Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Sprunghub

  1. Mine was, in some ways, probably worse. A bit of time and effort and I love it now. The woodwork is all fairly straight forwards with basic tools. It plays really nicely. Yours will almost certainly be Mahogany under the 'crud' and if re-finished unstained comes up well.
  2. My wife say's well done ? temptation removed.
  3. Value is sometimes dependent on the 'who by and where' it is being offered. A few weeks before Xmas a Wheatstone 48 Button Crane - probably not from the 'best' period, it wasn't on on the early records.....1950's I would think, but very tidy; brown finished wooden ends, metal buttons I think, with distinctive 'chocolate brown' bellows, in it's case and apparently little used was on offer at "about" £850 on the F/book Concertina's for sale page. Being only days into fumbling with the 35 button I 'wondered' for a day or two and then decided that without the benefit of a lot more ability/experience, it wasn't sensible to pursue a 2nd instrument before working out how to handle the first. The Uk seller - via a long F/book presence clearly had an impeccable reputation in the Art's, albeit no real experience or knowledge of concertinas. It wasn't on sale long and I would think it was a very good buy for someone. As I progress, I probably wish I had been a bit more 'rash' ? I doubt my wife agree's. Typically a similar instrument from a 'Dealer' would be nearly double and 'private sales' often seem to be based on seeking as close to Dealer values as possible. Not that, that is a bad thing, just seems to be the case that many private sale valuations are based on what is available in Trade adverts, rather than a 30% discount as would be the case in many other fields.
  4. I had some contact with the Ebay seller last night because he didn't seem to know what he had. G-d knows I am no expert but I have one so I at least knew what it was - he thought it was a 34 button missing one until I pointed out it was 35 with a deficit of 2 and a Crane and a Duet. Ebon'ised as opposed to Ebony ? or dark lacquered ? The images in the Ebay listing showed there might be some issues with the bellows corners and cracks in the ends around the handles which due to the fretwork design seems to create a generic weak spot ? I put a thread up with some pics etc re mending and tuning mine, which was in 'old' tuning. I bought mine at Auction via a phone bid and ended up competing with someone who made it more expensive than it should have been really. Chris Algar had one listed at around £500 which sold recently. Mine cost half that needing the re-tune and do'able work. If I had wanted '2' I would probably have risked a couple of hundred pounds "unseen" on it knowing what I know now from working on mine, because although those with 50 button + ones might 'sniff' ?, there aren't that many about and they aren't making them anymore ! That is as long as it hasn't been pre-butchered for parts or suffered serious corrosion issues ( or at least more serious than mine had ) I have dabbled (momentarily) with my wife's Anglo and have had a go on an English, I find the Crane much easier to pick up and hold a melody. In all the folky stiff I want to play I struggle to find a note I haven't got that I need ( for melody ) I am learning to play both sides ( thanks mainly to cribbing Little John's videos ) using one 2 buttons one the left . I personally find it fairly 'intuitive' despite having no musical knowledge other than what I can hear and replicate by repeated drilling and practice. Having watched as many Crane videos as I can find and making no reference to what I can't see.........most of the buttons in larger instruments seem to remain largely untroubled for most if not nearly all of the time in song accompaniment and melody playing! Re those fret/end cracks.....they occur at either end of the handle....on mine one handle was missing - had pulled right off with a section of fret and been lost and at the other end it was well on it's way to going. I have seen other 35b ones with the same symptoms......last night it looked as if this one may be going too. I think it shows in the image you have entered. I planed ( routed actually ) a piece of vintage mahogany the same thickness as the end then used a thin veneer to 'mend' the bad one and reinforce the other.
  5. Sprunghub

    Crabb EC

    Nothing to do with me, but knowing the interest there seems to be in Crabbs, one on offer on Ebay where the seller has used the USA site and not apparently opened it up to Uk viewers. I have no idea of worth or value at a £1220 asking.....but you don't see many about. I would imagine the seller would be happy to post to the rest of Europe, too. Low feedback numbers, so due diligence advisable. https://www.ebay.com/itm/H-Crabb-Son-Treble-Crabb-1966-English-concertina/323620861834?hash=item4b594e778a:g:5doAAOSwIsdcIelX:rk:4:pf:0#shpCntId
  6. More likely sold 'off' Ebay to save fees for the seller and provide a discount for the buyer. The vendor has a well established retail outlet and items priced at up to £85,000 on Ebay with quite a lot around the £10k mark and a Facebook business site so is easy to contact.
  7. When that listing (the big Mccann) appeared it simply said Lachenal Duet and had 'one' image.....the first one via the link, of just the bellows - no ends etc! It was like that for about two weeks. The Wheatstone images had a poor picture of the Duet behind it which initially made me think it might be a Crane. I put a £60 'starting' bid on, based on that half view and the fact that whatever and however it had to be worth that. About a week before the sale date they increased the images as per the attached at which point I didn't pursue it. I think it is possible to see the damaged fret work 'bits' inside the end, immediately under where the hole is. https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/plymouth-auction-rooms/catalogue-id-srpl10095/lot-2c8de821-3475-4914-8785-a9a901197356 A kind offer Wolf, but I am committed to developing my Crane skills - I am doing John's "Parson's Farewell" to death to get my fingers dialled into working both sides, so whilst I keep my eyes open for a larger/better Crane on a painfully tight budget, I am trying to pass on all other temptations.
