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A Cautionary Tale...


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#1 Will Moore

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 04:18 AM

Hello campers!

 

I wanted to share an experience with you so that others don't make the same mistake as I.

 

I have recently been restoring a vintage Wheatstone concertina. The reeds were in great shape, and I don't have the skill to tune them, so I have left well alone. What I have done however is strip all the woodwork, french polish it, rebush the buttonholes, add new straps reblack the bellows and add David Elliot's Daisy pattern papers to the bellows.

 

It's been weeks of work, and I am/was insanely proud of the job. You would all have seen photos of it yesterday had it not been of one fatal misjudgement on my part.

 

I followed a video done by Bob Tedrow on applying the papers, and then read some further advice on his blog about applying a spray lacquer to the bellows to seal them and add a nice sheen.

Bob recommends a brand called Master Shine. I looked this up online, and found a brand offering the same name that appeared to do the same thing. 

 

I dutifully tested the spray on some paper, and it worked a treat, adding a nice protective layer. I read the forums and description which said it could be used on soft materials too. 

 

I finally took the plunge and coated the bellows with a thin coat. Within 20 minutes, the bellows had dried and I went to inspect them and found that the lacquer had dried a milky colour and was cracking horribly - the bellows still actuated perfectly, but the finish was ruined.

 

Master Shine in the UK is clearly not the same thing :( 

 

I am a skilled person and have no issues working with wood and leather normally, but I am now looking at a full replacement set of bellows for this due to one small mistake on my part. It is a mistake I shall not make again thats for sure. Sharing here in case it stops someone else from making the same error.

 

I will share photos again once I have the new bellows as it is a lovely concertina!

 

 

 

 



#2 malcolm clapp

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 09:02 AM

Might be worth writing a pleasant letter to the manufacturer asking for their advice and comments.

I've found some companies will be surprisingly helpful (though others will no doubt file your correspondence you know where!)

All depends on who's desk it arrives on....you might get lucky, and the cost of a stamp might be slightly less than a new bellows.

Nothing ventured: nothing gained.

 

Thanks for the warning though.



#3 adrian brown

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 09:41 AM

That's sad news Will, I think in your place, I'd spray the product on a few small pieces of leather, let it dry and then try out a few different solvents on them, to see what might get rid of it. There's of course the risk that if you subsequently use it on your bellows, the glue might also dissolve, but by working slowly and carefully, you might be able to save the situation.

Good luck and wait until a few more have answered before trying anything...

 

Adrian



#4 Will Moore

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 10:07 AM

I have bitten the bullet and sent the concertina to Mark Lloyd Adey who is making me a new set of bellows. 

 

The job I did on the ends was in my opinion a good one, but the bellows work was only prettifying something that had some issues. The bellows were very loose and leaked a fair amount, so while I can't really afford it, I have decided this lovely concertina deserves the best possible treatment, and that is a new set.

 

On the plus side, Mark is going to bring it back to tune as it was slightly off, something I would never attempt, so every cloud and all that! I'm trying to be pragmatic about it, and thankfully I have a forgiving wife and a decent credit line :P 

 

I am now excited to see what comes back - as it will be fantastic to have bellows that look as lovely as the ends!



#5 d.elliott

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 11:52 AM

Mark has sought some replacement papers from me already!

 

Dave



#6 Will Moore

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 01:15 PM

Thanks Dave! I chatted with him last week. I’m very excited. I took the opportunity to add an extra fold as it’s a G/D and am having gold tooling done as well as your lovely daisy papers. It should be a real looker when she comes home :) will of course share photos.

#7 d.elliott

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 12:25 PM

look forward to them






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