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Posts posted by Sprunghub

  1. I am going to build a tuning rig to tune my Crane and hopefully use for any future projects.  I have had a look around and have some idea of how to create something workable but I am uncertain as to the importance - if there is any - of the impact of the air restriction on individual reeds specifically during tuning that the chambers around the reed create in a working instrument? 


    I can create internal and external chambers if needs be as part of the initial build but most of the examples I can see do not have any ?  Presumably air restriction via the chambers in a working instrument impacts on the speed the reed 'talks' at and the vigour/length of note, which may be irrelevant for tuning purposes.....although getting it going without stalling or weakness may also be advantageous ?



  2. My Auction House purchase Lachenal Crane 35k, now playing well.  The original handle which was pretty shredded still bore the Triumph - Salvation Army - gold emboss.  The serial number is "4062" from 1910'ish ??  It was fairly rough out of the box ( except there was no box!) and I am sure I overpaid, but they don't come up very often and I like a challenge.

    It came from a seaside town and the levers all showed that they were ferrous via the rust where the leather grommets had held moisture over the years.  It had a missing handle and associated components and a fair chunk of end missing and the other side had all the necessary fractures in the fretwork for that to part company too before much longer.   The bellows, fortunately were in pretty 'good' order.


    I rebuilt and reinforced the end and made a new handles with some 1800's mahogany left over form a Mandolin repair and cut some leather.  Valves were cleaned.  They weren't too bad considering the state of the lever ends.  Following a re-pad and valve and a fettle it does what it is supposed to do very well for a learner and although I have to learn my (song) tunes by ear I haven't found one that I can't get to the notes for yet, despite the limited number of buttons.  I have not re-tuned it yet but have tuned the flat reeds ( there were 5 ) up to 452 so she plays well in her original range.  I don't envisage wanting, for now, to be playing with others and if I get good/confident enough I might look out for a 48k already tuned for the purpose.


    It sit's beside my wife's Clover.....broken end, pre-repair first.   The repaired end is French polished, but not stained......it makes  me look more competent because I know to pick it up leftie lighty ? 












  3. Hi Frank - Firstly, re the pads, the originals in every element, by design and time are definitely 'thinner'.  The Bristol card is marginally thinner, the felt, due to decades of compression is marginally thinner and the 'face' appears to be more akin to a chamois rather than a modern finished leather, softer, compresses more and therefore 'thinner' too.  The thickness of the black 'dot' adds to the total - the original's are ultra thin. 

    Everything is 'marginal' but the marginals add up and it is that I think I need to address.  


    Re. button felts - on the existing buttons there is generally '1' felt ring - although I have found '2' on one and they are thicker - noticeably so - than the new ones I am fitting, so I don't think they are in play.


    Re. raise - I am not getting anything like as much 'lift' as I am with the old/original pads.  The raise/lift on a couple of the pads is almost 'nominal' and the reeds are very slow to sound now, so I am pretty sure I am not getting much (enough) air in with the available button depression.  I think it is more noticeable on the 'longer' levers......the C# and Bb are almost ok for height and pad rise.


    I am going to add an image to try to show the difference.  The C, F, A, E, and a couple of the 'black' buttons  have been 'done'.  I have available - but have not fitted new springs - the existing springs seem 'ok'......I don't think new springs would have that much impact on things, although I appreciate they might apply marginally more pressure to the new pads to compress them  but I am not sure it will overcome the 1.5mm +/-  difference between current and 'new' buttons.  


    It is probably worth mentioning that she was playing - within the limits of my ability ! and a few tuning issues - quite well, albeit with some re-glued original pads and re-glued pad faces, so I have an insight into her being 'worse' currently, than she was. 



    IMG_2287 (2).jpg

  4. After a little wait, I have all the necessary parts to start the pre-tune refurb of my small Lachenal Crane.  I have done half a dozen pads thus far - all is going well enough but the new pads are lifting the levers via the pivot point, on the fixing post as the new pads are thicker.  I am going to need to adjust the levers to raise the buttons and increase the pad lift when the buttons are depressed.


    I read somewhere once that there is a right way and a wrong way - or rather a right 'place' to effect the bend ? - I think it was the lever arm at a point between the post/staple and the button ?  I have searched but can not find my way back to it......can someone confirm for me please.....  

  5. Thanks to all for the advice....it looks, for the sake of minimising reed filing, as if I am going to have to take a crash course in tip soldering.  I will make some practice reeds out of some shim material and see how it goes.  Virtually all of my experience with soldering is 'bad'.  


