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About alex_holden

  • Birthday 02/06/1980

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  • Interests
    Wood carving, metalwork, Morris Minors, folk music.
  • Location
    Lancashire, England

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  1. Swapping the buttons around to put the better ones where you use them most would probably not be difficult, as long as they were made consistently in the first place (not too much variation in the length). Can you post a picture of the problem buttons? I wonder if they are just a bit gunked up with oxide and dirt (which can easily be polished off), or if it's something more significant like a metal plating flaking off.
  2. I think it's likely the tuners knew about the misprint but their bosses didn't think it was a big enough problem to justify the expense of having an engraver correct the printing plate.
  3. No, I wouldn't call gluing a fold together a viable fix. New bellows are probably your best option, but it is possible to temporarily repair torn valleys by gluing new hinges on the inside of the valley (made from linen or thin flexible leather) and a strip of very thin leather into the valley on the outside.
  4. Royal Mail unfortunately seems to have been having a lot of problems in the past few months. I haven't lost anything but I have had a few delayed deliveries.
  5. I use Hainsworth Doeskin for bushing cloth. I bought it via Alexander James, but they don't seem to list it in their catalogue right now.
  6. Mike mentioned recently on Facebook that he was considering selling his bass.
  7. You might find Bob Tedrow's photo essay useful. Although Bob does everything with paper templates, a drill press, and a scroll saw, it would be simple to make pretty much the same thing with a CNC router. It's also possible to make hybrid reed pans from 3D printed plastic. https://hmi.homewood.net/twitterzephyr/ Note that if you want to replace the accordion style reed blocks with a hybrid concertina style reed pan, you'll probably also have to replace the action with something that has individual pivots rather than straight rows with a common axle rod.
  8. If the valves were a bit stiff, they may have loosened up with playing.
  9. I get them all standing upright and as close as possible to the right positions before trying to put the end on. Lower it gently straight down onto the buttons and look into the holes. If any of the buttons aren't visible, lift it off and adjust their positions again. If they are all visible, push down slightly on the end. Usually most of the buttons will go partway into their holes but a few will be slightly out of position, preventing you fully lowering the end. Use something like a toothpick or the rubber on the end of a pencil to nudge those problem buttons back into the centres of their holes. If one falls over so you can't reach it through the hole, gently lift the end off, stand the problem button back up, and very gently lower the end back on, trying not to knock anything sideways in the process. With enough practice you should be able to do it in less than a minute. I'm not sure what you mean by "Two buttons were stuck by their bushing".
  10. IMO it's probably not worth replacing the whole action. Sometimes it is good to replace two or three individual levers that have worn and developed problems due to not following a straight line (the Lachenal pivot design doesn't work very well for curved/cranked levers).
  11. I agree that Kensington is probably your best option given the requirements for a newly made Anglo with traditional reeds and a short waiting list. The fact that he's local to you and relatively budget-friendly are nice bonuses. Perhaps you could arrange a visit to try out one of his instruments before placing an order?
  12. I now use fish glue for most bellows work, including papers. Another option is liquid hide glue.
  13. I'm curious how your stolen instrument was found, was the thief caught, and where was it over the past five years?
  14. If you want to make your own reed assemblies but don't have a CNC milling machine, it is possible to have the frame blanks made for you by a commercial laser cutting service, e.g. SendCutSend. I believe that's what David Hornett did. There are some fairly cheap CNC routers (e.g. 3040) available from China that probably aren't strong enough to cut metal parts, but might be adequate for routing reed pans and action boards. IMO one of the most important tools for reedmaking is a good low power microscope with a backlight so you can see how much clearance you have between reed tongue and frame. I started with a binocular optical one but have now mostly switched to a 1080p video microscope connected to a large monitor. I agree that it's very helpful to have access to high quality instruments to study if you want to learn to make good instruments yourself.
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