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Wheatstone Concertina Retoration Project


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#37 Jon C.

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 08:40 PM

I would probably need to find a set of steel concertina reeds, an make a new concertina for them...

Steel? can't help you. If you wanted top quality brass reeds in ready made pans however, try the bottom of this page at The Box Place

Pssst! he's had 'em a while now and might just be open to reasonable offers but don't tell him about my 20 finders fee. ;) :P :D

Thanks for the "heads up" I will look into it.
Here is my newly covered bellows, compressed in my makeshift press.
bellows_in_press.jpg

#38 Dirge

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 08:43 PM

Here is my newly covered bellows, compressed in my makeshift press.
bellows_in_press.jpg


So, bottom line; did you turn out a decent job on your first attempt and would you expect other half competent workers to do the same?

#39 Jon C.

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 08:45 PM

I would probably need to find a set of steel concertina reeds, an make a new concertina for them...

Steel? can't help you. If you wanted top quality brass reeds in ready made pans however, try the bottom of this page at The Box Place

Pssst! he's had 'em a while now and might just be open to reasonable offers but don't tell him about my 20 finders fee. ;) :P :D

Thanks for the "heads up" I will look into it.
Here is my newly covered bellows, compressed in my makeshift press.
bellows_in_press.jpg
Now to cut a gold hot stamp on my cnc micro mill, that should be a challenge...


Edited by Jon C., 17 September 2008 - 08:48 PM.


#40 Jon C.

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 11:54 PM

So, bottom line; did you turn out a decent job on your first attempt and would you expect other half competent workers to do the same?


Hi,
All in all, the bellows are tight and not leaking, I am still having a leak where the bellow frame connects to the action plate. So I would say other half competent people like myself could do it... :blink: It helps to have a full wood working shop, know how to use hand and power tools, etc. The leather work was a new experience for me, and I couldn't imagine a right thinking amateur, would plop down $350 for a leather skiver... :rolleyes: The Scarf-Fix is a well made tool, so I know when I get tired of it, I can sell it to a book binder, or someone that wants to make bellows. There is also the option of buying the leather pre-skived, but I thought of that as cheating a little.
Here is a photo of the bellows fitted: Posted Image
The leather used was lamb skin, I had two hides, one soft for the gussets and one tougher for the edge runs. Now I have to wait for the papers... The hot sock technique works great, for shrinking the leather into the nooks and crannies.
So now I just need to finish the fret board rebuilding, then re-finish the wood, mount the straps, re-tune all the reeds, then replace the broken reeds, and find the rest of the leaks! Geez, I am almost there! :D
Cheers,
Jon

Edited by Jon C., 18 September 2008 - 12:02 AM.


#41 Jon C.

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 01:31 AM

Hi,
Here is the detail of my gold stamp that I am making...
Lachenal_detail_8.jpg
I scanned the original, and cleaned it up a little on Photoshop.
Re-inventing the wheel in the 21st century...
Cheers,
Jon

#42 ben

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 11:07 AM

Hi Jon,

Re: The gold stamp.... TALAS is a New York City based company that makes all sorts of brass stamps. A person can supply them with a drawing and then they can make an excellent brass stamp for you. They accept designs cut of from old bellows too. You can check their website out: http://talasonline.com/

There is a difficulty in trying to get genuine 24 gold ct. foil since the only company in the USA making that foil closed down. They do have other types of gold foil. I will email them to see if they have found a new supplier of 24 gold ct. (genuine stuff).

(I obtained all this advice from Bob Tedrow and had two stamps made for myself. Talas also made Bob's brass stamp.)

Re: Concertina papers....I order mine from David Leese (Wales, UK). His website is: http://www.concertina-spares.com/ David is very prompt, professional and reasonable.

Edited by Ben Otto, 26 September 2008 - 11:47 AM.


#43 Jon C.

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 11:27 AM

Hi Jon,

Re: The gold stamp.... TALAS is a New York City based company that makes all sorts of brass stamps. A person can supply them with a drawing and then they can make an excellent brass stamp for you. They accept designs cut of from old bellows too. You can "google" Talas to get their info.

There is a difficulty in trying to get genuine 24 gold ct. foil since the only compnay in the USA making that foil closed down.

Thanks for the info! That may be the way to go, I had a local stamp company that was going to make one from a polymer material, but brass would be better. I do have a cnc micro mill, but haven't figured out the programing, to do stamps.
Jon

#44 Jon C.

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 10:23 PM

As usual, I get side tracked in little pesky detailing... Here is the lachenal stamp that I have cut with my trusty CNC Micro Mill. I have cut it out in wax, next I will cast it in bronze, using my other toys.
Posted Image
I must just be procasternating, as the next phase is to fix the pesky reeds! It turns out that some well meaning repairman some years back, had fiddled with a couple of the allignment screws. I will attempt to realign the tonges on 3 reeds, using feeler gauges, Then tune them down to 440 pitch.
Jon

#45 Pete Dunk

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 05:20 PM

Here is the lachenal stamp that I have cut with my trusty CNC Micro Mill. I have cut it out in wax, next I will cast it in bronze, using my other toys.

