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Greg Jowaisas

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Everything posted by Greg Jowaisas

  1. The concertina in question is on the bench. It is a lovely Jeffries and of course the work the Dippers did is outstanding. The present owner is a smaller person. I've raised the thumb button for easier access and am addressing the overall spring pressure to make the instrument more friendly to her light, quick Irish Trad approach. Best, Greg
  2. Cielito Lindo and/or Spanish is a Loving Tongue to acknowledge the "first cowboys" the vaqueros.
  3. Thanks for the compliment, Chuck. In general I repair and tune vintage concertinas with traditional UK construction, except in dire, local emergencies. You would think there should be someone competent in Nashville who does melodeons or accordions..... Bob Tedrow in the Birmingham. Alabama suburbs could make it right Greg
  4. I'm sure we'll get a bunch of welcomed opinions My personal experience the past 15 years in tuning and playing close to a hundred brass reed concertinas is that the quality of the reeds varies quite a bit. The mahogany, english, entree level Lachenals could have the stamped mass produced reeds and not be the greatest players. However, I've come across examples that played well with decent volume and response rivaling the lower end steel reed models. The 20b anglos are all over the place Some are great, where you thought you were playing good steel reeds. Some had reeds with terrible tolerances with gaps between the tongue and shoe that you thought you might be able to drive a truck through. All played, which was probably Lachenal's goal albeit some better than others. As you move up into the rosewood english models I've found the reeds, as you might expect, generally improve. I've played some sweet, responsive examples. But I've also found some that seemed to have "bricks " for reed tongues. Early Wheatstone reeds can be nice, but again vary widely. I've found that once Chidley took over at Wheatstone and began producing brass rivet reed concertinas the overall response and sound of these instruments is very good to excellent. So there seem to be general trends with some exceptions which leads me to advise folks to evaluate any concertina on its individual merits. (Some wise person in this forum once pointed out that the individual condition and repair history of a concertina over 100 years can be as or more important than its model ranking or maker's pedigree.) Was that you, Malcolm Clapp? A word about brass reed instruments staying in tune My experience is that brass reed instruments stay relatively in good tune AS LONG AS played within the limits of the instrument. By that I mean you can't take a brass reed instrument to a session and play as loud as you can, pushing the instrument to an extreme and expect it to stay in tune. In this regard steel reed instruments are much more tolerant of abuse. I've found that brass stays in tune if you respect the volume capabilities of the instrument. It is true that brass reeds are not as resilient as steel. A brass reed, not carefully filed can develop stress fractures and fail. This is not widespread in my experience but occasionally does happen. To my ear brass reeds can have a certain unique sound and charm. The overtones seem less harsh and the chords are sweeter. You may give up some volume and sometimes a bit of quickness but there can be some compensation in tone with brass. One man's experience and opinion Greg
  5. I've had a number of L&Co instrument pass through my hands. Several were 20b and I still have a 30b. All were rosewood and semi-miniatures. I wish I had seen the one Takayuki san mentioned. Murdoch & Co? Greg
  6. The post WWII Wheatstones used very thin, soft leather for their arm/lever bushings. (plastic button cores) Seems to have worked just fine. Many of the modern makers and repairers have placed "seat belts" over the ends of the lever arms to help secure pads on anglo concertinas.
  7. Gorgeous mahogany end Holmwood tenor treble english concertina. 6-fold original bellows. Excellent condition. Plays quickly and nicely with authority. $2600 + shipping. Comes with the original hard leather case. I'll do a final check on the tuning prior to shipment. Donation to cnet of course upon sale in response to this post. Greg PS. Thinning the herd. A number of nice anglo and englishes available. Personal message me or email: gjowaisas (type @ symbol) fioptics.com
  8. Some more "baffling" information found by an advanced search of concertina.net: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=18484&hl=baffles&do=findComment&comment=175513 And some discussion of volume and dynamics: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=17349&hl=baffles BTW I thinks some folks prematurely give up on cnet's search feature. I've had good success by clicking on the daisy wheel (tool symbol?) next to the upper right hand search box. This usually takes me to the advanced search feature and that yields infinitely better results than just typing a key word into the search box.
  9. also what do you mean by baffles? http://www.concertina.com/gaskins/index.htm#gaskins-baffles This should get you started. Greg
  10. My best guess would be Indian rosewood. Point taken. But may be a moot point with the dollar's favorable exchange rate these anglos will probably be staying stateside.
