The Wood

At Kilberry Bagpipes we make sure that we are buying the highest quality of wood available! The wood is the highest musical grade and is inspected meticulously at various stages of its life! 

We work very closely with the wood supplier to ensure that we are happy with the wood! The wood is hand-picked by the supplier and is inspected when it arrives here with us at Kilberry Bagpipes, anything with obvious flaws or damage from transport is sent back to the supplier. This way we ensure that there is going to be no flaws or defects in the wood! 

African Blackwood

Dalbergia melanoxylon, called M'phingwe in the local Sena Language but more commonly know by its Portuguese name Pau Preto in Mozambique. Also, know as Zebrawood.

.African Blackwood tree

(African Blackwood Tree)

African Blackwood Smaple

(African Blackwood Sample)

Info on the wood:


A straggling tree, 5 to 7 m in height, occasionally taller. Fairly common although scattered at medium to low altitudes in mixed woodland.


The heartwood is very dark black to a purplish heartwood, the sapwood is strongly contrasting. It is close-grained and very heavy but due to the small size of the trees, larger pieces of the timber are difficult to recover. Weighing 1,200Kg's per M3 at an SG of 12% it is extremely durable but takes a fine finish and varnishes and oils well. Sharps tools are required. It is used in musical instruments, turning and carving. Africans often use the timber to make arrow tips. A preparation made from the roots is used to relieve toothache.

What do we use it for?

African Blackwood is the primary wood used to make our bagpipes. This makes up the drones, stocks, blowstick and can be used for chanters as well. The density of the wood is what helps the bagpipes produce the desired tone! African Blackwood has been used for over 100 years in the bagpipe making trade, it is tried and tested!

Kilberry Bagpipes' products that use African Blackwood:

Artisan Highland Bagpipes 

- Scottish Smallpipes

- Chamber Pipes 

- Sgian-Dubhs

- African Blackwood Practice Chanters

- African Blackwood Pipe Chanters


Chacate Preto

GUIBOURTIA CONJUGATA, commonly known as Chacate Preto, Black Chacate and False Mopane

(Chacate Preto Tree)

Info on the wood:


Small to a medium-sized tree found in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Grows to about between 8 - 15metres


Guibourtia conjugata. Air and kiln-dried.

Also known as Black Chacate, or False Mopane, this timber varies from streaks of dark brown to black heartwood with lighter, honey brown streaks. It has a fine texture and interlocking grain and is a hardish timber that cuts to a good finish and will polish to a high shine with a deep lustre.

One of the best Mozambique timbers and excellent for boxes.

 What do we use it for?

Chacate Preto is used for decoration on the bagpipes, practice chanters and smallpipes. It provides a nice contrast to the blackwood as it is lighter in colour. It also gives a more vintage and natural look compared to nickel or imitation ivory. 

Kilberry Bagpipes' products that use African Blackwood:

Kilberry Bagpipes Vintage Chalice Tops - Half Combed With Projection Mounts

Kilberry Bagpipes Vintage Style Chalice Tops