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Just Another Megalomaniac Hobbyist Home Constructor


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#1 Miasmamann

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 02:35 PM

First 3D-scribble-study, mostly for checking my idea of coloration.

Posted Image

I am not sure about the shape now. Somehow i like the rectangular shape ... on the other hand it seems to be a little bit plump (In this scribbling, that is clear, much more than it would do in real life with fine sawed endplates and ornaments etc.)
A Shape that seems to be interesting too is a 5-sided one. We'll see... i will make some cardbordmodels with different shapes (as soon as i know the dimension of the reeds i will use) to get a feeling for it.

I will do as much as possible myself. The only thing i will not even trying (not with this first concertina... maby in my second one? ;) ) is reedbuilding.
I am searching for some good alternatives for concertinareeds.
Maybe i will use accordion reeds from Voci Armoniche like Henrik Müller does (whose projekt has inspired me very much). I also found e czech reedbuilder who has bandoneon reeds and harmonium reeds and some other stuff in his product line: harmonikas.cz (This link was postetd here befor and i found it while reading in this forum ... i cannot remember who was it but thank you annyhow).
I have written an email to harmonika.cz today and now i have to wait for an answer.

Here are some notes about what i am planning to do. Commants are very welcome:

Type: Anglo with 30 buttons (or 31 or 38 ... i am not sure about it and have to read more about advantages and disadvantages ... one point will be the more space needed and the weight ... i do not want to get the concertina too large and heavy)
Shape: rectangular with 8 fold bellow or 5 sided with 7 fold bellow
Bellow: 7 or 8 folds, cardboard with full leather skin (goatskin, 0.7mm = 0.028 inch nature-beige)
Wooden parts connectet to the reeds: Spruce (very high quality) and, if i can get my hands on it, rio palisander
other wooden parts: Maple
veneer: spalted poplar (i am not sure if this translation is correct. It is "Maserpappel" in German language) ...

Now i have to wait for the dimension of the reeds/reedshoes before starting design the concertina... *fidget*

P.S.: The project has no time limit... i can imagine that it will take me much time to finish it... maybe a few years.. we'll see.
P.P.S.: Special thanks to Bob Tedrow with his super-informativ Homepage and Henrik Müller ... they bear the blame that i want to try building a concertina myself. ;) Thanks.

#2 wntrmute

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 04:13 PM

Sounds interesting; especially if the long plate reed price isn't too bad. You may save some space using three plate of 5 pairs instead of one plat of 8 pairs and one of 7; but I wonder if there'd be a price differential on that? I've estimated the width of an 8 pair reed plate to be a bit less than 5 inches (between 8-9 cm or so, but it was a pretty rough guess, and I'm going from memory here and not my notes).
I think the long plate reeds tend to have a more mellow sound, and would probably benefit from having a lot of openness in the ends; the old Anglo-Chemnitzer I have sounds kind of muffled.
Definitely share what kind of price the reed comes up to.

#3 Miasmamann

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 04:44 PM

I think the long plate reeds tend to have a more mellow sound, and would probably benefit from having a lot of openness in the ends; the old Anglo-Chemnitzer I have sounds kind of muffled.
Definitely share what kind of price the reed comes up to.


That sounds really encouraging... i will tell you more when i have the answer. I am excited :)
I hope they will not be expensive, i am only a poor student.

#4 Miasmamann

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 08:22 PM

New rendering... this is supposed to be nearly the end form. The dimension of the endplates are ca. 160mm x 100mm (6.3 x 3.94 inches). That is very small and i do not know now if it is enough. Everything depends 1. on the reedplate-dimensions and 2. on the comfort while fingering.
The buttons does not seem to be very interesting maybe but it took muuuuuuuuuuuuch time and work to find out a position that looks good (several hours only for that). I did not want to use an existing design.
Now there are 42 buttons, i do not think i will use them all ... some will be only optical details without function maybe.

