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David Hornett

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About David Hornett

  • Rank
    Chatty concertinist
  • Birthday 10/15/1950

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Varied music genre, playing and listening.
  • Location
    Hobart

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  1. David Hornett

    Titanium and stainless steel reed blanks

    Hi, Ti Grade 2; Stainless steel Grade 316. I can not answer the question about acoustic differences, if any. I use 2mm brass shoes. (These Ti and SS shoes are 1.5 mm) The shoes on display were cut from left over material from pivot posts. The stainless steel ones came about because the laser cutter misread the order and cut 1000 pivot posts from stainless steel, not the requested Ti, hence i got 1000 free stainless steel pivot posts and some stainless steel shoes from left over material. I use the Ti for pivot posts because of its light weight. The problem with the Ti for shoes, which are half the weight of brass, is that Ti work hardens at very low temperatures, and further the laser cutting, because of the heat produced, creates a hardened edge around the cut, and this makes it hard to tap the screw holes without breaking taps, although the laser hardened sides can be filed still. The shoes are still available, really when I said 'make an offer' in the original post I was really only looking for a few dollars more than the cost of freight to cover the bother of packaging and sending them. All the best David
  2. David Hornett

    making a concertina

    An obsession: The satisfaction of making something, and everything for that something, from scratch! The thinking through and constructing jigs; then deconstructing and making better ones. The constant wonderings if some little aspect can be improved, and it always can -- perfection rests in the mind, not the product. The intrigue of countless theories as to why things are as they are; most being wrong, or on reflection downright asinine -- but at the time seeming golden lights on the road to enlightenment. The experimentation with different materials, techniques and design The people met on the way, builders and players. The final instrument on the shelf (in my case 12, and growing). The ability to compare the first instrument with the last: OH what a difference experience makes. Pursuit of Craftsmanship is a perfection in itself -- joy arising from both the journey and the product. Build one, it does not matter if it is not perfect, the next one will be, or just possibly the one after that ...... . David
  3. Hi all, Here are 62 titanium and 24 stainless steel reed blanks. The top three rows are titanium in eleven sizes, and the bottom single row are stainless steel in 4 sizes. The blanks are 1.5 mm thick. All shoes are for parallel tongues. I had them lazer cut from material left over from pivot posts. The tags on top of the blanks are sniped off to form the bracket which holds the tongue in place. The titanium has work hardened around the laser cut, so will need to be softened to take thread and also for the reed slots to be finished and the shoe's sides bevelled to be fitted into the reed pan. The , untapped, holes have been sized to take M1.6x5 DIN 7985 Pan Head 0# Phillips Driver fittings. If you would like these shoes please make an offer. PS, I have no more in stock. All the best, David
  4. David Hornett

    Bellows Card Depth

    Ah, but do your wrinkly knees bother the audience, that is the measure? Cheers David
  5. David Hornett

    Latest 5 1/2 Tassey Tiger

    Thank you all for the nice comments. Wes, Re. the stamps (embossing tool/patterns), they are a flat hot foil press system. I drew up the designs, took a picture, sent them off to a company I found on line. Twenty minutes later at a cost of $US20 each they had it returned, converted to the right size and line strength, and a format that would run a CNC die cutter. I then emailed it off to the die / stamp maker for cutting. The designs for the end leathers and bellows are different, so two embossing tools (stamps) were needed to be designed and cut. I chose hard brass, rather than softer alloy so they should well outlast me. Cost a pretty penny, BUT, a very kind person gave me the industrial 1930's hot foil press and a box of hot press foil (gold and silver) which needed but a minimum of tinkering with and jig making to get up and running, so it was win win. And I found the machines Operation Manuel on the net as open access. Now the jig is set up the operation is very fast, 10 minutes for both end leathers and hand straps, and about an hour or so for the 96 bellows leathers, once I have skived the leather to approx. .10 - .20 mm. Interestingly, the system also embosses wood, and I was thinking of embossing under the handles like Lachenal, but held back thinking it overkill. All the best, David
  6. David Hornett

    Bellows Card Depth

    Yes, David, With a bit of pressure on the new bellows they possibly would open 83 degrees. On my first few concertinas I had wider angles, 120 degrees, with 11/4 inch cards, aiming for max. air (It is easy to widen the angle on the jig I use, simply slip card under the bellows so raise the gullies before adding the gussets) but as Chris observed, they did become 'floppy', and because they opened the extra width, the outer leather banding would crinkle when fully extended and look unsightly, so since I've stuck to about 80 degrees with 1 1/2 inch card. If an instrument seals nicely how often does one need all that extra air? And if ever you do, then 8 fold bellows take minimal extra effort to craft, although add a little extra weight.
  7. Hi All, My latest Tassey Tiger, with metal ends. I call it a 51/2 inch, but the way I have inserted the metal blew it out to nearly 5 3/4 inch. I eventually got the gold leaf (well in this case, silver leaf) skill under the belt. At some stage I will get a Youtube clip up of someone playing it. The metal ends certainly add a lot to the volume and spread of tones, compared to the wooden instruments, but they required a change in construction; so the instrument's weight, with the higher box, longer screws and buttons and the extra weight of the metal, and thicker box frames added 200 grams over the wooden ended instruments, to bring the instrument to 1.3kg. P.S. Nickel silver (German Silver) is not very kind to scroll saw blades. All the best, David
  8. David Hornett

