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Concertina Building


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#1 Henrik Müller

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 11:10 AM

Good morning, good day and good evening, C.netters!

The time has come to stick out my neck properly!
Those who have read parts of the "The Projects" pages on my site will suspect that I plan to build a concertina of my own. The horrible, hairraising sufferings of my little 18-button Stagi has been a prestudy for doing just that.

It has been (still is) an interesting summer holiday - I have been building concertina 5-8 hours a day - a very, very satisfying experience. I have photographed all steps of the procedure, as they took place, right on the kitchen-table.

At this point, I can hear the chorus of protests: "Look, here, mate - there are certain things that simply can't be done in the kitchen! You need machines and a workshop for that - heavy stuff!"

You are right, I do. And part of the planning/thinking has been dedicated to finding people who have the right stuff. All that will be clear as we go along (= as I get the web pages up with all the photos).

So far, I can say that I have used non-kitchen facilities for the following:

1) Trimming litttle pieces of wood to the correct size at an angle of 60 degrees
2) Lathing the inner bodies of the buttons
3) Cutting sheet metal (brass and aluminium (no, sheet aluminium is not used in the final design))

And I got a great start from an unexpected source. You can see it all here. Don't be disappointed - there will be more tomorrow!

My plan is to have most photos up by the end of this week.

Enjoy!

Henrik

#2 Henrik Müller

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 01:44 PM

- - -
My plan is to have most photos up by the end of this week.

Enjoy!

        Henrik

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



We had a thunderstorm this morning - woke up to WWIII and to the fact that the ADSL modem was dead (computers OK).

Right now, I am using a borrowed modem (for an hour or so), so a quick note to all:

I added a large part of the building pics last night and the link to get there. Use my web address below my signature, click "Kitchen-table Concertina Building" and "Start building".

This is how the box looks as of today:
SoFar.jpg
My wife had this comment: "Eeeeh - you don't need to build any more!"
(I'll make her no dinner tonight...)

Sorry, I am stressed out - hope the attachment is there, forgotten how to place inside the post (sorry, Henk - you showed me once, and I have done it before). If it isn't there, I promised to rehearse the procedure, and it will be on the web site eventually, but I need a new modem first.

/Henrik

#3 caj

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 02:11 PM

If you're really doing this in your kitchen, I recommend a certain level of awareness of the particulate matter y'all may be inhaling.

Certain hardwoods produce toxic sawdust, and if you intend to make buttons out of delrin plastic you certainly don't want to breathe that. Delrin dust is not poisonous, but it doesn't biodegrade either.

Caj

#4 Henrik Müller

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 03:10 PM

If you're really doing this in your kitchen, I recommend a certain level of awareness of the particulate matter y'all may be inhaling.

Certain hardwoods produce toxic sawdust, and if you intend to make buttons out of delrin plastic you certainly don't want to breathe that.  Delrin dust is not poisonous, but it doesn't biodegrade either.

Caj

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hello, Caj -

Thank you for your consideration. I am aware since long that some hardwoods have that unpleasant property (ebony?).

One benefit of doing this in the summer time, is that not all operations have to be done indoors, e.g. sanding the small surfaces of the hexsides is an activity well suited for some Swedish sunshine (should it choose to appear :) ).

I can reveal as much that delrin will not be used for the buttons - they will be (partly) wood - birch.

/Henrik

#5 caj

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 03:43 PM

I can reveal as much that delrin will not be used for the buttons - they will be (partly) wood - birch.

/Henrik

Okay. My 2 cents aside, let me add that those pictures are pretty cool.

I am in the very gradual process of putting together an unusual concertina with a weird layout. This will be an anglo-type layout, 30 buttons, but with the notes in genuinely weird places. I already have a fine set of reeds, and "just" need the box around it. I've been trying to mill a reedpan without losing a finger, and have discovered to my astonishment that this is hard :D.

Maybe we can join forces and trade notes. I've very little experience with the box frame, since I am working from the inside-out. I did fabricate a set of replacement buttons for my old new Crabb, so I have some experience with that. That's made from delrin (you can buy delrin rods of 1/4 or 3/16 from McMaster-Carr,) and it was a "kitchen table" project. You can tell how my skill increased by looking at the left half and then the right half of my concertina.

Caj

#6 JimLucas

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 04:23 PM

...some hardwoods have that unpleasant property (ebony?).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

All of the rosewood family have the ability to elicit allergic reactions in some people, and breathing their dust will affect most people in greater or lesser degree. Cocobolo is reputed to be the worst, which I can well believe, as I've suffered severe congestive symptoms just from playing a recorder (flute type, not mp3) made of cocobolo. :( :( (Double frowny, because it was in fact a wonderful instrument!)

#7 Henrik Müller

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Posted 06 August 2005 - 06:19 PM

I can reveal as much that delrin will not be used for the buttons - they will be (partly) wood - birch.

/Henrik

---
I am in the very gradual process of putting together an unusual concertina with a weird layout. This will be an anglo-type layout, 30 buttons, but ---

Caj

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Allright, Caj - now we are cooking with gas! The secret developers are revealing themselves :D - good to hear!

Yes - I seem to build from the outside in - after almost three weeks of daily hardship, I have basically covered " the cosmetics" - a fine-looking box... completely empty!

But of course I have a fairly well-defined idea of the rest.

Since I realised that the accordion-reed sound was much more my ideal than the classic "English" sound, I thereby removed a lot of technical difficulties, like routing a reed board (shudder). Accordion reeds can be placed on classic Anglo-type reed chambers, made from ready to use materials, without too exotic tools.