You'll be flogging them on ebay next. <_<

Jealous, me? Nah. :P

#46 Jon C.

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 10:13 PM

Here is the lachenal stamp that I have cut with my trusty CNC Micro Mill. I have cut it out in wax, next I will cast it in bronze, using my other toys.

You'll be flogging them on ebay next. <_<

Jealous, me? Nah. :P

Not much of a demand for Lachenal hot stamping set-ups, maybe I could have a line of different choices, Jefferies, etc? I may make a smaller one for my mini...
Jon

#47 Michael Marino

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 09:10 AM

Jon I have found a few places where you can get brass sheets for making reeds if you are interested and I might be interested in having you make a set of stamps for me in the future if you are willing and depending on cost (shipping in from the States can get expensive at time though. Nice looking work by the way (better than my first set to be honest, scraped them). Best of luck with the tuning as one of the item I do with harmonica reeds you can't really do with concertina reeds (heat bath to reduce stress in the reed, though it can be touch and go on that front as well, to hot and they are too soft and worthless, too cool and you have done nothing but spent electricity).

Good luck and best wishes to you.

Michael

#48 Jon C.

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 07:33 PM

Jon I have found a few places where you can get brass sheets for making reeds if you are interested and I might be interested in having you make a set of stamps for me in the future if you are willing and depending on cost (shipping in from the States can get expensive at time though. Nice looking work by the way (better than my first set to be honest, scraped them). Best of luck with the tuning as one of the item I do with harmonica reeds you can't really do with concertina reeds (heat bath to reduce stress in the reed, though it can be touch and go on that front as well, to hot and they are too soft and worthless, too cool and you have done nothing but spent electricity).

Good luck and best wishes to you.

Michael

Hi,
I would be interested in the sheet brass., or maybe use spring steel? I should be able to cut out the frames from bar stock on my CNC Micro Mill, just have to draw them up, Might be a fun project. The other option would be to cast them from a silicon mold, using the lost wax process? The problem would be getting the correct size as there is shrinkage.
I will see how this stamp comes out, shouldn't be a problem to make more. Shipping isn't to bad over seas, and I can wrap it up as a Christmas gift! :P
I just finished tuning all the reeds, went without a hitch. I will only have to have one replaced, that was already broken, and two that are replacement steel reeds. You get the hang of it after a few times putting it together and taking it apart! :angry:
Getting them spot on is the hard part, especially with the big ones. I used a tuning program that I use when I tune my simple system flutes, but when you are dealing with a fraction of a cent, gets a little dicey! My 20 key Lachenal will be a piece of cake after doing 96 reeds, that have to be tuned alike! I was up in the high desert for a week, so it was a good project for that quite spot.
I found the brass quite resilient, maybe since the box has been in the tropics for all these years? I was able to realign one of the tongues, that had been fiddled with by some well meaning repairer in the past...
My other project is making new fret boards for the mini Lachenal 20 key that I have. I have drawn them in Autocad and generated the Gcode to cut them, when I return. I will start a new thread on that project...
Take care,
Jon
PS also got all those bellow papers glued on, another fun project. ;)

#49 Jon C.

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 01:15 AM

Hi,
Here is the latest photo of my new bellows with all the papers... Still need to do the 24K hot stamping.
Posted Image

#50 HelenG

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 06:05 PM

Hi,
Here is the latest photo of my new bellows with all the papers... Still need to do the 24K hot stamping.
Posted Image

That was a really interesting article - I'm just about to finish the leather work on my restoration project - nothing anywhere near as adventurous as yours! Two 'small' problems though - one's the reeds - they were well in tune before I started - I checked and was relieved to find they were what they said they were - it's a small Lachenal MacCann duet with stamped buttons - but now after I've re-padded and valved, they're all about half a semitone sharp! I looked in Dave's book and it says that this is the old tuning I think - but I can't work out why they were OK before I started! I've started to clean them with a fibreglass pen, but it's run out - I used it to clean the lever arms. A hobby shop near us sells fine pointed ones, not the usual thick ones, and this should be useful for the underside of the reeds. the other thing is that when I took the papers off before I started on the leather work the inner folds and gussets, which are OK and don't need replacing, got a bit wet and have gone a bit hard. I was wondering if I can use leather polish on them to soften them up a bit before putting the new papers on- having looked at the bit on leather preservative a bit earlier in your topic I'm a bit worried about this - but also a bit worried about leaving them as they are. Any ideas?

#51 Jon C.

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 03:32 PM

That was a really interesting article - I'm just about to finish the leather work on my restoration project - nothing anywhere near as adventurous as yours! Two 'small' problems though - one's the reeds - they were well in tune before I started - I checked and was relieved to find they were what they said they were - it's a small Lachenal MacCann duet with stamped buttons - but now after I've re-padded and valved, they're all about half a semitone sharp! I looked in Dave's book and it says that this is the old tuning I think - but I can't work out why they were OK before I started! I've started to clean them with a fibreglass pen, but it's run out - I used it to clean the lever arms. A hobby shop near us sells fine pointed ones, not the usual thick ones, and this should be useful for the underside of the reeds. the other thing is that when I took the papers off before I started on the leather work the inner folds and gussets, which are OK and don't need replacing, got a bit wet and have gone a bit hard. I was wondering if I can use leather polish on them to soften them up a bit before putting the new papers on- having looked at the bit on leather preservative a bit earlier in your topic I'm a bit worried about this - but also a bit worried about leaving them as they are. Any ideas?

