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My first Jeffries!


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#1 Andy Holder

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 04:51 PM

It's been a good week for me. Acquired my first Jeffries Anglo. Never thought it would happen until much further down the line. It's an interesting one, having had an extra 4 notes added on the left and 8 notes added on the right, including an awful sort of duck squawk! It now has 43 buttons + air.

Posted Image

It's got a fair bit of sellotape on the bellows and the reedpans are v. dirty but I am thrilled with it. Doesn't really play much at all but that's a minor problem :rolleyes:

However, one thing I'm a little concerned about is the end bolts. They've been screwed down to the point where the metal has distorted and the wood underneath has compressed and bulged, as they do.

Posted Image

This isn't the worst, but it illustrates it well. I would love to rectify this, by packing it with a fillet, re-ebonising and straightening the metal. I'm not worried about doing it, just worried about whether I should be doing it. I know some purists would say it ought to be left, but I'm not really in that camp.

I'd appreciate opinions on the old restoration vs. conservation argument.

Andrew

#2 RP3

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 05:14 PM

Hi Andrew,

I have several Jeffries models and have considered the same question. My suggestion to you is that you not mess with the bent metal and compressed wood if that's your only problem. Now if you need other repairs to the sides, then my answer would be different. But if the concertina doesn't have any bellows to frame air leaks, I'd leave well enough alone.

From the limited views you gave us, I wonder if the bellows are going. If so, I'd recommend you go for a quality bellows replacement. No cheapie here since you've got a quality instrument.

On the restoration vs conservation argument, I have no use for collectors who take good playing instruments out of circulation. So I say to do what needs to be done to keep this Jeffries as a top player -- and enjoy!

Ross Schlabach

#3 Andy Holder

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 05:27 PM

Hi Andrew,

I have several Jeffries models and have considered the same question. My suggestion to you is that you not mess with the bent metal and compressed wood if that's your only problem. Now if you need other repairs to the sides, then my answer would be different. But if the concertina doesn't have any bellows to frame air leaks, I'd leave well enough alone.

From the limited views you gave us, I wonder if the bellows are going. If so, I'd recommend you go for a quality bellows replacement. No cheapie here since you've got a quality instrument.

On the restoration vs conservation argument, I have no use for collectors who take good playing instruments out of circulation. So I say to do what needs to be done to keep this Jeffries as a top player -- and enjoy!

Ross Schlabach


Thanks for that Ross.

There are some more pics here.


Unfortunately the bellows are leaking like a sieve. However I think a re-bind and a selective gusset here 'n there will do it. Most of the leather is sound. It's also a really good excuse for me to get that Sharf-fix skiving machine :P
Quite a few of the reeds are v. rusty, but I think they're all salvageable. As you can see from the photos, someone has done a fairly decent job of adding the extra notes. The reed frames have been screwed onto the surface of the reedpan, rather than cutting into it, which is good.
Only problem I have is I'm getting a bit obsessed already, it's 10.30 pm and I'm still working on it.
Thanks again
Andrew

#4 RP3

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 10:04 PM

Andrew, when I studied the right hand photo you originally posted, I could only see two buttons that obviously looked like they were added later. The rest looked original. I couldn't find a picture of the right end of a 38 button model to compare to but I'm thinking yours might have started life as a 38 button model. One reason I'm thinking that way is the metal around the rest of the buttons. Only the 2 bottom end buttons extend beyond that solid metal portion that normally surrounds the button area. It will be interesting to hear what our experts have to say.

Ross Schlabach

#5 Dirge

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 12:54 AM

Andrew, when I studied the right hand photo you originally posted, I could only see two buttons that obviously looked like they were added later. The rest looked original. I couldn't find a picture of the right end of a 38 button model to compare to but I'm thinking yours might have started life as a 38 button model. One reason I'm thinking that way is the metal around the rest of the buttons. Only the 2 bottom end buttons extend beyond that solid metal portion that normally surrounds the button area. It will be interesting to hear what our experts have to say.

Ross Schlabach

I'd have said the same thing.

The duck call hints at music hall use in the past, I think.

#6 Alex West

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 03:15 AM

Andrew

Congratulations on achieving the first part of your ambition!

As you say, it's an interesting machine and yet more evidence of the Jeffries family's commitment to standardisation!

The fretwork is almost like a 38 key - except that a standard 38 key would have a single button below the bottom row on both the left hand and right hand sides. There's no evidence in te fretwork that this has ever had a single button on the left and the right hand fretwork looks to be set up for two buttons.

