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  1. Hi everyone, thank you for taking the time to respond. Chris, good point about the melodeons. My very limited experience in the past has given me to suppose that the accordion-style reeds fitted into cheap concertinas sound a nicer than actual diatonic accordion reeds when installed in a concertina. I currently have one set accordion of reeds from Harmonikas, and another set that came out of a massive garish pink and green plastic concertina thing, and I much prefer the sound of the latter, despite the former being newer and presumably better made. Strange huh? But I will give the melodeon forum a try though, as if I can get a set cheap enough, it's worth it just to investigate the possibility. Theo, Charlie is good, I've bought a couple of reeds from him before when I had an almost occult desire for a D# on a CG box. The cost starts to water eyes when you look at buying a whole instrument's worth of reeds as individuals, though. Also, the above sentiment stands, as I put the reeds I bought from him in an instrument otherwise full of accoridion-type reeds of crappy concertina origin, and they're the least pleasant-sounding in the box. Wayman, Button Box is an excellent idea, I hadn't thought of looking your side of the pond. Thanks again everyone, Matt
  2. Hi everyone, I'm hoping to buy a set of accordion-style reeds to play around in some (more) home made concertina schemes. Last time I wanted a set I got them from Harmonikas.cz but it was a bit of an ordeal so I figured I'd see if anyone had some they were interested in selling before I put myself through that again. In an ideal world I'd be after a set for a GD instrument, but would possibly be interested in anything - 20 or 30 key, GD, CG, whatever else is out there. Or alternatively a cruddy dead concertina that I could pull accordion-style reeds from would also be interesting. Much obliged on the off-chance you can help, Matt
  3. Hello good folks, I have here a concertina of the cobbled-together and home-spun variety, for which I have the benefit two different sets of reeds. The first is a set of worn out, poorly tuned, raggedly-valved reeds originally installed in a massive garish red and green plastic concertina-shaped thing. The second set are 'Tipo A Mano' melodeon-type reeds made by harmonikas.cz. While they look the same (tapered tongues in blocks of aluminium with little plastic valves) the reeds out of the cruddy festive instrument sound much brighter and chirpier to me than the new a-mano ones, which sounds a bit fuller but slower. While trying to work out why the first set of reeds sounded brighter (which is my preference), I noticed that the tongues seemed to be a touch thinner. Does anyone know if this this is a likely cause and effect? Similarly, does anyone know if any of the reeds harmonikas advertise are made of thinner steel, or if it's possible to order any like this? Kindest Regards, Matt
  4. This thread has been a very interesting and informative read - I hope I'm not committing a faux pas by resurrecting it a few months later. I do so because I've been pondering the construction of the barrel-type jig one sees on Bob Tedrow's site or in David Hornett's photos earlier in this thread. John Smith mentioned: Does anyone here have a suggestion as to what this calculation would be? I think I should like to be able to make a jig prior to starting to cut cards and so forth, but I can't guess at this inner plane size. I hypothesise that it must be some function of (1) the outer plane size, (2) the bellows card/fold depth, and (3) the angle of those cards at maximum extension. The first two variables are easy, but the third I cannot guess at. Is this angle an constant unavoidable facet of the geometry of the bellows? Or is it itself determined by other factors, such as the number of sides, or the angle the trapeziums are cut at? Has anyone here ever made their jig before starting a bellows, and had the maths work out? I am very much obliged to you all for your experience, and for putting it down in threads like this. Matt
  5. Hello again, many thanks for your responses. It seems that majority and locality both favour Pittards, and their website alone seems more hopeful than anywhere else I've so far tried. A trip to Yovil to see this Leather Room sounds like the prefect excuse to give the motor a spring run too. Oldnickilby, your note of caution is appreciated, but as I sit here looking at my bellows I can't shake the desire to have a go at it myself, so I suppose I shall, knowing full well it's fairly pointless. Cheers again! Matt
  6. Hello everyone, My apologies if this question has already been discussed elsewhere, my searching revealed nothing. For my own entertainment, I'm trying to make a concertina bellows. So far I've found sourcing leather at anything like the appropriate thickness for gussets to be rather tricky. Can anyone here recommend a leather merchant who can help? For reasons of my own perverse nature, I'm hoping to cut my own gussets from a bigger bit of leather rather than buy precut ones from the concertina spares website. Much obliged for any pointers you can offer. Matt.
  7. Hello. Although this thread has moved on (and died off) since my initial enquiry, I though I should pop back to add that I eventually succeeded in establishing communication with Harmonikas, and now have now received a jolly nice-looking set of reeds for my efforts.
  8. It's a week since I e-mailed Harmonikas.cz, without response. I suppose I ought e-mail again. I'm not very good at pestering
  9. After going off on my story about shouting Englishmen, I can't complain about thread drift! But to return to the topic at hand, the fact that harmonikas.cz is the only option so far under discussion suggests that they are currently the best path for hybrid concertina reeds. So it's just a case of waiting to see if they write back
  10. I used to teach English abroad, so I have a fairly good handle on which bits of our curious tongue are apt to baffle the non-native speaker. But absolutely no offence taken, it's wise advice. If you'll permit me to digress from the topic of ordering reeds, my favourite instance of English idiom being lost in translation was conducted by red-faced Englishman I had the exquisite pleasure of witnessing in France years ago. He was in a state of high bother, and had evidentially been attempting to have his message understood by this weary-looking French chap for some time. He yelled "YOU'RE", while jabbing with both hands in the direction of the French chap. He yelled "HAVING" while miming the hugging of some invisible object to his bosom. He yelled "ME" and pointed at himself with his thumbs. He yelled "ON" and mimed one thing being put atop another. Needless to say, and despite all his exertions, no meaning was imparted.
