Thomforde
Woodcraft

Scottish Highland Bagpipes & Smallpipes

Materials

Katalox

More commonly known as Mexican Royal Ebony, Katalox is a relatively new bagpipe wood from Central and South America.

The dark, fine grain often has hues of red and purple. It is also a cousin to the venerable, but no longer commercially available, Cocuswood.

Katalox

More commonly known as Mexican Royal Ebony, Katalox is a relatively new bagpipe wood from Central and South America.

The dark, fine grain often has hues of red and purple. It is also a cousin to the venerable, but no longer commercially available, Cocuswood.

African Blackwood

African Blackwood has been the primary wood used for Highland Bagpipes for the past 70 years. Dark, dense, and stable, this wood will give pipes a bright and crisp tone. Because of its tonal qualities, African Blackwood is highly prized for a variety of instruments.

Due to the cost of Blackwood, add $100 to each set of pipes.

African Blackwood

African Blackwood has been the primary wood used for Highland Bagpipes for the past 70 years. Dark, dense, and stable, this wood will give pipes a bright and crisp tone. Because of its tonal qualities, African Blackwood is highly prized for a variety of instruments.

Due to the cost of Blackwood, add $100 to each set of pipes.

Cocobolo

In recent years, Cocobolo has become a popular substitute for African Blackwood among Highland Bagpipe makers. Cocobolo grows in Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.

When newly turned, Cocobolo has a distinctive tiger-striped grain of yellow, orange, and purple. When finished, the wood darkens to a rich dark brown/black that still shows off the whirling grain. In contrast to its wild look, Cobobolo gives a stable, bright tone.

Cocobolo

In recent years, Cocobolo has become a popular substitute for African Blackwood among Highland Bagpipe makers. Cocobolo grows in Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.

When newly turned, Cocobolo has a distinctive tiger-striped grain of yellow, orange, and purple. When finished, the wood darkens to a rich dark brown/black that still shows off the whirling grain. In contrast to its wild look, Cobobolo gives a stable, bright tone.

Sonokeling

Also known as East Indian Rosewood, Sonokeling is a cousin of African Blackwood. Indian tea plantations use Sonokeling as a windbreak, so it is more sustainable than African Blackwood. The dark wood can create a traditional looking set of pipes.

Sonokeling

Also known as East Indian Rosewood, Sonokeling is a cousin of African Blackwood. Indian tea plantations use Sonokeling as a windbreak, so it is more sustainable than African Blackwood. The dark wood can create a traditional looking set of pipes.

Purple Heart

Purpleheart, as you might guess from the name, is... purple. Purpleheart pipes have a mellow, sweet tone. As it ages, the wood darkens from fuchsia to dark brown with a hint of purple.

Purple Heart

Purpleheart, as you might guess from the name, is... purple. Purpleheart pipes have a mellow, sweet tone. As it ages, the wood darkens from fuchsia to dark brown with a hint of purple.

Granadillo

Granadillo is a warm and rich brown color with a straight, distinctive grain. This Latin-American hardwood offers a warm, mellow tone.

Granadillo

Granadillo is a warm and rich brown color with a straight, distinctive grain. This Latin-American hardwood offers a warm, mellow tone.

Osage Orange

Osage Orange is a dense, exotic wood from South America. Its color ranges from golden to bright yellow that deepens to medium brown over time. Osage Orange pipes have a particularly mellow tone.
Before they used imported ivory, pipe makers in Scotland used a wide variety of mounting materials (i.e. whatever they could find). Since the mounts provided strength as well as decoration, makers used hard materials like bone, horn, and particularly dense woods.

Many of these materials took a backseat when elephant ivory became the standard. Since customers came to expect that look, imitation ivory (plastic) mounts were introduced as a cost effective and humane substitute.

These days, many makers are moving back to more traditional materials. While creating a traditional look, I try to use sustainable, renewable materials whenever possible.

Horn

This black/brown mount provides a beautiful contrast to any wood, but particularly stands out next to lighter woods.
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Horn

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This black/brown mount provides a beautiful contrast to any wood, but particularly stands out next to lighter woods.

Antler

Moose antler can vary in color from bright white to brown/grey. This gives each set of moose mounted pipes a distinctive look.

Unlike elephant's tusks, moose shed their antlers each year. Collecting antlers does not hurt the animals.

Antler

Moose antler can vary in color from bright white to brown/grey. This gives each set of moose mounted pipes a distinctive look.

Unlike elephant's tusks, moose shed their antlers each year. Collecting antlers does not hurt the animals.

Tagua Nut

Also known as vegetable ivory, these nuts come from a few different species of palm trees in South America.

When harvested, the nut has a brown, flakey skin, but when turned, the opalescent center is exposed.

Tagua Nut

Also known as vegetable ivory, these nuts come from a few different species of palm trees in South America.

When harvested, the nut has a brown, flakey skin, but when turned, the opalescent center is exposed.

Unmounted

You may always elect to have an unmounted set of pipes. This gives the pipes a simple, clean look.

Note: For strength issues, I ​still highly​ recommend metal ferrules at the joints.

Unmounted

You may always elect to have an unmounted set of pipes. This gives the pipes a simple, clean look.

Note: For strength issues, I ​still highly​ recommend metal ferrules at the joints.

I currently offer ferrules in brass and aluminum