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Greg Jowaisas

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Everything posted by Greg Jowaisas

  1. Don't would be my first response. I've seen bellows ruined by generous applications of neatsfoot oil and other conditioners. The oil has penetrated the leather, soaked into the under laying card causing it to delaminate. The result is "talking puppets" which is the term Rosalie Dipper uses to describe bellows sections which no longer stay in synch on the push and pull. "Never" is a different case. An older concertina which has not been stored properly may have a bellows with leather that has dried out. The gussets are particularly vulnerable in this case and "could" benefit from a light and judicious application of shoe cream or "Fredelka compound". I can't emphasize enough that LESS is BEST. Even a product like Fredelka which helps control the penetration of oils into leather can compromise a bellows if used in excess. If you must recondition the leather on an old, dried out bellows stay away from the liquid, penetrating oils like neatsfoot and mink. For a new bellows NEVER condition them. There are no short cuts in breaking in a bellows other than playing them in. Greg
  2. Perhaps not too early to be thinking about and making plans for summer concertina camps. Noel hill Midwest camp is July 28-August 2 this year. Location is at a very nice retreat/school complex (Transfiguration Spirituality Center) in the northern Cincinnati, OH suburbs. Private rooms and baths, good, hearty meals and of course the concertina instruction is intense but fun. Midwest camp had tried a number of locations and even different cities for a few years before finding this very comfortable location. The class sizes have been small compared to the East and West coast camps. If you are looking for a concertina camp with a feeling of personal attention, in a very nice setting I'd be hard pressed to recommend a better one. Oh yeah, the instructor is the one and only, indomitable Mr. Hill. Greg
  3. It is fairly uncommon for Edeophones to have factory rivet action. The three or four I have come across that had rivet action also had the early aluminum reed shoes that often came with their own set of problems. Given a standard Lachenal action in decent shape a good repair person should be able to set up the hook and arm action to have a light touch. It takes some time and persistence. I've had numerous successes with Edeos and other Lachenals. Please remember that after 1934 Wheatstone abandoned rivet action and went to its own hook and arm set up. I think it is ill advised to pass up a good sounding, responsive instrument simply because it does not have rivet action. There are a number of accomplished players and concertina cognoscenti who prefer the sound of the Edeophone over the Aeola. I've also heard several veteran repair people say that Edeo bellows were superior to Wheatstone Aeolas. I tend to agree. If necessary someone like Wim Wakker could replace a worn or compromised action with his own rivet action. In the end different horses for different courses. Greg
  4. Perhaps a pilgrimage south to Chris Algar's (aka Barleycorn Concertinas) is in order. My understanding is Chris' garden shed has the most concertinas in any one place on the planet and therefore a great place to compare many different concertinas. And, of course, Mr. Algar will always be ready to sell you one. In addition, Chris is very good in "placing" concertinas. If something comes in that fits the description of what you are looking for then he will be calling you. You could talk with him and get on his list. By all accounts Steve Dickenson's work is fantastic. But he is one man and single handed carrying on the Wheatstone banner. However he also does restoration and refurbishment. (Which could happen light years ahead of a new instrument) There are some wonderful vintage english concertinas out there just waiting for a skillful repairer's restoration, touch and set up to "wake up" make a remarkable instrument "sing" again. If you come across a concertina with great potential that might be an option. Greg