I am now unsure about the bellowcolor.... i think it will not be nature-beige as planned first but black with selfmade bellowpapers. I also like the green color very very much (Also with bellowpapers). The red one looks too glamorous to me.

Next think will be a fretworkdesign for the endplates and waiting for the answer from harmonika.cz

Critique and comments, ideas, opinions etc. are very very welcome
(and sorry for my poor english)

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#5 wntrmute

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 09:44 AM

Ihr Englisch ist viel besser als mein Deutsch. I think I got that right, but I could have proved my point by getting it completely wrong.

As a personal preference, I liked the more square design better -- but who cares, it's YOUR concertina. Also, a 40+ button design can allow for a full chromatic scale over the entire range of the instrument, with the ability to play a continuous full chromatic scale over a couple of octaves in the middle of the range in either bellows direction. I worked out a 44 button lachenal-based design that can play every note from C, to c'' with everything between C and e' being playable in either bellows direction. I'm not sure if I'm happy with it yet, though; and it may be impossible to play as I've drawn it. The c'' would be pretty squeeky, and not used all that much I'm guessing. But any more buttons, and I think a Duet design would be better overall.

#6 Miasmamann

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 03:34 PM

Ihr Englisch ist viel besser als mein Deutsch. I think I got that right, but I could have proved my point by getting it completely wrong.


It is perfect... not even a small mistake.

As a personal preference, I liked the more square design better -- but who cares, it's YOUR concertina. Also, a 40+ button design can allow for a full chromatic scale over the entire range of the instrument, with the ability to play a continuous full chromatic scale over a couple of octaves in the middle of the range in either bellows direction. I worked out a 44 button lachenal-based design that can play every note from C, to c'' with everything between C and e' being playable in either bellows direction. I'm not sure if I'm happy with it yet, though; and it may be impossible to play as I've drawn it. The c'' would be pretty squeeky, and not used all that much I'm guessing. But any more buttons, and I think a Duet design would be better overall.


I am not sure now but the basic design will be the same as on the Rochelle.. with some extrabuttons. Maybe some extra notes and some spezial effects (signal-horn, bird whistle ... stuff like that ^^).

I havo done some more colorstudies. The fretworkdesign will be another, this one is a placeholder only:

Posted Image
(I know, it does not look like real goldcolor... but it is supposed to be)

I Do not like the one on the bottom left ... too much colors. The one on the bottom right looks a little bit too noble.
The one on the top left is ihmo nice on this scratch but maybe it will look kitschy in real. The classical "all black with silver fretworkendplates"-design seems to be the nicest maybe. I wish i would be better in making decisiones.

#7 Miasmamann

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 05:50 PM

Complete redesign based mainly on the golden proportion (even the position of the buttons) and fretworkdesign is finished.. maybe i will do some (small) changes on it later.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Have no answer from harmonikas.cz until now :(

#8 m3838

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 08:48 PM

the black with silver metal ends look the best to me. Interesting shape, perhaps would allow for long reeds to be housed without compromizes. Looks a bit smallish to me and I personally don't see any reason for it to be so small. Small size will contribute to tight place for reeds and small bellows.
If it's an Anglo, and you are an original, why not use larger buttons and Goran's handles?
It's better ergonomically. Small "pegs" were there because of the English construction, German buttons are wider.
But I think you've done fabulously designing the cabinet, now it's time for less gratifying job - the innards.

#9 Miasmamann

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 09:54 PM

the black with silver metal ends look the best to me. Interesting shape, perhaps would allow for long reeds to be housed without compromizes. Looks a bit smallish to me and I personally don't see any reason for it to be so small. Small size will contribute to tight place for reeds and small bellows.
If it's an Anglo, and you are an original, why not use larger buttons and Goran's handles?
It's better ergonomically. Small "pegs" were there because of the English construction, German buttons are wider.
But I think you've done fabulously designing the cabinet, now it's time for less gratifying job - the innards.


