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    Restoration, repair and playing English concertinas
  • Location
    Mandurah, Australia

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Milesy's Achievements


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  1. The trade mark will be on the wooden hand rests under the straps. Valuing an instrument depends on many factors and is best done by getting an expert to inspect and test the instrument. If you let us know where (country/city) you are, someone will be able to suggest where to take it that is local to you.
  2. Are you reading the serial number only from the end label? It may have a 1 in front of it that isn't easily visible, but would make approximately 30 years difference. Have you looked at the serial numbers inside? Establishing the age of Lachenals is a bit problematic but from example where the date of manufacture is known, some estimate is possible. I believe an 86*** number would be mid - late 1880s while a 186*** would be approximately 1913. Does the instrument have the Lachenal trade mark stamped on it?
  3. Some might say that all of us in Australia play upside down!!!
  4. I would have anticipated a higher value. Maybe the auction being restricted to UK bidders only has pushed the price down?
  5. I have been looking for press knives for valves for some time. Lucris weren't able to help. I have purchased some punches (pre-formed sets) from Ebay - some of the shapes match some valves but most of the larger knives are too big. I am going to try re-shaping in the workshop, though I don't hold out much hope of getting an acceptable shape and retain the cutting edge. The image shows a couple of the punches that work (15mm & 19mm). The larger one illustrates the problem. The upper valve was cut with this punch and is compared with a "shop bought" valve. If anyone does find a maker who can make sets, I would be glad to find out.
  6. Keep emails brief and to the point (advice from Mark to me). He gets lots and doesn't get to them if he is busy building bellows etc. I, too, phone him (from Australia) as a follow up.
  7. Hi All I have just received a Lachenal #50133 for some TLC. Inside on each action board is a pencil "scrawl" that may be repairers or owners initials. Does anyone recognise it (you might need to rotate the photo). The instrument has had new pads and valves somewhere along the line. Any information gratefully accepted - I would like to add more to it's story for the owner.
  8. Bought an EC from the UK a few years ago with the same smelly problem. The cigarette/pipe tobacco smell only lingered for a few weeks once the instrument was out of it's case..........unless my nose became insensitive to it! Let it breathe some clean air for a while.
  9. You will need to figure out what glue was used originally (or most recently if any restoration has been done before). Some glues will not stick to surfaces with traces of dried glue. Hide glue was used when the instrument was first built and that will attach to older versions of itself. Before you have to take apart the entire frames, make sure to mark the corresponding corners so you can re-assemble correctly.
  10. I have a Lachenal Anglo dating to about 1860 which has original red leather baffles of the "horseshoe" shape described by David. I haven't opened it up recently, but I am pretty sure the shaping avoids the leather passing over the support posts, so does not create the "gap" issue. The red net is an attempt to prevent carpet moth laying their eggs on the tasty (for them) woollen felt in the pads. I would imagine that any fabric fine enough to stop dust would reduce airflow significantly.
  11. I suspect that the leather used to make the bellows is vegetable tanned, which has a brown colour. Some leather dyeing processes (after tanning) only colour the surface layer and with wear, the colour can wear through, revealing the "natural" leather colour beneath. I would not recommend boot polish - it is a surface wax which will soon transfer from the bellows to you!!! There are leather dyes available, but the surface needs to be cleaned to remove any oils and waxes before applying the dye - and the colour may not match perfectly with the original. If there are no holes or splits in the leather, it might be best to leave well alone and accept it as the patina of age and use.
  12. Interesting thought Paul. There is an earlier form of the lower case n in early Latin Italic script which was effectively a reverse of the capital letter, and earlier written or carved scripts have a similar "letter". Whether it was still in use in the 1800s is debateable. When teaching primary school kids to write, I often saw various letters written in reverse, so maybe it is more likely a mistake when the letter stamp was being made (and by the Canadian soldier). A faulty letter punch might have been used once or twice then discarded when the error was spotted, resulting in just a few examples of the reversal.
  13. Trying to perfect "Devon Bellringing song" on Wheatstone baritone after listening to the lateTony Rose album "Exe". Repairs to a 30 key Lachenal anglo and Amelia (my unknown maker EC) on hold as I wait for parts from the UK.
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