they can’t sell, but which is still fine to use!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Motability Registered with the Fundraising Regulator Lottery Community Fund Logo
Website by Agency For Good

Copyright 2024. All Rights Reserved

Skip to content