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David Hornett

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Everything posted by David Hornett

  1. Chris, I will be at your lecture in a few weeks, and will bring my 30 button C/G parallel reeded Jones, solid wooden ends. It is loud, heavy, 17 cm across the flats, has bushed 7mm bone buttons and riveted action. It does not sound as sweet as a Lachenal, which I have put down to the parallel reeds, rather than Lachenal's tapered reeds: but I think there is room for debate here. I would not say it is much better than a Lachenal. I will also be at Numeralla. All the best David Hornett. David
  2. A line concertina, been wanting to do this for years. BUT: Not as easy to make as I thought. Some of the Bass reeds had to be tuned 75 cents sharp of A 440 to be A 440 when assembled in the cover, (they were spot on when the comb with reeds inserted was out of the instrument's cover.) All I can put it down to is a tunnelling effect when blowing the instrument. I checked this theory out by reducing the mouth piece height, and thereby the venting holes' length, by 5 mm, this had the effect of reducing the bass reeds required sharpening about 25 - 30 cents depending on the reed (for instance, sharpening fell from 105 cents to 75 in some cases.) The middle reeds were effected by between 20 -30 cents, and the top reeds by about 15 - 30 cents. And talking about blowing, a very good set of lungs is required to supply the air through the reeds compared to a normal Hohner chromatic with their much smaller reeds. Reeds are stainless steel: my files will never be the same again! It sounds much more like a saxophone than a harmonica.
  3. There are up to 1 million kangaroos culled on the small island of Tasmania, pop.250,000 people each tear. (I have read this number, but cannot personally confirm it) One company. Lenah Meats in Tasmania prepares the meat of 60,000 of these each year for human consumption. Until recently all 60,000 pelts were thrown down the tip because there is a limited market, and overseas fashion industry, and international consumers began to refuse to purchase the skins. (Now they are trying to sell the pelts as ugg boots, which they call wugg boots because they are made of wallaby skins. There are a number of companies in Australia which now process Kangaroo skins, some of which still go into toys, aeroplane seat covers, high quality gloves, pipe organ leather, etc. But there are millions of skins that find their way to land fill / are left in the bush because of a restricted market. Millions of roos are killed across mainland Australia each year. Much of the roo meat goes into pet food. Farming communities have no alternative.
  4. Yes I do agree, poor kangaroo. But, there is a bit of a bind, roos are extremely numerous, especially now that cattle and inland sheep stations have installed hundreds of thousands of tanks and dams for their animals, and this benefits roos too. Here in Tasmania we have mainly Bennetts Wallaby, a slightly small roo type animal, and because the apex predator, the thylacine, was wiped out in the 1930's all marsupial numbers have increased, often to plague proportions, in a boom and bust cycle. Starving roos are not a pretty sight, and and neither is roadkill, often caused by large populations of animals eating the greener grass on the verge. Last year my daughter did a research project on road kill in southern Tasmania. In a 6 week period on a 30 km length of low traffic country road (Geeveston to Dover looped through Police Point, have a look on google) we counted 183 fresh marsupial road kill that had remained on the road, many more, possibly double that number, would have crawled off to die. Absolutely awful. So I think it better to cull the animals, and put the carcass to good use. I also eat wallaby, it is a nice, low fat meat that is lovely in stew, I think it better than eating cattle and beef which causes enormous environmental destruction. And the skin is much stronger than bovine skin by a significant magnitude, waterproof and highly wear resistant and pliable, and totally sustainable.
  5. Below is my latest effort, a 5 inch (126 mm) 31 button G/D with full scale reeds. Literally fits into the palm of one's hand. A bit rough for the rustic look, well that is what i tell myself, but it was only a prototype, which is also what i tell myself. (Unfortunately the wood was a little soft as you can see around the bolt holes, I will need to make a few repairs in that area.) I have kept the same button spacings as a full size Jeffries so it is really not any harder to play. Kangaroo skin bellows (skin is .30mm thick on the bindings and frame, shows up every bump and dent under it -- if I was to make another it would be textured skin, much more pleasant to the eye.)
  6. Hello, I'm David Hornett's wife (Tasmania) and I am offering this concertina for sale for a reasonable offer. Fully original condition with excellent bellows - not a single leak, all buttons working on push and pull.
  7. Thank you for the suggestion re. SoundCloud, after which I suddenly remembered I had done this in the past . So here it is, on the computer mic, no modifications, warts and all, the first recording on a desktop computer, the second on the laptop, hence the tonal differences. Thank you for your interest. David https://soundcloud.com/wasplike/sets/5-inch-cg-tassey-tiger-concertina?si=d0409aea7c5d4dbe96e5b124c5417b66&utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
  8. Some time ago there was discussion here concerning a Jeffries 5 inch concertina, and someone provided a picture of one. It was a challenge too good to refuse, so below is the 5 inch 32 (including breather) button Tassey Tiger in C/G. The sound is more flute like than the 61/4 and 51/2 inch instruments i have built, and it did require some creative thinking re. the reed pan, especially on the left (No, there are no short solder weighted reeds.). My greatest mistake was staying with 6.80 mm buttons, caused a lot of headaches re. spring placement, and necessitated a different reed pan layout. The finger spacing is exactly the same as a Jeffries, but the buttons are a little closer to the hand rest because of reduced instrument size. The instrument comes in at 1.15 kg. In the picture of the 4 instruments: on the far right an left are standard sized 61/4 inch instruments, the 2nd from the left is a 51/2 instrument, and the third from the left is the 5 inch. I find the five inch instrument much nicer to play than than the larger ones, but I am an English style player, rarely cross rows, the inside row may be a bit close to the handiest for a row crosser to manage at speed. If I could work out how to attach a sound byte I would do so, but they exceed the allowed 2MB -- any suggestions? A great Christmas to all David
  9. Well, "lockdown " does strange things to a man. Despite what I posted last year about not making any more 'tines, there I was at the shack, where I'd hidden away for the 6 weeks of Tasmania's lockdown from late March onward, filing reeds for 6 new 'tines, I know, madness. Madness in isolation can be quiet pleasant, the world was mad not I! I got six sets of reeds filed, the gardens nicely civilised, lots of fishing and solitary long walks along deserted beaches and silent forests paths and hours of classical radio; then it finished -- I could go home and reacquaint myself with kitchen duties. Just so happened reed making creates much less mess than violin plate gouging, I could sit at the table for 4 hours each day and admire the view while scraping: see below So now I have three new completed instruments, and three just two weeks off completion. The 'Lockdown model." Two each of A/E; G/D, and C/G, one each of wood and metal ends. My son wags his head in despair, then downright disbelief when telling him about the 31 button 5 inch model I have on the back burner. David
  10. Very sure, I just made both of them. I have made quite a lot of 'tines, but they are c/g and g/d, not a/e David
  11. I would be very interested. All I need is the top row, left and right hand, the 'tinas I make are the common Jeffries tuning. My problem is I am an ear player but have not a clue re. music theory, but I do know what sounds wrong, and the way I have tuned the two A/Es 3rd row is certainly not right. Thank you so much for your offer. David
  12. Hi, Has anyone a A/E three row fingering chart, or a suggestion. I have just completed a couple of A/E concertinas and thought I could work out the third row, but it has proved beyond me, the notes I have there are I suspect not the ones that should be there. All the best David
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
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