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Everything posted by Milesy

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Could this be your man? https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/an-irishman-s-diary-1.377416
  7. Intrigued by the posts, I did a bit of searching and found this: https://www.horikin.co.jp/english/powder/85#:~:text=Metal Powder-,Gold powder and other types of powder,called « Kindei » Gold Powder. Could this be what you have?
  8. In case anyone else in Aus is looking, this link gives some contacts. http://jam.org.au/moxie/folkmart/9_3/concertina-services.shtml
  9. I agree with Don - every player should have a copy of David's book. Basic care & maintenance is not challenging for anyone with basic competence in "tinkering". There are a few things to remember, but David's book covers the lot. Happy to share a few tips if you'd like to email me: richard.miles@westnet.com.au .
  10. Thanks for all the thoughts from members. I have been studying the instruments at the Horniman (online) and I am aware that the slotted pillar/brass wire action was used by Scates, Nickolds and Austin, but the point I get to is: Scates used this action in #451 but typically stamps serial numbers on action box frames. No serial numbers on Amelia action box frames. Also the Scates instruments at the Horniman appear to be of higher quality. Nickolds used the action, but used open sided cross pieces on the reed frames. Cross pieces in Amelia are closed end. Austin used the action, but initialled action boards with JA. He also used open sided reed frame cross pieces like Nickolds. Jabez Austin started “on his own account in 1850”. He died in 1857 reportedly due to his “love of beer”. Serial number 575 would imply at least 82 instruments made each year (assuming 575 was the last made and he used consecutive numbering). The buttons are also a little unusual. I have run a micrometer over a selection from Amelia and one from a Lachenal. Dimensions: Lachenal: Shaft: 4.7mm (0.184”) Pin: 2mm Amelia: Shaft: 4.7mm (0.184”) Pin: 1.55mm The taper of the buttons from just above the lever aperture can be seen in the photos. A design fault - the taper + the unusually thin pin has resulted in 12 buttons snapping! I guess, at best, I will end up deciding that the instrument is most likely by …….. but I hope members might spot something that points to the right maker.
  11. Interesting! I had looked at other Scates instruments at the Horniman and discounted them - the action was not the same. Must have missed this one. Scates seems to have used 3 or 4 different actions! Also the connection between Scates and Austin my be a clue, though my instrument doesn't have any of the typical JA impression. Long time since I was in Gateshead. Did my teacher training in Ponteland and loved the Newcastle music scene way back in the 1970s!!
  12. My first thought was "It's a Lachenal" when I unpacked her and saw the fretwork.......then I saw the action and the serial number. The action looks like that used by Jabez Austin and the buttons are tapered from just above the lever hole. This is like the Austin instruments: https://www.concertinamuseum.com/CM00261g.htm and https://www.concertinamuseum.com/CM00260g.htm Pure speculation, but maybe the original ends were damaged and replaced sometime with Lachenal bits at some time in it's life? New development - the gilt embossed leather appears to be overlaying the original. I will post more after further investigation.
  13. Action posts and levers are not like those used by Wheatstone at that time. I had one suggestion that it might be a Nickolds, but again, action doesn't look right.
  14. I have an instrument that I am trying to identify, so I hope other members can help.There is no maker's label or stamp. It has mahogany ends, with bone/ivory buttons. Fretwork is similar to the various Lachenals that I have owned. Buttons are smaller in diameter that those on my Lachenals and Wheatstone and have a taper at the lower end. Serial number is 575. Action board is mahogany with slotted brass pillars with brass pivot pin. Levers are round wire, flattened where they pass through the action pillars (and under the pivot). Action box has cut-out slots (to increase volume?) that I haven’t seen before. These may not be original. Reed frames are square ended. Bellows are green leather with gold embossed pattern. Papers dot & cross though they had been overlaid with roughly hand cut papers in red & gold when it came to me. I plan to restore this old girl - for no better reason than inside is an inscription “Amelia Tidd, 18th June, 1875”. It was special to someone! Any clues to Amelia’s identity would be interesting in mapping the history of the instrument. Maybe one of the older members dated her?!!!!!!!
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