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Raised Ends

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#1 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 04:57 AM

Does anybody know how they make the raised ends, or domed keyboards, on wooden ended Edeophones etc?

 

I'm guessing they either used a steam press to bend a flat piece, or carved the shape from a thicker flat piece. But that's just guesswork. It's hard to tell by looking.

 

Anybody know for sure?



#2 SteveS

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 08:41 AM

Here is a thread from a number of years ago in which I discuss the making of new ends for an Aeola TT.

 

To make the new raised ends the following steps were followed:

 

- make a mould for the ends, the shape of the mould defining both the outside dimensions, and a part defining the inside dimensions

- prepare veneers to make a laminate - both internal part of the laminate, inside of the concertina and the outside veneer

- glue the veneers of the laminates together and place in the mould - place in a nipping press, crank up really tight, and leave for at least 24 hours

- when removed from the press, remove excess glue and cut fretwork

 

Hope this helps.

Steve


Edited by SteveS, 25 June 2016 - 08:42 AM.


#3 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 04:42 PM

Thanks Steve. That's a fascinating thread. 

Do you think that that's how they did it a hundred years ago? I have an edeophone with ends in poor condition, but looking at the wood it doesn't seem to be laminate. But it's very hard to tell.

 

I looked really hard to see if there were any grain lines, where a solid piece had been carved through the grain, but I couldn't see any.

But I couldn't rule it out either.

I ended up of the opinion that a flat piece had been bent in a steamed press. But I was only guessing.

 

But I can see from your reply and link that there are other good options too.



#4 SteveS

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 03:30 AM

A solid piece of wood may well have been used and pressed in a steamed press.

Single piece ends seem to eventually fail with time, shrinkage, misuse, etc - many seem to now require replacement.

 

There is obviously much more detail to my description above - but I've outlined the process I've used.

 

The TT ends originally had a thicker core with thinner veneers on the outer faces.  A multi-ply laminate is much stronger though.

 

I've made both raised and flat ends using the above process (here's a link to bass for which I made new ends, and link to pictures).

 

Choice of glues: I've used cascamine and liquid hide glue - liquid hide glue is much better, controllable and has a longer open time allowing adjustment of the laminate layers before pressing. And I believe cascamine is hazardous, so a mask is recommended when cutting the frets.

 

Here's a link to my nipping prress.


Edited by SteveS, 26 June 2016 - 10:56 AM.


#5 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 10:50 PM

I certainly agree that your method is better than a one-piece, and is probably going to last much longer.

Will the hide glue still be good in 100 years time though? 

 

Old violins seem to hold for hundreds of years. What glue did they use, I wonder?



#6 alex_holden

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 01:10 AM

Old violins seem to hold for hundreds of years. What glue did they use, I wonder?


Hide glue I believe, though generally used hot rather than with an additive to make it stay liquid at room temperature.

#7 SteveS

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 02:40 AM

 

Old violins seem to hold for hundreds of years. What glue did they use, I wonder?


Hide glue I believe, though generally used hot rather than with an additive to make it stay liquid at room temperature.

 

Traditional hide glue is better than liquid hide glue, but more difficult to work in the absence of a heated press.

But the ends I've made are under minimal stress so the glue bonding should last.


Edited by SteveS, 28 June 2016 - 04:25 AM.


#8 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 04:07 AM

I wonder if ebony is more prone to breaking with age?

 

The broken bits and edges on the Edeophone that I have seem to be black all the way through, which suggests that Lachenal used real ebony, rather than ebonised wood. (stained black)  And yet you often see them described as ebonised.



#9 SteveS

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 04:29 AM

I wonder if ebony is more prone to breaking with age?

 

The broken bits and edges on the Edeophone that I have seem to be black all the way through, which suggests that Lachenal used real ebony, rather than ebonised wood. (stained black)  And yet you often see them described as ebonised.

I've seen that too.

 

Cracks can appear with age and improper storage over the years.

Once cracks appear, if not recitified immediately, in a single piece of wood, and even the 3 ply laminate that's often used, cracks can propagate right through the wood.

Invaraibly pieces break off and are lost.

 

The Aeola I restored - the original ends were no more than dust being held together by dirt. They quickly desintegrated.



#10 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 09:43 AM

Of course, if the wood shrinks, and the ends are firmly clamped to a frame that hasn't shrunk, then it has to crack to relieve the stress.

Maybe loosening off the end bolts is a good idea when long-term storing a wooden-ended concertina.



#11 Stephen Chambers

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 09:26 PM

The broken bits and edges on the Edeophone that I have seem to be black all the way through, which suggests that Lachenal used real ebony, rather than ebonised wood. (stained black)  And yet you often see them described as ebonised.

 

Lachenal used black-stained ("ebonised"), laminated pearwood.



#12 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 04:40 AM

I guess they must have stained the laminates, before assembling. That would explain how the broken edges are black right through.

On the palm rests, you often see the black staining worn off and the original colour underneath.



#13 SteveS

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 05:12 AM

 

The broken bits and edges on the Edeophone that I have seem to be black all the way through, which suggests that Lachenal used real ebony, rather than ebonised wood. (stained black)  And yet you often see them described as ebonised.

 

Lachenal used black-stained ("ebonised"), laminated pearwood.

 

I've seen many ends that comprise 3 ply laminates - a thicker piece as the central core.

The wood is black right the way through - this is evident when ends are broken.

I've seen this on both Wheatstone and Lachenal 'tinas.

Whilst stained pear may have been used on some instruments, it seems as though others appear not to be made from pear - the wood appears to have a tighter grain than pear is more fragile (which could be due to it now being 100+ years on since it was made).


Edited by SteveS, 08 July 2016 - 05:12 AM.






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