The reed pans however look to be very similar to a "standard" 46 key instrument. The set-up of the reed pans doesn't look to have been modified much and mounting of additional reeds by screwing to the pan is a very standard feature. Compare yours with the attached photo of a 46 key (which is itself not quite standard).

I wonder if this was put together out of components?

It's quite typical to see the metal bent as you describe and nothing to worry about. You can straighten it to some extent but, having done it twice myself, I wouldn't go to the effort of re-veneering the entire box for the issues you show

Alex West

Attached Thumbnails

  • GD Jeffries LH Push reeds.JPG


#7 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 03:20 AM

These 'added' notes look as though they have been put in by Jeffries, at least the reeds and key work look to be of the same make. Has some attempt been made to support the 'extra' buttons, in the 'bushings' area ?

One question Andy; your pictures are of such a high quality, perhaps they are amongst the best I have so far seen on the web, what camera equipment are you using ? I ask because I am in the market to make some improvements to my Digital photographic capabilities.

#8 Andy Holder

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 08:17 AM

Andrew, when I studied the right hand photo you originally posted, I could only see two buttons that obviously looked like they were added later. The rest looked original. I couldn't find a picture of the right end of a 38 button model to compare to but I'm thinking yours might have started life as a 38 button model. One reason I'm thinking that way is the metal around the rest of the buttons. Only the 2 bottom end buttons extend beyond that solid metal portion that normally surrounds the button area. It will be interesting to hear what our experts have to say.

Ross Schlabach


You're almost certainly right. There are two "rogues" on each end. I wasn't sure if the isolated button on the left (a mirror of the RH air button) was original. Seems an odd place to put an extra button.
Andrew

#9 Andy Holder

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 08:22 AM

Andrew

Congratulations on achieving the first part of your ambition!

As you say, it's an interesting machine and yet more evidence of the Jeffries family's commitment to standardisation!

The fretwork is almost like a 38 key - except that a standard 38 key would have a single button below the bottom row on both the left hand and right hand sides. There's no evidence in te fretwork that this has ever had a single button on the left and the right hand fretwork looks to be set up for two buttons.

The reed pans however look to be very similar to a "standard" 46 key instrument. The set-up of the reed pans doesn't look to have been modified much and mounting of additional reeds by screwing to the pan is a very standard feature. Compare yours with the attached photo of a 46 key (which is itself not quite standard).

I wonder if this was put together out of components?

It's quite typical to see the metal bent as you describe and nothing to worry about. You can straighten it to some extent but, having done it twice myself, I wouldn't go to the effort of re-veneering the entire box for the issues you show

Alex West


Thanks. I didn't realise that they would screw reed frames to the surface of the reed pan but it does look exactly like your picture. Looking at it more carefully it appears that the left hand end had 3 rows and the right hand end had three rows + 2. And the there's the single button right out on its own on the left.
Andrew

#10 Andy Holder

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 08:24 AM


Andrew, when I studied the right hand photo you originally posted, I could only see two buttons that obviously looked like they were added later. The rest looked original. I couldn't find a picture of the right end of a 38 button model to compare to but I'm thinking yours might have started life as a 38 button model. One reason I'm thinking that way is the metal around the rest of the buttons. Only the 2 bottom end buttons extend beyond that solid metal portion that normally surrounds the button area. It will be interesting to hear what our experts have to say.

Ross Schlabach

I'd have said the same thing.

The duck call hints at music hall use in the past, I think.


You're right Dirge. Definitely music hall type of stuff, Up the Old Kent Road!
Andrew

#11 Alex West

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 08:26 AM

Andy

I'd say there were 2 extra buttons on the right and 3 on the left. The one outside the bushing board on the far left of the middle row looks like a "foreigner". The reed it operates is a standard position so the other levers may have been shuffled (but they all look the same age so Geoff could be right that it's a factory modification). The left hand thumb button is pefectly standard (but not always there) and is usually (but not always) a drone

Alex West

#12 Andy Holder

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 08:47 AM

These 'added' notes look as though they have been put in by Jeffries, at least the reeds and key work look to be of the same make. Has some attempt been made to support the 'extra' buttons, in the 'bushings' area ?

One question Andy; your pictures are of such a high quality, perhaps they are amongst the best I have so far seen on the web, what camera equipment are you using ? I ask because I am in the market to make some improvements to my Digital photographic capabilities.


Hi Geoff, the extra buttons haven't been supported, nor do they have any sort of bushing. I think the responsibility falls on me to give them a bit of extra support!

Thank you for your compliment about the photos. Although it is is a bit off topic, I'm glad to give away all my secrets!

