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Rod Pearce

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Posts posted by Rod Pearce

  1. On 11/27/2021 at 11:27 AM, Paul_Hardy said:

    You could try contacting Steve Dickinson (Wheatstone.co.uk), who possibly still has unused sheets of the original brass from the Lachenal factory! He replaced a fractured brass reed starting with sheet brass for me while I waited once - but it was the best part of twenty years ago. It was fascinating to watch him at work.


    On 11/27/2021 at 11:50 AM, Rod Pearce said:


    Thanks , Paul.  Definitely worth a call to Steve.






    I contacted Steve a while ago. He said he has no stock of brass for reed making.


    He did offer some advice of what spec of material to use, together with a possible source. I am reluctant to 'publish' Steve's his comments for general viewing without his permission as it was a one to one conversation. However, if you feel you would like to know his comments then PM me and I will OK it with Steve first.



  2. 53 minutes ago, Fanie said:

    Thank you guys, I appreciate your help.

    I will first try to grip it with pliers, but there is so little protruding that I don't think it will work.

    Roger, in this case the plate is inserted from the outside. 


    If you have a fretsaw with a fine blade you may be able to cut a slot in the top of the broken bolt and turn it out with a small screwdriver.

  3. Hi Geoff


    Is the button bushed? If so has this worn allowing the button to move sideways?

    Similarly, the locating hole for the button, is this enlarged?

    Has the lever arm  or pivot post become bent, pulling the pad over?

    Has the pad loosened over time, and need securing?

    Check the affect the spring is having as you press the button up and down. I have had the situation where the spring pulls to one side rather than staying put. A small tweak to one side has cured the problem, or a replacement spring.


    Have you tried operating the button with the end removed so you can see exactly what is going on?

    I'm sure there are other possibilities.

  4. I had raised this post as a continuation of an earlier thread entitled Making A Brass Reed For An Antique English Concertina , but it has become overshadowed. So I am raising it as a new thread in its own right in the hope of attracting further responses.


    I am interested in having a go at making some new brass reed tongues to replace several broken ones in a Lachenal 48 key English, but I don't know what specification of brass to use.


    There are a number of UK suppliers of brass sheet on the internet, e.g.




    but I would not know what proportions of copper / zinc would be suitable for concertina reed tongues. This website sells its sheets with the following specification , Grade CZ108 (Cross references UNS – C27200,  ISO – CuZn37,  EN – CW508L) also known as common brass and has a composition of 67% copper and 37% zinc ( I know the maths doesn't add up, but that is what it says).


    Would this be suitable?


    If you can offer any advice I would appreciate it.


    Thanks, Rod


    On 11/23/2021 at 11:24 AM, Chris Ghent said:

    See if you can find a few old harmonium reeds and take the brass out of them. There will be someone in the UK who sells them. 


    Chris, thank you for your earlier response . I will follow this up.


  5. I am interested in having a go at making some new brass reed tongues to replace several broken ones in a Lachenal 48 key English. This thread describes a process in some detail, but isn't specific about the specification of brass sheet needed


    On 11/9/2015 at 6:58 PM, banjojohn said:

    I used some vintage brass, which I cut from part of a circa 1935 Alladin oil lamp


    There are a number of UK suppliers of brass sheet on the internet, e.g.




    but I would not know what proportions of copper / zinc would be suitable for concertina reed tongues.


    If you can offer any advice I would appreciate it.


    Thanks, Rod


  6. Chris


    Why not try calling / mailing Steve Dickinson at Wheatstone Concertinas. I'm pretty sure he has the stock left over from when Lachenal went out of business (contact details below). I'm not sure this would include replacement ends though, particularly if it is an early instrument.


    Alternatively you could have new ends made. There are a number of makers / repairers on the site.


    Telephone: +44 (0)1449 615523
    Email: concertinas@wheatstone.co.uk

    21 Bridge Street
    IP14 1BP

  7. I have had the situation where the lever arm is being depressed by the underside of the end. probably caused by a slight warp in the wood or the pivot /arm being too high. This caused the pad to be slightly open when the end is closed. but appears OK when the end is removed.


