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Anglo Handles


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#1 Sharron

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 12:38 PM

Well I didn't think I had small hands as I am not a small lady ;)

But I am having a problem stablizing my concertina as it is slightly heavier than my last one, although nowhere near as heavy as some I tried. I know I haven't been playing long so I want to sort the problem out before too many bad habits set in.

The bar that holds the strap.

Well with the straps tightened enough to allow me to reach the buttons I find my hand is too narrow and slips and slides across the bar so I lose stability. If I tighten the straps further by 1 notch then I cannot lift my fingers enough to get to the buttons, it seems to then flatten my hand. So.......

Can I shorten the bar and re-attach the straps ( I know it can be done) or is there some other way to stop me having to *grip* with the thumb to stop my hand sliding sideways. I could do with a little bit of padding at the little finger end to buffer my hand or something to take up the 1/2 to 3/4 inch spare. When I tighten the straps, although I have trouble reaching, the concertina is so much easier. I just thought that by shortening the wood it is attached to I would still keep the arch in the strap so I wouldn't be compromised with lifting my fingers.


I really hope this makes sense :blink:

Sharron

#2 JimLucas

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 01:16 PM

This is an ad hoc solution I just thought of, so I don't guarantee that it will work, but:

Take a short length of neoprene hose and slit it down one side so that you can pull it open to "clamp" over the bar. You may need to experiment with different internal and external diameters of hose, but the pieces you need will be so short that you should be able to get scraps if you can find somebody who uses it in their work. You could also experiment with placing some at each end vs. the same total length at either end. The great thing about this is that to return the instrument to its original state (e.g., if you later want to sell it), you just pull off the pieces of hose.

#3 Sharron

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 01:36 PM

Thanks Jim. My hubby is doing the *work* so no expense spared :D

It is the length of the bar that is the problem. I have put foam,etc at the end of the bar but obviously it falls out. I don't need (I think) to lift the height, just reduce the width

I ;) don't mind having a permanent solution and then keeping the originals. My husband well he just has to do the work :P

thanks

Sharron awaiting for custom made stabilisers :lol:

#4 martyn

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 01:47 PM

Sharron,

You could try the straps made by Steve Dickinson at Wheatstone. One type of Anglo strap he supplies has a cut away on the front edge. This enables you to have the strap fairly tight without restricting any knuckle movement.

Hope this helps.

Martyn

#5 Sharron

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 01:51 PM

Thanks Martyn, I must admit i did wonder about altering the new straps we made from a template of the old original ones. The normal design. I have thought about cutting out a little from the front to allow tightening. So I will explore that too as we have enough leather to make another set.

I say *we* when I really mean *him* indoors.

Sharron

#6 Ken_Coles

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 03:10 PM

Take a short length of neoprene hose and slit it down one side so that you can pull it open to "clamp" over the bar.  You may need to experiment with different internal and external diameters of hose, but the pieces you need will be so short that you should be able to get scraps if you can find somebody who uses it in their work.  You could also experiment with placing some at each end vs. the same total length at either end.  The great thing about this is that to return the instrument to its original state (e.g., if you later want to sell it), you just pull off the pieces of hose.

For everyone else Jim is describing something similar to an ancient article of mine here on C.net (aren't you Jim? Or have I goofed?):

Ken's foam handle article

The material is urethane water pipe insulation. About 89c U.S. for a piece 2m long. I still use these but have turned them upside down to get them thicker near my smallest finger. BTW my photo is in this article, so I never bothered posting another one here on the new bbs! This might still help with handles too wide, try fooling around with it.

The two custom boxes I have on order will be made with taller (farther from the endplate) handles.

#7 goran rahm

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 03:14 PM

The traditional 'handles' for all concertinas are very primitive and insufficient for stability and comfort.
The Anglo nevertheless may be regarded as the least complicated to make fairly
satisfactory since there are natural options for a rather balanced hand position.
With the English and Duet greater eccentricity often is a problem not possible to deal with except by a complete redesign.

To give you an idea of what can be done to improve the handle for the Anglo have a look at

http://www.concertin...an_ergonom.html

I use (instead of the original wooden bar) a steady 10-50mm high and up to about 70mm wide support, thumbstraps like for the English, and a steady up to 60mm wide handstrap cut individually to U or S-shape. To make the length more adjustable the holes at one end have 6mm interspace and at the other end 8mm interspace.By this method the length can be adjusted with an accuracy of 2mm instead of 6 or 8.

The handle is mounted on a plate fixed by three endbolts (so there are no changes made to the original ends) and with a rotation vs the original handpostition so that the little finger side comes nearer the keyboard and the thumbside a bit more distant.

Goran Rahm

#8 Sharron

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 04:44 PM

Plenty of food for thought here.

I had already looked at the links and had even used the pipe insulation after the first day of playing after getting a concertina. My wrists hurt like crazy so the pipe stuff did the trick. after a couple of days of messing around with adjusting the straps and padding them out I was ok.
Goran I appreciate your link too but I could do with photos to see what the end product looks like. I can't picture it very well, but then again I'll just hand the page over to my man in charge. I am sure he will understand.

As for straps.... you mention u and s shape. which part of which u or s goes where? I understand keeping the knuckles able to move about a bit, so I can sought of see the cut out for the u but how does the s go.

I definitely need to do something as even the piece where the thumb rests is getting sore as it is clamping down and rubbing on the metal bit that keeps the strap in place. The whole weight is held by the first finger joint thingy and thumb until I can close all the gap at the pinky end, as I cannot tighten the strap anymore without stopping circulation.