    Bellows Card Depth

    My bellows cards on the 51/2 inch instruments are 30mm deep. I have never really given much thought to depth other than the extra extension one gets on a 7 fold bellows, the Tassey Tigers have 28 cm extension, or if one counts from bottom of frame to bottom of frame with the bellows open, the bellows are 32 cm long. They don't feel floppy, but then my bellows only open to 75 - 80 degrees which would help with rigidity I suspect. David
  9. Dowel covered with 2 coats of white nail polish makes a pretty good look-a-like and wears well, and can be glued.
  10. Alex, In everything the instruments are identical, with the exception of the reed pans. I cut out all components for 4 instruments at once and made, as far as is possible by hand and eye, 4 complete sets of reeds over two weeks. I have two sets left to assemble, but because of the way King Billy 'strings', rather than chips with a router, when cut, I think I may go back to Huon Pine. The King Billy reed pan saved 56 grams in weight between the instruments, so you can get an idea how light the wood is. In these instruments the chamber walls are King Billy, the pad board King Billy, the action seat Huon Pine, because the King Billy is too soft for the pivot posts; the end plates, Banksia (a heavier wood) and the frame Huon Pine, with the buttons coastal Casuarina (Tasmanian She Oak, the hardest wood known). Bellows Kangaroo Skin. The latest 31 button instrument weighs 1.058 kgs. David
  11. Re my previous discussion concerning differing woods imparting a different tone. I have completed the 5/12 concertina with the King Billy Pine reed board, so now can compare with the Huon Pine. In all regards, other than the reed boards, the instruments are identical in size, construction and materials. There is a difference in the sound, although hard to detect on a recording. The King Billy pine is an exceptionally soft wood, the Huon Pine is about the density of Macrocarpa Pine. As a player, a subtle difference is: the King Billy, especially in the mid range and up the treble -- the sound is softened compared to the Huon. I have left a sampler on Sound Cloud: Tassie Tiger Huon Pine / King Billy Pine sampler As said, the difference is small, my son says about both instruments, "They both sound just like concertinas to me". The Better Half declares the softer King Billy is the more pleasant instrument, "Mellow and not as strident in the higher register." I on the other hand have to be bending over the instruments to note the difference, unfortunately my iPad mic is possibly not sensitive to due justice to tonality. The recording has been made in the kitchen with all effects turned off. The Sound Cloud recording starts with the Huon Pine instrument, in the second section of the track, just before i play individual note on both instruments it is king Bill, followed by individual notes. Please accept apologies for my poor musician skills. David
  12. David Hornett

    Reed Steel, Modern Vs Vintage

    Yes, and the reed on the tuning table usually sounds a little dissimilar to when placed in the instrument, why? David
  13. David Hornett

    Reed Steel, Modern Vs Vintage

    Small, very small changes, can make a big difference in reed instruments: some years ago I asked Peter Hyde, the Adelaide accordion maker, to build me a 2 row accordion from Huon Pine. As fate would have it he also received another order in the same month for an identical instrument. Both I and the other customer had supplied Peter with Huon Pine, but because we had supplied too much he used the same plank for both instruments. When the instruments were complete, all having apparently identical components and tuning, in the same key, they sounded quite different. (I met the other owner at the National Folk festival in the same year. Our identical instruments were very different in tonal quality, neither worse nor better, just different, I thought mine was best, he thought the same of his.) When I picked the instrument up from Peter he told me how the variation had stumped him, until after some days, being very baffled, he remembered he had used a 1mm layer of felt under the pads of one of the instruments (pads he had made some years before, he was no longer using felt under leather), and this was what had caused the variation, replace the pad and the tone changed. As an experiment i am now building an identical 31 button 51/2 inch C/G to the one I completed before Christmas. The new instrument is intentionally different in one feature only, the reed board is made of King Billy Pine, a very light wood, something like an Australian Balsa in weight and tonal quality when it is tapped, whereas the former instrument's reed board was Huon Pine, a soft, but much heavier material. It should be finished next week if I get my act together, I'll keep all informed and post a few sound bites of both instruments. PS, Chris, I too have replaced a Jeffries reed or two with Lachenal in a Jeffries instrument, and one needs very fine ears indeed, and to be told there is an imposter to then notice any difference, although I would add, when attention is drawn to it, the Jeffries does usually sound the better.
  14. David Hornett

    Reed Pan Material

    Thought you may be interested in this, which is referring to the Mt Read Huon Pine in Tazzy: Discovered in 1995 by forestry worker Mike Peterson, the ancient Huon Pine has marched its way over more than a hectare, down a hill towards the Lake Johnston glacial lake, reproducing genetically identical male copies - clones - of itself. While the oldest individual tree or stem on the site now may be 1000 to 2000 years old, the organism itself has been living there continuously for 10,500 years.
  15. David Hornett

    Reed Pan Material

    Thank you everyone for your input, and I hope i am not being rude, but I'm none the wiser, but did take great interest in Dana's observations, thank you Dana. Tomorrow I'll rout the King Billy pine (Athrotaxis selaginoides) reed pans and shall let you know how it differs, if at all, from my otherwise identical huon pine instruments. All the best David
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