Piping accessory a guide to preventing chipped reeds

by Pipes Drums

From synthetic drone reeds, to pipe bags, to moisture control devices and digital chanters, Australians have provided piping with a seemingly endless supply of accessories and instruments designed to make piping more reliable, easier, or just plain more fun.

The Chanter Mate was developed a few years ago as a simple tool intended to prevent chipping pipe chanter reeds when removing or replacing the chanter in the stock. Designed by Colin Horton, a piper in Brisbane who’s also the Director of ACE Product Design, the device is aimed especially at younger pipers not yet practiced at the delicate manoeuvre, as well as older pipers with a decline in dexterity and vision. Still little known to the piping world, Horton’s relaunching the product.

“The Chanter Mate was an idea of mine that came about through my frustration of chipping the edge of my reeds, especially after the time taken to blow in a new reed, it sounding great, and then destroy the edge when removing or inserting the chanter into, or out of, the stock,” Horton said. “It’s a simple but effective tool, as I think it’s great for piping schools or some older pipers who don’t have the same steady hand that they used to. I include myself in this category.” Horton developed the accessory via his product design company, and he added, “I have the skill to bring the Chanter Mate from an initial idea and sketch to manufactured item.” Some would scoff that it’s just a bit of plastic, while others who have ruined perfect reeds might well find it invaluable, but Horton has priced the Chanter Mate at AUD$30 plus shipping from his company website. It’s also available from some piping supplies dealers. Last week, Jori Chisholm of Seattle launched his Perfect Angle Blowpipe Positioner, the latest piping accessory from his BagpipeLessons.com business, and Lincoln Hilton of Modern Piping is another piper who has brought out several accessories and instruments designed to make life easier for pipers.


Editor’s Notebook

It’s called a Chanter Mate, which helps prevent the chipping of reeds when removing the chanter from the bagpipe stock.