    A tweak of the arm has cured the problem.

  8. Genepinefield


    It may be that the problem is you are using synthetic leather. How stretchy is it?


    When I have fitted new top runs, I have used skived goatskin leather, and this can be easily shaped over the apex by puling it to stretch it slightly, and using the thumb and forefinger in a backwards and forwards motion over the curve until the creases disappear. I usually fit the top run all the way round first, then come back to each apex in turn and work it flat while the glue is still wet. Using a cloth damped in a little warm water helps with the flattening and cleaning off surplus glue.


    The leather is skived to 0.5 to 0.7 mm.


    Also 20mm width seems a bit big, From memory I would use about 12 mm wide

    • Like 1
  9. Larten


    Have a look at this. It is a bit on the long side but explains the principles very well




    To increase the gap I use a feeler gauge between the reed and its frame. and twist it upwards slightly a step at a time, checking it each time to see if it is sounding,  until I get the level I am looking for. If the reed is too high I use a thin wooden stick (cocktail stick) to push it back down lowering the set.

    • Like 1
  10. Ramron


    Do you feel confident enough to open it up?


    If so. check the corresponding reed.


    Is it present? It could be missing, or dropped out of its slot into the body of the instrument. If this is the case you can cut a sliver of paper and fit it along one side of the reed chamber to improve the fit of the reed.


    If present, is the reed tongue in tact? If not, you will need to get a replacement reed.


    If yes,check for debris in the reed and remove by sliding paper between the reed tongue and frame. Also check the end of the tongue is slightly above the frame, otherwise the reed will not sound. There are plenty of entries on this forum of how to adjust the reed.


    It is also worth checking the corresponding valve is not stuck in the slot, as this will prevent the reed from sounding.


    Consider purchasing a copy of Dave Elliott's Concertina Maintenance guide for resolving these sorts of problems.





  11. Doodle


    I assume you need Anglo straps?


    If so, I have a couple of new sets installed on instruments that are currently sitting on a shelf. I won't be parting with them .


    They came from Mark a year or so back and have hardly been used, The straps are Design no 1 on Mark's website. I may also have a set of D rings, but I would need to check.


    I am willing to remove a set and lend it to you until yours come through, at which point you can return it. It may take a few days to organise, though


    If that's of interest send me a PM



  12. Geoff, Stephen


    Thank you for your responses.


    I gather from what you say that although I should expect differences, what I am hearing from the 30-key is weaker than it should be. As all the new components are from the same source, I will continue down the path of trying to improve fit of the reed pans and gaskets to see if it will retain more air.  I am also a little suspicious of some of the reeds, given the state the woodwork was in when I started. Perhaps I am expecting too much from what was effectively a wreck, and should be happy that it plays again.


    I will continue doing small changes over time to see what improvement can be achieved.


    Thanks again.

  13. I have both a 20 key anglo (Campbells of Glasgow) and 30 key anglo (late Lachenal), both of which I have restored to a playable standard in the last 12 months, i that order.


    I am noticing that the 30 key is appreciably quieter than the 20 key. Is this to be expected, or should I continue to work on the 30 key to increase its volume?


    Both have new pads and valves, but the 30 key needed new springs and lever arms and bellows due to damp and rust. I have also noticed that the 20 key is also much 'tighter', but I cannot locate any air loss in the 30 key. Perhaps it is the spring tension, or the newer pads?


    Any thoughts?


    Best regards



  14. Don

    Thanks for your reply..I have looked at the Caslon typeface, and I don't think it is that as the numbers don't look rounded enough.

    I have tried some examples using MS Word and have come up with a few that seem to fit pretty well. My favourite is Sans Serif, so I think I will go with that.

    196655    Times New Roman

    196655   MS Sans Serif

    196655    Franklin Gothic medium

    196655   Century


  15. Does anyone know the typeface /' size used by Lachenal for their later instruments, specifically the instrument number label? IT looks a bit like Times New Roman, but the tails on the round numbers aren't rounded enough


    I need to recreate the label which in not salvageable.


    The instrument serial number is 199655.


    Thanks in anticipation



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