    I had a search on the Forum and found a 2015 thread re re-tuning an English and set the Tuner App to 452, Old Philharmonic ? and the greater majority of buttons in mid flow gave green 'smiley' faces, so that is where she currently seems to be set.  It does beg the question, once pads and valves have been sorted, whether to leave her as she is and simply fine tune her to 452.  I want to accompany a few songs with it rather than  get involved with sessions etc. and reading around suggests that may be an option ?


    I'll see how the soldering goes....

  6. Hi Alex - thanks for that information.....firstly, yes, I am aware of the principal of not doing too much ( if anything ) until pads and valves have been done.  I broke that rule re. that 'F' because it was so far out and annoying but I have held fire on the rest.  Ultimately it is almost in ( a ) tune.  Pads etc are imminent, hence me asking before messing anything up.


    I have 600g diamond needle files and a high quality ultra fine metal needle file ( and shim material ) from bike carb work and general fettling.  I also have a good stock of crafters emery boards in varying grits for final polishing.  I had pre-ordered a 600g 1/4" stick file so should have the basic tools.


    I have ( or rather the wife has ) downloaded the Tonalenergy Tuner onto her phone this pm.  At the pre-set 440hz, those 90% of notes that are obviously sharp on the Snark tuner are all showing a miserable red face and around a fairly consistent 40 cents or so "sharp" on the TET, so I have 40 cents to come down, either by adding or taking away.  Needless to say, I don't know how much 'grinding' is involved in coming down 40 cents ?  It may be a couple of passes, it may be a lot ( or a few more ) ?  It would be useful to know if anyone has that knowledge? 


    I am guessing it is a fairly typical project to convert from A.N. Other standard historical tuning ?  It is a Lachenal Salvation Army 'Triumph'  instrument, 1910's / 20's I think, in origin, S/N 4062  ?


    The 2- part epoxy resin, for what it is worth, is not likely to come off the reed once cured unless cut/filed off.  It would probably bond as well as solder, without the heat implications, albeit with marginally less weight by volume. It is also possible to shape it on/after placement and potentially bond wire or a small shim, which was a slightly left-field option to  increase the weight centrally on the reed, but probably one best not admitted to among true artisans!  



  7. All my previous postings have related to my wife's search for an instrument and subsequent selling thereof when it proved a bit too 'challenging' for a beginner. 

    She is now the happy and improving owner of a modern Clover Anglo, so "off my case" so to speak.


    Immersed as I was in helping her find something 'nice', I have taken on a 'project' to fill my time.  I am a fettler rather than a player at present, so have picked up a pretty rough Lachenal Crane 35b which I have rebuilt at one end, reinforced the other and made a new 'old' handle from some 1850's mahogany and done some very basic work to get it playable in lieu of a full valve and pad replacement which is in hand.


    I have cleaned the reeds and tuned the oddity of the high F which played F on the pull and E on the push - albeit the carrier was appropriately marked.  Both now show correct in tune F on my 'better' Snark tuner.


    I am aware that all the reeds, within a degree or two on a tuner dial ( I don't understand "cents" ?) consistently show as being almost 2/3rds of a dial above the mid-point on the Snark, ie. 'sharp' over and above the desired note by about '7' snark degrees against the 'note' on the button.  Presumably this is 'old' style tuning ?  One or two are a 'notch' up or down on that and the very odd one is out of kilter altogether but most show as being pretty closely matched on the pull and push in the same range. 

    I am now faced with the potential for re-tuning the reeds and understand that is done by either removal of metal from the 'belly' ? is that the correct term ? of the reed towards the fixing point ? or as seems less promoted, by adding weight at the tip.  Low melt solder seems to be the done thing, although for fine tuning I have read of elements such as nail varnish being used.


    I am not keen to be working with heat and solder and I am guessing the level of change means nail varnish would be too light weight to make much odds. 


    I have a few very basic questions to clarify re reducing / increasing the weight. 


    Q1 re weighting the tippets of the reed blades.  Albeit potentially heretical, so apologies in advance to the experts and purists! is there any reason in principal why cold-cast metal resin can not be used on the reeds in place of low melt solder to add weight to lower pitch and eliminate the need to scratch or file.  I ask because of it's ease in working and prior experience of working with it.  It is also relatively easily rescuable/reversible if needs be.


    Q2   If the above is a 'no-no' because of some engineering principal re the tippet etc, on "scratching" / gouging vs. diamond filing.  Given the degree of lowering required for 90% of the reeds, how much scratch(ing) / filing is likely to be necessary to get the pitch reduction and given whatever that level of work is,.........is scratching ( to remove metal ) or filing to be preferred ?   I do not like the look of 'scratching / gouging' to be honest, but am happy to be guided by those with experience.


