I have really gotten excited about playing traditional music these last few years and ended up buying an old english concertina when I wanted to try on a new instrument to learn. I have been an active and touring musicican for years and years and have gotten fairly used to fixing and maintaining my instruments so i felt confident that I would be able to put the concertina back together or atleast make an informed guess as to when to leave it in more capable hands. The bellows where pretty much dust and torn apart in a very rough way. Even if I knew how to properly make bellows im not sure if restoring the old bellows would have been anything but naive and it crumbled in my hands as I was assessing the damage.
I decided to make my own bellows using origamifolding because it seemed so much easier. So i bough a relatively thick piece of paper/cardboard and strengthened the inside with a layer of Bobbtape and the outside with gaffatape (it was never meant to be anything other than a trial so i disregarded the design and looks entirely.
I am happy to say that it plays wonderfully. The only thing im noticing is that theres a different force required for push vs. pull but i read about how thats a thing other bellowmakers are figuring out too so i dont think that this is something related to the origamifolding as much as it is about me being an amateur. Also i can feel it evening out after hours and hours of playing. It would be fun to have some experienced players try it out and tell me how it compares to normal bellows but for me it feels pretty much the same (i have an irish concertina with working bellows that i bought at the same time since im playing irish tunes and wanted the different notes on the push and pull also) but my frame of reference ends there.
What I would wanna start a topic about is if there have been other endeavours into other types of building parts for the boxes
or if anyone with more knowledge and experience would be open to giving me some pointers. All help is appreciated!
In closing i feel like pointing out that im not of the opinion that the instrument is in any dire need of improvements at all and that i was and am reluctant to tinkering too much with these old boxes given my lack of knowledge. I think however that learning by doing really works and I havent done anything irreversible to my instrument so i think im in the clear.