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Design Flaw(S) For Traditional "super" Case For Concertina?

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#1 Canary Bird

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 02:40 AM

Marcus Music has given me the dimensions of their anglo concertina (to get in July) and I will be in Morocco this weekend to request a leather worker to make a case for it.  Looking at many great designs & great input from all, I added ... 2cm+ space on all sides (for padding & shrinkage), can be carried by hand or shoulder, sits on its side (not ends), opens from ends, etc., etc.

 

DESIGN FLAWS?  Ugly?   :)  ... before I try to get a bag like this made?  Any ideas greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

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#2 Mike Pierceall

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 03:02 AM

Marcus Music has given me the dimensions of their anglo concertina (to get in July) and I will be in Morocco this weekend to request a leather worker to make a case for it.  Looking at many great designs & great input from all, I added ... 2cm+ space on all sides (for padding & shrinkage), can be carried by hand or shoulder, sits on its side (not ends), opens from ends, etc., etc.

 

DESIGN FLAWS?  Ugly?   :)  ... before I try to get a bag like this made?  Any ideas greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

Looks good to me although I prefer a traditional box shape with a top lid so that I can remove the concertina using both hands.



#3 d.elliott

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 03:31 AM

Personally I think that the hex box shape is a problem in itself,

 

- by its nature, unless clam opening, it wants to stand on its end, as in your sketch number 1 lower view,

- unless it is tight fitting the instrument tends to be too sloppy in the case, if its a tight fir you end up dragging out the concertina from one end and can snag the bellows aggravating the situation.

- you need end to end compression to keep the bellows properly compressed, I never feel that this is properly achieved, especially with the buckle closure that you are showing.

 

Sorry, but a nice idea

 

Dave



#4 Canary Bird

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 08:10 AM

Thanks for the good thoughts!  

 

I am thinking of seeing if a wood worker in the souk too who maybe could do a clam shell wood case ... and covered in leather would be great ... but never seen an all leather clam shell case?

 

I have some images of things I've seen in clam shell design, but not knowledgable enough to know how to attach them to this reply without creating a new post.

 



#5 adrian brown

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 12:46 PM

Personally I think that the hex box shape is a problem in itself,

 

- by its nature, unless clam opening, it wants to stand on its end, as in your sketch number 1 lower view,

- unless it is tight fitting the instrument tends to be too sloppy in the case, if its a tight fir you end up dragging out the concertina from one end and can snag the bellows aggravating the situation.

- you need end to end compression to keep the bellows properly compressed, I never feel that this is properly achieved, especially with the buckle closure that you are showing.

 

Sorry, but a nice idea

 

Dave

 

Dave, could I ask you why the bellows need to be so well compressed? You use the word 'properly' twice which seems to suggest they should be clamped vice-like in their case? While I can see a concertina shouldn't be allowed to flop about, I am just wondering why it should be necessary to do more than say, in a Jeffries style jug case? Having had to 'break in' new bellows in the past that were too eager to spring back to their closed position, I don't see why I would encourage them to 'prefer' their closed state and preserve this elasticity, which can make it very tiring to play?

I've said it here before - the jug cases are great if you have several concertinas to lug around - I generally stuff mine into a rucksack and the minimal extra thickness around the concertinas means they very are easy to pack. Obviously if I were sending them, I'd pack them differently, but for ease of transport, and light weight, I don't think they can be bettered. Oh and yes, I always store mine 'handle up' - concertina horizontal :-)

 

Adrian



#6 wayman

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 03:35 AM

I have a yard-long strip of velcro that I wrap around my concertina, to keep the bellows snug when in its case. Cheap and simple  :)



#7 adrian brown

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:03 AM

I have a yard-long strip of velcro that I wrap around my concertina, to keep the bellows snug when in its case. Cheap and simple  :)

 

Yes, I remember seeing that and I guess it would be really necessary when using a soft 'gig' bag or the like? Still I would like to know just how compressed, 'properly compressed' is? The box cases achieve this with their blocks of foam, and the jug cases, by a combination of a close fit and pressure on the straps/bars - when they're a bit tight in length, the ends of the case (being leather/card) also have a certain elasticity. To my mind, I can't see why one would be better than the other, but perhaps I'm overlooking something?

 

Here are few pictures of the latest case I've made (for my Baritone). They are a hell of a lot of work to make, especially doing the stitching and the lock, but I'm getting the seams a bit straighter with practise....

 

Adrian

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#8 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 07:05 AM

Nice case Adrian!   :wub: 

 

Do you use a curved needle  to make the corner  stitching  ?



