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Are English Concertina buttons supposed to be loose


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#55 Steve Mansfield

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 11:31 AM

I'd seriously advise against getting any quotes or mending options until Castaglione have responded - even if they are not prepared to refund and/or replace (and we have no reason to suggest that isn't the course of action they will take), it is surely their responsibility to get this brand new instrument repaired, not yours ... Have a bit of patience, rather than throwing yet more money into this problem ...

#56 Troy

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:45 PM

I'd seriously advise against getting any quotes or mending options until Castaglione have responded - even if they are not prepared to refund and/or replace (and we have no reason to suggest that isn't the course of action they will take), it is surely their responsibility to get this brand new instrument repaired, not yours ... Have a bit of patience, rather than throwing yet more money into this problem ...


Yes, I'll keep still for now. I'll start tackling this problem again at end of this week or beginning of next.

Troy

#57 Troy

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 02:14 PM

When pressed, the buttons sink all the way down such that their tops sit flush with the end plate surface (is this how they're supposed to be?)

Yes, I think it is! Stagi-Mechanics. You might even push any button through "its" hole and lose it completely... Nothing to get fixed without changing the action in general, I'd guess...

I stumbled over "Castiglione" in early 2011 (which means that they're already in business for some time), shortly before I finally got my 48k Lachenal EC, which fits my needs terrifically.


I would like to amend my statement. Only about a third of the buttons of my Stagi sink all the way down to the surface of the end plates. The rest of the buttons sink to about 1 mm (maybe less by a hair) above the surface.

With my constant exposure to keyboards (where up to 10-note chords/harmonies are possible), I find the 48-key treble concertinas limiting for song accompaniment for my voice (when you're singing, you don't want your accompaniment/backup ringing above you all the time -- well, speaking for myself, I do not want the accompaniment to upstage my voice when I am singing). If I was going to get a 48-key concertina, I would opt for a baritone. But why stop at 48? In fact, the 56-key tenor/treble is already a compromise for me. If I really have a choice of EC, I would go for the baritone/treble but they are too expensive (almost as much as my used Hammond XK-3c Pro organ) - it provides for both song accompaniment for the male voice, choral hymns and classical solo pieces. And if I won the lottery, I would also have gotten myself an 81-key Crane duet. In fact, I thought I've saved enough for a 60b+ Crane, but when that 66-key Crane was showcased last month on eBay for $4000+, I was just floored. Oh well, on with the search...

Troy

Troy

#58 Richard Evans

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:40 PM

Dear Troy,
I approve of anyone willing to take on the concertina. Let it be popular again. The other day I read through the threads on your problem and it occurred to me to give you this advice. If you do take the ends off the buttons will splay out all over the place when you want to get it back together but if you hold the action board upside down all the buttons will be attracted by Mr Newton's gravity and hang straight down, then you cann easily replace the fretworked end without difficulty.
Richard Evans
Incidentally I don't touch those horrible cheap models.

#59 malcolmbebb

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:59 AM

May I suggest:

, then you can easily replace the fretworked end without difficulty.


...replace the fretworked ends with less difficulty :)

#60 David Barnert

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:33 AM

May I suggest:

, then you can easily replace the fretworked end without difficulty.


...replace the fretworked ends with less difficulty :)

Agreed. My first concertina was a 46-key Bastari Hayden. I frequently had to take an end off to realign a wayward lever or spring. Putting it back together meant holding it upside down and slowly raising the end plate while looking through the holes, hoping that all the buttons went through the holes at the same time, not a foregone conclusion.

Of course, it's not much better with my Wheatstone. Although the buttons don't require gravity to stay in place, they must all be perfectly erect at the same time as I lower the end onto them. Sometimes straightening one knocks a neighboring one off-kilter. Fortunately, I don't have to get into the ends nearly as often as with the Bastari.

#61 Frank Edgley

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:58 AM

Troy:


You can buy the bushing material from Concertina Spares in the UK (link). It would probably be a very fiddly job to bush (is that the correct term?) all of the buttons, but I don't think that it would require any special skills apart from steady hands and an incredible supply of patience. I am sure others will correct me if I am wrong about this.


Don.


Forgive me, but bushing previously unbushed ends is not quite that straightforward. The essential step you have ignored is reaming out the holes to make them big enough!


It can be done, but it is not all that simple, as Don says. If you make the holes too large, you have essentially ruined the instrument. If you are determined to do it, buy yourself a hand held tapered reamer and go slowly. Start reaming slowly from the backside of the grill. Make sure you have the material at hand, cut in a strip about 1/8" wide. Ordinary felt is no good. It has to be woven felt. Real wool billiard felt will work in a pinch, but the special woven felt from an organ supply house is best. It usually only comes in red. It is a trial and error procedure, especially the first time. Go slow, trying for size frequently. Once you are sure you have the right size hole with the felt installed and the button passes through without drag, remove the felt so you can mark the reamer with some masking tape to indicate how deep to go with the rest of the holes. Once they are in and the glue (hide glue) has dried, compress the felt a bit by inserting a pencil or similar object into the hole from the back side with a twisting motion. I'd be happy to assist with advice if you call me.

Edited by Frank Edgley, 04 January 2013 - 11:01 AM.


#62 Troy

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:27 AM

Troy:


You can buy the bushing material from Concertina Spares in the UK (link). It would probably be a very fiddly job to bush (is that the correct term?) all of the buttons, but I don't think that it would require any special skills apart from steady hands and an incredible supply of patience. I am sure others will correct me if I am wrong about this.


Don.


