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Posts posted by RogerT

  1. Best guess is the pad has twisted on the end of the lever. I would not bend anything in there. It’s v easy to reposition it. Try a little strip of tape to hold it in place to test this theory, before you use some glue on it. Obvs leave the little leather washers etc where they are to keep the button at its current height. As Graham points out, wobbly pads aren’t good. I often use (liquid) hide glue on the pads as this sets hard and holds the pad where it should be…though you might not want to use this…use white glue as others advise.

  2. I was going to ask about the threads on 19C made concertinas. In fact thread standardisation came in earlier than when many concertinas were made. So…did makers just have their own thread taps and dies …which didn’t conform to any standard (like, say, BA)? Other than buying old bolts, which may or may not have a viable thread, has anyone ever tried making bolts, with a small lathe and suitable die? 

  3. I have a screwdriver with the end filed, both with a pointing slot, as in the photo above, and a crochet hook slot in the side. I then push the spring into its hole, and use the same tool to hook the spring to the lever. For me though the game changer was a set of tiny drills incrementing in small steps, plus a miniature spiral drill. I then measure the spring diameter with a digital vernier gauge and pick a drill of a suitable diameter, and quite often make a new hole if the spring doesn’t want to stay put in the old hole. The spring should push fit nicely and not want to come out.  I tried various other solutions but this is the one that seems to work. I nicked the idea from this video. You see him using one of these drills at 3:35. It took me a while to find the right tools…but good ole eBay came to the rescue….


  4. Reviving this old thread...

    I’m still trying to find the leather used for making concertina valves...the white stippled stuff. It’s lighter, thicker but springier than accordion valve leather. I might be able to get some samples from Russells, but on page 4 of their catalogue they have various leathers. 
    ‘Sueded Persian Pallets' sounds promising....but then so do a few of the other descriptions. I was put onto Russells by an organ builder. Didn’t think at the time to inspect his collection of leather...


  5. I believe you pay VAT on used/second hand goods, but not sure if an item is being *returned*. I bought an old instrument from NZ once and regretted it...even though it was from a private individual and wasn't working, I still paid duty and VAT when it arrived in the UK.

  6. Judging by the photo showing the reeds, and extrapolating that to all the reeds, it needs at the least, new valves and the reeds cleaned, and then probably some tuning. Bandoneon are relatively tricky to tune, because of the reed arrangement and also because it is tuned to octaves - so it can take time/costs money. If any reeds are broken they will need replacing. Also, you don’t say anything about how much compression it has on the bellows. It might need the leather pads replacing if they are of the same vintage as the valves. So if someone wants it as a working instrument they may wish to factor in the cost of some work. 

    If you are in the UK and want to discuss further, please contact me through jollyrogeraccordions.co.uk.

  7. Back on topic... I’ve had C# on the LH G row G/A button for a while now, substituting the A with C#. It actually feels like it’s in the right place. I never needed the a anyway (I use the pull a on the C row) and you can get a nice b/c#/e triplet on the pull. 

    Obviously a GD instrument would be nice, because my muscle memory is geared towards that, but on the other hand, my Jones is really beautiful to play, is light, more mellow than a Lachenal, and the mod is v quick and easily reversible.

  8. On 9/26/2018 at 9:37 PM, Mikefule said:

    The Anglo is the natural progression for a melodeon player who wants to become a musician.

    That's a bit harsh!

    The English concertina (and its cousin the Duet) used to be played in all sorts of musical contexts and was a recognised performance instrument (I am currently working on a Wheatstone Duet that was played in performances in the Royal Albert Hall in London, back in the day). Of course it (the Englis) is fully chromatic, with consistent fingering patterns in all keys, unlike the Anglo, which gets harder the further away from home keys you get. And probably the Anglo is a bit easier to play than an English. But I personally struggle with old recordings of concertina music, unless it’s from the folk genre. The English concertina is really a parlor instrument and doesn’t cut it when played along side a big band or orchestra, unlike, say, the Bandoneon, which when all’s said and done, is a big concertina, with octave reeds, for volume and timbre. And in the folk sessions i occasionally attend, you can’t really hear a concertina among the fiddles, guitars, mandolins. And if somebody has an accordion (i.e with 2 or more voices, designed to be heard and to stand out) then an English concertina is completely lost. Anglo players tend to knock out LH chords and make more of an impression, but the English doesn’t invite you to do that. Well, that’s what I think anyway...

  9. So, an elegant solution is to substitute the LH G row pull A for C#. This GA button is duplicated in the LH on the top C row button, so in fact you lose nothing, and with a tiny bit of practice you can play in D. 

    I tried this on my lovely little Jones and the reed went straight in, with a little strip of card for packing, no mods required. If you play in the Bramich style you rarely use the pull A on the G row anyway, and if you need it, it is there on the C row.

    The position of the C# feels very natural, with a great D scale pull run across the rows, and a pull C#, E third on the LH, so for my money it’s a pretty neat little mod, easily reversed in a few minutes. You just need to find a reed of similar size and tuned properly.


  10. I recently restored a 38 key Chemnitzer. The bellows were generally ok, but I did patch a leak on one gusset with a thin piece of leather stuck on the inside, and I replaced the gasket with modern foam gasket strip. A couple of keys were off...reglued these with hide glue. Also added a felt buffer under the keys to improve the action.  Some of the keys have an interesting leather pivot though they were all ok. Had I needed to I could have created new ones. I didn’t replace the pallet leathers, but this could have been done, by ungluing the pallets and regluing (with hide glue). This would also improved the general compression. The Reed plates come out easily but I carefully numbered them as I took them off. One reed block was a bit loose so I reglued that.

    I cleaned all the reeds and replaced all the valves - using leather accordion valves but many cut down to size. Three reeds were broken and I sent the reed plates to Harmonikas and they repaired (25eur each). Obviously you need to create a map of the pitches so you know what to ask for. Then I tuned (I pretuned some before valving). The difficulty is getting the octaves in tune, so it involves quite a lot of fiddling about for fine tuning. My aim was to get it into a playable condition, which I managed to achieve.

    As an approach, get the compression up to scratch, and the keys working well, before turning attention to reeds etc. Pointless wasting time on reeds if the thing doesn’t hold air or the keys aren’t functioning.

  11. Another thought on this... The G/A button in the middle of the G row is duplicated in the top button on the C row. Substituting the G row pull A for C# would work quite well. I very rarely use the G row G/A button. Also on the pull, A (from the C row) and C# gives a nice Amaj 3rd. The size of the A reed slot isn’t a million miles from C#. And I’ll still have a Gmaj chord on the push.

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