Thanks chaps

Sharron

#9 JimLucas

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Posted 20 November 2003 - 11:50 PM

For everyone else Jim is describing something similar to an ancient article of mine here on C.net (aren't you Jim? Or have I goofed?

I hadn't seen Ken's article before, and my idea is slightly different, but the material he uses is just what I mean, and his photos show it beautifully.

My idea was not to put one long "pad" along the whole bar underneath the palm, but small "spacer" pieces beside the hand at one or both ends. And because the split tubing will naturally clamp onto the bar, I think it should not fall out, as Sharron reports her earlier foam attempts did. In addition, I think the tubing should be less compressible than ordinary foam.

Still theoretical, though, until somebody tries it.

#10 JimLucas

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 12:15 AM

...with the straps tightened enough to allow me to reach the buttons I find my hand is too narrow and slips and slides across the bar so I lose stability. If I tighten the straps further by 1 notch then I cannot lift my fingers enough to get to the buttons, it seems to then flatten my hand. So.......

How small *are* your hands? There's a technique I use which I'm not sure will work for you (my own hands are broad), but there should be no harm in giving it a try:

I grip only gently with the thumb, rather than tightly, and I bend my wrist slightly backward, arching my hand to press gently upward on the strap. If at any point I need to shift my hand slightly forward, back, or toward one side or the other, I breifly release the tension enough to do so. E.g., I'll do that to reach the furthest buttons with my little finger or to rotate my hand slightly for a particular cross-row fingering, then again to return my hand to "home" position. With the hand arched back like that it's even possible to brace the heel of the palm against the end of the instrument (assuming your hand isn't too small and the bar too high) for increased support and stability. I do that, but occasionally, not constantly.

By the way, do you play while standing or while seated? With one or both ends supported by your leg, or supported entirely by the hands, or with other support?

#11 goran rahm

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 03:37 AM

Sharron:"I could do with photos to see what the end product looks like."

Goran:Send me a private mail if you like and I can send some photos and drawings of the arrangements later on.

Sharron:As for straps.... you mention u and s shape. which part of which u or s goes where? I understand keeping the knuckles able to move about a bit, so I can sought of see the cut out for the u but how does the s go.

Goran:I attach a figure of some strap patterns.A-B being "S shaped" and D-C being "U-shaped". A and D being for the 'thumb' end. There is not much point using these with the original hand bar (except for the width)...the point is the combination with the wider,angled and steadier support replacing the hand bar.
The angle of the support in conjunction with the shape (U...S) decides the comfortable and stable mean position of the hand and has to be individually tried out together with the length and width of the strap...The point with the curve as such is making a 'cuff' that stabilizes itself when the instrument hangs in it and thus eliminates all muscular load to*carry* the instrument.

Sharron:I definitely need to do something as even the piece where the thumb rests is getting sore as it is clamping down and rubbing on the metal bit that keeps the strap in place. The whole weight is held by the first finger joint thingy and thumb until I can close all the gap at the pinky end, as I cannot tighten the strap anymore without stopping circulation.

Goran: The English style thumbstrap helps a lot despite the function should not be fistly to *carry* the instrument but to stabilize the 'handle' sideways. If the thumb takes part of the weight the thumb should be inserted ato its base and NO 'grip' being used. If the thumstrap is wide,steady and tight enough no muscular force is needed to keep things in place.

Goran Rahm

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#12 Sharron

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 10:17 AM

Thanks Jim and Goran,

I am seated with the left end over my left knee/lap.

I am starting to think again on fixing some padding to the end and even taping it for now around the strap. I can't find any neoprene/rubber hosing at the moment, so the foam and tape will have to do until tomorrow when my husband is going to have a look at it for me.

I have also to get the concertina into it's case on a regular basis for going to the session so a permanent solution is better. As I said I have no problem removing the original bar and keeping it safe, then having another one made using the same screws/holes that are already there. And then looking at the strap shape to get the most movement and stability possible.

I think Morgana has a similar problem by the sound of it in the ergonimics thread, where she is having trouble with her thumb. I wonder if it is a female problem due to smaller hands?


Thanks again.

Sharron

#13 goran rahm

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Posted 21 November 2003 - 01:59 PM

Sharron:"As I said I have no problem removing the original bar and keeping it safe, then having another one made using the same screws/holes that are already there."

Goran:That actually is not the best idea since the original fastening of the bar to the ends is not ideal either...The ends (if wooden)quite often warp or crack due to the insufficent connection between hand bar and endplate and the screw holes get worn. It is much better doing as I use to: fastening an intermediate mounting board with (at least) three endbolts at a little distance (1-2mm) above the endplate. To this mounting board everything (thumbstrap, support,handstrap,neckstrap...can be fixed at any suitable position without any interferrence with the original instrument and there will be no load on any structures risking damage.You can experiment how much you like with different positions which is important to find the best.

Sharron:" And then looking at the strap shape to get the most movement and stability possible."

Goran:Get back with questions later on if you like but be prepared that the best
effect can only be reached by a precise combination of the hand support and the strap together and it may take quite a bit of experimenting. Use much stiffer leather than you expect at first thought...I use 2,5-3mm thickness. This is individual of course and you can try what you find best:..either stiffer straps but a bit looser....or softer straps and a bit tighter...much depends on the occasional need for intensive bellows work or complicated,twisted finger work.

#14 Sharron

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Posted 22 November 2003 - 10:35 AM

Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions.

It is now fitted with a new bar and it has been shortened by about 1/2 inch and centrally fitted back to where the original bar was.

I've got the old bars tucked away nice and safe.

thanks again

Sharron




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