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About alex_holden

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    Heavyweight Boxer
  • Birthday 02/06/1980

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

    20-Year Anniversary of Concertina.net

    Hmm, the Wayback machine only seems to have the list of topics, when I click through to read the messages it says they weren't archived.
  2. alex_holden

    40 button anglo concertina

    Gys Mans is a South African maker who specialises in Wheatstone-style 40 button Anglos: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Local-Business/Gys-Mans-Konsertinas-193002571193624/
  3. alex_holden

    Concertina care

    If combustion gasses are leaking from your wood stove into the house, call a qualified chimney sweep. We tend to think of solid fuel stoves as drying because they draw air from the room and expel it via the flue. The combusted air gets replaced with fresh air drawn in from the outside. This cycle removes the moisture that we are constantly putting into the air by breathing/bathing/cooking. Open fires are even better at this drying effect than closed stoves because a huge volume of air gets drawn up the open chimney.
  4. alex_holden

    Turning End Bolts

    When I see vintage instruments with stripped end bolts and nuts, they often also have a lot of leakage caused by things like warped boards and/or loose reed pan support blocks. I suspect some people try to cure leaks by cranking the bolts down tighter and tighter until something breaks.
  5. alex_holden

    Turning End Bolts

    Thanks Dana. Not having any relevant formal training or much money, I often find myself coming up with unorthodox ways to do things. I love to study the ways craftsmen of the past made incredible things with far more limited resources than we have today. I'm sure a great deal of ingenuity was never written down or passed on.
  6. alex_holden

    Turning End Bolts

    Personally I prefer the look of traditional bolts, though I will of course fit modern stainless bolts if a customer asks for them. I'm considering shipping a well-fitting screwdriver with each instrument.
  7. alex_holden

    Reed tuning query - more or less ?

    40 cents is a big enough shift that I would be weighting the low reeds a bit. The amount of weight you need to add reduces as you go up in pitch, so what I do is start at the bottom and work my way up. At some point I find I'm adding such a minuscule amount of solder to the tip that it's not worth the trouble and I switch to just filing them. There's too many variables to clearly describe in words how much filing you need to do. We're probably talking about removing less than a thousandth of an inch of thickness. You can easily remove enough (or too much) metal in a few seconds of filing.
  8. alex_holden

    Reed tuning query - more or less ?

    Hi Sprunghub, I think it would be a good idea to change to a tuner that gives you an error reading in cents (a cent is a hundredth of a semitone, BTW). I use a smartphone app called Tonal Energy Tuner, though there are lots of them out there. Do the valve and action work before tuning because that can alter things by a few cents. I don't recommend scratching concertina reeds, and I only use traditional steel files for profiling a new reed. I do the majority of my tuning work with a 400 or 600 grit diamond needle file. The ones Eternal Tools sells are very good: https://www.eternaltools.com/files-burnishers/small-diamond-files I use solder weighting if I need to make a fairly large change to a reed's pitch, particularly if it's a low reed. Fine tuning I do with the diamond files. Where exactly to file depends on how long the reed is, but in general try to spread the filing out a bit; you don't want to cut a notch right at the clamp. No idea on the resin. My main concern would be how well it sticks; is there any chance it might fall off a few months later.
  9. Or maybe "if I lift a valve"?
  10. alex_holden

    Anglo Concertina Button Layout

    This convention (which I use too) is known as scientific pitch notation.
  11. alex_holden

    Bellows Card Depth

    Thanks Dana. I'm probably going to try slightly deeper cards on the next set I build (which will also be my first eight-sided instrument).
  12. alex_holden

    Bellows Card Depth

    No complaints so far. 😎
  13. alex_holden

    Bellows Card Depth

    I didn't notice any less stability from my latest set that opens to about 104º than my earlier ones that stopped at less than 90º. All of them have had 1" cards. I suspect with wider opening bellows and an efficient instrument, many players would be happy with six folds. Dropping a fold results in a smaller, lighter, cheaper instrument. (Incidentally, I notice that Dipper's standard and professional models have six folds.) The ridges do wrinkle slightly when you fully open them, but then so do my knees and that doesn't bother me either. 😄
  14. Also, if you are lowering the pitch then it is preferable to add solder weighting to the low reeds rather than filing the belly, otherwise they can end up very weak and unstable. If you are raising the pitch then you should be prepared for the possibility of remaking some of the highest reeds because there is a limit to how thin you can file the tip before it gets very unstable or even disintegrates.
  15. alex_holden

    Bellows Card Depth

    I've worked on John's Crabb and the bellows are in remarkably good condition. One card had delaminated slightly and I successfully glued it back together.