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Everything posted by IAmGrammy

  1. *WHEW!!!!* Thank you guys for your patient help and for bearing with me. Twice, I ordered some tubing from Amazon and twice they sent the wrong size. (It turned out Amazon had received a mislabeled bin of tubing and had to ship the whole thing back to the company, because the contents didn't match the bin specs.) I finally found a bit of tubing left over from a chainsaw rebuild and, oddly enough, it fit perfectly. But then, after the buttons were all shored up, nice and tidy, and I had it put back together, I squeezed the bellows without pressing any buttons and it just coughed up notes. It was only today that I finally found a couple of rods on either side that had somehow gotten raised a bit too high, making the spring work too hard, I guess. In any event, the pads were letting air through and when I relaxed the height on them, it all settled down, nice and quiet. The bellows feel a bit stiff to me, but I'm not accustomed to pushing and pulling bellows the way you guys are, so I'm not sure if I'm just a bit weak or if they really are stiff. I'll practice every day and if it's still a struggle after a couple of weeks, then maybe they are a bit tight. Not that I'd know what to do about that... Bellows scare me. Just added a couple of button pics, the first two showing what was there and the last showing how they ended up. I should have thought to take pics of the really bad sleeves, though, most of them were practically falling off, they were so soft and worn out. Thanks again, guys!
  2. I had seen the circle of reeds on some concertinas on online videos so when I saw the hinged stack of reeds on mine, I didn't know what to think. But I began reading a few articles and, even in my ignorance of concertinas, I believe I'm able to agree with you. I think it's clever. The bushing is beautiful! It's a shame they aren't all like that; besides what it does for function, it really enhances the instrument. I ordered tubing to commence seeing what I could do to shore up my buttons, but, of course, the company sent the wrong size, so I'm back to waiting. If I can secure the buttons well enough to learn the instrument, I hope to graduate to something a bit more elegant.
  3. I hope I've learned a lesson, ha! I have some issues with my hands and have had a few surgeries. (Something about my having "too many bones". My X-rays look as if I'm wearing lace gloves.) So, when the concertina arrived, my first thought was, "You know... since I'm going to try to play this with the right end resting on my knee, if my little fingers could actually sit on top of the rests, as if they were in troughs, instead of beneath them, they could actually rest and they wouldn't tire out so quickly and begin to ache." That was my line of reason, anyway. So, as most concertinas seem to be made, the finger rests are attached as if you have a capital letter "J" and slapped it to the left, onto its face (hook down). I was hoping to swap the rests and flip them so that the letter "J" would be first turned backward and slapped to the left onto its back, hook up, creating a sort of "shelf" or trough for my fingers to lie in and rest on. It all turned out to be an exercise in futility, even without the nuts/washers issue, because I soon discovered that while my fingers might like to sit on top, rather than beneath the rests, there's no control that way. All that to say that concertina designers apparently know what they're doing. I'm sort of glad, though, to have opened it up. Those buttons are so wobbly and loose, that it'll be a huge relief to shore them up. I need all the help I can get.
  4. That's interesting about reselling Stagis under different names. I guess that might be done all the time, but it seems as if it should be illegal. Kind of like me starting my new computer company by slapping grapes on the front of all my Macs and selling them as Concords. The buttons seem to have bands of discoloration, as if there was some sort of tubing at one time. I've ordered new tubing so I'm hoping to get it back open this week and have a go at it. I'll send pics when I'm done. Thank you guys for all your help!
  5. HA! I'm glad I set my hot cup of coffee down before I got to that part! The Suttner is a beauty! Well, this is an education for me. I've not torn back into the concertina today, as I'd planned, because when I do, I'll need to leave it open for a bit in order to address the button issue, so I'm going to read the links you guys have given me and do a little prep work before I go in. I'll come back, either in the afterglow or aftermath, depending on how it goes, and let you know how it went. Thanks, again!
  6. Thanks, Jake, that clears it up for me. Is this what people are talking about when they speak of bushing the buttons? I saw a video recently of "burling the felt" when buttons stick, but "bushing" the buttons was something in an online article (without pics) and I had no visual in order to understand what was meant. I believe that those are two different procedures done for different reasons (and, apparently, not all buttons have felt) but I'm not even sure I'm right about that.