  11. Thanks again Jake. You've spurred me into writing to them again. I'll try to be more persistent this time. And ta for the photo of the concertina-type reeds. I wonder who uses those and for what?
  12. Hi Jake, The object of going for individually-plated reeds is to permit greater flexibility swapping around accidentals or trying out layouts, rather than to get the 'concertina' sound over the 'accordion' sound. When you say their concertina reeds "look pretty bad" and "miss several features" do you mean in comparison to their accordion reeds or in comparison to actual concertina reeds? As long as they're no worse than accordion reeds, that suits me. The oval plates are a bit of a put-off, actually. Those harmonium reeds look interesting, although I wonder how they would respond to the wind characteristics of a concertina bellow. I'm sitting here staring at the pictures trying to work out if they're massive or not. The screw-holes would be handy mind you, as I was going to fix them down like that anyhow. Thanks again, Matt
  13. Hi Jake, That's good to know about harmonikas.cz! I was beginning to think I'd offended the fella or something. I also kept getting the feeling that something kept getting lost in translation. Did you feel that too? Out of curiously, what sort of reeds did you order from him? How was the quality? I've heard good things. Somewhere along the line he mentioned that he could make accordion-type reeds, but with each tongue stuck on it's own plate. This interests me greatly, as it would allow a persistent tinkerer like myself a great deal of flexibility. I might get a great big box of them to last me this and future projects, and only have to go through the drawn-out ordering procedure once. I'm also based in Bristol, so perhaps you'll show me that rectangular machine you've created some day.
  14. Hello everyone, I have it in my head that I want a very particular box with a series of unusual features, and I fancy having a go at building it. The only reason I haven't already tried to do so is because I can't seem to source reeds. As this sub-forum is partially titled 'instrument construction', I'm hoping others here might have some tips on where to rustle some up I'm quite happy to use 'meloden type' reeds, so I initially tried Charlie at CGM, who has previously been able to supply me unusual reeds for experiments with accidentals. Alas, no luck -- He couldn't find very many of the pairs I was after in his stocks, so I guess they don't occur on any common button accordions. Next I tried contacting manufacturers, but I got absolutely nothing by way of reply from most of them, except harmonikas.cz. Harmonikas.cz indicated they would be delighted to make me some reeds, quoted some prices, but when I asked for a total they went quiet. I tried again, and again the conversation abruptly halted midway. So I wonder, does anyone here know another shop like CGM that stocks individual melodeon-type reeds? Alternatively, does anyone have any successful experience in ordering a custom set from a manufacturer? Another thought, is there anyone here who has an good existing relationship with a manufacturer, and who would be willing to order and supply reeds to others? I've also just seen the free-reed instrument maker's facebook group advertised on here, so I'm going to go and sign up to facebook and give them a go too. Many thanks! Matt
  15. Thank you all for taking the time to read and reply so thoroughly to my post. It's a pleasant (and rare) surprise to find such an active and helpful community on the web. Also, my apologies for not revisiting the thread in so many days. Work takes me away from home and the internet for days at a time through the summer. Ken, thank you for pushing me to go back looking for air leaks -- I hadn't checked the bellows at all thoroughly because they looked so tidy (not a single mark on the outer edges/corners). I took and end off, and put a lamp inside the bellows and sure enough I've got little holes in some of the gussets, and one gusset is rather lacy. So this means (Jim Lucas, you'll be delighted to hear) I will shelve my Scholer-derived plans on what I might like to tackle first. It looks like I need to take a look at making the bellows more air-tight as a first port of call. Also, on your prompt Ken, I took a look for warped reed-pans (if that is the right phrase), and discovered that one of mine has a barely-measurable curve (outwards from the bellows), however it also seems that the action-board (if that too is the right phrase) has a perfectly matching inwards curve, and no air appears to leak from around them. Lots of good things to be said about this book (including by the author, so I'm not counting that review!) so I suppose I shall have to save up for it. I have the mixed fortune of working in an industry where all the pay turns up in November, so summer tends to be a bit tight! So in the meantime is anyone game for entering into a conversation about gusset replacement? Is the usual practice to remove the old gusset entirely? Do people tend to try and lift the surrounding leather (such as the run around the outside corners and edges) in order to paste the new gusset underneath as per the original, or is it glued over the top of everything else? For the record, the curious piece of advice regarding sticking valves with Pritt Stick was made by one Frank Edgley on this thread. Hello Frank! Do you still stand by that opinion? The point is probably moot now anyway, as if I have bellows repairs to make, I'm going to end up with a pot of the hide glue anyway. Finally, thank you for bringing the WCCP to my attention. I honestly had no idea how I would go about finding other players in Bristol. Again, thank you all for your welcome and advice, Matt
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