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Everything posted by RWL

  1. Rubber cement and contact glue are flexible. It would seem that either, particularly the rubber cement should be a good choice,to apply to gusset patches. Is there any experience in the group in using rubber cement for this purpose? Is there any known or theoretical reason NOT to use it?
  2. Thank you. It contains basics that are helpful to know.
  3. Yes, I should have used the term end bolts when I posted the first message. That would have been the correct term for the concertina. They're really just a long machine screw though. I"m not sure if that difference in terminology has some historical reason, or whether it's a difference between US English and UK English.
  4. Thanks to all of you for your comments so far.
  5. Did you use commercially prepared valves, or did you use the chamois or some other type of leather and make them yourself? Also, thanks to all of you for your comments so far.
  6. In my previous thread about air leaks in the chamber, someone suggested that a corner block might be loose or require a shim. I opened it up again and it looks more complicated than that as you can see from the photo below. The corner blocks are all at different heights from the top. One corner block is completely missing, so I don't know what height to make that, and one has been moved, apparently to allow a gusset repair. Are the corner blocks supposed to be at different heights? How do I deal with this? Also, I checked pad board for flatness. The center is slightly higher than the corners in all directions.
  7. Thanks. I'll have to check that also when I get it apart again.
  8. Ah. That makes sense. Most of the double notes are around a sequence of reeds along one portion of the periphery. Padding one block might be the answer. I probably won't have much time to fool with it yet this weekend, so in a few days I'll look into that. Also it will give me an opportunity to look at the valves and any curvature now that they've had a day or so to distribute the Lexol I painted on them.
  9. I had one or two keys where two notes sounded similtaneously and a couple of notes that were slow to speak, so I took the end off to see what I could see. What I found is that a previous owner had placed thin cloth and leather shims over the chamois between several chambers. Unfortunately, when I was moving the pan, the little shims all came off so I was no longer sure where they had been located. I pulled each reed frame out, ran a paper under each reed to clean it and replaced the reed frame in its slot. I inspected the valves and applied some Lexol leather preservative to each. Some of the valves were slightly curled away from the reed pan, particularly on the bellows side but most looked like they'd seal with a little air flowing over them. Photo of those below. I reassembled the end and now had a bunch of notes that were sounding simultaneously when only one button was pushed, and several notes that were now slow to speak and breathy. I made a chart of the affected keys and put shims back over the chamois for those chambers, which improved it somewhat, but now it's not as good as it had been before I opened it. I tried scraping the chamois a little to fluff it up, but that didn't improve anything. I'm not sure if there's some technique to roughing up the chamois or there are other things that should be done to better repair these leaking chambers. Are thin cloth or leather shims common to rectifying this type of problem or is this poor workmanship and requires a different repair? Should the valves lie completely flat or is some bending away from the surface OK?
  10. I had my Lachenal English Concertina apart this afternoon and measured the threads of the screws holding the action box to the frame. The closest match is around 3/32 by 38 threads per inch. I think the old Whitworth standard for 3/32 was 48 tpi, so I don't think these are Whitworth screws. Are they some sort of standard screw are are they idiosyncratic to Lachenals? I'm not having any problems with the screws, I just measured them out of curiosity.
  11. As with many different types of instrument repair, there are differences of opinion. I used hot hide glue because it's reversible - and I have it already from another project. I've read that you can soften PVA with acetic acid (vinegar) and Super Glue with a certain solvent (nitromethane?) so in theory they're reversible, but not as easily and not without potentially harming the finish / structures to which they've been applied.
  12. Thanks for taking the time to explain this.
  13. Thanks for your advice. Some of the photos above show the pattern pretty well. Green Pluses / X's with connecting dots on an off-white background. If those aren't clear enough, I can email you some larger photos. I have some further questions about the leather. Concertina Spares lists "Thin Leather" and "Binding Leather" as two of the choices, both of which come in 3/4" and 1-3/8" widths. Which type and which width for the top of the bellows, and which one for the valleys? Neither listing says anything about the edges being skived to nothing as your book mentions, and the strip from ConcertinaSpares that Johanna sent me wasn't skived on the edges either. Is there a better choice of leather for this repair somewhere? And just confirming - when I glue both the top run and the valleys down, there is no need to lift the papers, just glue over top and then put new papers over that. .... of course assuming that the existing papers are well stuck already. All these questions I generate will be fodder for the 3rd edition of your maintenance manual.
  14. Let me see if I'm understanding this correctly. Rather than removing the existing papers, I would glue new top skive over the existing leather and partially covering the existing papers. I would do the same with thin leather in the valleys, then glue new papers over the old ones. Correct? I don't see any papers at Concertinaspares that match the pattern of my Lachenal papers. Do most people try to match the original papers? If so, is there another place I could obtain Lachenal papers (mine are green plus signs with connnecting dots on a white background). As an alternative, how well does lifting one paper and then copying it with a scanner / computer / printer work?
  15. I've just been cutting strips from the piece of leather that was sent to me by another forum member to use for patches narrow enough to stay off the papers, but I'm wondering if I'd be better off removing all of the papers and putting a wider patch the whole way around each of the pleats. What width of leather is used to go around each pleat? What's the best method to lift the papers and still keep them intact and unwrinkled? .....or for practical purposes is it just a lot easier the buy replacement papers? If I need to patch any of the valleys (and I'm suspicious that there's one valley that may need it) what width / type leather for that? If I buy the replacement strips from Concertina Spares, do I have to bevel (skive?) the sides of the strips?