  11. These are all completely refurbished and good players. They may be a bit dear for you, Michael, considering the current exchange rate but drop me a PM and we can talk. The 30b rosewood has a new Jowaisas bellows. Greg
  12. Something to keep in mind is that an in case humidifier is somewhat static. Yes, certainly better than nothing, but I believe a bigger problem is the environment where the concertina gets played. If you think about it, when you play your concertina in a room or house that is 30% humidity or less what you are in effect doing is "kiln drying" the instrument from the inside out as you pump all that dry air through it. I try and encourage my customers to use a small room humidifier in a dedicated playing room or area. A minimum 50% humidity is the goal. (70% or better seems to be a tipping point where unwanted things start growing... ) Concertinas apparently can gradually adapt to dryer environments and I've worked on concertinas from Arizona, California and the high plateau of Colorado which have seemed to be healthy and intact. So perhaps the most dangerous situation may be a relatively sudden "shock" to the wood of an instrument when a seasonal change occurs or a prolonged cold spell happens and central heating runs continuously and relative humidity drops drastically. Corner support blocks which keep the reed pan in place are very vulnerable. As the bellows pan wood dries and changes shape the brittle hide glue which holds the support blocks can give way. The result is bleeding notes or loss of volume usually in a corner area of the concertina shared by the affected notes. Worst case scenario is that the pad board shrinks and suffers a crack between or through several pad holes. (Mahogany pad boards seem more prone than maple/sycamore although I've rarely seen an Edeophone with pad board cracks. 12-sided shape alleviating stress??) So I'd advise not only using an in case humidifier but paying attention to your home playing environment. Around my house October is when I start the humidification of the project room and workshop so that I stay in front of the winter heating drying curve. As an illustrative aside I still remember playing a little banjo with a skin head on the University of Florida campus commons one winter's day. Too much humidity is often the problem in Florida and I was always tightening the rim brackets to keep the skin head of the banjo from sagging. On this rare day a Canadian system had rushed in bringing exceptionally clear, blue skies along with a sudden drop in humidity. I was enjoying the rare dry weather and no doubt trying to impress some coeds with my banjo prowess when a distressing "rrriiipping" noise came from my lap. I quickly determined the sound was not from a failure of pants bottom integrity but sadly the tearing of my banjo head. The sudden drop in humidity had self tightened my banjo head beyond its breaking point! My winter mantra: Humidify. Humidify. Humidify. Greg
  13. I use a tapered metal punch to burnish a fret work bushing. The punch can be heated if necessary. Burnish from the inside of the fret work. While you have the end off and the action box exposed take off the button and viewing with one eye (to eliminate parallax) check to make sure the lever arm bisects the button guide in hole in the action board. Adjust as necessary. Improper arm/button alignment is a major cause of sticking and slow buttons. Greg
  14. This is a nice example of a 30b rosewood Lachenal C/G anglo with steel reeds. The concertina is properly refurbished and carefully tuned. It has a new set of Jowaisas deep 6-fold bellows just right for the rigors of Irish Trad. $3000 USD + shipping comes with a hard case. Personal message me or email: gjowaisas (type 'at' symbol) fioptics.com
  15. Nice Lachenal Excelsior model for sale. Ebony ends, glass buttons, mahogany sound board. Carefully tuned and refurbished. The mahogany sound board seems to take the edge off the high end harmonics and gives this instrument a very pleasant and mellow sound. $1450+ shipping. You can PM me or email: gjowaisas (type 'at' symbol) fioptics.com Greg
  16. 35b Wheatstone Crane still available, along with a 48b Lachenal and a 55b New Model. Probably best for domestic (U.S.A.) consumption with CITES and the dollar's current exchange rate.
  17. Two nice Wheatstone concertinas for sale. Carefully refurbished and tuned. Rosewood is $2200 USD and the Model 21 is $2500 Hard case included. Shipping is extra. PM me or email gjowaisas (type "at" symbol) fioptics.com
  18. My wife spotted this picture. The original caption said, "When U tryna be cool but ur pants keep playing German folk songs." Wait! Wait! My wife just found this: We all have some shopping to do!
