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Posts posted by DavePraties

  1. Hello All,

    So I bid on and won the recently discussed duet in the Malvern auction. It just arrived, and I have had a look at it. It is not a bass as Steven correctly summised, but as yet,(I am at work!) have not had time to chart its actual range. It plays fine, with little air leakage. It needs a bit of tuning of course. Interestingly, the action is riveted, not the usual Lachenal hook action. It has a Lachenal label inside the leather case. Did Lachenal make a riveted action ever? It is stamped "1876" above the capital "R" on the right habd side.


    Photos attached. Any information/speculation welcome.

  2. Yes will probably leave the ally frames in as long as they last. Quite a way to go before I have a playable instrument though. I will clean up the woodwork, action, and clean and tune the reeds before renewing the bellows. I'm not a pro, but have done loads of reed work over the years just for fun. Bellows though - this is new to me and I am at the bottom end of the learning curve but looking forward to the challenge. Bob's exccellent site is an inspiration, and set me on the hunt for goatskin and acid free card.

    Dirge, you are correct, this is all part of the fun for me. I have pleanty of instruments to play already, mostly melodeons and an 18th century harpsichord, but foolishly sold a lovely 81 key duet 35 years ago, before getting to grips with it, and now regret it.

    Good tip about insulating anodes, I renewed mine last year and still have some of the stuff on board I think. Will look it out next time I'm there.

    I'm not under any illusions that this is going to be a quick project, as I want to do it well and have lots to learn. (Any one got a duet for sale!!)

  3. They are fixed with two screws, and look like other ally frames I have now seen on photos. I will call on the expertise of a colleague at the university where I work, and get him to check the metal. It could be zinc.They have deteriorated in situ, as the sections eroded away are still in the pan in the form of oxide,

  4. Yes, very strange. The tongues are near perfect with just the usual traces of rust, but the frames look as if they have been in an acid bath! There is still just enough metal to keep working, but only just. The rest of the instrument is very dirty, and certain sections, presumably relating to the main keys used, are black with what looks and smells like soot. Are we looking at the instrument of a railwayman from the steam era? Very little rust though, and no sign of water ingress. Having removed the old jeffries looking bellows, which are dried up and cracking, I find that the serial numbers on the frames match the number on the reed pans, so the suggestion of a replacement by Jeffries at some point looks like a possibility.

  5. Hi Theo, Yes, I take your point about not replacing if they work. The problem is that they are very eroded - to perhaps half their intended thickness at points, and I fear they may collapse after a few removals and re-fits. Possibly also a thined, uneven plate may affect the way the reed behaves? I don't know. Just idly wondered how possible it is to obtain spares these days. I remember in my youth, you just bought a battered Lachenal for a few quid, and used it for spares. Not now though!

  6. Thank you all for these informative replies. The bellows and their frames match up very well to the ends, which made me think they might be the originals, but it looks like not. I shall begin a careful restoration, and no doubt be seeking more advice from this forum. The two deteriorated reeds in alloy frames, although having been cleaned up are sounding fine, should probably be replaced. Is there a source of Lachenal reeds anywhere?


  7. Here are some pictures of my recent acquisition. A bit of preliminary exploration reveals that two of the reeds, presumably later replacements, are in alluminium frames which have deteriorated badly, but the condition of the rest of the reed work makes me optimistic. The levers are hook type, which I recall were a Lachenal trade-mark, but those Jeffries bellows - perhaps it is a cobble together? but its all there and very restorable.




  8. Hello All, I'm new to this site but already excited about the breadth of knowledge found here, and willingness to share it.

    I just bought a duet concertina from Ebay. It looked pretty wrecked in the pictures, and having taken delivery, the whole instrument is filthy and the glue lines are coming apart, but the reed work is cleaning up very nicely, with hardly any rust, and no signs of heavy thinning by previous tuning, and no serious wharping of the reed pans Etc. One question though - it was advertised as probably a Lachenal, and it looks like one to my relatively un-tutored eye, but it has Jeffries bellows papers. The bellows look like they belong on the instrument. Did Jeffries make a Mccann duet with 46 keys? It has the number 2175 stamped into the bass end reed pan. Any information would be most welcome.

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