As the most recent repair person for this instrument I'll jump in and say the most tedious work needed on this concertina concerned the bellows. 50s and 60s Wheatstones went with a butterfly covering for the valleys. In some cases folded card with no linen or leather valley hinge was used. In this case and with some other Wheatstones I've worked on from this era (error!) there was no conventional valley fold leather, just the butterfly to cover and seal the valley and cover both exposed sides of card. I'm not a fan of the butterfly covering. With the right material and carefully applied it can work. But I think there can be a lot of unnecessary stress in the crease in the valley. As the bellows are stretched and the "butterfly" speads its wings the "valley floor" can be stressed and, in this case, work loose causing leaks.
Valley leaks can be difficult to seal. In addition I discovered there were leaks in the top runs or ribs of the bellows. As I played "whack-a-mole" tracing down these leaks I found the top runs appeared to have been glued with a contact(?) type adhesive which was no longer viable. I gave up looking for individual leaks and pried up the top runs wholesale and glued them back down properly. Quite the repairman's nightmare.
(The 50s and 60s Wheatstones that were shipped to South Africa and now resurface have often had their bellows replaced. Irish Trad aficionados may tremble at the Africaners preference for 8-fold bellows but I'm beginning to appreciate some of the S.A. bellows construction as possible improvements over the originals!)
The good news was, that in the end, the bellows on Mike's Aeola were fairly tight and the instrument much more playable.
I also spent considerable time making sure the reed shoes were tight and properly fitted in their slots. This included a few instances of modifying dovetail slots so the reed tongues would clear the underneath vents. I felt the aluminum shoe and steel tongue reeds were good (but not outstanding as one might associate with the name "Aeola").
The bellows appeared to me as factory originals. While no one can really tell what indignities the bellows may have suffered in storage and treatment the past 40 years I suspect that if I had been on the quality control end I would have never let them out of the factory.
Edited several times for pesky spelling mistakes
Edited by Greg Jowaisas, 22 June 2012 - 09:31 AM.