Forgive me, but bushing previously unbushed ends is not quite that straightforward. The essential step you have ignored is reaming out the holes to make them big enough!


It can be done, but it is not all that simple, as Don says. If you make the holes too large, you have essentially ruined the instrument. If you are determined to do it, buy yourself a hand held tapered reamer and go slowly. Start reaming slowly from the backside of the grill. Make sure you have the material at hand, cut in a strip about 1/8" wide. Ordinary felt is no good. It has to be woven felt. Real wool billiard felt will work in a pinch, but the special woven felt from an organ supply house is best. It usually only comes in red. It is a trial and error procedure, especially the first time. Go slow, trying for size frequently. Once you are sure you have the right size hole with the felt installed and the button passes through without drag, remove the felt so you can mark the reamer with some masking tape to indicate how deep to go with the rest of the holes. Once they are in and the glue (hide glue) has dried, compress the felt a bit by inserting a pencil or similar object into the hole from the back side with a twisting motion. I'd be happy to assist with advice if you call me.


Hello Mr. Edgley, thank you very much for your valuable input. I will make sure to print it out and give it to the accordion technician/repairman when I bring my concertina (and Harmonetta) to him for fixing. His name is Carl Teplitski. There was an article about him in the Winnipeg Free Press in 2004. It seems to me that he is the only accordion technician around here.

Troy

#63 Troy

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 11:38 AM

I'd seriously advise against getting any quotes or mending options until Castaglione have responded - even if they are not prepared to refund and/or replace (and we have no reason to suggest that isn't the course of action they will take), it is surely their responsibility to get this brand new instrument repaired, not yours ... Have a bit of patience, rather than throwing yet more money into this problem ...


Yes, I'll keep still for now. I'll start tackling this problem again at end of this week or beginning of next.

Troy


It is almost a week and I have yet to hear from Castiglione Accordions about a return/refund or exchange on this Stagi concertina. I will keep my fingers crossed that he will be decent enough to respond to me with some kind of resolution for a few more days. Maybe I'm getting too impatient.

Troy

#64 Troy

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:50 PM

Quick update:

 

January 11, 2013 - I sent a third email to John Castiglione.

 

January 15, 2013 - Having not received any response from John, I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (Western Michigan).

 

January 17, 2013 - I got a phone call from John. He was telling me their store was closed till January 2, and he did not receive my emails. (That's weird: he sure did not have any trouble receiving my emails when I was still purchasing the concertina from him). He said I should have called him when I did not receive any email response and that is how he do his business. He said I have too high an expectation regarding the quality of the concertina I ordered from them (That's weird: if you read their website, it boasts that their concertinas are high-quality). Anyway, he agreed to credit $200 back to me.

 

January 20, 2013 - I checked my credit card statement and saw the $200 reflected in my account.  Actually, it's not exactly $200.  Because of the US-to-Cdn exchange rate, I only got $191.50 credited back to me.

 

Other updates:

 

I finally was able to contact our local accordion technician. He is now 80, pretty much retired.  And he only did one or two minor concertina repairs in the past, so is reluctant taking this job/project on.  So it looks like I will have to make the necessary repairs/improvements myself.

 

I ordered the Concertina Maintenance Manual.  It has been shipped but I have not received it yet.  Afterward, I will have to order my materials (and some tools) after I have read the manual.  It looks like nothing will get done until summer comes around for this project.

 

Aside from the concertina, I have two Harmonettas that need tinkering.  One has rattling reeds (pads?/valves?) and some choked notes.  The other one plays more reasonably but has one note that plays even when no button is pressed down.

 

So this is going to be quite a learning curve.

 

Question:

 

What basic tools am I going to need to perform the repairs above (aside from the hand-held tapered reamer)?  Any suggestions would be welcomed.

 

Thank you to all who contributed to this thread.



#65 David Barnert

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:38 PM

I ordered the Concertina Maintenance Manual.  It has been shipped but I have not received it yet.  Afterward, I will have to order my materials (and some tools) after I have read the manual.  It looks like nothing will get done until summer comes around for this project.

 

I'm not sure the Concertina Maintenance Manual will be much help with a Stagi. It was written as a guide to repairing concertinas constructed in the British-style, a very different thing from the way Stagis are put together.



#66 Troy

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:54 PM

I ordered the Concertina Maintenance Manual.  It has been shipped but I have not received it yet.  Afterward, I will have to order my materials (and some tools) after I have read the manual.  It looks like nothing will get done until summer comes around for this project.

 

I'm not sure the Concertina Maintenance Manual will be much help with a Stagi. It was written as a guide to repairing concertinas constructed in the British-style, a very different thing from the way Stagis are put together.

 

The Concertina Maintenance Manual may still be good to keep.  I thought the Stagi only have their reeds arranged like an accordion's, but other than that, my understanding is that the rest of the mechanism is pretty similar to a concertina.  That is, you have some kind of a lever system the key/button on one end and pads on the other end which is held down by a spring of some sort to cover/open a hole.

 

Maybe I'm wrong.  I am not really qualified to speak on the subject.  I will have to wait to have everything together and for the winter to let up so I would have some safe isolated place to open up the concertina and see the actual scope of the problem. 

 

~~~



#67 David Barnert

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:28 PM

The Concertina Maintenance Manual may still be good to keep.  I thought the Stagi only have their reeds arranged like an accordion's, but other than that, my understanding is that the rest of the mechanism is pretty similar to a concertina.  That is, you have some kind of a lever system the key/button on one end and pads on the other end which is held down by a spring of some sort to cover/open a hole.

 

Yes, some kind of a lever system, etc, but different enough that a manual for one may not be much help with the other.






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