~ Universe of Bagpipes ~
center, standard imitation ivory; right, standard nickle; left, custom-fitted customer-supplied.
|A "stock" is a short hollow part of a bagpipe that connects the bag to a drone, chanter, or blowpipe. Usually stocks are tubular in form. The stock is "tied in" to the bag, with the bag material being pushed into a groove on the lower surface of the stock by means of wrapping it with a strong cord. Lately many bags, especially but not exclusively synthetic ones, have rubber collars that grip the stocks, eliminating the need for tying-in with cord. Stocks are usually reinforced at the upper opening with a ferrule, which may be made of a variety of materials, most commonly metal.|
To be played well and without unnecessary struggles a bagpipe must fit the piper reasonably well. Once upon a time this could be accomplished by a visit to the pipemaker, who would take measurements much as a tailor does in fitting a suit. Bag size, chanter position, and the positions of the blowpipe and drone stocks would all be considered. Today, few pipemakers make their own bags, and bag makers offer a limited range of configurations.|
The result is that many pipers end up with a bag fit that is less than perfect. In most regards this isn't a big issue, and the piper will get used to things in short order. But one spot that can be a real nuisance is the angle of the blowpipe. The mouthpiece of the blowpipe should remain in the desired position on its own, without having to fight with it. Are you stretching your neck or turning your head, or hunching up a shoulder to get the mouthpiece between your lips? Do you have to bite the mouthpiece to keep it from whacking your teeth? Are you holding the bag awkwardly to position the mouthpiece rather than holding the bag in the best position for comfort and fingering? If you lose your grip on the mouthpiece, do you have to let go of the chanter with one hand to get it back into your mouth, creating sonic havoc? If so, you need to adjust the angle of your blowpipe.
It is possible to make some adjustment to the angle of the blowpipe at the point of tie-in, but aside from being a hassle not much range is available there. An alternative is to work with a new uncut bag, with the obvious drawbacks of cost and time. An approach that has been successful at least in principle is to use a blowpipe that has a swiveling joint in its body. We provided such a blowpipe for several years, until the maker's poor quality-control became a problem. Also, the swivel joint of such a blowpipe is both prominent and ugly, as is the look of a blowpipe with a bend in the middle.
Since suspending sales of the adjustable blowpipe we have been searching for a replacement. We now have available a new Canadian-made alternative, the Swivel-Stock. This clever design consists of a blowpipe stock that incorporates a lockable swiveling ball joint. This allows the use of the pipe's own blowpipe, and adjustment of its angle over a wide range in any direction. The ball-joint and locking ring are kept pretty much out of sight by the bag cover's collar and fringe. There is no adjustment available for length but that is a simple matter to deal with, by using an appropriate mouthpiece.
The only disadvantage is that the Swivel-Stock must be mounted to the bag, like any stock. But replacing a stock in either a tie-in or grommet-style bag isn't a big chore. We can provide advice in that regard, if needed.
The Swivel-Stock is machined of Delrin (polypenco), the same nearly indestructible material used for many things by pipemakers. As you can see in the above photo, there are options regarding the ferrule. We can provide imitation ivory or nickle off the shelf. If you have (or obtain) a ferrule that matches the rest of your pipe, that can be mounted at no additional cost. No ferrule at all (so all black) is also available on request.
Please feel free to contact us by email at email@example.com or by telephone at (707) 937-1626 between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Pacific Coast time (GMT minus 7- 8 hours), seven days per week. We suggest you do so if you have any questions and especially if you have any doubt about the suitability for you of your intended purchase. We're anxious that you get what you need, and we're not interested in selling you something you don't need!
We can accept payment in many different ways from just about anywhere in the world:
Credit Cards: We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards by three methods:
Other Payment Methods: We cheerfully accept personal checks, money orders, wire transfers, bank drafts, cash and so on. Let us know your preferences (or problems) and we'll work with you.
The prices on this site are in U.S. dollars and are current. We never issue surprises in this regard. There is no fine print about fluctuating currency exchange rates or such. You may find some lower posted prices elsewhere, but you will also find dealers who don't update their sites, and/or who add qualifiers to their stated prices, and/or who do not actually stock what they sell, and/or who provide little if any real customer service. Not here.
We can offer modest discounts on quantity purchases of some items - feel free to inquire.
We stock what we sell. Occasionally there are unpredictable runs on items, and/or short re-supply delays. If an item is going to be out of stock for more than a few days you will find a notice to that effect at the top of this box. Fine bagpipes and bagpipe accessories are made in small lots by meticulous craftspeople, not mass-produced & warehoused, and buying them should not be viewed like zipping down to the 7-Eleven for a six-pack. Feel free to ask us to reserve items for you, even if you're not quite ready to order - it will help us, and avoid a possible delay for you.
Domestic (US) Shipping: We usually ship the next business day after an order is received. We normally ship by U.S. Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation, except for small items such as reeds and CDs which are normally shipped First Class. Standard shipping costs are listed with each item's price. We do not attempt to profit on shipping and charge no "handling" fees or such. Our packages are insured by a private company (DSI Insurance) so no signature is required on delivery of most packages. (This also means packages can be left if no one is home - a good thing for most people, but if that might be a problem please let us know.) Priority Mail has been very reliable and fast, taking three days or less to cross the country. If faster shipping is required we can provide Express Mail (two days from here to most US locations) or Federal Express - but be aware that these services are pricey. If you are ordering more than one item, please contact us for shipping costs, which will be less than the total of the respective amounts. We guarantee delivery and in the very rare event of a lost or damaged shipment, we send a replacement first and worry about the insurance etc. later. We ship to APO and other military addresses at no extra charge.
International Shipping: If you're not in the US or at a US military address, please email us for shipping options and costs. We ship something overseas just about every day, so we can offer advice based on experience. We send most medium-size packages (practice chanter outfits, electronic pipes, Kitchen Pipes, etc.) by postal Global Priority Mail, which costs only very slightly more than ordinary airmail and is safe and fast.
We stand by everything we offer, as do the manufacturers and our suppliers. We sell only properly made, high-quality items in the first place, so problems are altogether rare. In the unlikely event of any difficulties, you will be dealing with us on an immediate and personal level. If necessary, we will deal with the maker or distributor of the item on your behalf - we are a major customer of most of them, and have a bit of clout. We (and the makers of the items we sell) are keenly interested in maintaining our hard-won reputations for quality and excellent service, and we do whatever it takes to keep our customers happy!
From 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Pacific Coast time (GMT minus 7 - 8 hours), seven days per week.
To Order by Email:
We try to answer all email within a few hours - rarely, a day at most. If you don't hear from us, something's wrong - try giving us a phone call.
To Order by Mail:
please send your payment to:
Universe of Bagpipes
P.O. Box 447
Albion, California 95410
Please make your check or money order payable to Oliver Seeler.
To Order On Line by Credit Card:
Click on the above logo
To Order Using:
Go to your PayPal account and initiate payment to firstname.lastname@example.org
Always feel free to ask questions and thanks for your interest!