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Mike Hulme

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Everything posted by Mike Hulme

  1. II have been using 0000 grade Bronze Wool to clean delicate metal items. with excellent results, including concertina reeds. It doesn't crumble like steel wool, is non-magnetic, and can be teased out and spun around a cocktail stick to make a metal cotton bud to clean the underside of tongues and reed frames. Mike/
  2. Just checked on BBC iPlayer and the episode is there but shortened, and does NOT appear to have the concertina part after a quick scan through it. Mike
  3. Last year, before Dave passed away, I bought a half completed 5" 26 key Anglo from him. I am now getting near its' completion having too much time on my hands here in England. What I can say with absolute certainty is that Dave was a very knowledgeable craftsman of the highest order. He was a skilled jeweller and this shows in his attention to small details. Each part of the instrument was made by Dave, in his own workshop, and finished to a high standard. He made his own reeds for special projects, both frames and tongues and my box has the distinction of having some reeds which I completed with spring steel supplied by Dave, from the makers of the Spitting Image puppets. Once this box is completed I will post photos on here. Regards, Mike
  4. I just acquired a 35 button Crane, steel reeds, 5 fold bellows and an inscription in the part destroyed case reading: Cadet W Helm I.T.C. 1929/30 Were Salvation Army instruments given or lent to players? The serial number is 4455. Mike
  5. I can't help you with UK suppliers, but if you search for AISI SAE 1095 carbon spring steel (an exact(ish) equivalent), there are some suppliers around who sell it in coils. Mike
  6. As you have had the action apart to refit the buttons, have you checked that the button, although refitted, is actually opening the valve? Mike
  7. Thanks, Alex and Bill. I'll get some spring wire and see how that goes. Bill - I am using maple viola ribs for my chambers. It comes as 2 mm strips and fits snugly into the slot. I'm using rabbit skin glue on the chambers, with balsa guides to keep them perpendicular while drying. Mike
  8. I'm currently routing out the reed pan slots for the chamber walls of my Anglo. Is the normal course of action to install the valve restraint pins before assembly, and what are the recommendations for the pins themselves? Mike
  9. I have noticed that some orchestral violinists' perspiration wears away the varnish where the heel of the hand contacts the top rib of the instrument. A very light coat of Renaissance Wax acts as a barrier to this and is easily replaced. Mike
  10. I've tuned the reeds now, and based on Paul and Steven's recommendations I have centred the tuning on A. This sounds fine to me, and works well in concert with Uilleann Pipes, which was what I was after. Thanks for the help. Mike
  11. I am currently at the stage of tuning the reeds for a new Anglo concertina. I have been reading, on this forum and elsewhere, on the various meantone tunings peope are using, especially on Engish concertina. I have the data I need for ET, 1/4 Comma and 1/5 Comma cent offsets, and I would like to know whether they offer any advantage in group playing. The tuner I use has the capabity to play chords and instantly switch to any other tuning. To my ear 1/5 Comma sounds much more harmonious than 1/4 Comma or ET; the 3rds and 6ths benefit greatly from the lack of beating. Would there be any benefit in applying meantone tuning to an Anglo to be mainly played in sessions/with other instruments? Your comments and insights would be appreciated. Mike
  12. https://www.amazon.com/YaeTek-Leather-Machine-Splitter-Skiving/dp/B07BJX9XC3/ref=sr_1_64?keywords=leather+skiving+tool&qid=1578689405&sr=8-64 This is the Chinese version of the classic German Scharf-Fix machine which has been around for years - at about 5 times the price of the Chinese offering! I bought one last year and, with careful setting up will do the job well. The safety razor blades they come with are rubbish however, and you would need to source some high quality blades (Personna Platinum for example) and only skive two to three feet of leather with each edge before changing edges/blades. Mike
  13. After having a look inside I found that the reeds were Nickolds, so that appears to be the maker. No serial number however.
