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Edeophone ends and a few questions.


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#1 stormforce10

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 01:55 PM

Iv'e just acquired a 48 button English Lachenal Edeophone, but the ends are damaged, and it really needs new ends, does anybody out there know where I could get new ends, or ends from another edeophone.
If I have to make the ends myself, what is the best wood for this, or would it be better to make metal ends.

The serial number is 129662, as printed on the bellows, any idea's of what year this is?

What would be the value, after it has been fully restored?

At the moment I'm learning to play on a Hohner, slowly but getting there, while I'm learning I am going to try to restore this edeophone, so I'll have a nice concertina to play, when I can play. So I would appreciate all the help I can get. Cheers

#2 Theo

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 03:28 PM

Iv'e just acquired a 48 button English Lachenal Edeophone, but the ends are damaged,


That's a massive project to take on if you are new to concertina repair work. I hope you are an experienced cabinetmaker!

I looked at another in very similar condition a few months ago and did quite a bit of research, but eventually decided not to take it on. Anyway I'll share what I learned.

The ends are not made of solid timber, they are laminated, out of I believe ebonised pearwood, with a veneer of ebony on the outside. The ends are raised (domed) and the first problem is to reproduce this dome. A friend who has a wood machining business and an interest in instrument making explained the process to make the blanks for the ends. First you produce a former with the same profile as the underside of the end, a straightforward turning job. Then obtain the required pear and ebony veneers - you would need to measure the thicknesses from what you have, and count the number of lamina. Then the veneers are glued up and vacuum clamped onto the former till the glue has cured. Vacuum clamping is a well established technique in the furniture making trade. Once the ends are formed you would transfer the fretwork pattern from what you have left, and cut the fretwork, cutting the button holes requires a very high degree of precision to match the locating pins for the lower ends of the buttons. Getting an accurate match is critical to smooth button movement.

Of course you could make the ends out of solid timber, which could simply be turned on both sides to provide the raised shape. A different timber might then be needed so it is stable, pear naturally grows with a twisted trunk which can leave it prone to further twisting with humidity changes. The chosen timber should not be prone to splitting along the grain between parts of the fretwork.

The serial number is 129662, as printed on the bellows, any idea's of what year this is?


That is the Edeophone registered design number, not a serial number. You should find the serial number stamped in several places inside.

What would be the value, after it has been fully restored?


That probably depends on the quality of the restoration, (and the reputation of the restorer??)

#3 stormforce10

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 04:23 PM

Thanks Theo, on close inspection of the bits I have got, you can see the three veneers, and it appears that the outer side is also polished with something.
Trying to make the ends is a last resort, I'm hoping to get some, from somewhere.
I now think I jumped in with both feet, without really knowing what I'm doing.

Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

#4 Theo

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 06:54 PM

Thanks Theo, on close inspection of the bits I have got, you can see the three veneers, and it appears that the outer side is also polished with something.

It will be black French Polish - another skill for you to learn!

Trying to make the ends is a last resort, I'm hoping to get some, from somewhere.

Trouble is the ends are the most fragile parts so chances of finding a spare pair of ends without a concertina attached are pretty slim. Worth asking David Leese.

I now think I jumped in with both feet, without really knowing what I'm doing.

:blink:

I did consider bidding for it just as a source of spare parts - mainly the reeds - but the price went way over what it was worth to me.

Edited by Theo, 27 January 2010 - 06:55 PM.


#5 Chris Drinkwater

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 08:50 PM

What would be the value, after it has been fully restored?


Well, I bought a restored metal-ended 48 key treble Edeophone 2 years ago from a respected dealer for 1900. The dealer was charging 1800 for wooden-ended ones. I doubt that Edeophone prices have risen that much in the meantime, so that gives you some idea as to its value once restored, regardless of how much it has cost you to purchase and restore! Sadly, wooden-ended Edeophones are prone to damage to the fretwork ends due to their almost round shape and propensity to roll off surfaces, like tables, and crash onto the floor. :ph34r: It just shows you how fragile they are. I keep mine on a leash!

Chris

#6 Paul Read

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 09:06 PM

Andrew Norman does this sort of repair. It may be the best route for you.

#7 Chris Ghent

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:09 AM

Don't let people here talk you out of doing it yourself, its not an easy job, but its not impossible either. You are not destroying anything by having a go. The ebony will be tricky to find and you would probably need to use several layers of modern veneer to make the thickness of one layer of 19th century veneer. Theo's description is good. You could use a female mould to match the male if vacumm is not available. It doesn't have to be pear in the middle laminate, beech for eaxmple would be fine. A good source to consult would be Geoff Crabb who I remember recounting the way they made raised ebony ends.

