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Bruce Thomson

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About Bruce Thomson

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    Bruce Thomson

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    English (have Lachenal treble, and old 56 key tenor Stagi) and want to have an English MIDI, preferably by 3D printing as much of it as possible, and enabling anyone in the world to afford/enjoy a really good quality sound and good ergonomics.
  • Location
    Palmerston North in New Zealand

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  1. Eric, I've replaced several buttons much more easily than 3D printing, by buying a special plastic called Polymorph that you can order online or get downtown, for about $15 a kg. It melts at 60ยบ C, meaning that you dip it in very hot water to make it mouldable and drillable with a hot wire or drill. Roll out a suitable-diameter rod of it, cut it, drill it, etc.
  2. Notice in this video (about thumb strap ideas) I created an under-knees strap that holds my concertina very securely for playing see video below. It also gives extra pull out of the bellows, meaning less interruption of playing. It's so good that without that strap the concertina feels very floppy and awkward and obstructed. I've played almost every day since January 2010. I'll never go back to playing without the under thigh strap. The thumb strap idea isn't vital, it was an experiment. I didn't bother adding it to my Lachenal concertina, but might one day.
  3. Yes thanks - I'll try to contact him and invite him/anyone interested, to our Facebook group, Concertina Technology, regarding the (MIDI also) Concertina Nova project. English-type concertina for a start, but other types later if things go as hoped. That group is at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1771580879534725/?ref=group_browse_new We're hoping to have a prototype within a few months (2Q 2019) if the builder has spare time to do the work. He's busy with s house move and his job at the moment. The design specification aims to produce a totally self-contained (wireless,
  4. Hi Steven, - I have an old Lachenal too. When a note either fails or plays constantly, I simply give it a several bashes with the heel of my fist - which dislodges particles of dust from the reed, which makes it work fine again. I have opened it up a few times, but that's tedious. - When I shock it (cushioned by the heel of my fist), I hold it at different angles, and press the button OR leave it closed, giving variety of conditions for the particle to be released from. - This method may horrify a few members, but I've done it successfully for years - Early next year I hope to tota
  5. Good idea, Steve. Here's an image I did of buttons for my Stagi tenor. Eventually I'm going to 3D print almost all the (electronic MIDI and synthesizer) Concertina Nova. Regards, Bruce Thomson palmytomo@gmail.com
  6. I'm currently attempting to outsource the creation of the Concertina Nova, using UpWork. There are several bidders competing to do the job, I'm unsure whether any will do well, but progress is full of trial and error. See sketch attached, and website with more details at http://bit.ly/1TFLQ2z By the way, the flexible thumb strap, and the under-knees strap are well proven after a year of trial, on two concertinas I have. I wouldn't go back to a conventional concertina now. If this Forum isn't suitable I'll move the discussion to the Concertina building and repair forum instead.
  7. Hi folks, STATUS Here's here's a summary of the current focus of the 'Concertina Nova', and some replies to your helpful comments. - I'm delighted by the increasing possibility of creating it, thanks to your and other enquiries in hand. - Delighted now to be conferring with Jim MacArthur (building a MIDI concertina printed circuit board) Paul Hardy, Don Taylor, Chris Ball (each building a MIDI concertina currently), Roy Whitely (very experienced converting to MIDI concertina) currently - This is a 'from scratch' refreshing, fun, rethink of the concertina, rather than a conversion o
  8. Thanks, Paul, Jimmy, Greg, Don, for the very useful ideas and suggestions. Yes, I have my old Stagi tenor to convert, or even my Lachenal treble. If at all possible I'd also like to put the synthesizer and battery inside the thing, to make it portable for kids, anyone. Paul, re. the a good button/switch array I'm hoping to use 3D printing of as much as possible of the whole concertina. I've taught myself to use Sketchup (see example of button design I did). Imagine if we trial-and-error ended up with a design that - sounded really excellent - anyone could cheaply either get print
  9. I'd still like to have/make an 'everyone's' budget electronic concertina... What's the easiest available way? I'm a player rather than a builder, I just want to be able to create a custom one that will help me play the ways I enjoy most. If there's a simple kit of the electronics to save me time, I might see if I can create a MIDI concertina with a sculpted keyboard that better suits the arc of the fingers. I've heard of pressure-sensitive buttons, so I'd like that kind, and any other such features to give ability to play expressively. If possible I'll make it battery-powered too,
  10. Hi John - Thanks for posting this - I need a tuning rig myself, for an imminent major renovation of reeds of my battered Stagi tenor-treble. It would be good if you used a smart phone to take a few seconds of movie of the jig so we could see it working. If you do, post the link in this conversation. I'm pondering about what I should build, preferably compact, and continuous-stream rather than a puff type. I just found an interesting video on YouTube of a pro tuning reeds, showing all his equipment. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgYYyn72HLI I notice he's hammering without using ear p
  11. PLEASE, PLEASE folks, we've GOT GOT GOT to get the price of good concertinas down. That appalling 'admired' price excludes even excellent players, let alone the public. I'm deeply frustrated not to be able to own an instrument like that. My existing old Stagi tenor-treble is worn out from daily playing and play-outs in public. Let's keep thinking of ways of creating beautiful-sounding, nice looking concertinas that almost anyone can afford - under $1000. 'Probably by 3D-printing all or some of the parts for exact precision. To me, the value of a concertina is not it's 'herita
  12. In case anyone's interested, in addition to... - the under-thigh strap I'm now using to stabilize the concertina and to give me about 30% more air - the swivel thumb strap I'm using to give hand flexibility in all directions ...I'm also now using a 'rail' mounted thumb strap (still swivels too) so I can slide to the higher range or back to get lower notes. Video is at https://youtu.be/UIQoBGEBbjQ Photo attached. One thing I'd be glad to know is whether my junky old experiments Stagi tenor treble can have a bellows mod that will muffle it and give it a nice fruity tone like a Wheatston
  13. Hi Tiree, I do 'Mickey Mouse' fixes of my concetinas myself (I have two) to save money and time. I do it handyman style, 'would horrify and disgust artisans who make beautiful instruments and repairs (and charge a lot for it) But I play every day without fail, enjoy the music, tolerate imperfection, have fun with friends. AND I've invented some VERY successful improvements that make it much easier to play, e.g. - swivel thumb straps for my English, - under-knee strap that enables me to pull the concertina out with my legs, gaining 30% more bellows capacity - replacement buttons that d
  14. New kind of button. Recently I've been creating replacement buttons made of HDPP plastic - it's 'greasy' plastic that lubricates itself during its movement, so there's no need for felt bushing. But maybe the felt bush also prevents vibration, and of course the red felt looks beautiful. See photo.
  15. Bob - What kind of leather baffles did you use, positioned where? How thick leather, what type? I put tape over the outside of my Stagi tenor-treble 56 key, but it just made it sound bleaty and cheap. So I use earplugs each (daily) practice, but I'd like it to be quieter and mellower rather than 'bright. Do you think glueing soft leather on the insides of the end pieces would be worthwhile? If it would fit, and with holes for the buttons. Currently I'm really enjoying replacing the Stagi buttons with my own, extruded HDPP plastic forced through an ordinary 5mm hole in a bolt held
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