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About alex_holden

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    Heavyweight Boxer
  • Birthday 02/06/1980

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    Wood carving, metalwork, Morris Minors, folk music.
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  1. alex_holden

    One of the stranger concertina pics I've seen

    Chap on the far left looks like young Vladimir Putin. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/gallery/not-always-man-steel-vladimir-10909874
  2. alex_holden

    New reeds

    Although they are unlikely to be the right size to fit an existing reed pan without a significant amount of work. Generally the best thing is to clean up and tune the existing reeds. If a few of them have broken or heavily rusted tongues, a good restorer can easily make new ones to fit the existing frames. If one or two reed assemblies are entirely missing, you may be able to source a used one that is close to the right size and retune it to the right pitch, or some of the modern makers who make their own reeds can make a custom reed assembly to fit your existing pan. If a large number of reed assemblies are missing it is likely not going to be economical to repair.
  3. alex_holden

    Push vs Pull - why?

    On push, the limit is usually the pressure at which the pads start to leak, like a safety valve on a boiler. That doesn't happen on pull.
  4. alex_holden


    It's slightly flexible, but in this application the compliance in the joint mainly comes from the soft leather the samper is made from.
  5. alex_holden


    Personally I use hot rabbit skin glue, mixed quite thick. I put some glue on the samper/damper, push the button, move the pad into position, then release the button and let the spring hold the grommet down while the glue dries.
  6. alex_holden

    Beginners and Improvers on Anglo Concertina

    Thanks very much @accordion01, best of luck with your new instrument!
  7. alex_holden

    Beginners and Improvers on Anglo Concertina

    I guess great minds think alike and all that, but for the avoidance of confusion, this new Blackbird concertina is not connected in any way with my Holden Concertinas Blackbird model.
  8. alex_holden

    Anyone Have a Verb?

  9. alex_holden

    An elaborate early Lachenal English #9952

    Or perhaps it was a aesthetic choice, to omit the moulding so they would have more room for the floral border inlays?
  10. alex_holden

    26 buttons oncertina?

    I wouldn't call it detuning; that is a way (as I understand it) to get a 'fuller' sound by simultaneously playing the note and a slightly out of tune version of the note. Most concertinas only have a single reed per note so they can't do that. Alternate temperaments are a complex subject that has filled entire text books, but basically they are different ways of tuning a scale that make some intervals sound sweeter at the expense of others. Wow, that's something like +/- 40 cents; I thought it was much less than that.
  11. It's normal for lower pitched reeds to be wider than higher ones. It helps with getting even volume and response across the pitch range. The actual dimensions and taper of the vent slot (if any) vary significantly depending on the maker, time period, and scale of the instrument. Most vintage reed frames were punched with a die set, with only a little filing required to clean up the vent. The dimensions produced by a punch will be pretty consistent from frame to frame.
  12. Reading back through this thread, I think we may have been talking at cross purposes in our private messages. I thought you were asking about the angle of the dovetail cutter, not the taper of the slot. Reed frames are tapered in two directions, the top profile and the edge profile. With regards to the top profile I measured a vintage Lachenal to be 4° and have always stuck with that angle, including when I made replacement reeds for a Lachenal reed pan. I do make the frame sides a bit concave to avoid the pinching problem. Of course the angle of the slot should match the angle of the frame as closely as possible. With regards to the edge profile (the 'bevel'), this varies more between makers. Vintage frames often have fairly rough bevels, perhaps because of the way they were formed in a press tool, and it isn't easy to measure the angle. For my frames I picked an angle of 5º off vertical (i.e. 85º). I have found through experience that reeds fit better and more reliably if the angle of the undercut of the slot is a little steeper than the bevel angle of the frame. I think what happens if you do this is the top edges of the slot act like slightly springy fingers that grip the frame and push it down against the bottom of the slot. Hopefully this rough sketch clears things up.
  13. A common way to avoid that is by cutting the sides of the slot straight, and the sides of the frame slightly concave.
  14. alex_holden

    Concertinas and Climate Change

    Does the Connor have a plywood reed pan?
  15. alex_holden

    Quebec Concertinist

    Somebody who actually uses those high notes at the top end of a treble English!