    Q3  Re. the point at which to file ( or scratch ) on the reed, to lower the reeds by the implied amount, I have seen various terms applied to the correct point on the reed at which to work.  Generally from/at around the mid-point of the reed, although some seem to suggest it should be done closer to the fixing point/clamp ......or is it a question of reducing it from the mid point towards the  clamp rather than working at just one point?


    I have worked with metal resin on a number of projects and have some confidence in its ability to be worked and fettled/filed in much the same way as solder, hence my asking.   I don't have a tuning box/rig, so it'll be have to be done in situe.


    Any advice much appreciated.....



  8. Now listed on Ebay, at a price reflecting the additional fee's a sale there would incur and for an offer at the top end, to incorporate Freepost Worldwide.  Fully insured post to/in the Uk is nigh on £100 and to the States is £130 or so at the weight.


    The offer to Forum members at around the £1,500 remains, with postal options by negotiation and we are still happy to consider "offers on" if not too far 'off'.

  9. 11 hours ago, jdms said:

    Entirely irrelevant to the sale of what looks to be a lovely instrument (if I were thinking of taking up the MacCann...): do you happen to own a Triumph motorcycle manufactured between 1946 and 1955?

    Did, rather than do, a 1952 TRW, upgraded (!?) from rigid at sometime before it came to me with a 'sprunghub' rear wheel.  Given the improvement in rear end suspension 'weighed' - excuse the pun - against the weight of a sprunghub wheel, it was like carrying an anchor, which was apt as it was an ex R.N. bike.

    • Like 1
  10. This is a somewhat regrettable listing for sale of this instrument which was purchased through the good auspices of the Forum just one year ago for my wife.  From the outset it appeared that she may have some difficulties 'handling it' due to having very small hands and so it has proved to the extent that it is actually causing her discomfort to persist with.

    It is, as per the title, a 64 key, Lachenal 'New Model' Mccann Duet, information supplied at the time of purchase indicates that the lay-out suggests it was an exhibition or special order model, the serial number is 1865.

    It is typical in it's construction, black ebonised ends, silver buttons, rivet hinged levers.  The bellows are in excellent order and it is very air-tight.  All buttons sound as they should and are appropriately responsive.  There are signs of superficial wear to the finish around some more regularly used buttons (historic) and one small piece of edge veneer missing which, as I understand it has been missing for many years. 


    The instrument comes with the original hand straps which are verging on un-serviceable due to age - previous / old stitched repairs are evident.  The straps currently fitted are home produced for 'squirrel sized' palms, but it will also be provided with a brand new set of leather 'blocked' hand straps from Mark Lloyd-Adey which have not been fitted.

    The original Lachenal lined leather case will come with it.  It is still viable, but more so for display and the instrument itself has the benefit of a purpose built lined/padded concertina case.  I am going to 'borrow with pride' ( aka 'pinch' ) a couple of links to the instrument in action as posted with the original sale listing.

    http://www.nonce.dk/4C.net/Maccannic/TG2-MP3-003 Maruxa.mp3

    http://www.nonce.dk/4C.net/Maccannic/TG2-MP3-001 Argeers,Christina.mp3


    Any questions, please make contact by PM.  I do intend to list on Ebay in due course if no one within the Forum family is interested, but it will not be for a week or two as we are Wessex Folk Festival next week.  I would be happy to post to the Uk, Europe,  or 'Worldwide' at cost and at an agreed level of insurance bearing in mind the limitations in cover for damage in transit. 

    I am not sure I known enough to put a value on the instrument other than to seek to cover our outlay, so would be happy to find a new home for it at £1500.  Am having some trouble with image loading, so hopefully pictures will follow in #2   

  11. Folks, I want to say how grateful we have been by the overwhelmingly positive response of members and offers both on the thread and via PM.


    We have agreed a purchase and my good lady and looks forwards to becoming an active participant in her own right in due course. Un-knotting her fingers to type may be the first challenge ;)


    Very many thanks to everyone. I have her initial practice sessions to look forwards to. Long walks with the dogs may be the answer :)

  12. I found the listing....undoubtedly a wonderful instrument, but a little advanced in value for where we are starting out from, but thanks for the option.

  13. I would like to purchase a Duet concertina for my wife. I have researched the advice re. system/ key / button numbers and what is 'adequate' and what is better, or best. Ideally she is looking for an instrument to accompany solo song, so 'system' not important. I have an interest on one currently, but, fate being what fate is, sometimes it needs a little 'push' ( as well as a pull ) so I thought I would just mention it here in case a better option is available in the hands of someone who was about to offer one up.


    We are on a shortish time scale regarding our current option, so if we take it, I may well be asking too late.


    Uk based, not afraid of some 'work' or further investment into the right instrument if needing it.


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