  19. RWL, If you look at the condition of the original bellows, and in particular the gusset patching, you will see why I chose to do a lot of outside gusset replacement. In many cases in removing the patch there was no underlying gusset left. I don't believe I have any interior pictures but I'm sure there was some internal gusset patching done as well. You are correct in that patching from the outside can lead to extra bulk on a bellows. Since many of the exterior patches took the place of the original gussets and the fact that I used my best and thinnest skived sheepskin for gusset and patching material led to the result that my customer and I were very pleased that these bellows did not bulk up and still closed nicely. The reason for putting the gusset over the valley is that it gives you double protection in a leak prone area. I've had to reglue nearly all the leaky valleys on several bellows made by a prominent maker who chose to "butterfly" the bellows folds instead of using conventional valleys. Wheatstone concertina bellows during the 50s and 60s used the same technique and sometimes were prone to valley leaks as well. Good question. I used a careful and particular technique for a special case. Greg
  20. A.P James builds a small (miniature size) anglo: http://www.apjmusic.co.uk/apj_miniature_anglo.htm I'm sure Bob Tedrow would talk to you about his miniature: http://hmi.homewood.net/#Concertinas%20For%20Sale: Colin and Rosalie Dipper occasionally build them. Vintage miniature anglos are rare. Typically they cost in the $2000+ range and that may be unrestored. Vintage english miniatures are uncommon but more frequently seen than anglos. $1500-$2000 is the rule.
  21. Hi Don, Area to be treated has a lot to do with which product to use. On the scuffed Tidder bellows (Tidder seems to have used sheep/lambskin which does not have the wear resistance of goat) I first applied a black dye and then followed with a coat of Kiwi Scuff Coat which probably has the same acrylic base as Resolene. I think the idea is to get an appearance improvement with using the least amount of product. For any area that gets a lot of flexing like valleys and gussets I use Fredelka compound. Again the watchword is use the LEAST possible product to get the job done. Pardon the repetition but I've seen too many bellows RUINED by migrating oils like mink oil and neatsfoot oil which can penetrate through the leather and then cause the underlying card to delaminate. Once that happens the bellows folds no longer "march in line" and can even seemingly go in different directions. "Talking puppets" (talking puppet heads) is what Rosalie Dipper calls the condition. Sometimes a bit of relief can be gained by injecting glue into the separating card or replacing the hinges. But severe cases don't have an easy fix and bellows replacement may be necessary. One more caution for any folks looking for an easy way to break in bellows: To my knowledge the best and only safe way to make a stiff bellows more supple and easier to play is to do just that: play the thing! And sometimes your playing will improve along with the bellows Best, Greg PS. The Leather Weld glue is like most pva products. Heat and water can loosen it a bit but I would not call it easily reversible. However, applying more glue does seem to help dissolve existing glue and once the piece is removed and the area cleaned then glue and new leather can be reapplied.
  22. Ken, You are the administrator and I'm confident in your judgement. With the number of pictures I used I found it necessary to spread the allowable download memory over four separate topics. Perhaps I could have accomplished the same with one topic and three subsequent posts? I'll keep repairing concertinas but leave the intricacies of the cyber world to you. Thank you for your hard work and expertise. Greg
  23. After replacing more than half of the gussets and nearly half of the valleys the project is nearly done. Doesn't look like much but she is airtight and about to become beautiful! Last step is to apply the beautiful Jeffries papers that the Dippers provide.
  24. Some of the previous bad patching was actually an advantage. It was easy to remove. I've found the best way to loosen old patches and bellows papers is to use warm water and cut up sponge pieces. It is easy to put the pieces right where they are needed to keep the leather to be removed moist. they can easily be renewed by dipping and squeezing them in warm water. How wet you make the sponge allows control of the application of moisture. What you do not want to do is get the underlying card wet to the point where it loses its integrity. Slowly but surely you can lift the patches a little at a time. Sometimes the old bellows paper comes off in clumps but more often there is a process of wetting and scraping, wetting and scraping. Getting the replacement leather ready. Sharfix skiver, sharp Israeli blades, supple lambskin leather. I use Tandy Leather Weld glue for my bellows work. Wally Carroll introduced me to it and I have not found anything better. It dries in about a minute so there is time to properly position and reposition if necessary. First two gusset patches are on. I like to lay down the valleys first and then cover with the gussets.
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