  16. I applied glue to a longitudinal patch and laid it over the point, but had trouble with bulges in the center, so I removed that and tried a patch about 7x50 mm parallel to the crease. That worked fairly well as you can see in the photo below. It's the point farthest to the right. It still wanted to bulge up a little in the center, so I put a longitudinal patch over that. Again, I had problems with the center wanting to bulge. No matter how I folded and molded the bulges with wet fingers, or tooth picks, I couldn't get them to lie down. With the magnifiers on, I noted that someone had done a professional looking repair at some time in the distant past using a diamond shaped patch. No lifted edges or bulges in that. I tried to duplicate that with the leather, but wasn't entirely successful. I tried folding paper and making various snips to make it lie better. One attempt seemed to work a little better. That was a square with little notches cut out of the sides as you can see in the photo of a leather patch partially cut below. It didn't work so well. After doing three points, and not being satisfied with my results, I put the instrument away for the day, clamping the concertina shut with wax paper between the repaired pleats. Maybe some of you have some hints at what worked for you to get the bulges out of the patches. Maybe removing the papers and using larger patches would have worked better. What experiences you you all have to pass on?
  17. It was a steamy Sunday afternoon with summer thunder showers here in central PA, so what better time to work in the shop where it's at least a little cooler. I have hide glue from some previous violin work, so I got that heating. Hint - you can store hide glue frozen in small aliquots for use at a further time. Just zap it in the microwave in 15-20 second increments until it feels the right temperature, and put it in the water bath to maintain its temperature (140º - 160º) The patching material was provided by Johanna Miller from her previous patching project and originated from Concertina Spares. As you can see, it measures 0.006" thickness. In the other photos you can see the Lachenal EC to be repaired, and some holes in the points. A previous owner had filled them with hot melt glue. It worked for awhile. I'll add additional photos in subesquent messages so I can comment on specific photos.
  18. Thanks for all of the replies so far. A couple of further questions. What do you use to skive leather? Is there a special tool for that. How do you do it? Is there a good web page with pictures somewhere showing the process of patching a bellows? I've been to Bob Tedrow's site to see his method of making a bellows from scratch.
  19. Several of the "points" on the bellows of my 48 key Lachenal EC have air leaks. Someone appears to have done a previous home repair that might have included silcone glue. A photo of what I'm looking at is attached below. I do have the Elliot repair manual. I'm not sure if I'm interpreting his instructions correctly. It sounds like I need a strip / strips of leather called a top skive or top run. Where in the USA is a good place to order these, and what term do I use to order them in the US? Maybe once I see what these look like, the answer to my question(s) will be obvious, but do you just patch the affected points, or is the correct repair to run a top strip the whole circumference of the affected pleat? Elliot's book mentions using PVA (Elmers glue / white glue). Is that what you all use or do you use hide glue? I have hide glue, so using that instead isn't a problem. Do I also need to add a patch on the inside of the bellows? If so, what material do I use there? This problem must have been addressed here previously, but I wasn't successful in finding threads using the search function here. Is there an old thread here, or a web site somewhere on the net illustrating what needs to be done?
  20. Thanks for all of the replies even if no one had had an opportunity to play a Scarlatti English. The seller of the Jackie would only deal with local pickup. Since I am several states away (in the USA), that scotched that opportunity. I was uncomfortable purchasing the Scarlatti since nobody had played one and could vouch for it, other than to note that it was made in China. In the end, a Lachenal that was reasonably priced popped up here on the east coast, and the seller and I have agreed to the sale. It sounds like some pads may need to be replaced, but I suspect I can handle that with some advice from the Concertina Maintenance Manual and from the forums here.
  21. If you do a Google search for Scarlatti accordions and concertinas, you can find that model. It's sold by multiple shops other than Hobgoblin (which is at the high end of the price range), and is generally priced higher than the Jackies. It's a Chinese made concertina, and the web pages (from the manufacturer apparently, since they all have the same wording) promote them as being a cut above the usual Chinese instruments. They are definitely not unbadged Stagis. There must not be many of the Scarlattis in circulation since nobody here seems to have played one. RWL
  22. Thanks for the only reply so far. The Jackies do get pretty good reviews for their price.
  23. I have run across two used English concertinas for sale here in the US. I can find a fair number of favorable comments on the quality & functionality of the Jackies, but nothing on the Scarlatti SCE-48 concertina that Hobgoblin sells - or at least had listed on their site until this morning. Here's a substitute link to show the Scarlatti: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scarlatti-Accordions-48K-1-Concertina-Accordion/dp/B004NBFS8G?SubscriptionId=AKIAIYZE6GBWZOKBEQOA&tag=lowprice18uk-21&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B004NBFS8G The Scarlatti instrument has no name plate, so that makes it difficult to verify the seller actually has a Scarlatti (although she says she bought it at Hobgoblin 8-10 years ago and it looks like the SCE-48), and also potentially poses a problem to me when / if I outgrow it and resell an unbadged instrument. The Scarlatti would be more versatile since it has 48 keys compared to Jackie's 30, so I lean that way, but I don't have any real way to tell the quality of the Scarlatti. Does anyone have any knowledge of the Scarlattis from Hobgoblin?
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