  7. Thanks, Theo! You must have picked up on my panic, ha! I'll give this a read and then tear into it.
  8. There's something there but I'd stop short at calling it tubing and lean more toward a very thin soft lining at the bottom, so, if it was once tubing, it's almost worn completely away! I've had to put off opening it back up until tomorrow but when I do, I'll take a tight close up pic of one of the buttons. When the action is removed, if you so much as breathe at a button it falls off the rod. I can't think that's as it should be. Thanks!
  9. Thanks! I'm getting pretty good at taking it apart now, so I'll do that and make sure everything is where it needs to be. So glad it's not the seal!
  10. Well... thanks, Don, because that was exactly the way to access the action. There were the nuts and washers, exactly where they shouldn't be, so they were retrieved and the finger rests put back as they originally were. I was able to somehow coax the buttons back into the holes but they're very loose so they just kept falling off the rods, but after a great deal of patience, I got the boxes back intact and attached to the bellows. Only, now, the bellows push together without pushing any buttons and ... well, you can sort of hear all the notes at once and it's quite breathy. So I'm guessing it's no longer air tight and this is why this is happening? I'm adding the additional photos you asked for. Seriously, on the last couple... doesn't that look exactly like strips of wall paneling? This thing looks homemade.
  11. If that's true, I can only comfort myself with the knowledge that I gave practically nothing (compared to real concertina money) for it, ha! Well... then if I can become good on this one, when I graduate to a "real" one, I'll be great.
  12. It doesn't, unfortunately. I did try a gentle shake, just in case, but you can tell by the sound, that it's just behind the black casing (strap side). I'm a bit surprised by this box, because the casing (which is how I'm referring to the outside "face" with the pattern) that I need to remove the action from appears to be plastic and whatever I was expecting in a concertina, it certainly wasn't plastic!
  13. Oh, thank you so much; I'll do this in the morning when I'm a bit more alert, and I'll post the pics. I knew this wasn't a Stagi, since it wasn't marked but I was surprised that the Stagi on an online store (I don't know if we can post links, so I'm just attaching the pic of it) has the same identical face pattern as mine. So I'm guessing that you can't go by the pattern to identify a concertina?
  14. Hi! When you rotate it, the stacked reeds can unhinge and fold out. The problem is they reveal the lower level of reeds beneath, but that level seems embedded to the "floor" of the assembly and doesn't also lift up. The last pic shows the only screws I can see once it's unfolded (those tiny ones under the lining).
  15. Hi there. I'm posting here as a newbie, not only to this forum, but to the concertina. My observation of other forums is that newbies can sometimes talk too much and tell you his or her life story, so I'll cut to the chase: I do not know how to access the action on my concertina. It is an English concertina, bought from Craigslist, unmarked, maker unknown (to me, anyway). I've never had a concertina before and, within the hour of taking it out of the box, I did a stupid thing: I removed the pinkie rests. (I won't bore you with why, unless you ask.) Bear in mind: everything was fine until I did that. Immediately after, I noticed a small rattle in the action and realized that there must have been tiny washers and even nuts holding the very small screws in place that held the rests and they have now fallen into the action. (Washers/nuts seem to be the case, because the screws can now be simply pushed back into their holes and don't need to be screwed in at all, and no longer tightly secure the rests in place.) I've read that you should remove the larger screw in the thumb strap and middle screw in the rests in order to get to the action in some English concertinas, but mine will not be accessed in that manner. There is no larger middle screw in the thumb strap, only three tiny screws, similar to those on the rests. I'm afraid if I remove those strap screws, I'll have even more small washers and/nuts floating around in the action. I had someone hold the concertina parts while I took photos with my phone, so I apologize for the poor quality. (The first pic is from the seller's Craigslist ad.) The last photo is just to indicate that there are smaller screws visible under the lining, but I haven't touched them. If anyone knows the maker of this concertina, I'd be interested in knowing that, as well, but the question of the day is, "How do I access the action?" Thank you for your patience and for any assistance.
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