  14. I've just acquired a 26 key Anglo with the label "H.A.A. IMPROVED LONDON E.C." in the oval frame. Outwardly it looks like a typical Lachenal box rebadged by/for a seller, but inside it has an excellent set of steel reeds. Does anyone know who H.A.A. were? Tried searching but nothing came up. Mike
  15. Cohen has just uploaded a video to the Tube:
  16. As far as I am aware only Madagascar ebony falls under a CITES agreement - this agreement came into force sometime in 2013, so if the instrument is pre-2013 then it will be CITES exempt. I think that's the one which saguarro squeezer refers to. Mike
  17. Rushworth and Dreaper were active in Liverpool and Chester from the early 20th Century until around 2000. The "Islington" stamp on your instrument refers to their Head Office in the city. On other sites they built church organs, and had a violin making workshop which turned out the "Ardeton" models of violins, violas and cellos. Ardeton standing for Ar (Rushworth) De (Dreaper) Isling(ton). They were retailers of all sorts of musical instruments. They imported orchestral instruments from European workshops, in various qualities, and labelled them "Apollo Model x" for up to 12 grades of strings, with "Ardetons" being totally hand made in their own workshops. And, yes, they did commission concertinas in various grades. Many years ago I had one of their retail catalogues and there were both English and Anglo models in in various qualities, so it does not surprise me to find a Crabb turning up. Liverpool was a wealthy city and only the best would do for the well off.
  18. I had to do this recently, also on a Lachenal, and used a similar method to Don's. The plate retaining screws were rusted in and I removed these by applying a hot soldering iron to the slots in the screws and heating them up. The important point is that you need a screwdriver that fills the slot to remove the screws cleanly - by giving the screws a sharp tightening "nip" before loosening them. Once out I clamped each plate flush with the tops of a vice and used a scriber to unscrew the sheared bolts. I used a few drops of Plus Gas to free the threads, with a sharp tap from a small hammer before gently chasing out the tapped bolt remains. The advantage with this method is that it retains all the original thread in the plate and you may be able to source used bolts to replace them. If not then you can tap them 2.5 mm and get some brass filister/cheesehead bolts to replace them. Mike
  19. Freddy, I send a lot of stuff to the USA; here are the important bits: You need to declare the classification of your instrument using the Harmonised Tariff Code, which for concertinas and accordions is: You should put this on the Waybill and the Commercial Invoice you send with the package. The US should not charge duty on concertinas, but that would be at the recipient's cost, not yours. I would NOT use Fedex; they sometimes try to charge import duty on duty free goods. From the UK I normally use Rand Logistics to broker reliable services. The CITES rules on exotic woods such as Rosewoods and Blackwood are ambiguous to say the least. Old instruments are commonly ignored. Antique instruments (pre-1947) with Ivory parts (buttons/keys) should be exempt from interference, but I would be wary. Send me a PM if you need more clarification. Mike
  20. I bought an 80 key Maccann Duet from South Africa last year. The only difference in the reed frames during later years of production was that they were made of aluminium rather than brass and the reeds were of the traditional type. Mine was made in 1956. Can you post a photo of the reed pan? Mike
  21. Wunks, The dots are in Paul Hardys Xmas tune book. It's also in G. Mike www.pghardy.net/concertina/tunebooks
  22. Plus, the Post Office/Parcelforce add on their fee for Customs clearance. (Postage wise a 5kg concertina package cost 2300 Rand to import in July. Timewise, it took 6 weeks for the package to get to the UK. Be prepared to get the package from the Parcelforce Depot, and pay by Card/Cash because you don't have an account, but it did arrive safely in the end. Mike
  23. My copy arrived this morning. Ive had a quick skim through it and I am very impressed. Nicely laid out and easy to read. Mike
  24. Nice one, Adrian and Gary! Just ordered one from Amazon UK Should be here by next week andI'm really looking forward to getting to grips with it. Mike
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