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Graham S

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  1. Quite right, Lester; the two I've played were Black Pearl IIIs, which are 21-button. and both were bought new by their respective owners with 4th button start. It failed to register with me that the 2-voice model in only 19 buttons. Graham
  2. And the Dutch "w", I'm told (by a friend who studied in the Netherlands), is neither the English "w" nor the English "v", but somewhere in between. Quite correct. A Dutch friend of mine says Dutch isn't so much a language as a congenital laryngeal affliction. Quite a few letter combinations in Dutch don't sound as you'd expect - for example "huis" (house) is pronounced "house", and "koeken" (cakes) is pronounced "kooken" - the origiin of "cookies" in the US.
  3. I find it interesting that you describe it as "standard layout, 3rd button start", I admit I've only ever played two Black Pearls (very nice too) and they were both factory-spec 4th button start. Does that suggest that US and EU "standard" layouts are different, or is it just chance?
  4. Nice work - but just wondering if there are any potential copyright issues? I don't think it's likely, but you never know.......... You're probably safe just getting one or two made for non-commercial personal use, but commercial copyright law can be a funny old thing. Graham
  5. Sorry, I misread the OP and ended up suggesting the wrong kinds of screws. That link is still a useful source of hard-to-find very small screws, though!
  6. I don't have an instrument in front of me to get the size, but this might be worth a try http://hobby.uk.com/materials/hardware/screws.html Graham
  7. Thanks Dave I've got the worst of the cobbled-up patches off, the bellows separated from the frames and the frames cleaned up - they're in far better nick than I'd feared. Some of the original leather has come away anyway in the process of removing the frames, and I'm honestly amazed at the good condition of the grey cardboard underneath. Cheers Graham
  8. Yes - if you can, get an experienced player to play your concertina and then you'll soon see if it's a technical issue with the instrument or something you can address in your own technique. Good advice for any beginner on any instrument. Graham
  9. I thought bits of it sounded familiar, but like JIm I'm not convinced they're not phrases from other tunes stuck together. Pretty tune, though....... Graham
  10. Thanks Jim; that was exactly the way I was looking at it. At best I'll end up with a nicely restored though not valuable instrument and I'll have learned a lot, while at worst I'll end up with a nicely restored though not valuable instrument and I'll have learned a lot. The only difference is in outlay of finance and time - and I have more of one than the other! Cheers Graham
  11. I guess that's the old "philharmonic pitch" of A = 453 (or thereabouts!)?
  12. True, but when I relined the brakes and clutch on my MGs I didn't chuck out and replace the drums, shoes, pressure plate etc, and replacement tyres went on to the original wheels.......... The tyres and friction materials are the expendable parts, not the underlying structure.
  13. There's a lot of sense there - but I have a bit of a "thing" about conserving as much of the original as possible in any restoration. It was the same years ago when I had 2 or 3 old MGs; I've done it with car-boot sale Victorian and Edwardian furniture, and with assorted musical instruments. The problem is the "5 new blades and 6 new handles" in the 200-year-old knife, which is essentially a replica, even though all those replacements might have been made as a matter of routine maintenance. In this case, actually the bellows frames are in decent nick and could have a new bellows fitted to them, but doing that wouldn't put me in the head of the bloke who sat down and put that bellows together a hundred-and-odd years ago. My hands wouldn't be working on the very same materials that his hands did, and junking and replacing as opposed to dismantling and rebuilding doesn't tell me anything about his working methods. Good job I don't do this for a living..........
  14. No need - the advice (all of it sound) was welcome; experience with one type of instrument doesn't imply expertise with a completely different animal. And I usually like to keep a few cards close to my chest......... Will try to keep you posted. Cheers Graham
  15. Thanks both; I'm well aware of the size and complexity of the job, having been a builder of violins and other string instruments for a number of years and also for the last few years doing my own tuning, repairs and restorations on melodeons, so I'm not coming at it as an over-enthusiastic raw beginner. Thanks, Theo, for the heads-up on the double-decked top run; that was what I suspected, and it's nice to have it confirmed. I have been through Bob Tedrow's photo-essay a couple of times; very interesting and instructive, I have a photograph of the bellows as I got the instrument, roughly patched with all sorts of odds and ends of leather of all kinds of thickness, and will photograph the process as I work through it - mainly for my own benefit, but the record may be of interest to a few others down the line. I'm hoping to get started on stripping away all the nasty bits tomorrow.... Cheers Graham
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