  8. The real bargain, I suspect was the 'next' lot, which was this one....https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/plymouth-auction-rooms/catalogue-id-srpl10095/lot-d33bad67-d4c6-4e55-ab01-a9a901197356 and got knocked down at £200 ! I would have paid that just to look at it! What it is listed at and what it sells for on Ebay are quite often two different things ? A not dissimilar large Lachenal Mccann offered via C.Net ( and Ebay ) struggled to make it's much lower valuation a couple of years ago.
  9. There appear to be three stamps from a retailer/repairer in Bermondsey too ? If you can decipher them they may help you date it's production and tally it with Vickers / Lachenal / Crabb to establish a timeline.
  10. Is that not a Vickers ink 'stamp' which appears to be much earlier than the more prominent/later Crabb one ? Would that indicate a Lachenal Popular for Vickers originally ?
  11. I learnt to tune reeds last week, supported by advice from the Forum. I found I picked it up quite quickly - it got easier after '70' goes! As per the thread really. https://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?/topic/20723-tuning-rig-impact-of-chamber-around-reed/
  12. Wolf ( and everyone else..... ) thanks for the input. May I ask, are 'parallel sixths' the same as "Successive 6ths" as per terminology in the S.A. Tutor, I am presuming they are ? I have that page from the Tutor written up in my own form of ABC ( which is literally ABC ! ). I sat for some time trying to work out Tie 'Em Up yesterday afternoon as per the 'sat on a boat at Sidmouth' version and I am getting somewhere, I think. Having my instrument in the same tuning as what I am hearing through the speaker helps. I think most of that accompaniment sounds as if it is being played in paired 3rd's and 6th's? It is, in truth probably done quite simply, but none the worse as a performance for that.... I have Shoals of Herring under my fingers as a right hand only and octave apart tune on both hands, without the high note flourishes of some EC versions. My only actual 'accompaniment', thus far, which soon runs out of steam as I go 'up' the right side, is to build the notes of the G chord on the left as I play the melody on the right and then 'try' to do the same in a few 'accidental' 3rd's, 6th's etc. That is not the 'accidental' in the musical sense, per se, although some may be, but accidental in the 'by accident' of playing a suitable pair of notes. ++++ Having just re-read through the posts above and found John's link to his videos...and Parsons Farewell in particular, which is a tune I know from Bellowhead, as a case in point, because I have the tune in my head, pretty much note from note, I have been able to pick it up and play a 'simple' right hand version almost immediately on my small box - even in two keys. Knowing what the 'left hand' is doing remains a mystery. As an example, anyone who is familiar with JustinGuitar's tutorials will know the value of a string by string, fret by fret ( button by button ) input as a teaching aide. I appreciate that, that is NOT the purposes of John's videos and would probably not be much (any!!) fun for him to try to produce, but it is a shame no one seems to be.
  13. I thought I would put up a couple of pictures of the tuning rig I knocked up to encourage any other potential newcomers to trying 'tuning' for themselves. It is a proper 'scratch built' job, put together by someone with basic skills.....more Val's old knickers and sticky backed plastic than mortice and tenon and dove-tails, but it worked well. The only 'glitch' was that I put together a prototype 'jig' in 3mm ply, like Alex's alloy one, in about 10 minutes on Sunday morning, which worked really well, then spent the rest of Sunday fabricating one in acrylic which sounded awful, so that went in the bin and I stuck with the ply one. The bellows came from Ebay for £20, and the top and bottom 'plate' are the same ply as the 'desk', all of which was sitting around from a previous repair job. I routed the edges to take the rim of the bellows and then taped with some extra wide insulating tape. The bellows lifts in and out of the table.....the top plate is over-size and sits, on top of the hole which is just a little bigger than the bellows. The 'cording' is to draw the bellows up, the weight of the bottom pate is enough to make it fall at a steady rate and make the reed speak at a consistently throughout the fall. The heatsink sheet and fine solder and diamond file stick were all easy enough to find on-line as was the steel shim which I had from a previous (bike) job. Alex's recommendation of the TonalEnergy Tuner was the real G-dsend to a total Novice like me. Simple, accurate and easy to work to from the phone. It was hard /slow work to start with, but by the time I got to the second half of the right hand side I was finding I had the hang of it to a great extent.
  14. I have Don, I have it and the Sally Ann one printed off and I do my best with them, but, having self-taught the guitar to an 'improving' standard, I know that working from video tutorials accelerates my learning and I think the number of such options out there for other instruments reflects their value, especially to those of us who struggle with reading music. I can do melody by ear but it's the over-laying ( or under-laying! ) with "other" stuff that remains a bit of a mystery......
