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Hummelchen - turning firewood into an instrument

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I have some bad habits. There's Ebay, for starters, I pick up lots of stuff  I don't need but think it could be useful/fixed/fun/bargain at that price. Then, there's having too many projects on the go at once and as if my long-running inlay job, the Giannini classical to do up, and several others weren't enough, I've been thinking about doing something with an Ebay purchase.  As well as stringed instruments, I mess about with bagpipes too and a few years back I bought a smallpipe chanter for £20. After deciding I didn't need it right at the moment I listed it on Ebay again but without success, so I took that as a sign...

I do a bit of turning, so thought maybe if the chanter was part of a complete set it might do better. It's made of ash, and I've usually got plenty of bits of that scavenged for firewood. Having got a bit, cleaved it into billets and roughed up with my billhook, I got busy on the lathe. The intention is to make a two-drone renaissance smallpipe of the type known as a Hummelchen (German for little bumblebee), The pipe ends will be yew (piece on the right has all three ends roughed in one piece). I did have problems with one bit, half of the smaller drone was problematic due to the long 3/16" drill wandering during drilling and so that bit will get recycled into a composite. I'm also intending to carve a human face onto the chanter stock, which is the uncut block.


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Not been a great deal of progress on it, I've got a yew bell on the chanter and a couple of the other bits are shaping up, but I'm thinking of scrapping the drones and redoing them, after sorting out a long-boring rig for the lathe involving movable additional bearings for the drillbits. I also need to find my carving gouges to rough out the chanter stock, which I've mislaid... I'll try and get a few new photos up shortly.


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