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  1. Hello Tom I hope I have understood your comment correctly. My technical reasons are as follows. The springs that are in my English Wheatstone are brass and the helpful chap at Wheatstone in the UK still supplies brass springs to this day. My brass springs could be the originals of around one hundred years of age. To replace a couple of springs with spares from Wheatstone would not be very expensive but I have my eye on a wreck that I fancy renovating completely, so making 48 springs of my own seems the cheapest option. A lot of brass wire on the market today is sold in a soft or semi hard state. When you bend it , it stays bent and has no spring in it, just like a wire paper clip. Wire that has been already hardened is very difficult to find in the UK, a lot of basic industries have vanished, closed and the machines sold off to places like India. The machines are reassembled and the goods from them sold back to the UK. It happened with our cotton mill looms, car parts manufacturers and even the tiny local factory making engineers files closed in Prescot , Lancashire and sold its machines to India. I think that was in the 1980s. Prescot was once world famous for watch and clock making and file and tool making, and even wire making. All long gone. As I said in my earlier post, the action of thinning the wire by drawing it through smaller and smaller holes in the draw plate actually hardens the wire into spring wire. Wire that can be bent but will spring back. Basically my technical reasons are not very technical. I needed hard brass wire. That was the original spring material in my instrument. The amount of springs required for my planned project would be expensive, and it would be satisfying to say " I made every spring in that concertina" I couldn't find hard brass wire. I had the tools and the knowledge to know about drawing wire from my clock making activities. Lastly, I love making and repairing things. Cheers.
  2. We had no songs and no music in the evening, because Jimmy (we all lovingly called him Jimmy, to conceal our hate of his accomplice) had managed with that prospective decease of his, to disturb even Archie's mental balance. Archie was the owner of the concertina; but after a couple of stinging lectures from Jimmy he refused to play anymore. he said: "Yon's an uncanny joker. I dinna ken whats wrang wi' him, but there's something verra wrang, verra wrang It's nae manner of use asking me. I won't play." Our singers became mute because Jimmy was a dying man. from "The Nigger of the Narcissus" by Joseph Conrad. Page 40 Penguin Modern Classics. Reprinted 1973. First published 1897. Joseph Conrad was an excellent writer but sadly appears to be in the Doldrums these days. Cheers all.
  3. I have read about shellac becoming brittle with age and having a small shelf life.. This was also noticed by microscopists many years ago. In preparing microscope slides the glass cover slip above the specimen is sometimes given a protective ring of shellac. This is painted on top of the sealing ring that holds the glass cover slip in place and seals any liquids around the specimen from leaking out. The shellac can have dyes mixed in to give an attractive and practical hard coat to protect the sealing ring. Microscopists noted that after long periods of time the shellac could become brittle and chip and flake off. An English preparer of microscope slides named Ernie Ives recommended the addition of a few drops of Castor Oil be added to the mix of Methylated Spirits and Shellac. This acts as a plasticiser, allowing a little more flexibility to the mix. I mixed up about quarter of a pint with roughly a third of a teaspoon of castor oil, six or seven years ago. It still works fine and the slides that I prepared then look fine. I checked the contents of the jar a fortnight ago. Tested it by gluing glass, paper, leather and wood. All worked fine and held within the limitations to be expected from an adhesive like this. So after going all around the houses, the message is mix a little castor oil into your shellac and meths varnish/glue and it could very well last a lot longer on the joint and on the shelf. Cheers. Sadly Ernie Ives who was also well known for his marquetry skills passed away a couple of years ago.
  4. I was lucky enough to have a jewellers, wire draw plate thrown in with a load of old watchmakers tools, bought about twenty years ago. Never had a use for it until I needed to replace a concertina spring recently. They sell draw plates quite cheap on ebay these days. Got some soft brass wire off ebay and drew it through the reducing holes until it was the same diameter as the corroded original springs. The process of drawing down the wire to the correct thickness hardens the wire. Works perfectly. If you don't want to buy a draw plate for a couple of springs ask around and find a friendly ( I think I mean cheap working) amateur or proffesional jewellery maker, they should help. They will probably have the brass wire in their bits and bobs box. Cheers.
  5. Nice suggestions. I have my eye on an even cheaper, low grade instrument on ebay UK. The last wreck that I looked at sold for an incredible price . I now have a moral dilemma , what I look on as junk only fit for spare parts, other people see the hidden value or an economic entrance level machine. Cheers all.
  6. A bit late in the day for my contribution, but I only joined concertina.net this week. I looked up your Wheatsone thread dimensions in one of my dads old engineering books It is called " Newnes Engineer's Manual" and was first published in 1940. One thread chart is titled UNITED STATES STANDARD FORM THREAD INCLUDING S.A.E. STANDARD Diameter 7/64 " U.S. Std. Threads per inch 48 , Outside diameter 0.1094" , Pitch diameter 0.0959" , Root diameter 0.0823" , Tapping drill size Number 44 drill. This seems to tally with the Wheatstone thread to me. Yours is just 2.4 thou. smaller than the standard outside diameter, that's good compared to mass produced screws that you buy today. May be of use to other repairers. Cheers.
  7. Thanks for the replies. I tried the search function a few hours ago and still had the problem. Just tried it now and all is working fine. Out of interest It was faulty on Google and Yahoo, this machine is using Windows 10. Hopefully it was just a transient problem. Cheers.
  8. On the subject of pins, I was recently told, only use brass pins. Apparently steel pins can become magnetic and affect the tuning of steel reeds close by. The pins already in my instrument are rough cut steel pins that are probably the original item. About a hundred years old. I needed to replace a few missing pins and decided to use some nickel plated brass dress pins with the heads cut off. Out of curiosity I tried them with a magnet and that was when I discovered that nickel is magnetic. I have since bought a box of 100% brass pins and used these for the replacements. I am a bit reluctant to replace all of the existing steel pins for brass at the moment. Has anyone else heard of the need for brass rather than steel pins? Cheers.
  9. Good evening . When I use the search function I am taken to a list of topics. If I click on one of the topics I can only see one, possibly two posts, and am unable to scroll up and down the page to reads the other posts on that particular topic. Am I doing something wrong or is it a thing peculiar to concertina.net ? How do I get to see the rest of the posts above and below the post I am taken to ? Thanks in advance for any replies and answers.
  10. I like the idea of an electric pump but wonder if a hand operated bellows that allowed different pressures to be applied would be better for identifying various faults ? The other thing that I am thinking is , as the different sized reeds in the instrument have different sized air slots, do I have to make a set of seatings for the various sized reeds. Using different, appropriate sized air slots in them? Definitely a one step forward two steps back thing that I am getting into. Cheers again.
  11. Hello everyone. I am new to Concertina.net and this is my first post. I would like to set up a cheep reed tuning table with bellows beneath. It is not for professional use. Just good enough to work and give me some practice on a cheep,battered, derelict concertina that I have seen in a junk shop. At the moment I would not take a file anywhere near my good concertina. The tuning rigs that I have seen so far have decent, working concertina bellows beneath. I have been looking for an alternative bellows substitute. The best alternative that I have seen is a water container meant for camping. They can be bought on an internet auction site for around £7 (English Pounds). They are cylindrical and collapse like a concertina bellows. Available in sizes up to 10 litres. Has anyone else used one of these, and if so was it up to the job? Cheers.
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