  15. Speaking as a beginner with little or no musical nouse, but who is quite good at 'Monkey see, monkey do', some videos of some basic stuff would be very much appreciated by way of tutorial. There is a dearth of simple beginner / early intermediate Crane stuff out there to view. As much as I worship at the feet of GL, I'll be beggered if I can get the hang of what he does with that oomp pah and a little fiddly diddly dee of tune on the right hand. I don't want to be an impresario player, I just want to back up a bit of singing but there isn't much to learn from. I can play the tunes I can play on one hand or both in Octaves apart and have the basic chords in my hands, but it doesn't sound 'right when I try to integrate it. The only tutorial I can find on-line re. the Crane is via a site where tune is built up on both hands an octave apart, which isn't very inspiring. Lack of buttons on my part doesn't seem to be too big an issue as watching what is out there not many tunes go out of the mid range by necessity.
  16. Left hand side finished, in much quicker time, ....I have discovered ( although I guess it is obvious! ) that because she is consistently 'in tune' with herself at abut 45 cents # inside the box and 65'ish outside, if I bring the reed down fairly 'blind' to about 25 sharp on the table, back in the box she is either right or close enough to fine fettle. I can recommend the Eze-lap Diamond sharpener stick file Fine/600 grit for the task for the inexperienced. Have had great fun annoying the wife who, unlike me has a musical ear by playing octaves across the box out of synch. All done now, very grateful for all the help. I'll post up a pic of my table tomorrow when it is light in case it helps any more beginners out there.
  17. Thanks for the support/advice.....I am getting there. Somewhat slow progress, but on the left hand side ie. 15 buttons, I have all the 'pull' notes done and the bottom row on the push, too. It has strained my brain to be honest, so not much 'fun', but learning rarely is. Soldering has gone ok on the larger reeds. Just glad it is only 35k's.....
  18. Thanks for that Alex, it has been a little bit trial and error, but I ended up with the reed at about '0' and 'green' on the App on the table, I put it back in the Tina to check what was happening and it was now at around E 3 - 25 cents (flat) from the original 45 sharp, in the box. That restored the base line for Geoff's calculus in my number befuddled head and made the numbers smaller and easier to deal with to tweak it back up on the table to mid 20's sharp. Once in the box again it is showing green at +/- 1 or 2 cents through the pull at 440hz. Hopefully I will get a 'knack' for it as I go, or I may be older than the instrument by the time I get to the last one! I didn't need to fettle too much metal on the reed, but most of the lead has gone! Yes Chris, it is in 452 tuning currently. Valves and pads have all been done and she plays well within her own tuning......just not the right tuning?
  19. Certainly on mine, it was aged, dry and brittle but still looked as if it was as akin to old wax as it was 'glue'. I think it was a dense/bulky form of hide glue, not wax, but having seen the inside of an old melodion where the wax had dried out and become aged, dry and brittle, it wasn't that different and could be mistaken for such.
  20. As someone who had no idea when first looking at the brown 'gloop' over the little leather grommets which hold the levers to the pads, I wonder whether what Jim is thinking is wax is actually globs of hide glue. I thought it was a form of accordion wax when I first saw it. Similar colour and consistency and no where as neat on my old Crane as the images of modern ones....
  21. Very many thanks for that Alex.....I have the table and bellows all ready to make the reed jig after a good day today, including drawing up the 440hz record of the existing tuning via that App you recommended. Seeing your 'plate' I think a 2-piece option will be the way for me to go for ease of making and function.
  22. HI Alex - hopefully you will see this.....I have some 7mm thick acrylic from another job. I reckon I might be able to replicate that metal jig of yours......it's not a very big section left, but I reckon I can get 7.5 x 7.5 cm out of it which I think will be big enough. I also have plenty of spare 2mm and 3mm, so could create a twin layer option if the routing of the acrylic is too difficult. I "get" the process of pushing the reed forwards in to the jig sound it. One thing - if you could - would it be possible to have a picture of the holder without a reed in it ? so I can see the air hole slot ?
  23. Thanks Alex.....I have some access to a metal worker.....but no kit/ability myself. I may be able to something similar with some heavy gauge acrylic. I can probably work that to create that profile. I think the principal in that wooden rig above is similar.
  24. Some design feature queries, if I may....... I have started constructing my Tuning Table. It wasn't going to be an actual table, but I had some spare timber and an idea as to how I might design it, so, a table - of sorts - it is. I bought a used set of accordion bellows and have routed end plates from 1/2" ply which, now it is fixed and taped/sealed is heavy enough to draw the bellows down. The table top has a working surface for soldering filing and a slightly larger than bellows sized aperture and the top plate is 1" oversized all around so that the bellows fits into the hole but the top plate sit's on the table. I now need to design the reed holder and 'air hole' and think this set up (image below) looks very "do-able" given my available kit. Are there any obvious weaknesses / problems with a simple holder (or holders for different sized reeds ) as per this design ? I would probably use slightly thinner wood for the blocks. Presumably there is no optimum air hole for bellows venting ? just enough to let the air out of the bellows on the push AND be able to be competently valved with 'something' as the bellow falls and pulls through the reed ?
  • Create New...