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Do your pipes require new hemp or other adjustments over the course of its life?
Just like any other complex instrument, the Scottish Smallpipes require regular checks and maintenance to ensure they continue to provide the best performance possible for years to come. Fettling is simply the process of visually inspecting your pipes for wear or damage, cleaning the wood and polishing the brass, checking to make sure all hemped static joints (non-moving joints) are secure but not so overly tight that the corresponding stocks might split, and that sliding joints (tuning pin and tuning chamber joints on drones) are airtight and not so loose that the drone tops are falling off the rest of the drone, but loose enough to smoothly slide up and down the tuning pin with the application of slight manual force.

Once the pipes have been gone over and all the necessary adjustments have been made, the rubber valves must be checked for damage and cleaned if necessary. Lastly, the leather in the bag and the bellows is checked for airtightness and proper function. I know, it sounds like a lot to do, right? Don’t worry, it’s not that bad!


Your new set of Scottish Smallpipes or Border Pipes will come with full fettling instructions accompanied with easy to understand photos in case you are the D.I.Y. type and want to learn to fettle your pipes yourself. If, on the other hand, you prefer not to do this type of work on your pipes, I offer full fettling services. If you feel that your pipes are due for a fettling, please feel free to contact me so we can discuss the process of sending your
pipes to my shop for the service.