Tomorrow I will (hopefully) have finished the buttons, and Monday, sigh - back to work. On the positive side, that means designing end plate fretwork in the lunchbreak!

Tonight - thanks to the services of a newly aquired DSL modem - I have added 3 pages more of the building process, bringing it up to 5 (meaning the sides are basically finished, apart from laquering).

For those who may have skipped the start of this: the address is my web page (bottom of this post) clicking "Kitchen-table Concertina Building".

Disclaimer
Which makes me want to add a comment, concerning that very expression: take it literally - it happens in my kitchen, because I do not have a workshop or even a spare room, it is as simple as that. It does not imply that I think that concertina building is so simple that a kitchen is all you need to do it.

/Henrik

#8 Theo

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Posted 07 August 2005 - 02:55 AM

Tomorrow I will (hopefully) have finished the buttons, and Monday, sigh - back to work. On the positive side, that means designing end plate fretwork in the lunchbreak!


How about this one from the Wheatstone ledgers as a starting point.

Theo

#9 Henrik Müller

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Posted 07 August 2005 - 04:24 AM

Tomorrow I will (hopefully) have finished the buttons, and Monday, sigh - back to work. On the positive side, that means designing end plate fretwork in the lunchbreak!

How about this one from the Wheatstone ledgers as a starting point.

Theo

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks, Theo - there are certainly more to the ledgers than I suspected! I have actually done a large part of the fretwork design (copied and changed from a Jeffries photo). I find it hard, but not undoable - I feel it is a knack that can be developed, a "getting into" a mode of pattern (that actually can be applied to anything, once one master it). Back to the grindstone!

/Henrik

#10 caj

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Posted 07 August 2005 - 03:10 PM

Speaking of reedpans, I think I finally figured out the trick for milling them.

I only carved a few test slots, but they are precise and snug. This after several failed attempts to cut them by other means.

When my summer job is over, I will begin cutting the pans in earnest, and taking some photos.

Caj

#11 Henrik Müller

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 03:02 PM

Hello, all squeezers -
I have just added two more pages (both about buttons) to the concertina building series - address below, in signature.

Reeds arrived
It was with shaking hands I unfolded the little, flat brown-paper package from Antonelli earlier this week. Such a fine sight! 27 "a mano" accordion reeds.

They are big! So big in fact, that in the next morning's shower I started having this idea that they were too big. Had I gotten an octave lower? Naah, Antonelli knows their business. Still I had to get out a concertina and with a piece of paper go "Pling" on the highest reed. Of course it was right - concertina reeds are just so much smaller.

Now, as I know the reed plate dimensions, I can start the puzzle: drawing the walls of the reed chambers. The real fun is about to start!

/Henrik

#12 Henrik Müller

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 03:05 PM

Hi, C.netters -

It's been quiet from my side for a long time now. Being back at work and at the same time trying to maintain a decent progress in building is very frustrating! During the holiday, I could do one step, or one process per day, now it is down to one per week at best.

Anyway, it is moving. The sides now only need laquering, the reeds have arrived and that means that I suddenly can do lots of things: the reedpans, springs, levers....

I decided on the reedpans. The process is here and as you can see, it didn't turn out well... (I can almost hear Frank Edgley chuckling and saying: "I could have told you that"). Ah, well - nothing beats mistakes, when it comes to learning things. Let's see what the weekend brings - I have redesigned for the new dimensions, and it is also time to think about starting on the action parts. I am glad that I not attempting to build a big Duet!!

/Henrik

#13 Henk van Aalten

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 03:19 PM

During the holiday, I could do one step, or one process per day, now it is down to one per week at best.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Henrik
Although it may be a long story, but it is getting more and more exciting!!

#14 Samantha

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 05:43 PM

I hope this will be ready in time to come to Arran! It looks amazing!
Samantha

#15 Henrik Müller

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 07:37 AM

I hope this will be ready in time to come to Arran! It looks amazing!
Samantha

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I certainly hope so, too! But since I have a habit of being over-optimistic, I don't dare... no promises, but I'll do my best!

While I am waiting for my nasty cold to disappear (so I can get new reed pane material made, and get back in the sawdust, cough, cough), I take the opportunity to show my thoughts (so far) on mechanics of the action.

Now, the page contains a Macromedia Flash animation and requires a plug-in in order to see it. While the plug-in probably is present (with or without your knowledge) in your browsers (like it is in close to 100 million computers), there is a small chance that some of you don't have it. Your browser will probably tell you - I am not sure, I am not a wizard on this, I just copy stuff, close my eyes and press publish :P . Let me know if it fails.

/Henrik

#16 spindizzy

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 10:06 AM

Now, the page contains a Macromedia Flash animation and requires a plug-in in order to see it.
/Henrik

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


It works on a SUN running unix with Firefox browser ... so it rpobably will run on anything!
Chris

#17 Henrik Müller

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 12:14 PM

Now, the page contains a Macromedia Flash animation and requires a plug-in in order to see it.
/Henrik

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


It works on a SUN running unix with Firefox browser ... so it rpobably will run on anything!
Chris

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ah - I am relieved to hear that! First time I have some of my Flash stuff running on a SUN. Thanks, Chris.
/Henrik

#18 Ashkettle

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 03:34 PM

I've never tried making anything more complex than a whistle. I'm eagerly awaiting the continuation of this.




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