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    Restoration, repair and playing English concertinas
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    Mandurah, Australia

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  1. I bought a set like these from Ebay. While most are of no use, I found half a dozen that would cut smaller valves. It was worth the relatively small cost. Extensive enquiries to find someone who would make a set specifically for concertina valves for me got nowhere. If you find someone that can supply a set, I'd be pleased to get details.
  2. I am asked to offer a Mahogany 30+1 Lachenal anglo in C/G for sale on behalf of a lady who brought it to me for a couple of minor repairs. The instrument dates to approximately 1898 (serial number 159689) and is in great condition. The bellows are sound and appear original, as do the pads and springs. Valves have been replaced at some point and the instrument re-tuned to A=440Hz and the steel reeds are all free from rust or signs of pitting. The instrument is located in Western Australia. The issues I dealt with: replace one valve, re-bush one lever arm socket and stabilise two minor action board cracks. Not being an anglo player, I hesitate to describe it’s playing characteristics, but all reeds voice and there doesn’t seem to any hesitation. The instrument passed through Friedman’s Music Shop in New Jersey at some point in it’s history (dealer’s label on action box). I am happy to share my inspection report with prospective buyers and have more photos of detail. Please PM me if interested. The seller is asking AU$2500.
  3. Supply and demand is a major factor - our population of concertina players is pretty small. That, coupled with issues selling/shipping overseas, results in the lower prices.
  4. I have an Lachenal with me for a a minor repair. It has a label " Friedman's Music Shop, ...... New Jersey". I can see online that the shop was still active in 1932. Any of our American friends able to supply further information?
  5. Happily, here in Western Australia, we still have Zenith Music - billed as "the best music store in Australia since 1969". The staff range in age from teenage music students through to more senior (in both age and status!). They are always happy to chat even if there is no sale imminent. I call in whenever I am in the area, mainly to browse the instruments - everything from grand pianos to jaw harps - and try out any concertinas that they have in.
  6. Hi Batt and welcome to the forum. It might help members to know where you are - we are scattered all over the globe! A member local to you may be able to give you some guidance.
  7. I would recommend velvet rather than felt. I have found that felt sheds fibres and will "pill" more readily than woven fabrics. Polyester velvet is pretty commonly available online if not at a local fabric store.
  8. Let us know your general location and someone will direct you to someone "local".
  9. Are you using a tuning bellows or checking the note by reassembling the concertina? Not uncommon to find that the note is different in the instrument when compared to out. Normal technique is to establish the adjustment needed with the reed in the instrument (e.g. note shows 40cents flat) on tuner then sharpen by 40cents from the note measured when the reed is on the tuning bellows. Then replace in the instrument and check. (You may know all of this, but your post suggests this is your first time tuning). Good luck and be gentle!!!! Reeds can easily be ruined by over zealous filing! Make sure you support the reed underneath with a thin shim - a strip of aluminium cut from a drink can will work if you have nothing else. Slide the shim between the reed and the reed shoe/plate.
  10. If it's an antique instrument, you might try a drop of hide glue (used by luthiers and fine cabinet makers) - it's reversible ie can be removed. this is the one I use: https://www.axminstertools.com/titebond-liquid-hide-glue-ax22595 Richard
  11. What make of concertina is it? I have had to fix a similar issue on a Lachenal. There was a tiny leak around the reed pan gasket on that occasion.
  12. Hi Clive, I have an English, serial no 575, that I am (slowly) restoring which has the same slots cut into the action box. I had never seen that feature before. So far I have been unable to identify a maker - my first thought was Lachenal, but the action is not typical. I'd be interested to see what you find out. incidentally, my English also has a name inscribed: Amelia Tidd. 1875.
  13. My estimate would be early 1880s......but I guess you know how difficult it is to date a Lachenal!
  14. You might try A C Norman & Co. Paddock, Shrewsbury SY5 9EL, United Kingdom. If he can't help he will have better local knowledge than I (I've been in Australia for 30 years so my UK contacts are rather thin on the ground!)..
  15. Hi Dan It's an "English" (keyboard layout) and from your photos it appears to be in original condition. The Serial number indicates it was made in 1850/51. Value depends on many variables. Where are you based? There will undoubtedly be a knowledgeable member somewhere near you who will be able to tell you more if they see it "in the flesh".
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