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Choosing and Designing your MacLellan Bagpipe.

Design your bagpipe by choosing the drone profile below, the projecting mounts, then your metalwork.

Determine your final cost by selecting your profile and wood here, than add metalwork  costs and other accessories such as pipe bag, reeds, cords and cover.

All sets come with the delrin band chanter which can be upgraded to Blackwood or Cocobolo for $150-00

Full silver sets will have the Blackwood or Cocobolo chanter as standard.

We can also do custom design and build one of a kind instruments.

Click on picture for larger image.


Cocobolo/Mopane African Blackwood $1,600.00



Cocobolo/Mopane African Blackwood $1,600.00



Cocobolo/Mopane African Blackwood $1,600.00



Cocobolo/Mopane African Blackwood $1,750.00


The Skye Pipe

Cocobolo/Mopane African Blackwood $1,600.00


Cocobolo/Mopane African Blackwood $1,600.00

All of our wood is Air dried only, kiln drying can burn off some of the natural oils which are so important in musical instrument use.

The wood is selected by color and figure and divided into sets to air dry. It will be rough turned and pre-bored and allowed to dry further. Although 3 months or so may pass before you receive your pipes, work was started on the wood used in them as much as two years prior!

MacLellan bagpipes was first company in the modern era to look at woods other than African Blackwood, especially Cocobolo and recently Mopane. Before the Great War in 1914, it was not unusual to find some of the best sounding bagpipes made from woods other than Blackwood or Ebony. Cocus wood from Jamaica & Brazilian kingwood were used regularly. After that war, the woods from German East Africa, now Tanzania, became widely available.

Both Blackwood & Cocobolo come from the Dalbergia family ( Leguminosae) of Exotic hardwoods. Both have a high oil content and are dimensionally extremely stable. Blackwood has a specific gravity of about 1.08, Cocobolo 0.85 to 0.95. Mopane 0.90

The Cocobolo sound is rich & mellow. The wood is slightly less dense that African Blackwood, which allows the drone to absorb some of the higher sound frequencies. This damps or removes some of the harshness & "buzziness" which some synthetic reeds can produce. The result is warm and full, MacLellan Cocobolo Drones produce that room filling envelope of harmonics that can embrace the player & his audience. The Mopane drones are bright and similar in character to the Blackwood sound, they are a light brown color.

Drone Bores

The MacLellan bore was originally based on a set of 1880's Henderson bagpipes belonging to my Grandfather from North Uist. Some changes have been made to the tenor tops and bass drone, and now gives us the big, rich and complex sound most people have come to know as " the MacLellan Drone Sound."

We never have bagpipes "made up" or on the shelf. All of our sets are custom built to the owner's specification. For this reason expect a delivery time frame from 3 to 4 months.

We take on a lot of custom metal work and design. If you don't see exactly what you want, call and we'll design and build the set you dream of.

A 50% deposit is required to confirm  an order. Full refunds are given on orders cancelled before work is started on a set. Cost of any special materials or metal work, will not be refunded if they have already been brought in, or work started. Payment  can be made by check, money order, Visa, MasterCard or Pay Pal.


Subject: Antique profile/bore

I just picked up my new pipes, cocobolo, antique profile, antique bore, moose antler. They are beautiful. Your choices of wood, how you managed complementary pieces of moose antler, the perfection in fit and finish are all amazing. And the sound, wow.  Now I have to improve my playing and not embarrass the mastery of your craftsmanship. 

Ron Moutvic



From: William McK.
Sent: Monday, April 25, 2011 8:02 PM
To: Roderick MacLellan
Subject: Re: your pipes

These pipes are amazing.. I just cannot get over it yet. I am such a perfectionist (it's a disease) and maybe you know this feeling I'm about to describe... But so many times throughout my life I figure out something that I want or need and then build it up in my mind of how I want it to be or how it could be ideally in order to reach perfection. This will go on over a few weeks or months until this same something usually ends up in my hands interacting in my daily life. I'm usually pleased, but never fully satisfied, never fully able to feel like I can let my guard down or relax because I know from so much experience that it will be good but still be disappointing to me, and not have that sense of nirvana when things just "click" and that weight is lifted off my shoulders. With your pipes, it's almost like I automatically want to assume something isn't right because I'm so used to putting my guard up each time I go to interact with something (like a new recipe, or movie, or my car) because I don't want to feel the pain and frustration of disappointment. That sense that I'm putting up with something and trying to convince myself I'm happy with the situation. But the truth is every time I pick up these MacLellans there is almost a connectedness, a sense of calm. I want to find something wrong with the sound, or the wood, or the look of them so I don't have to fall in love and be vulnerable, but I'm just unable to. I strike them up and in 10 minutes the rolling harmonics of the drones against the sweetness of the Bb chanter finally forces me to let go, they just don't allow me to nitpick anything. When I set them down and swab them out I notice the mirrored bores, the trued wood (my McCallums were slightly oval in different segments), even the wood filler on the drone tops and the individual projecting mounts that you made for me which make me smile each time I glance at them, themselves each just a little different, all really speaks to being human and not perfectly repeated by a CNC machine. I tell you all of this because I thought even on a completely custom bagpipe, there would still be a "but..", but there just isn't. And I'm not sure how to describe that feeling as a perfectionist when you are finally able to let go and embrace something, but it is deeply important. I'm going to have this set for a very long time I feel. And as such, I want to ask you what the upgrade cost would be to add silver ferrules and vegetable/palm ivory projecting mounts in the next couple of years. I don't think I would do any engraving but I'll cross that road when I come to it.

P.S. I am also tying in a custom made bag from Gannaway today, and I may need a different blowpipe. I'll email you again in a few days if that's that case.

Thanks again for what you do Roddy,



Roddy, the pipes arrived today. Gotta tell you that they are the most beautiful pipes I've ever seen. The photos on your web site don't do them justice at all. Thank you sooo much for wonderful instrument, it is truly a work of art. They sound very nice, mellow and soft, yet crisp and the drones are something to enjoy even with new reeds. Thank you again. More later as they break in, in a couple of weeks. I'll keep you posted. Thank you again. Bill Prater

Hi Roddy,

The pipes arrived safe and sound, look wonderful. The finish really shows the grain, nice contrast between the Cocobolo, Satinwood and the brass. My wife teaches violin lessons at home so I could not wind them up right away but I did get a brief moment to do a quick test. Chanter is perfectly in tune, no tape! Drones mellow, easy to set in tune, nice blend with the chanter. I will send a more detailed note when I have some more time with them.  Big contrast to the set of Graingers I was using, chanter was full of tape.

In our "instant on" society, quality is absolutely worth the wait....




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