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Steven K.

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    Playing concertina and sailing.
  • Location
    Queens, New York, United States

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  1. Hello, I have a wooden Lachenal and had not played for a couple weeks. When I opened my case today, I saw some mold in the wooden ends and on the straps. I didn't notice it immediately, but still it was more than just a small amount. I used an old, soft bristle toothbrush to try to clean off as much of the mold as I could. I used a paper towel to wipe away the rest. I'm reluctant to use any alcohol cleaning solutions as the ends are wooden, and it's an old instrument. My apartment has extreme climate fluctuations during the year: in the winter it's bone dry and I need to run a humidifier when I play and keep a small humidifier in the case; in the summer it's usually over 80 degrees with high humidity (average is 60%). We will run the AC in one room when it's very hot, but I usually don't keep the concertina in there. Any advice is welcome on cleaning; storage; and how to prevent this from happening in the future. Thank you in advance.
  2. I found out the issue. The note that was sounding was on the d/e G-row of this 20 button anglo C/G Lachenal. When I took apart the left end, I noticed that the fretboard and the keyboard (not sure if that's the right word for it--but basically where the valves, pads, and buttons are connected to) are bowed. Not sure if that's from the temperature impact or what. But when I squeeze them together I see light coming through the valve for the d/e button. I tried tinkering with the U-hook a little to fix it, but I seem to still have a gap no matter what. So now since I've diagnosed the problem, what do I do?
  3. I don't have the serial number on the concertina, but it looks fairly old. I bought it in August and started playing on it September. It played fine up until this past week. I believe this Lachenal had been refurbished and had bellows work done on it. The bellows were quite airtight. About a week ago I noticed that there was a LITTLE loss in the air-tightness of the bellows, but the single note was still not sounding by itself. That only happened within the last couple days. I am hoping it isn't some sort of a cracked reed pan or worse like you've all been mentioning. I'll be the first to admit I have absolutely no experience in tinkering with concertinas or knowing much about their anatomy. In any event, I'll try opening it and maybe sending pictures if I need further assistance. Thank you all again.
  4. Thanks for all the replies. I'm new to the concertina realm and have only braved taking an end off once. I think I may take the patient longer approach and try to humidify the room. I'll also try getting a case humidifier to see if that will help things along as well.
  5. Recently, my concertina began to act up. I have an old 20-button Lachenal, which was playing fine up until a day or so ago. It sounds like one of the pads won't shut. So when I push or pull the bellows there is a note that constantly sounds whether the button is pressed or not. I live in an old NY apartment with radiators. There's no real way for us to control them, so it gets very hot in the apartment. I'm assuming the intense high heat is probably the cause of this and the lack of humidity in the apartment overall. Does anyone have any recommendations for me to get this instrument back into playing shape? Thank you in advance for any guidance or suggestions.
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