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Buttons With Delrin Core And Metal Caps


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#1 alex_holden

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 01:54 AM

I've read that some modern makers produce buttons that have a nickel-silver or brass cap over a Delrin/acetal core. How are the caps made, is it a drilled rod or deep-drawn from sheet?

#2 alex_holden

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 01:58 AM

Or I guess they could even be spun from a disc on the lathe.

#3 inventor

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 09:44 AM

Steve Dickenson uses a dedicated tool, which came amongst all the tools that he had when he bought up Wheatstones.  This tool turns disks of a softish nickel based alloy into dome shaped caps and crimpes them onto the plastic cores. The original cores were wooden, as will be found in many vintage Wheatstones.

I don't personally like dome shaped key tops and much prefer flat tops.

Inventor. 



#4 mike byrne

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 12:07 PM

Did you see Henrik Mullers buttons made out of Rotring pencil caps with wooden inserts.



#5 alex_holden

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 02:31 PM

Steve Dickenson uses a dedicated tool, which came amongst all the tools that he had when he bought up Wheatstones.  This tool turns disks of a softish nickel based alloy into dome shaped caps and crimpes them onto the plastic cores. The original cores were wooden, as will be found in many vintage Wheatstones.
I don't personally like dome shaped key tops and much prefer flat tops.
Inventor.


Thanks Inventor, that's interesting.
 

Did you see Henrik Mullers buttons made out of Rotring pencil caps with wooden inserts.


That's a resourceful idea!

Edited by alex_holden, 28 July 2017 - 02:32 PM.


#6 Henrik Müller

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 10:14 AM

Using the Rotring pen caps was a saved-by-opportunity thing - they ARE good, but veeery expensive.

Much later - now, that is - I have changed my opinion about cap diameter.
In the beginning I had fantasies about caps/buttons more than ¼ "/6.35 mm...

Then I made #2 (inspite of great look-and-feel still a work in progress, when it comes to reeds) and used buttons from Jürgen Suttner. Ooh - very good, lovely feel.

Then I made #3 - yes, I WILL update my web site ;-) (Wheatstone reeds, pan and bellows frame, with new bellows) with my own user interface = end box/action and used Suttner buttons again. A peculiarity (for many) of my user interface is the fact that the buttons go all the way down to the bushing. This time they stopped - because of a small misunderstanding with myself - 1 mm before.

No good... hmmm, aha! I removed (my own) felt stoppers under the buttons since they were exactlt 1 mm. What a difference! ;-).

Anyway, this instrument has been played a couple of 100 hours, and I am convinced: I want the small ones (Jürgens) - they are 4.8mm. In contrast, the oul Rotrings are 5.8. Two different worlds!

It goes to show how different preferences are -

/Henrik

#7 alex_holden

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 05:36 AM

To follow up on this question, I have now made a set of tooling to produce my own Wheatstone-style metal-capped buttons:
https://www.holdenco...nas.com/?p=1341

#8 Greg Jowaisas

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 06:57 AM

Excellent, impressive stuff!!  Thank you for sharing.

 

Greg



#9 alex_holden

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 07:44 AM

Excellent, impressive stuff!!  Thank you for sharing.


Thanks Greg! Happy new year. :)

#10 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 01:31 PM

Very interesting and well  described  article  Alex.  

 

One point;  do you think  0.5mm  sheet Nickel Silver  might be too thick  for the job ?  I imagine the  wall thickness  of  Wheatstone  button caps  to be  a lighter gauge.

 

Geoff.



#11 alex_holden

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 04:03 PM

Very interesting and well  described  article  Alex.  
 
One point;  do you think  0.5mm  sheet Nickel Silver  might be too thick  for the job ?  I imagine the  wall thickness  of  Wheatstone  button caps  to be  a lighter gauge.


Thanks Geoff! The original Wheatstone sample has walls that are uneven but pretty close to 0.5mm. It's hard to be sure exactly what thickness it started as, but I doubt it was less than 26SWG (0.4572mm).

#12 Rod

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 01:39 AM

I am more than happy with the nickel silver buttons of my Anglo. What is the supposed advantage of buttons made of other materials but only capped with metal ?

#13 alex_holden

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 02:20 AM

I am more than happy with the nickel silver buttons of my Anglo. What is the supposed advantage of buttons made of other materials but only capped with metal ?


Weight reduction. Solid nickel silver is pretty heavy.

#14 alex_holden

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 02:27 AM

There's an old thread on the subject here:
http://www.concertin...?showtopic=6177

#15 Rod

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 03:32 AM

Thanks Alex. The weight of the buttons is probably of little significance to those of us who always play seated....but I only have experience of the one instrument.

#16 JimLucas

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 01:20 PM

The weight of the buttons is probably of little significance to those of us who always play seated....

 

"Weight" is proportional to inertial mass.  A heavier button will require more force to get it moving.  While I doubt that the difference between button types will be significant in comparison to the force of the spring and the inertia of the lever and pad, it would be good to hear whether anyone has made such measurements.



#17 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 01:28 PM

The weight  factor  is perhaps more to do with the movement  and inertia , the ' un-sprung weight'  during the  action of playing... I am not sure I  could tell the  difference   anymore  after 50 years of hard work  with my hands  BUT  the  wooden  based button  is potentially  quieter  than the solid metal one. The  slight click of  the  location spigot  against  the wood of the action board  and any   deficiencies  in the felt  bush magnified  with  the all metal button.

 

Cross posted with Jim.

 

I am not sure when the metal capped wooden button was first used  at Wheatstones  but certainly  during the   victorian period  when the competition between them and Lachenal  was at  its height  and the development  of  new models  with superior  playing qualities   was happening.


Edited by Geoff Wooff, 01 January 2018 - 01:40 PM.


#18 Chris Ghent

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 09:09 PM

About ten years ago a friend and I weighed every button type in his workshop; a great number of different styles. The lightest was a Wheatstone wooden stemmed button. Very close behind was a titanium single piece. Delrin buttons were light but were typically thick and so beaten by other materials. The heaviest was nickel-silver. There were disparities in thickness and length so hardly a scientific test but the point was made and I have used titanium ever since, mainly because it was one part to make rather than two which need to be fitted to each other. Titanium is also unlikely to erode in the spigot and will only need a polish once.

I suspect the point at which inertial mass becomes important for speed is not so much when you are pressing the button with a strong finger but when the spring is returning the button to the up position. It will take longer, especially if the springs are light. The force needed for a fast start may also make it hard to ease off before the button is completely depressed, leading to harder banging of the
button on the actionboard. These things may seem too subtle to matter but when making concertinas you need a reason to do or not do something and it is probably good policy to base it on something tangible as you will have a basis for changing it if it does not do what you thought. Factors such as availability of materials, cost of materials, complexity of machining and durabiliy in service all play a part.




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