Jump to content


Photo

Bastari action blues


  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 malcolmbebb

malcolmbebb

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 397 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Dorset UK

Posted 07 July 2012 - 11:37 AM

I was asked to look at a 30 button DG   G/D :rolleyes: nameless but thought to be Bastari, with loose and wobbly buttons. On inspection the buttons have a metal end which passes through the action lever (see photo - it's hard to describe).

On the most used keys the button has worn the hole in the lever such that one has only a small amount of metal left before it wears right through. On this particular button the play was around 1.5 to 2mm compared with about 0.5mm on a little used accidental.
(The legs have splayed a bit but that isn't a big deal and could be straightened with pliers.)

On first inspection the levers are close to knackered and I can't see an easy way to repair them. Can anyone suggest either a repair strategy, or offer any ideas about spares or a replacement action?

The box owner does not have deep pockets.

Malcolm

PS couple of typos fixed and second photo added

Attached Thumbnails

  • Button2.jpg
  • Button.jpg

Edited by malcolmbebb, 07 January 2017 - 07:02 PM.


#2 DDF

DDF

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 146 posts

Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:17 PM

Hi Malcolm,
I know absolutely nothing about Bastari concertinas but if the hole in the lever is enlarged how about cleaning it and filling with scratch solder,then re drilling to the correct size.I am not sure whether this would do but it would only cost pence in materials.Regards David.

#3 Mike Jones

Mike Jones

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 29 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norwich Norfolk UK

Posted 08 July 2012 - 05:07 AM

Hi Malcolm,

my first posting, I mostly watch.

However, I have a "Gremlin" which I believe is from the 70's with the same action and have exactly the same problem with it. I solved the problem by buying a 30 button Lachenal from Pete Grasby.

The Gremlin is now almost unused and unusable. The action is dreadful, one button lug has broken(I moved them round and now have a hole for accidentals I rarely use) and the 'tina is not even in tune with itself. It was supposed to be a G/D but Its more of a C/G but I don't think a single reed is in tune anyway. I'm happy to let you have it for spares if it will keep another player playing.

PM me if you are interested.

Mike in Norwich

#4 Daniel Hersh

Daniel Hersh

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2128 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:near Oakland, California

Posted 08 July 2012 - 12:15 PM

I was asked to look at a 30 button DG, nameless but thought to be Bastari, with loose and wobbly buttons. On inspection the buttons have a metal end which passes through the action lever (see photo - it's hard to describe).

On the most used keys the button has worn the hole in the lever such that one has only a small amount of metal left before it wears right through. On this particular button the play was around 1.5 to 2mm compared with about 0.5mm on a little used accidental.
(The legs have splayed a bit but that isn't a big deal and could be straightened with pliers.)

On first inspection the levers are close to knackered and I can't see an easy way to repair them. Can anyone suggest either a repair strategy, or offer any ideas about spares or a replacement action?

The box owner does not have deep pockets.

Malcolm

PS couple of typos fixed and second photo added

You might try contacting Button Box to see if they havve any suggestions, since they do a fair amount of work on Bastari/Stagi concertinas.

#5 malcolmbebb

malcolmbebb

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 397 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Dorset UK

Posted 08 July 2012 - 04:28 PM

Thanks - the action is an aluminium alloy, so soldering probably won't work - but I might be able to fill with epoxy. I will give Button Box a try.

Pm'd Mike.

In the meanwhile the box has been temporarily returned to keep a local Morris side dancing until it completely wears through.

#6 DDF

DDF

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 146 posts

Posted 08 July 2012 - 05:11 PM

Thanks - the action is an aluminium alloy, so soldering probably won't work - but I might be able to fill with epoxy. I will give Button Box a try.

Pm'd Mike.

In the meanwhile the box has been temporarily returned to keep a local Morris side dancing until it completely wears through.

Hi Malcolm, I guessed they were aluminium.This is a zinc based solder which leaves you with a repair that is tougher than the aluminium.In reality it may have limited applications but with care would probably make a cheap if fiddly Bastari repair.regards David.

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

#7 malcolmbebb

malcolmbebb

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 397 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Dorset UK

Posted 09 July 2012 - 04:43 AM

Didn't know about that. Seems there's a few candidate solders around, so I will look further into it.
Cheers,
Malcolm

#8 DDF

DDF

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 146 posts

Posted 09 July 2012 - 05:50 AM

Didn't know about that. Seems there's a few candidate solders around, so I will look further into it.
Cheers,
Malcolm

Hi Malcolm, Just out of curiosity I just gave it a go to make sure what I was suggesting was viable.The pictures are pretty poor and Iam doing things mostly with my left hand still.This result took about ten minutes include finding the the bits and pieces.Needs a bit more time practising and cleaning up but definitely an option.

http://www.flickr.co...s/51981381@N04/

#9 malcolmbebb

malcolmbebb

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 397 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Dorset UK

Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:13 AM

Didn't know about that. Seems there's a few candidate solders around, so I will look further into it.
Cheers,
Malcolm

Hi Malcolm, Just out of curiosity I just gave it a go to make sure what I was suggesting was viable.The pictures are pretty poor and Iam doing things mostly with my left hand still.This result took about ten minutes include finding the the bits and pieces.Needs a bit more time practising and cleaning up but definitely an option.

http://www.flickr.co...s/51981381@N04/

Interesting - I can only view the photos on my phone at present :( , but I will have a better look tonight.
Be interested to know where you got the solder, the sources I have seen so far appear to be trade quantities - and what heat source you used.
Commonsense tells me that this is not a wise path to tread, but I know the owner can't easily afford to replace the box (which is otherwise in reasonable condition and possibly even in tune). And my daughter's Morris side would struggle without it!