#9 adrian brown

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:07 AM

Nice case Adrian!   :wub:

 

Do you use a curved needle  to make the corner  stitching  ?

 

Thanks Geoff,

 

No, I used this technique:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=_2ygboFnHW0

 

I learnt to do the basic stitching from this and other youtube videos posted by Armitage Leather, also by dismantling an old Jeffries jug case to see how it was put together. I think the 'vital' component is the rabbit skin glue, which stiffens the leather/card sandwich to the extent that it feels like plywood.

 

Adrian


Edited by aybee, 20 April 2017 - 08:07 AM.


#10 wayman

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:32 AM

How snug is the right snugness... well, the Morse concertina bellows are made on a jig such that their "natural" state of rest is partway open. When we finish making a bellows, we take it off the jig, exercise it for a while, and then compress it under heavy metal weights for at least 24 hours, and then exercise the bellows for a while again prior to assembly. A newly-built Morse will tend to expand a bit if set on a table, maybe an inch or so. So when putting the corner blocks in a clamshell case, my goal was to size them so that when I compressed the bellows of the instrument just so it's closed I could easily set the instrument into the case, and when I let go it wouldn't expand. But I didn't want to have to compress the bellows with any force to get it into the case; I just wanted to compress them closed, not force them closed. It was a "you know it when you feel it" sort of thing. 

 

My main squeeze is a Jeffries with a Dipper bellows, and the natural resting state is closed, but lacking a nice jug case, I use a soft case whose chief virtue is that anyone not in the know would think it contains my lunch (and whose secondary virtue is a front pocket just large enough for a small toolkit and a Zoom recorder). I was initially using this soft case for a Morse, so rather than putting corner blocks in, I just hot-glued the center of a strip of velcro to the bottom of the case, so I could compress and buckle my concertina into the case like it had a seat-belt. This has the added bonus that, if I pick the case up by its strap having forgotten to zip the top shut, the instrument doesn't fall out because it's buckled in!

 

When I eventually make a jug case, I can imagine a different use for velcro: assisting in getting the instrument out. If the velcro is looped around the instrument, and there's a bit of a handle, then you're pulling on the velcro (which is going all the way around the instrument and pulling the whole thing) and not just pulling on the near end's handstrap (against the vacuum of the bellows). This might be overkill if the jug case is designed just perfectly for the concertina (such that the instrument just pours out of the case without need for pulling), but I doubt my case-making skills will be that perfect!



#11 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:54 AM

 

Nice case Adrian!   :wub:

 

Do you use a curved needle  to make the corner  stitching  ?

 

Thanks Geoff,

 

No, I used this technique:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=_2ygboFnHW0

 

I learnt to do the basic stitching from this and other youtube videos posted by Armitage Leather, also by dismantling an old Jeffries jug case to see how it was put together. I think the 'vital' component is the rabbit skin glue, which stiffens the leather/card sandwich to the extent that it feels like plywood.

 

Adrian

 

OK... that looks like a very informative  video!  Ta Adrian.



#12 Chris Ghent

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 10:05 PM

The reason makers want people to keep a little pressure on the bellows at rest is because the bellows natural state is in the position they were built, usually fairly open. When finished the bellows neither want to compress or expand and in order to get them to go both ways they have to be encouraged. If you want anything to stretch further than it currently does the usual method is to stretch it past what you would see as your most open/closed point so it will get to that point without needing extra strength just when you are trying to play a finely crafted phrase. So this works when drawing the bellows outward because you can go past your most open point and get the bellows used to moving to that point with the same pressure all the way. When it come to closing the bellows you want to have every last bit of movement available but you cannot compress past that point in order to condition the bellows to get to it easily.

 

To help with this the maker has compressed the bellows in a clamp of some sort, sometimes for quite a while. I make the bellows very early in the process so they can stay in the clamp as long as possible. Depending on my work schedule this could be a month or more. Every few days I will stop on the way past, undo the clamp, give the bellows a couple of stretches outward and then put them back in the clamp. I'm not saying this is the only way to do this, but this is my way.

 

When the concertina is newish I try to keep it compressed whenever it is not being played. Otherwise you will see the ends "walking outwards when you put the concertina down. If I manage to upload it the picture will show my own concertina at rest. I do this every time I finish playing it. I could put it in a case but I find I need the least possible impediment to starting to play. In this state I can undo the bow and play in seconds. The tape is a bookbinders material.

