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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. I use the same basic design for Anglos and duets (apart from No. 7 which is a custom order). The part of the strap across the back of the hand is 27mm wide, but the curved shape of the pattern means you need to start with a piece at least 32mm wide.
  2. It's certainly possible but I haven't yet found it to be necessary. Maybe it would help with a very heavy instrument.
  3. It's a vintage Stanley 199e handle with a disposable blade. The advantage of the fixed blade handle is it doesn't wobble around while you're using it like the retractable ones usually do. They still make these handles but I don't know if the new ones are as good. A new blade will work but I've resharpened the one in mine many times on a whetstone, which has altered (I would say improved) the edge geometry a bit; it's thinner and more curved at the point than a new one. I use a cheap green cutting mat underneath.
  4. I have the same leather multitool thingy. I had to sharpen the edger with a diamond needle file and smooth the edge of the creaser but it works well enough. I brand the straps (unless the client requests a plain one) with a stamp that I engraved from brass on the CNC mill. If you want to have one professionally made, Chalco Stamp & Die are very good.
  5. I currently use this leather for my straps. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/50-LONG-BLACK-2-2-4mm-THICK-BRIDLE-BUTT-LEATHER-STRAP-VEG-TAN-VARIOUS-WIDTH/191852269990 It helps with comfort if you round over the edges; there is a special 'leather edging tool' for this purpose or you can just use sandpaper. You can make them look more professional by indenting a line a short distance in from the edge; again there's a special tool for this called a 'creasing iron', or you can make do with something like a blunt knife.
  6. Not exactly, there is going to be an accordion emoji in the latest version of the standard released later this year, and it will have 'concertina' and 'squeeze box' as additional keywords (that means if you type 'concertina' into a text message, your phone may suggest replacing the word with an accordion emoji). https://accordionuprising.wordpress.com/2020/01/30/accordion-emoji-coming-in-2020/
  7. Thanks Steve. Cutting the glass rod without chipping it was the trickiest part; I experimented with lots of methods. The final method involves turning it in the lathe and using a knife-shaped carbide tool to score all the way around, then taking it out, wetting the scratch, and snapping it in two with both hands. There is a particular knack to the way you snap it, it takes quite a bit of force and the fact that the piece you're breaking off is very short makes it more difficult (any attempt to hold the short end in pliers, vice, etc. resulted in large chips). Grinding and polishing is fairly easy but time-consuming. I clamped the piece in a block of wood that held it perpendicular, then lapped it on a 400 grit diamond plate in a tray of water. I had to take off maybe 1mm from each end to eliminate any small chips, repeatedly checking it with callipers to ensure I stop at the correct length. Next I gripped it in a drill chuck attached to a motor and used a wet 400 grit diamond paddle to round over the top end. The bottom end I left at 400 grit but I used 2500 grit wet and dry paper to polish the scratches off the top end (surprisingly it worked fine to skip over all the intermediate grits). Finally I buffed it using a hard felt mop charged with cerium oxide paste.
  8. Thanks Dave, the aluminium wasn't difficult to machine and as you say it's much lighter weight. Another advantage is the bottom of the socket is very shiny which helps to capture light and reflect it back out (the epoxy glue is transparent).
  9. This post shows the handrest and strap arrangement: On one level the hole under the handrail is just a sound port. On another level there is a story about the tree, the butterflies, the wreath of oak leaves, and the hidden egg - but it isn't my tale to tell.
  10. Thanks! Yes, it's a 47 button Hayden with an air lever (you can just see it near the base of the tree trunk in the last picture). 6 1/4" wide. Long scale reeds on the right hand. Radial pans with two inner chambers on each side.
  11. Thanks! Yes, it's my design, based on a lot of discussion with @Isel. The end boards are flat on the bottom and raised by 4mm in the keyboard area, so the thin areas are approx 4.5mm and the thick areas are approx 8.5mm. No sound yet; I'm just starting on the reeds. I'm expecting it to sound similar to Holden No. 4 (@Little John's instrument), as the reed scale and a lot of other things are the same, though the fretwork is less open on this one.
  12. I've now made a set of 47 6mm borosilicate glass buttons for Holden No. 7. They were a lot of work but the results look beautiful. They weigh about 2g each, so not the lightest option but not as heavy as solid brass or stainless steel (obviously 5mm diameter would have been lighter). The greenish tint visible in some of the pictures is from green ink on the bottom of the glass. As usual there is much more detail about the process on my Instagram feed.
  13. I've seen some nice ones where they rip the board in two and bookmatch the halves, so it looks approximately symmetrical. There's no reason why you couldn't do the same thing with a concertina end board.
  14. I'd guess Brazilian rosewood too, but the two-tone effect is because the board includes both sapwood and heartwood. Generally sapwood is less desirable because it's softer and more prone to decay. The description you quoted sounds like an early version of marketing speak.
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