Ugly Dougly wrote:
That would be a feast for the ears!
Well, maybe if I could play like Mick O'Brian it would be!
I have a similar set of B pipes, based on a set made by Maurice Coyne ~1840, but I lack the musical fortitude and skill of Master O'Brian I'm afraid.
Nothing more steam-punkish than a set of Uilleann pipes with all those metal levers and complicated valves!
JPX, you probably did the viola a favor by relieving internal strain in the wood! I would imagine that it will be more stable post-repair because of it, but I would ask the guy who repaired it if possible and get his 2 cents worth. I'm always amazed to watch my friend repair violins, he always asserts that they are much more resilient than people (i.e. their owners) think. I've seen him pry the top right off a violin with out much fanfare, just pop it right off with a knife!
As far as the heat, I avoid playing my pipes in direct sunlight, but mostly because the reeds hate it and they are more happy in the evening on the playa when it cools off. I camp in a VW Bus which is pretty well insulated from the day-time heat. I keep the pipes in their case, well covered with some form of simple insulation, like a sleeping bag. They do just fine.