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Rod Pearce

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About Rod Pearce

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    Chester, UK

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  1. 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
  2. PAAUDIO Thanks for your response, one for the future perhaps?
  3. 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?
  4. Thanks Chris. Yours and Alex's advice is much appreciated The outer hinges are now done, bring on the leather! Rod
  5. 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
  6. 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?
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. I can try it. The scraper can be moved to any angle as it isn't fixed
  10. As I don't own anything like a Scharf-fix, I have been exploring ways to get a reasonable skive at a reasonable cost. It suddenly occurred to me that if I could fashion something that would hold a sharp blade at the required depth from a hard surface while holding it steady and pull the leather through it, I may get a reasonable skive.. This is what I came up with, and it seems to work. It cost me nothing as I had all the 'components' to hand. Basically, I put two used utility knife blades about an inch apart on a sheet of melamine faced chipboard, put a new blade into an old paint scraper, sat the scraper on the two blades, fed the leather to be skived between the three and pulled slowly while keeping a tight grip on the scraper.. The result was much better that anything else I have so far tried, but for it to be a workable solution I will need to find a way to hold the used bladed in place. I am able to go vary my speed to suit the behaviour of the leather The utility knife blades are just about 0.5mm, giving a 0.5mm skive. I also have another craft knife whose spare blades are about 0.4mm. I'll keep refining the idea until I come up with a reliable, repeatable solution
  11. David, Alex Happy New Year to you both, and thank you for your replies. The leather on order is 0.9 mm as it was the thinner of two skins on the website, I realised this was probably too thick, but wasn't sure what I should be aiming for. I will need to practice my skiving skills, by the sound of it! Should keep me busy for a while. In the meantime I can start assembling the card (as per the Tedrow method) as the gummed tape has just arrived. Regards Rod
  12. I believe you are referring to the 'Top run' leather. The wider strip of leather around each end is the 'End run'. The glue to use is personal preference. I have used PVA glue to fix these without any problems. Just put a little under the area of leather that is leaking. Smooth it down with your fingers to make it lie flat and expel surplus glue, just as you would for the gussets and hinges. Remove any surplus glue with a damp (not wet) cloth and leave it to dry. If you intend doing more work on your concertina, I suggest you invest in Dave Elliott's Concertina Maintenance Manual. Rod
  13. OK, I'll work with that when the leather arrives. Thanks for your help. Rod
  14. Thanks Alex. Can I assume this applies to all the leather components? Rod
  15. I am having my first go at making a bellows for an Anglo concertina. I have tried to repair leaks in the existing one several times but just keep finding more. It seems too far gone. I have gathered most of the materials, cut the card and built a jig for the assembly. The only thing I am short of at the moment is the leather, and am planning to use black goatskin from Pittards. I have lined up a 0.9mm skin. I have been trying to get an idea of the thickness of leather needed for the various leather components ( gusset, top run, end run, valleys) but all I can find is a lot of references to the edges needing to be skived to 0.01mm. Can anyone advise what the thickness of the body leather for each of the components should be? Thanks Rod
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