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Posts posted by arkwright

  1. Hold it by one end and let the other end descend by gravity.  If it moves more than 1 cm per second that means air is leaking into the bellows.  But the leak may also be through pads or ends that don't seal well.   To locate the leak, try gently squeezing the bellows, with no key open, while holding it in front of your closed mouth.  You may feel the air, coming out, that will locate the leak.  I suppose you could also use a candle to locate a leak.   Then if it is a cheap concertina, you might find some kind of tape or sealing material in a hardware store that might work.  If it is a good concertina, the bellows are probably leather and it would be worth finding a repair person who has done this before.

  2. Does anyone here know what import duties will be charged if an American sells a vintage UK-made instrument to someone in the UK?  Some prospective buyers have expressed concern about the added cost.

  3. Serial Number 19363, made in 1876.   This is one octave below the standard English.  It is in good tune with itself (G sharp = A flat, etc.). Single action plays on the press only; when you open the bellows, flaps allow instant refill of the bellows.  Private message me for more information.  In Northern California.  See photos, some damage to fretwork.  "Double decker" reed pan to accommodate long reeds.  Reeds are riveted to frames and screwed to reed pan.









  4. In the US there is a brand of paint called "flex seal".  I have never tried it but I understand it "dries" to a flexible rubber-like material.  (sort of like room temperature vulcanizing silicone rubber ),  It also comes as a spray.  If you had access to the inside of the bellows, you could dab a little inside the leaking corners and that might stop the leak and be almost invisible from the outside.  If you don't have access to the inside, you could try painting it on the corners from the outside, or spraying it on.  As I say I have not tried this but it seems like something to try if you have no better solution, and if you do try it, I'd be curious to know how it worked. It is rather expensive, though, like $90 per gallon; a spray can seems to be about $13.

  5. I think there are reeds.  In the fingerboard there are buttons of a sort so you press the buttons like fretting a string.  The buttons are connected to pads so if you "fret" a button then  air goes through the reed for that note , which may be hidden inside the body of the fiddle.  So if you know the fingering on a fiddle (or for that matter a mandolin) you can play this instrument and move the bellows as if you were bowing strings.   I actually saw an instrument shaped like a guitar that worked that way (but no bow, I think it was hand-pumped).  Wheatstone may also have made that.

  6. He's playing an English system, singing the melody  and  playing sustained chords (as opposed to oom-pah) behind the melody.    So the chords are contributing harmony but not rhythm.   You may be responding to the chord progression,  (from minor to major in the third line) or to the arrangement of notes in the chords. They are very good and so is his playing and singing.

  7. Here's the cover of sheet music for "Nobody Loves You Any Better Than Your M-A-Double-M-Y".  It was first published in the USA in 1923; this copy was published in Australia, where it was in the repertoire of The Campbell Boys.  Could those English concertinas, apparently  by Wheatstone,  be unusual enough that we could identify them in the Wheatstone ledgers?


  8. By the time  you have played concertina for a few years someone is bound to ask you if you know the song Lena from Palesteena, by J. Russel Robinson and Con Conrad, 1920.  If you've never heard it you should check out this 1920 recording by Frank Crumit: 

    before you listen to this Coronavirus parody: 

    Lena in Quarantina


    by Laura Rosenberg
    Myrna Oy - Yiddish Cabaret programs for audiences of all ages

  9. This photo is not my concertina;  I copied it from Alex Holden's web site.  I will use it to illustrate a problem I have and ask for suggestions.  You can see a video on Alex's web site at this link:


    The levers are connected by rivets to the "action pins".  Each action pin is hammered into place like a nail.   Now, the spring is always pushing upward on the lever, and this upward force will tend to pull

    the pin out of the wood.  When this happens, the button sticks up high and the pad doesn't cover the hole.  This happened to my 1907 or 08 Crabb anglo, and  I fixed it once by pressing the pin down into its hole, but it came loose again.  My inclination is to reset it with a tiny drop of "crazy glue"  but I am leery of doing anything irreversible. 


    Has anyone else experienced this problem?  What's the best way to fix it?

    Alex Holden concertina action.jpg

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