'Airtight' Bag Seasoning

'Airtight' Bag Seasoning has been available for many years and is considered to be one of, if not, the best seasoning for leather pipe bags available.

Before seasoning a leather bag it is adviseable to take the bagpipes apart. Take the 3 drones, the chanter and the blowstick out, take the bag cover off and insert a Large Rubber Bung in to the top of each of the stocks except the chanter stock as this is where the seasoning will be poured into the bag.

The seasoning comes in a congealed jelly like form and it is necessary to heat it before use. Unscrew the lid and simply place in a microwave oven. Place on full heat for 30 secs at a time, taking it out, putting the lid on and giving it a brief shake. Repeat until the liquid has come to the pouring consistency. Be sure to not use if the seasoning is boiling hot. If it is too hot, allow it to cool for a bit first.

Once the seasoning is at the right consistency it is time to apply the seasoning to the bag. Hold the bag by the chanter stock and cradle the bag against your shoulder, upside down, gently pour a small amount (4-5 tablespoons) of seasoning into the bag. This will allow the seasoning to rest inside the neck of the bag first which is where it is hardest to rub in. Once it has rested there for about 30 seconds then let the seasoning run down into the main body of the bag. Try to avoid the drone stocks at this point. You don't want seasoning run into the stocks if you can help it. Remember that its always easier to add more seasoning than to attempt to clean or wipe out excess seasoning. Excess seasoning can cause major problems later.

Once the seasoning has been added, rub it thoroughly into the bag. The easiest way to perform this thoroughly is to get down on the floor and push a hand into the back of the bag. Start by rubbibg the seasoning in around the whole seem and around the base of each stock. Then rub the body of the bag so the whole inside surface area has been treated. After this is finished, attempt to pour out any excess seasoning by hanging the bag upside down for a few minutes and letting it drip out of the chanter stock. Hopefully there should be very little excess seasoning, or none at all if you've down a thorough job!

Finally clean out the bore of each of the stocks with a cloth to ensure that no seasoning gets on to the reeds. The bag can be tested for airtightness by inserting the blowpipe and blowing it up. Put the pipes back together and play.

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