How do I thread my chanter reed seat?

Threaded reed seats in a chanter are very nice.  The reeds don't pop up and are readily adjustable over a reasonable tuning range.  In a band setting, this is extremely helpful.  At least one major brand does it in their plastic band chanters.

If you want to add threading to your chanter,  be aware that it is possible to screw up your chanter by doing this!

I always worry that any unnecessary  threading could cause the air flow to become turbulent and could result in problems with the tone.  Hence, my conservative approach would be to go "short" and extend the threads later if necessary. 

For tooling, I would suggest that you obtain a 6 mm diameter tap with a 1.0 mm pitch.  You probably only need a plug type, but some may want to get a bottoming type as well.  You'll also need a T-handle of some sort for your taps. 

There are terrific instructions for the use of taps here

You'll need to keep the tap rigorously aligned with the bore.  Use the plug type first and, if you have one, finish with the bottoming type.

Don't go any deeper with the tap than you anticipate needing in order to seat the reed.   You can estimate this distance by appropriately seating the reed, marking the side of the reed with "white-out" or a piece of thread and measuring.  Mark the tap at this distance and don't go any deeper. 

(Note:  The 6mm * 1.0 tap seems to match the size used commercially and works really well with the reeds I use.  The reed will move up or down 1.0 mm with each full turn which makes adjustments really easy.  Getting a metric tap today isn't very hard, but, in some locales, it may be easier to get a 1/4" diameter tap with either 28 tpi (threads per inch), or 20 tpi.  With the 1/4" tap, the seat diameter will be about 6% larger, so you may need to add a bit of hemp to get a good fit.  I've seen the1/4" * 28tpi tap used effectively.  I'll stick with my  6mm*1 tap.   Your mileage may vary.)

Good luck.

Copyright S.K. MacLeod 1996-2016