How to make pipe bags from naugahyde/vinyl.
NOTE: 9 additional photos of
this pipe bag are available. Click here for information.
The following excerpt from a short article of mine in the Irish
Pipers' Club's newsletter, "The Piper's Review", May 1988
(concerning the construction of a very functional half-set of
Irish union-pipes built for a total of $12.12, less chanter) is
submitted here in response to several recent inquiries on the
"The material used is heavy-gauge upholstery naugahyde (vinyl).
Two types are sold at fabric stores -- the desired type has white
woven nylon cloth backing. The other type which has loose, random
nylon fibers as a backing, is unsuited for bag making. $3 to $5
per (52") yard is a typical price [in 1988 at least].
The glue required is 100% silicone rubber sealant -- the clear
un-paintable variety which smells like vinegar and does not
contain any fungicides. This glue is available at any hardware
Click here for 6k jpg image of bag dimensions and
- Draw a line 5/8" from edge (3/8" in neck area) all around bag
- Just outside of the marked 5/8" area & just up to the line
carefully rub in paraffin wax (an inch or so wide). This keeps
any squished glue from sticking the bag together where it's not
- In the marked 5/8" area, THOROUGHLY but quickly work the
silicone glue into the fabric backing, all the way around the
perimeter (both halves of bag).
- Fold in half along centerline and weight heavily between two
plywood pieces, using waxed-paper sheets to keep bag from
sticking to plywood. I use many cement blocks for weight. Let
cure at least 24 hours.
- Stock for blowpipe hole is cut as per conventional method, ditto
- If neck tends to pinch off chanter air, a length of clear
plastic tubing affixed in the neck will remedy.
I've used bags like this regularily for 4 years [11 years now!] on
both bellows-blown and mouth blown pipes and have never had a
single failure or airleak. [despite northern Michigan's humid
climate, have had very little problem with such a "non-breathing"
bag when using for mouth-blown pipes !]. I used to stitch the bag
perimeter in addition to using silicone glue, but have found this
The key to a good bag is to work the glue thoroughly into the 5/8"
area and to use heavy weights during curing."
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
/ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ \ apply glue all around
/ / 1" band of \ \ <-- perimeter 5/8" strip *
| | <- paraffin wax \ \
| | rubbed in all around \ - - - - - -| <-- ( * 3/8"
| | up to this line. - - - - - - | in neck)
| | |
5/8"->| |<- / - - - - - -|
| | / /- - - - - |
\ \ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ / /
\ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ /
Note: The goose-neck ("bend" in the neck of the bag) is not shown
in this illustration, for the sake of simplicity. See the
jpg image (above) for depiction of the goose-neck
Dennis Havlena - W8MI
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