  5. My take is that the early Edeophones with aluminum reed shoes were consistent with Lachenal as a concertina innovator. We think of Wheatstone (often justly) as the gold standard in concertinas but in many ways Lachenal was out in front, on the cutting edge with Wheatstone responding to Lachenal's lead. Lachenal was making anglos for 50 years prior to the death of Edward Chidley and Wheatstones entry into that market. Lachenal's New Model was the first raised end concertina (I believe...) Lachenal's Edeophone and its success moved Wheatstone to respond with the Aeola a few years later. Unfortunately the early use of "pure" aluminum came with problems. Many of the early Lachenal Edeos with aluminum shoes suffered from oxidation which in worst cases clogged the tongue or reduced the metal shoes to powder! Aluminum alloys dealt with this problem and Wheatstone's Durel models were successful examples of aluminum use as were later Edeophones. While such concertina luminaries as Geoff Crabb (if memory serves) have told me there is no appreciable tonal different between aluminum and brass shoes I have a personal preference for brass. I can't offer any scientific evidence but to my ear the brass shoes have a slightly richer(?) mid range. I also have a suspicion that after a decade and a half of concertina repair of how important the snug, tight fit of a reed shoe in a reed pan is to overall sound and performance. Does a brass shoe and its added density and rigidity come with a better chance of seating better than lighter less dense aluminum? Are the deeper, heavier Jeffries shoes (well broached I might add) set in deeper reed pan slots partially responsible for the "Jeffries" sound and volume? (Whomever did the routing for the Jeffries reed pans "got it right" in my opinion.) Aluminum certainly makes for a lighter instrument. If that is a consideration it might trump some slight differences in sound for certain players. Greg
  6. Several rivet action Edeos (with aluminum reed shoes) have been through the workshop. No doubt original actions.
  7. Insight email address no longer viable. Use: gjowaisas(type "at" symbol)fioptics.com Or pm me through concertina.net's personal messenger. Thank you for the reference, Mike. I try my best to help folks with their concertina adventures. I usaully recommend/encourage scheduling a visit for anyone in the Midwest or for anyone who feels a trip is worth it in order to try out a number of concertinas in person. I'm 15 minutes from the CVG (Cincinnati/N. KY airport) and can pick you up. Cincinnati, OH can be a a very lovely city to visit in conjunction with a concertina expedition. Greg
  8. Good for you! (I worked with Carroll Concertinas for a number of years.) Wally builds an excellent instrument inspired by the vintage Wheatstone Linotas. You will be in "concertina heaven" when it arrives. Greg
  9. Picture shows original Wheatstone construction with screwed down aluminum frames. Please note that after 1934 Wheatstone by and large abandoned rivet action and went to a "hook and arm action. Wheatstone's used a different kind of pivot than Lachenal. Should be no confusing the two. Not sure how experienced your repair tech was with concertinas....? (Lachenal occasionally screwed down longer reed shoes on low notes on baritones and lower instruments. ) Post WWII Wheatstone anglos will sometimes have the typical vintage treatment of reed frames fitted to dovetailed slots with either aluminum (most common) or brass reed frames. (Occasionally the aluminum and brass frames are mixed with the brass frames used for the higher notes) Some have the screwed down rectangular aluminum frames. (As in your picture) Others may have an arrangement of post and spring clip affixing the aluminum frames to the pan. My first anglo had screwed down reeds. It played well without problems. Greg
  10. Stu, Pictures would be helpful. To my knowledge the Wheatstones out of S. Africa were imported from the UK and from the Wheatstone factory. After WWII Wheatstone apparently sought to stay economically competitive with the times by trying a number of labor saving innovations departing from traditional reed and reed pan arrangement. These included screwed down rectangular frames and, from a repairman's view, the infamous post and spring clip way of mounting reeds. The dozens of examples I've seen and worked on indicate the Africaners were not shy about modifying their instruments (No doubt in the interest of keeping them playing sometimes in rural and isolated environments.) Few can doubt their love and embrace of the instrument but concertinas from that part of the world come with the caveat that they may not be originally intact. Greg
  11. No doubt Don Smith is throwing his hat into the ring to deliver my eulogy....?☺️ But I'll smell and enjoy the roses while I can! Just trying to help folks along with their concertina adventures. I should add that I thoroughly enjoyed spending the afternoon with Doug Haney. And Don Smith...? What a guy! What a character! I call him "The 20 Button King" and the amount of his enthusiasm for the concertina and folk music is only rivaled by the size of his big heart. Squeeze On!! Greg
  12. Serial #59014 Steel reeds in aluminum frames dovetailed in the reed pans. In tune, plays well, solid 6-fold bellows. An opportunity to add a flat pitch instrument to the herd at a reasonable price. $1200 + shipping.