After some years the bellows will get the point and you will not need to be so vigilant. If you have an older bellows which will not fully close or with which you feel increasing pressure as the inward travel runs out it can be corrected by putting them in a clamp again. I am not a great fan of solely putting a board across each end to spread the force, I have an insert which fits neatly inside and has cutouts for the pan blocks. Could still be done at home but a little preparation needed.

 

I thought I had more to add but really I see I have said pretty much what Wayman said. I will add, push the bellows closed and then push a tiny amount more.

 

(Extra points to anyone who can identify the other object in the photo, which arrived this morning, I bet there are a few.)

Tied up by a white linen band.JPG

 



#13 adrian brown

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:34 AM


(Extra points to anyone who can identify the other object in the photo, which arrived this morning, I bet there are a few.)

attachicon.gifTied up by a white linen band.JPG

 

 

Thanks for the explanation Chris - I've only had problems in the past with bellows that are too keen to spring 'shut' and have never experienced them springing 'open', but I see how it could be an issue from your description. Actually, I just wanted to be the first to say that it looks like a Mk.1 Amal concentric - around an inch and a bit? What sort of thumper are you hiding from us?

Adrian

 

Edited to say that of course it's a Mk.1 - I'm going senile...


Edited by aybee, 21 April 2017 - 12:45 AM.


#14 Chris Ghent

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 03:20 AM

Quite right Adrian, it is a good example of the revolution in parts for old vehicles, you can buy all of the parts for a Vincent Rapide now, not that I have one, the Amal (932, ie 32mm) is for a Norton Commando. The carb is a reproduction of the original by the same company but in aluminium rather than the original pot metal. Should last me out. So you have betrayed some familiarity with old bikes, what is/was yours..? I expected it was going to be Geoff Wooff who pegged the carb.

 

Sorry about the off topic!

 

Nice case Adrian, watched the video, thought, mmm, I could do that. An Irish player out here last weekend showed me a photo of the hexagonal clam case she has just had made but hers was a standard wood case with leather covering.



#15 adrian brown

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 03:58 AM

Quite right Adrian, it is a good example of the revolution in parts for old vehicles, you can buy all of the parts for a Vincent Rapide now, not that I have one, the Amal (932, ie 32mm) is for a Norton Commando. The carb is a reproduction of the original by the same company but in aluminium rather than the original pot metal. Should last me out. So you have betrayed some familiarity with old bikes, what is/was yours..? I expected it was going to be Geoff Wooff who pegged the carb.

 

Sorry about the off topic!

 

Nice case Adrian, watched the video, thought, mmm, I could do that. An Irish player out here last weekend showed me a photo of the hexagonal clam case she has just had made but hers was a standard wood case with leather covering.

 

I'm sure you could Chris, and I actually find the stitching somewhat therapeutic! There's a lot of it though and it got a lot better once I had those "pricking irons" he talks about in the video. I also made a 90 deg jig like his for the ends and a 120 deg one for the side seams - that and not pulling too hard are the 'secrets' for straight stitching.

 

Yeah old motorbikes and concertinas - better send you both an e-mail on that to avoid the wrath of our moderator - and you having just passed the thousand - what an example for us young'uns...

 

Anyone done a concertina arrangement or RT's "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" ? I've tried a few times but never found a satisfactory way of changing his wonderful fingerpicking style into something that works on the anglo.

 

Adrian



#16 Ken_Coles

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:15 AM

Here is an old thread on bellows compression when storing concertinas. I'll confess after reading it I went out and got velcro straps to go around my non-antique instruments!

 

Ken



#17 jdms

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 06:04 PM

Put me down as one of the old British motorbike-and-concertina crowd, though my old bike is currently residing 500 miles away on my parents' farm--two small children plus damp garage equals idle, unhappy bike.  The concertinas are still here, though--my solution to an instrument with an insufficient case (a 1950s-period Wheatstone with its original, rather worn case) is a Hardigg Storm Case (bought pre-Pelican) with blocking made from layers of cardboard and lining made from an old flannel shirt; I worked around measurements of the blocks in the original case and the width of the instrument held together with middling firmness (very much a your-mileage-may-vary thing).  I'll probably improve it some day.



#18 Chris Ghent

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:29 PM

Your description "middling firmness" for the normal degree of bellows compression in a case sounds perfect, it is what I use for end bolts also. And for the nuts holding the MKI to the manifold otherwise the flanges bend and the barrel distorts leading to throttle sticking at high revs.

That small kids phase goes way too soon and one day you will have room for the bike again. My down period was about 25 years. You never said what the bike is...




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