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  • Interests
    English concertina, button box, piano accordion, mandolin.
  • Location
    Durham in England

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Chatty concertinist

Chatty concertinist (4/6)

  1. Mine was inspired by Alex, but looks different. I clamp the foot of the spring against the allen bolt, clamp the long/loose end of the wire to my workbench and then wind the wire around the post. The T bar fits over the post and has a notch to help the wire around, and keep the coils tight and neat. You can do this job without the T bar. The main thing is to keep the tension up as you wind. The bends are put in with long nose pliers against a hard surface to bend the wire. I use .6mm ss spring wire. I use Evek in Germany via their website. I have bought from them several times including recently and the goods arrive here in the uk within a couple of days.
  2. The brass ones can also corrode unseen at the right angle where they enter the action board. They can be difficult to remove without snapping at that point. The stubs can be a problem to remove. My view is that the pioneers used the best material available to them at the time. If stainless steel had existed back then they would probably have used it.
  3. I place the spring end into the retaining hole, then manipulate the rest of the spring under/ onto the lever with the notched tool. The spring “never” pings off if you maintain a little tension. It takes about a minute to file the notch with a triangular needle file, it is worth trying out. You can still use the screwdriver as such if needed!
  4. I cut a notch in a small screwdriver, works perfectly. I tend to replace all the springs with stainless steel, they are easily made and tuned to the desired tension, but some people don't approve.
  5. All the music I play (itm) falls within the range of the Albion, and of course the Geordie an octave lower. I can’t say for sure if the bigger size of my Baritone helps the lower notes, but it seems logical. The bigger size is really not an issue to me, it feels just right and sounds right somehow. It will be very interesting to hear about your comparison and your conclusions Jim.
  6. I have machined buttons from both delrin/ acetal and t6 aluminium successfully. The delrin takes a bit of practice to avoid it bending away from the tool. I use a collet chuck, polished carbide inserts, and a single cut for the peg and the button itself (if a cut is needed). It takes a few test cuts to get the measurements just right. The aluminium is pretty easy to machine using the same tooling, but lighter cuts can be used as it doesn’t, bend away from the tool excessively. It polishes up very nicely with grey scotchbrite followed by brasso on a cloth. I made a jig to make the through holes. Alex Holden has some really good info on his blog on making buttons on a small lathe - I used his methods.
  7. My Geordie Baritone is a young one - I bought it new in Feb 2021. My only mild criticism is the slightly stiff bellows. I will eventually get around to making a more flexible set of 7 folds, which I understand was an option. It doesn’t “need” them, but it would be nice. I should mention though that one of my gifted concertina playing friends can make it work really well - chords, sustained bass notes etc and he thinks the standard bellows are fine.
  8. I can’t compare the two, but I have a MG baritone. It is slower on the low notes than it is on the higher notes. I think that is just physics though. There is no difference in speed note-for-note between it and my MA treble except that the standard baritone bellows are a little bit stiff and that the treble has slightly weaker springs and is a good bit lighter. I can play either standing up though. On the baritone I can keep up with my friends playing itm in their different octave, but technique needs to be good. Tippy tappy rather than pushing/ holding the button to its maximum, that is good technique for itm anyway, and the tone seems better. Tiposx
  9. Flatten then drill the bottom of the button, then insert the wire (or something light e.g. plastic) would be a sympathetic repair. You might not need glue if the fit is good. Over here you could buy some old buttons, not sure about S.A. Finding the correct size is a pain though. Those pegs are very important for a smooth action.
  10. It is a crying shame that the bugs and the rust have taken such a chunk out of it. It would be a fair and daunting project for a hobby restoration, but as has already been said, it is not financially worth paying for the work. Depending on the success of reed repairs it might not sound very good either. Should you go ahead with it anyway (I would, but it is my hobby) then you would best go for 7 fold bellows. 5 are very limiting on an Anglo. Good luck
  11. I have a Morse English system baritone, which is laid out like a standard treble but sounds an octave lower. I play Irish music with friends or alone. It can be played at the speed required, and adds richness to the group sound. I like to play it to give my ears a rest from the treble range sometimes.
  12. Received - A very interesting read for my autumn holiday.
  13. If it plays as well as the Geordie english system baritone you will enjoy it I think.
  14. I can report that it is getting easier. I am using a jig tune that I can play fluently on the ec to ease myself back into that system each session. The problem doesn’t show when I start to play the Anglo, as it is so new to me. Further to some other posts about playing different instruments, I don’t have issues when moving between melodeon and piano accordion, just the concertina systems. I can see a way forward now though, now my initial worries have eased. Cheers Tiposx
  15. Thanks everyone who has replied. I am interested in the Jim Lucas suggestion of practicing the switching of instruments and of playing the same tune on both systems. I was deliberately avoiding this, but I will try it as I can’t really spoil anything at this stage. I always practice slowly at first until I can play without mistakes, (well for the most part) so no worries there. Cheers Tiposx
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