That is interesting that the tuning changed? Was the concertina leaking pretty bad before? I am just wondering if they were tuned sharp and just played flat, due to the condition of the pads, etc. Did you clean off the reed tounges? Maybe a more seasoned repairer will have a idea... I got my fiber pens on eBay.
I would think a bee wax based leather conditioner would work, I did see the warning about the saddle soap. I have to do this on my Lachenal bellows, so I will go easy on the water on mine. I need to replace all the gussets, and edge leather.
Good luck!
Jon

PS The English concertina is playing nice now, I got the straps on finely. I still need to replace the broken reed. It is staring to feel broken in, the bellow was a little stiff at first.

#52 HelenG

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 04:55 PM

That was a really interesting article - I'm just about to finish the leather work on my restoration project - nothing anywhere near as adventurous as yours! Two 'small' problems though - one's the reeds - they were well in tune before I started - I checked and was relieved to find they were what they said they were - it's a small Lachenal MacCann duet with stamped buttons - but now after I've re-padded and valved, they're all about half a semitone sharp! I looked in Dave's book and it says that this is the old tuning I think - but I can't work out why they were OK before I started! I've started to clean them with a fibreglass pen, but it's run out - I used it to clean the lever arms. A hobby shop near us sells fine pointed ones, not the usual thick ones, and this should be useful for the underside of the reeds. the other thing is that when I took the papers off before I started on the leather work the inner folds and gussets, which are OK and don't need replacing, got a bit wet and have gone a bit hard. I was wondering if I can use leather polish on them to soften them up a bit before putting the new papers on- having looked at the bit on leather preservative a bit earlier in your topic I'm a bit worried about this - but also a bit worried about leaving them as they are. Any ideas?

That is interesting that the tuning changed? Was the concertina leaking pretty bad before? I am just wondering if they were tuned sharp and just played flat, due to the condition of the pads, etc. Did you clean off the reed tounges? Maybe a more seasoned repairer will have a idea... I got my fiber pens on eBay.
I would think a bee wax based leather conditioner would work, I did see the warning about the saddle soap. I have to do this on my Lachenal bellows, so I will go easy on the water on mine. I need to replace all the gussets, and edge leather.
Good luck!
Jon

PS The English concertina is playing nice now, I got the straps on finely. I still need to replace the broken reed. It is staring to feel broken in, the bellow was a little stiff at first.


When it came it didn't seem to be leaking all that much but when I started work on it one of the side bits fell off one of the ends and pads started falling off and it started to wheeze a lot. I've mended the ends and it's now airtight - or as good as I can make it - by the way, why did you put yours under weights? I'd have thought the sides would stick together! I've begun to clean the tongues - had to go out to get a new fiber pen - found one with a 2mm point, and refills to go with it - not as cheap as I thought (about 5.50 from Hobbicraft) but I should have enough to finish the job now.
I did try to go easy on the water - I also had to try it on my Wheatstone which has sprung leaks on several inner folds - they wouldn't come off easily and as I didn't have any replacements I didn't carry on with it - afraid I just ran a very small amount of glue along the crease and that sorted it for the moment until I can do it properly.
Thanks for replying, Helen

#53 Jon C.

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 05:23 PM

When it came it didn't seem to be leaking all that much but when I started work on it one of the side bits fell off one of the ends and pads started falling off and it started to wheeze a lot. I've mended the ends and it's now airtight - or as good as I can make it - by the way, why did you put yours under weights? I'd have thought the sides would stick together! I've begun to clean the tongues - had to go out to get a new fiber pen - found one with a 2mm point, and refills to go with it - not as cheap as I thought (about 5.50 from Hobbicraft) but I should have enough to finish the job now.
I did try to go easy on the water - I also had to try it on my Wheatstone which has sprung leaks on several inner folds - they wouldn't come off easily and as I didn't have any replacements I didn't carry on with it - afraid I just ran a very small amount of glue along the crease and that sorted it for the moment until I can do it properly.
Thanks for replying, Helen

The bellows were clamped to compress the leather, just following marching orders from the "how to make bellows site"...
Interesting that the reeds on yours, changed tuning, though. Are you going to re-tune them? I liked using a large size Exacto knife the best, for fine tuning, there seemed to be less stress on the tongues, with less distortion to the contour. If you tune them, keep in mind that the small reeds sound about 15 cents sharp outside the box, so you will have to compensate.
Jon

#54 Jon C.

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 04:36 AM

I finely got around to casting the Lachenal hot stamp. It is cast in silicon Bronze. Now to see if it works...lachenal_stamp_in_bronze.jpg




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