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Andrew's Tips: Bagpipe Bore Measurements

By Andrew T. Lenz, Jr., Santa Cruz, California, ©2014-2015

Bore Measuring


There are a number of reasons you may be interested in knowing the bore measurements for various sets of bagpipes. Perhaps you looking for clues in identifying an unknown set of your own. Or are wondering how the sound profile of your pipes might compare to that of some other make. Or maybe you are a hobbyist pipemaker looking for guidelines.

It may be interesting to note that those very familiar with bore ratios—such as some pipemakers—can look at mere numbers and perhaps have a good idea of if the set of pipes is stable or unstable, loud or quiet, hard to tune or not, efficient or inefficient. There are a lot of variables, but a maker might be able to tell you, "You might consider reaming your tenor bottoms out a slight bit to make them more stable, because based on the measurements, you could have issues with that." Can they tell you with absolute certainty? Typically not, but the clues can be there.

The File

This spreadhseet is a Microsoft Excel file and can be read with that program. It may also be read using free open source software such as Open Office which runs on a variety of different operating systems.

Download the file: Bagpipe-Bore-Measurements.xls

It's best to download the file from here for the latest version. The date stamp on this page will likely not reflect the last update of the spreadsheet. There is version information at the bottom of left column in the spreadsheet itself.

Submitting Measurements

If you have a set of bagpipes that are not included in the spreadsheet and would like to provide measurements, I'd love to have the data. However, precise measurements are critical. If you do not have a set of calipers for the bores, you probably won't be able to provide accurate enough measurements to be useful. Not all measurements in the spreadsheet are required, but the more the better. Contact me using the link below for more information.

Other web pages that may be of interest.

The Bagpipe Place (Ringo Bowen). Photos and descriptions of pipes.
Bagpipe ID by Island Bagpipes (Gord MacDonald). Photos and descriptions of pipes.
The Bagpipe Project (John Brock). X-rays, CAD diagrams.

If you have comments, suggestions, additions, etc., please contact me.

This page last update Monday, January 5, 2015.
Page first created in August 3, 2014.

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