Our Story

Pipe Makers Union, LLC was founded in 2006 by Rob Gándara. Rob is president, chief technical officer, musician, and the driving force behind the Carbony™ invention.

Rob Playing in North Africa

After working for many years in the computer industry, Rob redirected his engineering and music skills toward innovation in the musical instrument field. Rob’s background includes a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering with a Certificate in Computer Integrated Manufacturing Systems from Georgia Tech, and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a concentration in Music and Psychoacoustics. He has been playing dozens of different instruments for over 30 years and currently plays with Ordinance, a Rock-influenced Celtic ensemble also based in Corvallis, Oregon. Rob enjoys the broad appeal and fellowship of traditional instruments and music and enjoys meeting and working with musicians and craftspersons around the globe. In his travels he has dabbled in the Polish, Czech, Amharic, and Uzbek languages, and has basic conversation skills in Spanish.

Carbony™ Composite

Carbony™ composite is an innovative carbon fiber material for use in the fabrication of musical wind instruments. By adjusting components of the carbon fiber “recipe” CarbonyTM composite has been optimized for this application. Carbony™  instruments are more sonically efficient than their wood counterparts, producing a quicker note response and greater ease of articulation. CarbonyTM instruments are also • Virtually indestructible – material will not crack, break or rot • Geometrically stable – over all temperatures and humidities • Stays as built – no warping or drying out over time

Our Process

We begin by fabricating high quality Carbony™ carbon-fiber bodies to serve as the foundation for our instruments. This step is done with precision molds guaranteeing interior bore dimensions that are precise and repeatable. The exterior of each instrument is then hand shaped, drilled, and crafted using our lathe and other typical woodworking tools. Final fitments, including trim and/or mouthpieces, are added to finish and customize the instrument. These are generally made of aluminum with an anodized finish or of polished stainless steel. This process and material selection allow PMU to offer unconditional lifetime warranties for all products we sell.

Rob working with lathe

PMU is partnering with Real Carbon of Hood River, Oregon in the development and manufacturing of our CarbonyTM materials. For more information about our partner , visit http://www.realcarbon.com/


Ordinance and PMU in 8/24/2007 Corvallis Gazette-Times Entertainer Section