HOWTO make a set of junk-bagpipes

Instructables user smartin014 wants to show you how to make your own set of bagpipes out of PVC pipes and a plastic bag. It's Fat Albert chic:

Having played the highland bagpipes for a couple years now and having just finished a course on maintenance, I was greatly interested in building my own set of pipes just for fun. A few days later, a duct-tape and CPVC bagpipe emerged!

Assembly (from having taken out the parts to having a playable instrument) takes roughly 4-5 hours.

Here's a video of a seasoned piper giving the membrane pipes a spin! (Just a side note... the drones were HORRENDOUSLY out of tune in this video. They can sound better, really!)

Build your own Smallpipes for a few bucks! (Membrane Bagpipes) by smartin014 (via Neatorama)


  1. This is nice (and it sounds wonderful!)
    BUT I’m going to hold out for a PVC pipe and plastic bag TUBA

    1. I remember sesame street doing a segment on making a Tuba from PVC pipe, the plastic cone from a washing machine and a cheap mouth piece.

    1. Good bagpipes don’t get you laid
      Bad bagpipes don’t get you laid.

      There is no difference between the two

  2. In the 90s I made a droneless bagpipe using a franzia 5-liter wine bag, a susato ABS whistle (with a little extra pvc), and reeds cut from a yogurt container. What I always wanted to try was a double-chanter one, maybe using a tabor pipe for the second chanter (or making my own) but I lost interest in the experiment.

  3. Let me just state I hate everyone who will attempt to do this, and anyone who plays a real bagpipe, and most of all I have unending hatred for anyone who plays bagpipes in a parade.

        1. I’m sure there’s plenty of crap in hot dog, but I’m sure there’s precious little oatmeal and sheeps lungs in hotdogs… 

  4. Have to say that whoever that is playing them is pretty good. Excellent ornamentation. Bagpipes are hard as fuckall to play well.

  5. 12 or 13 years ago i found a guy that had made a set of uilleann pipes out of plastic tubing.  to create a semblance of a tapered bore instead of reaming them out like you do with wooden bagpipes, he cut the the ends increasingly large (but outer bore of the smaller piece the same as the inner bore of the larger piece) at angles.

    when assembled he had a chanter that apparently could play two octaves in relatively in tune.

    :sigh: i want my shop back so i can build things again.

  6. Pakistan is well on its way to becoming the top bagpipe-producing country in the world.  It’s a fact.

    1.  yerp, and there mostly terrible for various reasons, one of which slightly involves espionage.
      seriously, if you buy one instrument from Pakistan buy a Bodhrán, they are about £20 and they play like £500,

  7. how he managed to get two octaves out of PVC is pure witchcraft, id complain about tuning, but getting any semblance of that reel out of real pipes, let alone junk is an achievement. 

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