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    Concertina, Irish trad music, art conservation, bonsai
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    Central Italy

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Vitto77's Achievements

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  1. @Theo Thanks so much, it sounds interesting! (a little off-topic: since I see you're from Gateshead, that remembers me when I stood three weeks in Whitley Bay for an English summer course, and we sometimes went to Gateshead. Is Metro Centre still there? Since we were about 15 y.o. we enjoyed it so much! This apart, Tyne and Wear is a so beautiful land sometimes I still miss!)
  2. @d.elliott Thanks Mr. Elliott I made a first set of pads with 2mm felt, card and leather (it's a thin, cloth like leather) with the smooth face down to the hole. They resulted too rigid (up to the kind of felt) and I tried making another set, using a 1.5mm black dense foam sheets (it was that stuff used for no-slipping purposes, from a diy shop). I know it's not traditional way, but I can't find the right kind of felt, so I tried this way for the moment. Generally these pads seem to work (altough I saw circle of reddish light around, watching it in the dark with a led torch inside. I don't know if this means risk of airflow, anyway I'm working at this beautiful old Lachenal to learn something, hoping to restore it the best i'll can do). I had to re-glue some of them, to have them well centered on the circular sign around the holes. It may actually happened that these pads came out not so well, and other fits better. I checked the padboard in a dark room, with led torch inside the bellows, and I spotted three points where gasket was letting the light pass; I passed all with a knife back to make it more fluffy as suggested, and put some thin leather patch between chamois and head's wall, it seemed to work well. Neither cracks nor holes. I made valves from kid's leather. They seems to work quite well, I cut smaller ones from thinner areas, and bigger from thicker. They seems to be well laying on the pad, and acting rather quickly. I'm sure there is something much better, but they seems to work in an acceptable way for now. It will be for personal use, so I can make some mistakes to be corrected in the future. I will check about the key's travel and the bushing, naturally I had not idea about it, so thanks again. (I was forgetting about, I integrated reed's slots in that area with wood, 'cause there was much space from the reed frame (from the half to the point) and chamber's wall, I thought that air might pass by someway. That didn't solve the problem, but reeds now fit more snugly.)
  3. @Rod Pearce No, air flows locally from the reed plate and action plate in the area of upper right of the hexagon (looking it with handle below). I added a thin layer of leather between the head's chamois gasket and head's wood, but it still flows from there. I checked the inner valves, they seems to be right. Perhaps it's something about the pads, (by the way, pivots too are firm in the plate).
  4. Hi Mr. Pearce, thanks. I regret I forgot to mention: yes, it was all in good conditions, no light was seen from the exterior, but a micro-hole on a corner I've already patched. Anyway I think I've just spotted the problem with bass side, some minutes ago (question number 1): it seems that three of four reed slots are chipped at the end, the reeds fit pretty snugly but at the end the missing of portion of reedpan's wood leaves a small gap, leading on the interior of the bellows and letting air coming out, stealing air necessary for the full power of reeds itselves (and subtracting air from the whole system). Sorry for having asked before understanding it, but it's the first concertina restoring for me (I'm actually a restorer, but I work on other items). Any corrections are welcome anyway Second question stays open ?
  5. Hi all I'm restoring an old Lachenal. I've made new pads and new valves, and after some experiments and changes it seems to going better. I've noticed two problems: 1) on the bass side, closing without playing, I hear a perceivable air whiff, and I can feel it on face closing near the cheek. I thought it might be up to not well centered pads, and corrected it; up to the not sealing valves, and I changed the whole set wit more suitable leather. With new valves, bass side has improved a lot in responsiveness and volume, but air flow is still there (the area is around the right side of the hexagon (mostly, it seems, from the T5 and C5 keys); I've add a very soft chamois gasket on the old one, but whiff has not stopped yet; 2) on the treble side: when I press C#, C or G on the push (so, on the left side of the hexagon), bellows' resistance seems to fall, the feeling is quite like I would press a bit the air button at a time whit these keys. If I play some other higher notes, this seems not to happen, and notes play loud without that slight collapsing of the bellows. What may all this depend on? Thanks, have a good day.
  6. Hi Thanks a lot, that's a point I've not considered at all! I've checked the Feiblings page, it seems good (moreover, they suggest to apply a final clear coat, but anyway it's for leather crafts that are not under regular movement and rubbing like bellows corners... so I can agree with you about the fact that sometimes could be not enough) On my instrument I can regularly re-dye all patches, but I'd regret if I should restore a concertina for a friend and give him an instrument with discolouring parts. Thanks for the contact suggestion! Have a nice day
  7. Hello I used a wooden plank, covered with a soft cloth to protect leather surface from rubbing the wood. The plank was as long as fully stretched bellows. Then I took four small C-clamps and clamped bellows to plank's ends, two clamps per side (I put other wrapped piece of wood between clamps and internal side of the ends, naturally). I put the clamps with the screws directed outside, in order to have maximum room to work in. Or better, some spring clamps could be more practical, you can quickly detach them instead of unscrewing C-clamps.
  8. Hi all I'm new here I have and play a 30 key old Lachenal, and sometimes I needed to patch its bellows. After some first attempts, I re-did the work using a fine leather from some scraps I got from a friend. That was white leather, and I made a dye with rubbing alcohol and powdered dyes for wood. I mixed 'by eye' blue, yellow, black and medium dark walnut to get a good old Lachenal-Bellows Green. I applied it with a small painting brush, on several coats, with a lightest coat of leather wax. After a week or two, I regret, corner patches are turning blueish-white, for the friction on the leg during action (even if I try to put the side on the leg, instead of corners). Perhaps my homemeade attempt with powder "aniline" colours is wrong in itself, is there a way to make this dye resistant to friction, or there is a special dye I could use without fear to see original leather colour come out in a few days? It could be difficult to find a exact green leather patch, otherwise should I look for wrecked and unrepairable bellows to get patches? I tell again, dye's effect is very good, but it does not resist to friction and contact for a long time. Have you got any suggestion? Thanks
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