The smallness was one of the basic ideas that leads to this design. (Not the only one, but an important one). The keys should have a comfotable dimension this way (i will try this with a cardboardmodel).
I do not know now, if it can be realized that way because i do not know the dimensions of the reeds now (i hope i will get them soon)... same for the rest of the innards (i do not think it is a less gratifying job, quite the contrary). I love the idea to build a good playable concertina that is as small as possible and i have many ideas to save space. Is there a sense? Maybe not! But a lot of fun :D.


What are goran's handles?
(There will be Leather-Handles and a airbutton-lever, both not added in this 3d-scratch. Maybe i will add them tomorrow.)

I also want to build a traditional looking model, depending on the prize of the reeds parallel to this project, or after it.

#10 m3838

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 10:23 PM

What are goran's handles?

http://www.youtube.c...nJpSLsF2s&fmt=6
Look at all 6 of them. Very interesting.

#11 Miasmamann

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 06:52 AM

Thank you for the link :)
For the english concertina this may be helpful but for an anglo i do not see a need for extra straps. The high of the handbar will be fitted to my comfort anyway.

Edited by Miasmamann, 10 June 2008 - 06:53 AM.


#12 m3838

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 12:42 PM

Thank you for the link :)
For the english concertina this may be helpful but for an anglo i do not see a need for extra straps. The high of the handbar will be fitted to my comfort anyway.


In which case you missed the point of the new strap idea.
Goran's strap gear replaces simple handle bar with ergonomic handle, adjusted to your hand, replaces wrist strap (four fingers in) with hand strap (five fingers in), which allows for better agility of fingers, and adds optional thumb strap for better control. It's simply an improved Anglo strap, adapted for the needs of English players as well.
I'm still contemplating making it, but have no time yet.

#13 Miasmamann

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 05:10 PM

Thank you for the link :)
For the english concertina this may be helpful but for an anglo i do not see a need for extra straps. The high of the handbar will be fitted to my comfort anyway.


In which case you missed the point of the new strap idea.
Goran's strap gear replaces simple handle bar with ergonomic handle, adjusted to your hand, replaces wrist strap (four fingers in) with hand strap (five fingers in), which allows for better agility of fingers, and adds optional thumb strap for better control. It's simply an improved Anglo strap, adapted for the needs of English players as well.
I'm still contemplating making it, but have no time yet.


Have read some more about it and start to understand. (I am sorry, my english ist not good enough to understand everything on the first reading).
It is close to the idea i had.
The main difference is, that i will exclude the thumb from the handstrap but the airbutton is not directly on the side of the concertina but connectet to e lever that is accasable to the thumb in a very comfortable way. (I think there where concertinas with a similar system before but the idea came to my while using my oldskool typewriter).

Here is a very fast and bad scratch (better one will follow):

Posted Image

#14 m3838

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 06:09 PM

That middle handle bar is bad. It has never been comfortable, and can cause injury.
Because the lower part of your palm is resting on the surface of the end etc. etc., you can read about it yourself. Goran's idea is probably the best so far, at least it's made and tested. That airlever of yours is going to be uncomfortable and prone to damage.
I thing up/down lever is better than push button, more natural. And position of the wrist strap is irrelevant to the convinience of the airbutton/lever. But ergonomically five fingers in is better than four, because with four you have a pressure point between a thumb and first finger. Ideally you don't want to pinch that place with the edge of a leather strap.
I'm afraid that without proper strapping your thin and long instrument will be floppy and you'll have to play seated, where your hand will rub against your leg. You need to give it a space so the narrow size of the instrument is wider than your hand. What I think you may do is to buy some cheap wrecked Lachenal. open it and copy reed chamber dimentions to see the future size.
Or if you plan to have reed banks, buy Hohner and disassemble it.

#15 Miasmamann

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 07:52 PM

That middle handle bar is bad. It has never been comfortable, and can cause injury.
Because the lower part of your palm is resting on the surface of the end etc. etc., you can read about it yourself.


it will not... :)
but concerning the middle position i must correct me... it is a little bit closer to the body (ca. 6 cm from inner (closer to the body) and 10 from the other side (devine proportion) if i do not need to make the instrument bigger because of reeddimension).

