Ring Caps, Ferrules and Slides from KINTAIL Bagpipes

Traditionally made of nickel, silver, or brass, rings (or ring caps), ferrules, and slides also can be made today in copper and copper/brass combinations, plain or chased. The newest of the metal patterns is filagree copper over brass (for ferrules only), a very pleasing and distinctive look. Chasing on nickel, copper, and brass is machine-done; chasing on sterling silver is done by hand. 'Chasing' is a method of stamping the surface of the metal with a blunt tool, propelled by a small hammer. This process, once learned, is fairly quickly accomplished and is relatively inexpensive. 'Chasing' leaves a pattern by pushing the metal inwards from the front or outwards (Repoussée) from the back.

'Engraving' is done by excising metal from the surface with a burin or graver, leaving a sharp furrow. It is an extremely tedious and difficult process; a single slip will ruin an entire piece. Engravers typically charge between $50-$100 per hour in this country.

Here are some of our common ferrule patterns, plain and chased - except for the copper filagree, all these patterns are available for slides and ring caps, ALL AVAILABLE ONLY FROM KINTAIL:

above: nickel ferrules

brass ferrules, plain, chased, and beaded

chased brass, copper filagree, and solid copper ferrules

chased sterling silver ferrules, and right, mounted amethyst and cairngorms



In the past, all projecting mounts were plastic, wood, horn, silver, or ivory. Unfortunately, real ivory is pretty much out of the price range of most pipers, and impossible to import, but today we have a fine substitute - coloured resin, which neither fades nor cracks. We currently make the following colours of resin mounts:

from left: jade, onyx, agate, malachite, turquoise, cobalt, and lapis

amber, horn, briar, tortoiseshell, black marble, white marble, coral, and ivory


All our resin mounts are guaranteed to keep their colour; they will not fade, discolour, crack, or warp.



IS AN EXPENSIVE PROPOSITION. Many of you have older pipes with yellowed catalin mounts. These mounts, made of a toxic phenolic material, were popular from the 1940s up to the late 1980s. They've turned brown and really ugly. I know, I used to have a set. The cost for complete mount, ferrule, ringcap, and bush replacement is about $600 - plus freight to and from Scotland, which adds another $200. Upgrading to silver and imitation ivory is really the only practical, as this costs about $2000 and is really worth it.

Most of you think that mounts are cast and then just fitted on to pipes. This is not true at all. These acrylic fittings are cut from rod stock, drilled and threaded, glued onto the threaded wood, and then turned to profile. Metal mounts are made to fit each pattern of pipes, then glued on. Ferrules, projecting mounts, and bushes are threaded to prevent slippage. It's a good amount of work, requiring well over a day's labour in the shop. In addition, if a wood section has warped, it needs to be trued - or replaced. So think seriously about remounting your pipes. You might want to take them to Scotland on your next trip and leave them to be redone - or select a new set from the many patterns we have available!

We can also do metal projecting mounts in silver and brass, chased or hand-engraved, in our own Kintail and J&R Glen profiles, decorated in any pattern.