Due to the probability of a House move I am unable to take any holiday clients until after the move. This will be later in 2015

Having reached the landmark age of 60 yrs. my mind was turned to reflection and thoughts of what new challenges I can set myself for the future. I have now been making bellows-pipes for more than half of my life and in this time I have always strived to set myself new challenges and targets in pipe-making. As a consequence I have become proficient at making several types of Bellows-pipes including Irish Uilleann Pipes, Northumbrian Smallpipes, Scottish Smallpipes and Lowland (Border) Pipes.

So, what new project can I set myself for the years ahead? Perhaps one of the best things I can do at this stage of my career is to pass on my skills to those of you who may be interested in tasting pipe-making for yourselves. To this end I have decided to offer Pipemaking Holidays for those of you with that yearning itch that needs to be scratched !

This is a totally unique opportunity to learn about Pipe-making with expert guidance and supervision by a World class Pipemaker with over 30 years of experience. What you will achieve from your pipemaking holiday here in this beautiful part of NW Ireland is the unrivalled glow that results from the satisfaction of having made your own musical instrument. This will be a holiday that will not simply leave you with a beautiful memory, but the tangible evidence of a rare creative opportunity that you will take away with you - and that will last you a lifetime !

Contact me to buy a Workshop Holiday Gift Voucher for a loved one


What does this involve and what can I achieve ?

picture of Phil with regulator
picture of Mammoth Ivory mounted on lathe

Learn how to make Uilleann Pipes: B/C/C# and D pitch including narrow bore D

  • Make a complete set of Practice pipes, including bellows in a pitch of your choice
  • Make a complete set of Practice pipes without bellows in a pitch of your choice
  • Make a Drone stock with or without drones.
  • Make a chanter in your chosen pitch with or without a windway.
  • Make a chanter in your chosen pitch with or without keys
  • Make 1 - 2 or 3 chanters in your chosen pitch
  • Make a set of Bellows
  • Make Regulator(s) with or without keys
  • Make chanter and or Regulator keys
  • Learn how to make Chanter and or drone reeds
  • Make a wooden Chanter windway with or without a stop-key
  • Learn how to tie-in stocks to a bag.
  • If your interest is not included above then let me know what you would like to do and I can advise on the possibility.

Scottish Smallpipes: A/Bb/C/D

  • Make a 'standard' set with or without bellows
  • Make 1 -2 or 3 chanters in the pitch of your choice
  • Make chanter reeds and Drone reeds
  • Make a set of Drones
  • Learn how to tie-in stocks to a bag.

Lowland (Border) Pipes A/Bb

  • Make a 'standard' set with or without bellows
  • Make chanter reeds and Drone reeds
  • Make 1 or 2 chanters
  • Make a set of Drones
  • Learn how to tie-in stocks to a bag.

How much time should I book ?

gun drilling and bellows making
  • As a rough guide, it is perfectly possible to make a keyless Uilleann chanter in a day
  • It is perfectly possible to make a keyless Uilleann chanter with key blocks and windway in 2 days
  • It is possible to make an Uilleann chanter with keys and windway in 3 days
  • You can make x4 Reg' keys in a day.
  • You can learn to make a chanter reed in a day.
  • You could make a 'standard' set of Scottish Smallpipes in 5 days
  • You could make a complete Uilleann Tenor or Baritone Regulator with keys in 3 days
  • You could make a set of Bellows in 3 days

You decide what you want to achieve and with your input I will put together a package that best suits your needs. Whatever that is you will receive my personal one-to-one tuition and the day(s) can be organised according to your needs:- based around a 6hr day starting at 10.00am including lunch break: cost = 180 Euro per day all refreshments and a light lunch included. Materials used added at cost.

Two people together qualify for a 30% discount.

If you are not sure what you want then please just get in touch and we can work something out together.


I will source some suitable Bed and Breakfast choices for you, or holiday house rental, and you can decide which to choose. I will collect you from your chosen accommodation in the mornings and deliver you back at the end of the day, if transport is required

Where am I ?

picture of Inver Bay

My wife and I live in the countryside of County Donegal overlooking the beautiful Inver Bay with the Bluestck mountains and Slieve League in the background. Londonderry airport is 1 1/2 hrs drive and Ireland West (Knock) 1 1/2 hrs drive. Dublin is 3 hours. If you would like to incorporate a pipe-making experience into a longer holiday then County Donegal in N.W. Ireland is a beautifuil destination.

Lonely Planet guide 2008:-

"You could spend weeks losing yourself in wild and wooly Donegal. The county's stark beauty captivates you and, over time, seeps down to your core. Tortuous country roads skirt stark mountains, rugged sea cliffs, craggy peninsulas, remote Gaeltacht communities, sheep-studded pastures, pristine strands, icy streams and horizons carpeted with bog and heather. Donegal's better beach resorts can rival any in Europe, and make perfect destinations for a summer getaway."


Multifaceted Natural Beauty:The surf, cliffs, hills and forests of Dunfanaghy.

Take to the hills: The alpine magic around the Glen Gesh pass.

Wild isolation: Dramatic end-of-the-earth scenery at Malin Head.

Clifftop Vertigo: Europe's highest sea cliffs, Slieve League.

Ancient Encounter: The views from An Grianan of Aileach - ancient hilltop fort

Contact me: ray@raysloan.com

(c) All material on this site pictorial or otherwise is subject to copyright.