That airlever of yours is going to be uncomfortable and prone to damage.


In my belief it is not... both. If it is prone to damage is a question on how stable it is build. And concerning if it is comfortable, i must try this with a model. I will build one soon (and then i will try some handstraptypes, too). Making a 3D model on my computer for it would take me to much time.
Gorans design may be better end maybe i will go away from the idea to exclude the thumb, we'll see. :)

As i told i am waiting for the answer of the reedmaker i contacted. Once i will have the dimension of the reedplates i can tell more about the true dimension.

#16 Anglo-Irishman

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 02:54 AM

That airlever of yours is going to be uncomfortable and prone to damage.


In my belief it is not... both. If it is prone to damage is a question on how stable it is build. And concerning if it is comfortable, i must try this with a model.


Hi, Miasmamann,

I think you're right about the air lever!

For me, the ergonomic weak point of the normal Anglo is the tiny air button, which I can only hit reliably if everything else (handrest, strap) is optimal. The long air lever on my Bandoneon, which is at right angles to my thumb, is a lot easier to hit. And the leverage is such that I can dose the amount of air pretty finely. The old square German Konzertinas have the same lever. They're robust!

(Für mich ist deiser winzige Luftknopf der ergonomische Schwachpunkt der Standard-Anglo. Ich kann ihn nur dann zuverlässig erwischen, wen alles Andere (Handleiste, Riemen) optimal eingestellt ist. Beim langen Hebel meines Bandoneons dagegen, der im rechten Winkel zu meinem Daumen liegt, bin ich viel treffsicherer. Und die Hebelwirkung erlaubt eine ganz feine Dosierung der Luft. Die alten deutschen Konzertinas haben alle einen solchen Hebel. Sie sind robust!)

Here's a pic:

Cheers,
John

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#17 Miasmamann

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 10:21 AM

Because i recieved some questions/suggestion concerning the smallness of the tina.

At the moment the Side of the tina is 10cm (3.94 inch) x 16cm /6.3 inch). Some said it is to small but i have planned it until now not without reason... here a pic from my design compared to standart 6 sided design (scaled to diameter 6.3 inch ... i think, that is the "standart"-diameter of tinas, is it not?).
Posted Image
Not that much difference in my opinion. If it will be comfortable or not, if i have to make it bigger or if it is even possible to make it smaller... i will have to try out.
Also i have to know the dimension of the reedplates first.

Edited by Miasmamann, 11 June 2008 - 10:24 AM.


#18 Richard Morse

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 03:10 PM

Also i have to know the dimension of the reedplates first.

I suggest that you call them if you're trying to deal with Louny. I e-mailed them several times without getting any response. Finally I called them and was able to e-mail correspond after that though I must say that our communications were very poor. Most likely a language issue? At any rate we weren't able to connect well enough to do any business. I hope you have better luck.

BTW, a typical accordion (actually 2 reeds in one plate) is 16mm wide with the length varying due to pitch. For instance the D which is 3 octaves above middle C is 30mm long and the C below middle C is 52 mm long.

Minus the minimum for endframes and bellows frames, you'll just barely be able to squeeze in 5 reedplates "high" and depending on how long the plates are, most likely you'll be able to get 13 in each side. But you're looking for at least 15 per side....? If you go without the 45 degree clipped corners you should be able to get 15 in.

Other considerations include making sure that the action works out. Ideally all the levers should be the same length for same travel and pressure-feel. Your button layout near the end of the instrument makes for fo some impossibly short levers. If you moved it about an inch back then the nearest (to the handle) row of keys could operate the front-most reeds, the middle row of keys would operate the rearmost reeds and the furthest keys would operate the center reeds.

You'll need to make sure that the inner reed pads don't hit the near levers.... and it will be tricky locating the pivot points for the near levers (would need to be right where the middle pads are). There are work-arounds to all that, but it's nice to get a heads-up on some of the issues before they become problems.

-- Rich --

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