  13. My guess would be a baritone or perhaps a baritone/treble. Why don't you ask Steve? http://steve-turner.co.uk/
  14. Daniel, The bellows yell, "German" at me. As far as action I'm more likely seeing a row of parallel wood arms rather than radiating brass action arms. Greg
  15. Third pinned post down in the Buy and Sell section.
  16. Hamish Bayne Holmwood tenor treble. In tune and playing well. Hamish Bayne leather case included. $2500 + shipping. Personal message me or gjowaisas(type the "at" symbol)fioptics.com Greg
  17. Grown!! Merry Christmas to all at cnet!! Thanks for your support and let me know if you need a repair, reclamation or (God forbid!) another concertina. Greg Top: 1850s Wheatstone duet (similar to this one: http://www.concertina.com/duett/wheatstone-duett-no-64/index.htm ) 5th row from the bottom: 48b Lachenal Crane with metal buttons; 60b "super" extended New Model treble 4th row from bottom: 1950s Wheatstone 30b Bb/F anglo; Rosewood New Model "deluxe" (Edeophone fret work) 3rd row from bottom: 48b Wheatstone model 22; 57b Mahogany Wheatstone MacCann: 60b Wheatstone dot and comma: 48b New Model (with Bill Crossland remade flat ends) 2nd row: 56b T/T Wheatstone Aeola; 64b T/XT Wheatstone Aeola; 48b Jeffries Crane; 35b Mahogany Wheatstone Crane Bottom row: R to L 26b Jones C/G; 32b Lachenal C/G; 20b Lachenal C/G; 26b 5&1/4 across the flats Lachenal C/G normal octave. Ebonized 56b T/T Wheatstone Aeola
  18. Little John, 23b on the LH; 25 on the RH
  19. And growing.... (Trying to keep ahead of the other "Christmas trees" popping up ??) Top row: 48b Wheatstone model 22; 57b Mahogany Wheatstone MacCann: 60b Wheatstone dot and comma: 48b New Model (with Bill Crossland remade flat ends)
  20. Growing! Bottom row: R to L 26b Jones C/G; 32b Lachenal C/G; 20b Lachenal C/G; 26b 5&1/4 across the flats Lachenal C/G normal octave. Ebonized 56b T/T Wheatstone Aeola 2nd row: 56b T/T Wheatstone Aeola; 64b T/XT Wheatstone Aeola; 48b Jeffries Crane; 35b Mahogany Wheatstone Crane
  21. R to L 26b Jones C/G; 32b Lachenal C/G; 20b Lachenal C/G; 26b 5&1/4 across the flats Lachenal C/G normal octave. More on the way....
  22. Doug, Larry, Rod and anyone else interested.... Let's start building a tree! (pyramid)
  23. Didn't mean to distract from Doug's thread. Visiting and playing and comparing actual candidate instruments is best. (Cost and logistics of air travel sometimes eliminate this option) Next choice might be playing the same model(s) which might give some general ideas of size, feel, tone and response. Any reputable seller will give a perusal period and right of return for trying out an instrument purchased through the mail. The one way shipping costs, $40-$75 depending on the insurance and shipper, are usually non-refundable. As per Geoff's advice I've already tried to give him some options/suggestions of better concertinas a bit over his budget without making a hard "upsell". I wonder if there are any cnetters in the Dallas area that might let Doug try their instruments. There is usually a Palestine, TX festival gathering (March) which includes a concertina offshoot which might provide the best regional choice of getting together with a number of players and offer a chance to try different concertinas. Finding North american opportunities to try out and compare a number of concertinas can be challenging. Greg
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