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Jeffers, Keith

Keith Jeffers is a pipemaker based in the USA.  Here is a bit of information directly from Keith -

I started my bagpipe making journey in about 2004. What fueled my interest in pipe making was simply curiosity foremost, and a lack of not finding the tone I was personally looking for in a modern made bagpipe. I wanted to know what made a great bagpipe sound great, and what kind of  techniques were used in the process of doing so.

I wanted to stay as true to tradition as possible when making my drones because anything less than the traditional way I think cheapens the bagpipe experience for me, so as a result I don’t so much as use a metal lathe to cut the wood down with, and I shutter at the idea of a copying lathe. Everything I make is done on a wood lathe using hand held wood turning tools, period.

I refuse to mount bagpipes in plastic/artificial ivory (outside of mouth piece usage). I only use natural materials for ferrules and projecting mounts.

The outside profile of my drones iss inspired by the rare Duncan Gillis bagpipe and old Edinburgh styles.

A set of Jeffers pipes beside the original Duncan Gillis bagpipe

The Jeffers set (on left) is Cocobolo wood with Ancient Kauri wood mounts.

Another thing I do is cut coves in my drones instead of beads. So my drones are combed and coved instead of combed and beaded. I love this look, it really makes the drones pop out at you when you look at them.

The internal bore on my pipes was originally based on the Duncan MacDougall bagpipe. I used this internal design as a launching point only. I don’t make or sell MacDougall bagpipes. Instead I changed all the bells to my design, altered the tenors for slightly more depth of sound and changed lengths of various parts of the drones. After making these particular changes, then playing the pipes for myself it was a eureka moment for me. I had never played a better bagpipe with such steadiness and clarity to it’s tone.

I originally had no intentions of selling them, I built them to satisfy my own curiosity, but it was at that point that other pipers heard them and played them and wanted to buy them. So now I make drones for the bagpipe enthusiast, however, my production is limited.

– Keith Jeffers

Click HERE for a link to Patrick McLaurin of Texas playing a set of Jeffers drones.

The set below is made from Kingwood and has Moose antler mounts. Classic old world look !!

Brass tenon and sleeve on blowpipe

The set below was an early Jeffers bagpipe. However Keith no longer uses this profile.

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