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  • Interests
    Lap Steel Guitar making and playing.
    Hawaiian music.
    Trying to understand concertinas and why they are so complicated.
    Fiddle playing and guitar playing
  • Location
    Salisbury. UK

suckitansea's Achievements


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  1. I think what I will do and to follow good advice from all of you very helpful people ( Many thanks by the way ) is to get it back together and literally suckitansea. I will monitor and record the pitch of each note and the plus or minus cents and then work out WHICH tuning it plays best in. I don't think it's in concert A= 440. There are one or two reeds that are quite definitely OUT though and not just a few cents. This will be good practice for when I start the tuning process on a less valuable instrument. I am not shying away from this but trying to be level headed and sensible about it.
  2. Dave, I really appreciate your advice and you have got me thinking now. I think what I will do is to finish revalving and cleaning the reeds and put it all back together and see how it sounds. I think it would then be prudent to give it back to my brother as a restored instrument but in need of tuning which is a shame in one way as I would liked to have followed it through and I want to take on the challenge of learning to tune one. As you say...not with this instrument though. If I do mess up, then I have not contributed to saving concertinas but performed the opposite which would be foolish. I will think long and hard...In fact my head has started to resemble a hexagonal shape now!!! Peter
  3. Actually the name is Dave Elliott, not Mike Elliott, I should know my mother gave it to me. The issues you face are two fold, how to sound the reed out of the box using a consistent pressure, how you can guarantee a tuning precision of around +/- 1.5 cents from nominal Item 1 is usually resolved by setting up a tuning bellows rig, Item 2 combines a metal removal technique and its delicacy, with a frequency detection that discriminates to around 0.1 cents. If you have a Wheatstone instrument with a pan chart glued to it, then its probably quite old. I am working on one now with 6,000 series serial number, from around 1854, Either way please be sure before you start removing metal. Hello Dave, I apologise for renaming you! Yes it does indeed have a pan chart on both sides and the number is 11246. Because of it's age then maybe its not a good project to start on? I have no idea of the rated value of this instrument when fully restored. When you say it is an old one, is that an indication that it should be okay to "Have a go" or for God's sakes don't touch it....it may be worth a lot? Peter
  4. Hi Dave, It was a combination of my brother assigning the project to me and your fantastic book that has got me into all this. Now see what you've done!!!! ( Only Joking ) Yes...On reflection the air compressor will not give me the finite "expression" required and the differences of air pressure that need almost instant adjustment that one can obtain from the bellows tuning although I HAVE fitted a lever operated valve to adjust pressure as well as the main psi control knob. I will look around for some old bellows and make up a tuning table. Project ON !!!! Many Thanks Peter
  5. Thanks Theo, I think my bruv wants me to finish it before April so I might just make a visit to Gateshead and make a weekend of it. As said, I want to learn to do this properly for several reasons: I don't want to ruin a beautifully made instrument and make Wheatstones even rarer!! I want to put all the expertise I have gained with instrument making and repair to the test and regard this operation as a challenge and maybe do it as a side line in retirement and to provide a service to help keep concertinas alive otherwise eventually there will not be anyone around with the knowledge to repair/ tune them and that would be a sad day. I have a thirst for trying to understand technical things and don't like being beaten! Point taken about the tuner you use but the nearest thing I have with an i in it is an imac. My research revealed there is however a programme from Peterson called strobosoft and I think that maybe the $49.00 version should suffice although the full version has an oscilloscope which might prove useful? Theo, could you please pm me to discuss prices and arrangements? Many thanks Peter
  6. Has any one used a small air compressor to provide the "poof" on a reed tuning table? I do have one but don't have a spare set of bellows at the moment and was wondering would an air compressor do the job? The pressure is adjustable and up to 150 psi. When playing the instrument, is a constant pressure required to sound the reeds or must the pressure vary to enable certain reeds to sound? Peter
  7. Hello Simon, Thanks for your input. I cannot use AP tuner as I have a Mac but the seventhstring version seems to be a very close second. I have tried it with my A 440 htz tuning fork and it is bang on. In fact my fork was plus 2 cents so I measured it again on my brothers gstring tuner app on his mobile and it also registered plus 2 cents so I'll have to file the tuning fork!!!! I completely understand and agree that a methodical approach to this reed tuning is vital and the job is not to be underestimated. I know I am going to be in for a long haul session and have no inhibitions about that. I want to learn how to do this.
  8. Thanks for the help Geoff and offer to show me through it. Are you in Northern France or right down the bottom? I will not exclude a visit to france to educate myself but first want to see if anybody else comes up with anything and keep my options open. Other option to consider is to do it through SKYPE. Marvellous invention !!! Okay will stick with the computer downloaded tuner version "seventhstring" for the time being and if it gets serious and I show promise at being able to do this I would like eventually a Peterson 420 strobe tuner as that looks to be the business. I will keep in touch. Pete
  9. Sir Charles Wheatstone, an electrical engineer with no musical background. It is generally recommended that the tuning of concertina reeds be left to professionals. I wouldn't try it until at least you have had some tutelage by someone who knows what they're doing. Thank you for the update and sensible advice on not to do it but I want to learn to do it and am prepared to take the consequences.
  10. Hello everyone, I am new to this world of concertinas and am already finding it very absorbing. I have a string of questions to ask but will restrict them to a few at a time so as not to confuse myself. I have a habit of going the long way around what I want to say because Thats the way I am so please bear with me. My brother bought an old Wheatstone some two years ago with the intention of restoring it but due to work commitments it has past my way to do it. It was in a very bad state of repair so quite a challenge. I have made a few violins, a classical guitar, harp and two lap steel guitars so do have a knowledge of instrument construction. At least I thought I had until opening up a concertina!!!....Who on earth dreamed up the mechanics of these things...Phew!!! So far it has a new set of bellows and I managed to fit them properly and the right way around! on their frames, having repaired the frames first using hot animal glue. I have re chamois leathered the gaskets on the reed housings, revalved it all and cleaned the reeds as directed by Mike Elliott's " Concertina Maintenance Manual". The fretted Rosewood end pieces have also been completely remade as they were so warped and broken. The frames to hold the end pieces have been french polished and are looking good. The whole shooting match is all but ready to put together now. I have read articles on reed tuning and understand that reeds tuned out of the box will not be of the same pitch as in the box so the process is to assemble completely, sound each note and record how many cents out they are, remove reeds one at a time and file to sharpen or flatten the pitch to the cent error recorded. Hope I have got that right? Question one: On the printed circle of paper glued to the inside of the reed pan, all the reeds are labelled with their pitch and two numbers. The bottom number is the number of the octave. What is the top number? Question two: For a tuner I have downloaded an applet to my computer called 7th string tuner which seems pretty accurate. It can go from minus 70 cents to plus 70 cents. is this accurate enough? Question three : Is there any one out there who can teach me to tune a concertina properly so that I know exactly what I am doing. I expect to pay for the tuition of course but it will be nice to be properly trained in the art so as to keep it alive? Many thanks.
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