#10 DDF

DDF

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 146 posts

Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:15 AM

Hi Malcolm, the heat source I used for this was a small hand held gas blow lamp.The temperature needed is around 380C well below the melting point for aluminium.It is also important to do the final preparatory cleaning with a stainless steel wire brush. The source for the "solder" was this specialist company who sell via ebay,but they are apparently on holiday till the 18th.

http://stores.ebay.c...p2045573.c0.m57

There seem to be plenty of similar suppliers on ebay.The most common trade name is Durafix but there are several others.

http://www.ebay.co.u...=item564a4789a7

http://www.ebay.co.u...=item3ca8e42c30

#11 alex_holden

alex_holden

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 489 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lancashire

Posted 06 November 2016 - 03:23 AM

I've just finished repairing one of these. I made new riveted brass levers for the ten most-worn buttons:
https://www.holdenco...inas.com/?p=779

#12 Dana Johnson

Dana Johnson

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 619 posts

Posted 06 November 2016 - 07:51 PM

I completely replaced the action on a Bastari English with a proper one, ( a challenge given the location of the pad holes,) but doable. It was for a blind guy living on social security and I did the work pro bono. Some things are more important than money. The difference in cost between brass parts and aluminum ones in one of those instruments would be a couple bucks at most, but the life span difference would have been immense. It is a pity they didn't go the small extra distance. The instruments have a sweet sort of sound that would be fine, but even as low priced as they are, it is still too much for their short lifespan. Be nice if there was a do it yourself retrofit kit that just swapped out the aluminum for brass.
Dana

#13 alex_holden

alex_holden

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 489 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lancashire

Posted 07 November 2016 - 02:06 AM

I'm guessing they used soft aluminium for the levers because they were punched out, and brass would have needed a much more powerful press (of course nowadays it may be economical to get them cut on a fibre laser).

#14 Patrick McMahon

Patrick McMahon

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 271 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 07 November 2016 - 04:41 AM

 Be nice if there was a do it yourself retrofit kit that just swapped out the aluminum for brass.
Dana

Being always up for a bodge, I would try cutting off the worn end of the levers, and epoxy gluing a short replacement piece of brass with the hole ready drilled, to what's left. You might have to put a kink in each brass replacement, to make it line up with the button hole.

But you could adjust the fit while the glue was still soft.



#15 alex_holden

alex_holden

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 489 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lancashire

Posted 07 November 2016 - 07:20 AM

You'd need to replace the part that's glued into the bottom of the button too; they were at least as badly worn as the levers. If you don't have a lathe you could probably get the old one out by heating the button enough to soften the old glue.

#16 Patrick McMahon

Patrick McMahon

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 271 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 07 November 2016 - 08:06 AM

Yes, I guess they really didn't make those to last. 

If I had to replace the button parts, I'd probably just convert it to the same mechanism that's in my latest Gremlin, with the button shaft sliding over and along the lever arm, and held in place with the rubber sleeve.

You could get away with leaving the old lever arms in place, and just doing the buttons. 

 

Not as good as new brass parts though, but you'd have to love it a lot to put that much work into a Bastari.

That one does have nice ends and buttons though, and it looks like it has the leather bellows.

I had a Gremlin just like that one, in G/D, but it was in excellent condition, and hadn't done much work. It was nice.

 

Nicer than the later ones with the "Hohner" type end plates and rubbishy bellows.



#17 Dana Johnson

Dana Johnson

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 619 posts

Posted 07 November 2016 - 06:41 PM

I'm guessing they used soft aluminium for the levers because they were punched out, and brass would have needed a much more powerful press (of course nowadays it may be economical to get them cut on a fibre laser).

I would be surprised if they used a different press than for their accordion reed plates. My five ton flywheel press would have no problem. Brass shears very well in a punch press. I used to punch out all my reed shoes and the five ton press wasn't fazed in the least, even when I was using .093 brass. That isn't even a very big press. I think they were just being cheap.
Dana

#18 Patrick McMahon

Patrick McMahon

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 271 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 08 November 2016 - 12:01 PM

I think that's right. Bastari were making concertinas in quantity anyway, so they could afford a big press if they needed it.

 

Coming from Italy though, there was the heritage of the accordion industry, and a lot of soft aluminium is used in those, and very little brass, but you don't seem to get bits wearing out so rapidly in them. 

 

I think it was lazy design. Starting from scratch, it should have been obvious that those bits would wear out quickly, and needed a better design, if you want to use soft metal.

 

The Gremlin that I bought recently is well worn in the bellows, it's obviously well used, but there is no apparent wear to these levers, or the buttons.

It uses the slot and rubber sleeve type of connection, so maybe if they had started originally with something similar, they wouldn't have worn so badly.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users