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Rod Pearce

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About Rod Pearce

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    Chester, UK

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  1. I've had the bellows in compression for about a week, on and off, and it seems to be doing the trick. They have reduced in length considerably to about 6 inches, with a little springiness left in them. Once I have fitted the top and end runs they will be going back under compression. Thanks for all the help. Rod
  2. Chris Thank you for this nugget! I had anticipated a couple of days, but this comes as a complete surprise. I don't remember reading anything about such a long period. Another example of how little I know. I can understand your 'in service' comment more easily they will be kept under compression.
  3. RAc Unfortunately I didn't take pictures between fitting the bindings and the gussets. However, I have taken on board your suggestion that the bindings may be contributing to the problem. So I have tried an approach to relax them a bit. I have moistened them all slightly with a damp sponge (they are not wet) to introduce a little moisture, and put the bellows back under compression After a couple of hours I removed them, and found that the amount of spring back has reduced significantly. I will re-compress and leave the whole assembly to dry fully, then see what I have. Fingers crossed. Regards Rod
  4. I am considering removing the end frames before compressing. Some of the joints have burst in the previous compressions, so repairs seem to be in order. I should be able to get better access to the troublesome parts with the frames out of the way. As for the gussets, they were skived down from 0.5mm to nothing at the edges, Perhaps I used too much , or too thick, hide glue. So much to learn!
  5. Alex You are right about the size of the angle between the cards.I have been following Bob Tedrow's method, which suggests an angle of 55 degrees for the sides, so assuming the angle of each corner is 60 degrees. I make it that the angle between adjacent cards is 10 degrees (2 x 5 degrees). Two other possible factors are - the lambskin hinge in the valleys fitted when the cards are still flat, skived to 0.5 mm, possible a little thick? - the card itself is rising-museum-board-4ply-16x20 @ 1.52mm, again possibly too thick. Bill I too have made some of those hexagonal blocks from a previous job, so I can try your suggestion. All the compression so far has been from outside the end frames Then continue to conclusion and see what I end up with. Thanks for your replies Rod
  6. I have completed installing the gussets, but now have another issue. I have taken the bellows out of the jig, and find that they are now acting like a spring. The bellows were compressed before going into the jig , and closed pretty flat. Now, after exercising them a bit I find they only close about half way unless I exert more force that would be expected during normal use. When I do close them, they spring back. I have not fitted the end or top runs yet. I have attached a picture of the bellows in their relaxed state. 😞 All the other instruments I have close under their own weight, so there is obviously something amiss. Could I do anything to relax the bellows, or are they lost cause? If so I am happy to put it down to experience and start again. I want to get them right before refitting the reed pans and action boxes. Many thanks
  7. Do any of our members in the UK offer practical help with learning the specific leatherwork skills needed for making concertina bellows? I for one would be interested. Rod
  8. PAAUDIO Thanks for your response, one for the future perhaps?
  9. I have got my leather strips down to 0.5 mm (with some help )but am struggling with the edges. If I use a knife or blade I am struggling to keep the edge straight. I am assuming they need to be as straight as possible. Any advice?
  10. Thanks Chris. Yours and Alex's advice is much appreciated The outer hinges are now done, bring on the leather! Rod
  11. Alex, thanks for your reply. I just thought you may need to make sure the last peak was secure (as the remaining 5 are) before putting the cloth on. I can rest easy then, because this was proving very tricky. I will go ahead and fix the cloth Regards Rod
  12. I'm part way through making a set of bellows using Bob Tedrow's method, and have reached a point where I need some advice, please. The bellows is mounted in a jig and I am at the point of putting the cotton binding to the top of the folds before starting on the leather. However, a question springs to mind -the two ends of the tube forming the bellows are currently not joined, and can move. All the other five 'peaks' are joined. Do I need to join the two ends first to provide a stable bellows? Hopefully you get my drift. If I were using the traditional approach, would each of the sections of card be joined together, and if so how?
  13. For me French Polish is the way to go. The shellac flakes can be bought in a range of colours and depending on the amount of time you want to spend working on the finish you can achieve a range of finishes from a dull lustre to a high gloss finish. My personal preference is for the Blonde flakes, which result in a very attractive golden polish that allows the beauty of the grain to come through. Attached is a pic of one I finished last year, in Blonde. The instrument is mahogany, badged as Campbells of Glasgow but is probably a Lachenal? I also like to finish both ends the same, so even if one of the ends doesn't require any work there is a good opportunity to repolish it the same shellac. There is a lot of myth around french polishing but with some basis tuition and a bit of practical experience you can get surprisingly good results. I did a refresher course for a day with an ex-luthier in Lincoln and an very encouraged by the results I am now getting. In fact, this is my favourite part of renovating a concertina.
  14. Notemaker I have just started on my first set of bellows and have gone through a similar process to keep the costs down as far as possible. I've had to compromise quite a bit, but have got all the bits now. The cambric tape I bought came from a retailer of preservation equipment here in the UK, priced at £8.95 for 9 metres. https://www.preservationequipment.com/Catalogue/Conservation-Materials/Labels-Tapes/Gummed-Linen-Hinging-Tape It gets much cheaper if you scale up. We don't have the same options on UK Amazon as you do in the US, and would have to pay import/shipping cost to import.
  15. I can try it. The scraper can be moved to any angle as it isn't fixed
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