Theo pinpoints the hardest task, locating the button holes accurately. If enough remains of the original ends it may be possible to sandwich your new end and an old one, slip the screws through to line the two up together and then drill the new one through the old holes. I wouldnt go right through as ebony will break out very easily. Perhaps a good pilot hole (using a guide bush in the overall hole size) which you then carefully drill from the top. Line the drill up on each hole using the pilot size drill, clamp the new top to the deck of the drill press, change to the proper size of proper edge cutting drill and drill through.

regs

Chris

#8 gavdav

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 03:18 AM

The ebony will be tricky to find and you would probably need to use several layers of modern veneer to make the thickness of one layer of 19th century veneer.


I've had some success is finding hardwood veneers from Craft Supplies in Millers Dale - they sell packs for a few pounds with a selection in which I have found big enough for guitar headstock plates - they may be able to find you something if you're in the UK. It may need to be ebonised with an iron stain or something similar before french polishing. There's a place in Witney sells french polishing supplies appropriate to this job by mail order. (i.e. small volumes of black french polish!)

#9 stormforce10

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 10:09 AM

Thanks everyone for all the good information.

Can't find any numbers anywhere, unless they are on the other side of the reed pans, I havn't taken the reed pans out of the bellows, because I'm not sure how they come out.

When I get the ends sorted, I'll post up what I have done.

#10 Theo

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:21 PM

Thanks everyone for all the good information.

Can't find any numbers anywhere, unless they are on the other side of the reed pans, I havn't taken the reed pans out of the bellows, because I'm not sure how they come out.


Just hook a finger through the central hole and pull gently but firmly.

Edeophones usually have the numbers in three places on both ends (a) on the top of the reedpan, the side where the chambers are, (b)on the inside of the bellows frame, © and sometimes on the underside of the action board.

Get Dave Elliots book before you do anything more. It will clarify a lot of the details of how a concertina is put together.

Also it would be a very good idea to get a cheap distressed instrument, eg a brass reeded EC, or even a 20 key anglo to learn some of the skills you need before tackling the edeophone. It is very easy to make irreversible mistakes, especially when it comes to reeds, and top quality edeophone reeds are not really the place to learn. It would be a bit like setting an apprentice mechanic to restore a vintage Alvis. :o

Edited by Theo, 28 January 2010 - 12:22 PM.


#11 Kautilya

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 02:52 PM

Autolathe scan (someone else's good end)and auto-mill?
Same again for the piercings for accuracy.
There must be companies out there doing this.
Veneer after as required as per Theo's counsels.

http://www.millit5.com/Process.html

there are lots of youtubes on hand milling out 'bowls' for the moulding but looks like a fair amount of skill to get it accuratte whereas a scan should be deadly accurate.

The same principle of scan and cut should work for any fretwork surely.

ps I have been talking to some Chinese engineering Cos who can scan and cut metal parts (they supply many of the big mobike names with sprockets, brake cylinders, panels, housings etc) but followup has been slow.

pps and remember to put pencil marks on box and pan top sides before you pull the pan out with your thumb hrough the hole ...so u know how it goes back. Took me days to find out how to make that move originally!

Edited by Kautilya, 28 January 2010 - 03:11 PM.


#12 Chris Ghent

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 03:42 AM

Autolathe scan (someone else's good end)and auto-mill?
Same again for the piercings for accuracy.

You could never take the risk on two ends being the same. While I don't know for sure Lachenal did this, a common production technique was to assemble the end box and drill the button holes in the end and the pilot holes in the action board at the same time. Small variations in overall location of the button cluster would then not matter.

Scan and auto-mill (laser would be better) is easy to say, much harder to do, and expensive for just one, especially with the domed end. If this end is to be replaced it is best hand cut by someone who cares...

Chris

#13 stormforce10

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 04:30 PM

I think I have got the ends sorted, a little different, but I think the way to go, more details at the end of the week.

Just received the bits from Dave Leese, for the valves, pads and bushings, arrived very quickley,
Seems staight forward to fix these bits, any tips, doe's or don'ts.

Theo, I realise I can't mess with the reeds, but why are the reeds all shinney and clean,
on the top but dull with a blue tint on the other side?

I have found the numbers in the reed pan, 52249, which I think date this as 1917, is this a good year for edeophone's?

If things go ok I will stick some pictures of the ends up at the weekend.

