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David Hornett

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About David Hornett

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    Chatty concertinist
  • Birthday 10/15/1950

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    Varied music genre, playing and listening.
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  1. Hi All, I know I said I was not making any more 'tines, well I almost controlled the urge, so after two violins and a viola, (not as much fun as making concertinas I hasten to add) these seemed to fashion themselves in the workshop. Some roo skin, some and bovine hide. They keep the instrument nicely compressed and sitting on the side, hopefully the valves won't hang down. May you all have a great year, David PS: I did make just one more 'tina: a christmas present. My wife suggests i read a tome about obsession ... . I've no idea what she means.
  2. Dear JS336, I am interested in your layout, but do wonder why you would like the bass to drop to C#2. I note that a standard 96 bass accordion's lowest tremble note is usually F3, a melodeon E3, a G/D concertina G2 (on the ones I have made), and I did make a few extended bass instruments down to F#2/A. Long, and especially weighted bass notes can be a little slow to respond, and in general session playing, unless cording, you would not need them. I did some quick calculations, the layout you have can be fitted into a standard 61/4 box, but the chambers would, according to my calculations, be very restricted, not allowing the extra length for the long bass reeds, which, I have found, can effect tone and rapidity of speaking. The weight of a wooden ended instrument with the extra reeds and buttons/levers/post's would come in at about 1.3kg. But why do you wish to go so low into the bass? All the best, David
  3. It is possible to very quickly mould a small box with a hole in the top to suck or blow through out of balsa wood, or a cut down match box with the sides and ends taped to size. (Use a shim to narrow the box if by chance the distances between the reeds changes with reed size (due to their pitch). The balsa box fits over the removed reed plate with a single reed below, (or with the blow and draw reeds below, but sometimes the valves get in the way if you are not removing them to tune). Blow / suck through the hole and record the pitch, having first recorded it on the instrument. Then adjust the reed. Be sure to clean any moisture from the reeds after breathing on them. Before I meddled with concertinas this is how I used to tune my harmonicas. I have tried twanging reeds when I make them, there is a real art to it, which God did not give me, unfortunately. david
  4. Hi all, Well, below are the last of the line, No's 17 and 18. It took me nearly 5 years and 10 concertinas to get to the point I am satisfied with the end product, and although I have enough parts for a few more, I'm currently in remission from the madness. Only the last 8 were really satisfying -- but what to do with the first 10?? A few weeks ago my son asked for a violin from Tasmanian woods, so that project should keep me busy for a time, especially if I have to make 11 of them to perfect the art! These two are 51/2 inch 31 button G/Ds made from German silver end plates, hand made steel reeds in brass shoes, dovetailed, (unweighted), banksia frames, huon pine reed board and action board, ultem buttons, 1.3 kilos (without German Silver ends they are 1.1 kg) Thank you to everyone who has helped, encouraged and posted comments along the way. A special "Thank You" to Dana, Wolf and Chris Ghent, it is a shame I met Chris only after I'd made the first 4 -- a lot of time would have been saved if we had met earlier. Below is a sound file, on Sound Cloud, but as I am not a concertina player it is only to give an idea of the tone and response. Now off to make the jigs for the violin .... . David David
  5. Hi Seth, I do not know what the angle is on the old concertinas, but I make mine 7 degrees. I set on this angle by placing a Lachenal B2 reed on its side and measuring the angle through filing a piece of wood until it was flush with it, approximating 7 degrees. This was ideal because Dremel produce very small 7 degree router bits, ideal, with some modification in reducing their diameter by grinding the bottom off, for the reed pan slots. Hope this helps. David
  6. Hi Tom, Thank you for replying concerning reduced belly size in transmission of heat, I was very unsure when i made the comment. (But even so i would still use a heat sink just in case.) I was much more sure of phosphor bronze, although I need to explain. 1, I replaced the non-steel reed tongues in a 'brass' reeded Jones concertina with steel a few years back. The replaced reeds were not the yellow of brass, but the more ruddy colour of phosphor bronze which I had become familiar with when repairing high end chromatic harmonicas, Hohner CX 12 (note one Hohner site gives these reeds as 'brass', another as 'phosphor bronze'; they certainly have the latter's colour) 2, A few years ago i also tuned a Lachenal, which had the same ruddy reeds. 3, But, after your above comment i went back through my collection of old reed pans, and yes, to my surprise I found Lachenal reeds which were the ruddy hue of phosphor bronze AND others which were the yellow of brass, and some german silver, so quickly learnt not to generalise. Below I have images of these reeds clipped over a clock spring -- although the colouration did not show as well as I had hoped on the photo, the difference can still be discerned: From left to right: Hornett steel reed, Lachenal German silver, Lachenal brass (alloy shoe), Lachenal 'phosphor bronze', overlaid with Jones 'phosphor bronze' ?? All the best David
  7. Hi Wolf, When heated, non-ferrous metals soften, the temperature for this to happen is dependent on the alloy. In fact, I believe non-ferrous alloys, such as brass, gradually harden at fluctuating low ambient temperatures, and also by working / moving the metal, called work-hardening (such flexing also causes non-ferrous metals to break more easily, e.g., reeds and springs). Copper and brass pipes when submitted to fluctuating ambient temperatures (around engines / water pipes) will become brittle and split, rather than swell, as they would in an unhardened state when first installed. This site may explain this more clearly: http://www.totalmateria.com/Article71.htm So, some ferrous materials can soften if heat is applied, even below what would be the normal tempering heat, and the copper-based ferrous metals conduct heat very rapidly. It is my understanding, but I cannot recall from where this was sourced, that if a length of metal is reduced in size along its length and heated at one end, the reduced section will get hotter than the non-reduced section because more heat is carried through the reduced area. If I am correct in this, the the thin belly area of a reed will get hotter than the reed tip if it is thinner in cubic cross-section than the tip, but I could well be wrong, as I cannot remember the source. But this is why I use a heat sink, just in case. I hesitate to suggest any ideas on voicing. I use the same technique as on steel reeds: hold the middle down and gently raise the end, then take the pressure off the middle and flip the reed to see where it returns to. I am certain though, that others may disagree with this method (I am very interested to hear how other members do it). With 'brass', if the point of natural resistance is passed it is the same as work hardening and there is a good chance the reed will one day break at the point this has occurred. (Other members may be clearer on this, I have always read Dana's contributions with great interest. I studied metallurgy when I was 17, 52 years ago, youth and the passage of time could well have modified reality.) As a point of interest, I purchased a 'brass' reeded Lachenal EC on eBay some years back and no fewer than 4 reeds were broken, only one at the root, the other 3 at the tip. I have never seen a steel reeded instrument in this state. David
  8. Solder weighting: I believe 'brass' reeds are really phosphor bronze. I have tip weighted phosphor bronze reeds with solder, however have always used a heat sink just below the solder point so any excessive hear does not alter the reed's temper. I don't know if a heat sink is necessary, but just play safe. The heat sink is a shim of brass bent back on itself to form a small clip that is interference fitted over the reed tongue just behind the solder point. david
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Ah, but do your wrinkly knees bother the audience, that is the measure? Cheers David
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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
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