I believe it's very little to do with the camera, but all about the lighting and background. Here's a picture, using my normal setup but taken with my phone.

Posted Image

As they say in the instrument repair world, it takes some very specialised equipment and years of experience and training. :D

Seriously though, here's my setup, in our tiny dining room:

Posted Image

I have a 4' roll of Coloroll background paper which has lasted me for about 10 years, just coming to the end of it now. It looks better than chucking the thing on a chair or an old bed sheet.

The light is a single studio flash head with a large softbox on it. This gives a broad light with very soft shadows and, importantly, a lot of light, so you can use something like f22 or f32, thereby getting lots of depth of field.

Jessops do some great stuff here. It's also good for portraiture. You can use more than one light but they always end up fighting each other so it's much easier to have a big single light, the bigger the better.

I use either a Canon 500D or Olympus E510, but most modern digitals will give excellent result. For developing, I find Adobe Lightroom 3 has by far the best algorithms for sharpening and noise reduction and basic editing.

Sorry again for being OT.
Andrew

Edited by Andy Holder, 12 February 2012 - 09:09 AM.


#13 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 09:35 AM


These 'added' notes look as though they have been put in by Jeffries, at least the reeds and key work look to be of the same make. Has some attempt been made to support the 'extra' buttons, in the 'bushings' area ?

One question Andy; your pictures are of such a high quality, perhaps they are amongst the best I have so far seen on the web, what camera equipment are you using ? I ask because I am in the market to make some improvements to my Digital photographic capabilities.


Hi Geoff, the extra buttons haven't been supported, nor do they have any sort of bushing. I think the responsibility falls on me to give them a bit of extra support!

Thank you for your compliment about the photos. Although it is is a bit off topic, I'm glad to give away all my secrets!

I believe it's very little to do with the camera, but all about the lighting and background. Here's a picture, using my normal setup but taken with my phone.

Posted Image

As they say in the instrument repair world, it takes some very specialised equipment and years of experience and training. :D

Seriously though, here's my setup, in our tiny dining room:

Posted Image

I have a 4' roll of Coloroll background paper which has lasted me for about 10 years, just coming to the end of it now. It looks better than chucking the thing on a chair or an old bed sheet.

The light is a single studio flash head with a large softbox on it. This gives a broad light with very soft shadows and, importantly, a lot of light, so you can use something like f22 or f32, thereby getting lots of depth of field.

Jessops do some great stuff here. It's also good for portraiture. You can use more than one light but they always end up fighting each other so it's much easier to have a big single light, the bigger the better.

I use either a Canon 500D or Olympus E510, but most modern digitals will give excellent result. For developing, I find Adobe Lightroom 3 has by far the best algorithms for sharpening and noise reduction and basic editing.

Sorry again for being OT.
Andrew



Many thanks Andy for being OT (and or OTT) about this. It is a lot like asking someone who plays well what instrument they have, and thinking that the quality of the instrument is having a great effect on the playing. Well, it may have an influence but it is really the person behind the instrument, or camera, that makes the most difference.
I agree that it is the lighting that is showing up well in your pictures.. I will look into these flash head and soft box things.. before spending too much on a new camera.

Twas a silly question and I should have known better.

Good luck with the restoration,
Geoff.

Edited by Geoff Wooff, 12 February 2012 - 09:52 AM.


#14 Andy Holder

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 10:45 AM

Not a silly question at all Geoff, and not taken as such, and thanks for the interest.
Cheers
Andrew

#15 Marcus

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 07:29 PM

Where'd you find that beauty Andy?

#16 Andy Holder

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:19 AM

Where'd you find that beauty Andy?


Haha! If I told you that I'd have to kill you!

Seriously though, it was in a small provincial auction house and I just got lucky!

Cheers
Andrew

#17 aybee

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:40 AM

Hi Andy,

Id be interested to know if one of the extra LH buttons gives you the note a whole tone above the usual lowest note? (So a low D if its a C/G anglo) Ive always felt it to be the biggest hole in the anglo layout and is often not even present on the bigger 4 row instruments.

Adrian

#18 Andy Holder

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 02:31 PM

Hi Andy,

Id be interested to know if one of the extra LH buttons gives you the note a whole tone above the usual lowest note? (So a low D if its a C/G anglo) Ive always felt it to be the biggest hole in the anglo layout and is often not even present on the bigger 4 row instruments.

Adrian


Hi Adrian. It's difficult to determine what some of the reeds are, because they're not playing well. The lowest additional note is trying to be a G. It's G2 (98Hz). An octave below the G below middle C.
Andrew




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