#14 Chris Drinkwater

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 07:29 PM

I have found the numbers in the reed pan, 52249, which I think date this as 1917, is this a good year for edeophone's?


Well, there was still a war on, then, so who knows! :unsure: My Edeophone's serial number is 58856, which I am guessing dates from the late 1920's, as the Lachenal ledgers have all been lost/destroyed. Mine sounds very nice. :) Good luck with the restoration.

Chris

#15 Theo

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 04:32 AM

Theo, I realise I can't mess with the reeds, but why are the reeds all shinney and clean,
on the top but dull with a blue tint on the other side?


That is normal, and very good that they are shiny and clean. The blue colour would originally have been on both sides when the steel was made, but in making the reed much metal has to be filed from the top surface, exposing the clean steel surface that you see. If you look very closely (with a hand lens) you will see file marks on the top surface, but not on the blue underside.

#16 Dowright

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:17 AM

RE: Chris Drinkwater's Edeophone #58856. Actually, it appears to date from the early 1920s--probably in 1922. Relative to many other Lacehnal concertinas, a fairly accurate estimate is faciliated by two Lachenal bills of sale--(1) a bill of sale, showing that "Mr. A. E. Perkins" purchased both #58885 (56 Key) and #58887 (48-key Edeophone with bowing valves) on July 10, 1923 and (2) a bill of sale, showing the purchase of #59086 (56-key Edeophone) on April 2, 1923. Thus, it appears that Mr. Perkins's concertinas were made in 1922 and held in inventory for several months.
During the 1923-1930 period, it appears that Lachenal made about 1,000 English concertinas, or about 125 instruments per year on average. A bill of sale dated 19 September 1930 was for Edeophone #60263.

#17 david robertson

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 01:02 PM

You say that the ends are damaged, but not how badly. Replacing ends in their entirety is, as Theo suggests, pretty much a degree-level project, but if it is just a case of a few gaps in the fretwork, these can be repaired with a modicum of skill with a scrollsaw and a good deal of patience.
Start with a close-grained, dense hardwood, and cut it (or cause it to be cut) into slices a couple of mm thicker than the ends. Now is the time to have lots of fun with a light box and some tracing paper. Being cut by hand, concertina ends are not perfectly symmetrical, but you can usually find areas of good fretwork that you can use as a guide to the piece that needs replacing. You will probably have to adjust your tracing, using hand and eye, to fit the gap. When you are satisfied with the shape you have drawn, use your printer/copier to make a copy on white paper, stick it onto your slice of timber, and cut it out on your scrollsaw. Using PVA glue, stick the new piece into the gap, leaving the edges a little proud of the old surface. If your replacement piece spans the curve of the raised end, you can simply sand it to match the curve when the glue has dried. Unless you are endowed with superhuman woodworking skills, you will almost certainly find that there are niggling little gaps in places between old and new timber. This is where a 2-pack black resin called Loctite 4105 comes in handy. It cures in seconds, can be easily sanded, and accepts French polish - which, if you sand down the repaired end assiduously, will render your repair invisible (unless, of course, you look at the inside!) Good luck!

#18 spindizzy

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 01:55 PM

You say that the ends are damaged, but not how badly. Replacing ends in their entirety is, as Theo suggests, pretty much a degree-level project, but if it is just a case of a few gaps in the fretwork, these can be repaired with a modicum of skill with a scrollsaw and a good deal of patience.
Start with a close-grained, dense hardwood, and cut it (or cause it to be cut) into slices a couple of mm thicker than the ends. Now is the time to have lots of fun with a light box and some tracing paper. Being cut by hand, concertina ends are not perfectly symmetrical, but you can usually find areas of good fretwork that you can use as a guide to the piece that needs replacing. You will probably have to adjust your tracing, using hand and eye, to fit the gap. When you are satisfied with the shape you have drawn, use your printer/copier to make a copy on white paper, stick it onto your slice of timber, and cut it out on your scrollsaw. Using PVA glue, stick the new piece into the gap, leaving the edges a little proud of the old surface. If your replacement piece spans the curve of the raised end, you can simply sand it to match the curve when the glue has dried. Unless you are endowed with superhuman woodworking skills, you will almost certainly find that there are niggling little gaps in places between old and new timber. This is where a 2-pack black resin called Loctite 4105 comes in handy. It cures in seconds, can be easily sanded, and accepts French polish - which, if you sand down the repaired end assiduously, will render your repair invisible (unless, of course, you look at the inside!) Good luck!


I think it's this one - needs rebuild of one end




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