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david robertson

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Everything posted by david robertson

  1. Sounds like a pretty sound plan, but I would use a Forstner bit, which cuts a nice sharp edge to the hole as well as leaving a flat bottom, with no need for a guide.
  2. Particularly for keeping gussets supple, and restoring crispy old ones, I find Connolly Hide Care excellent. It's a white cream containing mostly lanolin in a white spirit solvent, which doesn't seem to affect traditional glues. And as I may have remarked before, lanolin is what kept the leather in good condition while it was still attached to the sheep!
  3. Now sold, and donation to C.net on its way.
  4. This one has been sitting in the restoration queue for about six months, and when I finally got round to it, I was surprised to find that it is a D/A, that is, pitched two semitones above a normal C/G. (Not that uncommon, but still, one of the rarer tunings.) If you wished, I could quite easily tune it down to C#/G#, but that's about the limit of the options. It has had a comprehensive restoration, with new pads, valves, bushings and straps. The bellows have been re-bound and re-papered, and the woodwork stripped and re-finished in French polish. I have also reamed and bushed the button-holes, to keep the action nice and quiet, and of course, it has been tuned to modern concert pitch. I'm looking for £1750, or a fairly adjacent offer.
  5. Now sold and on its way to a new home in Ireland.
  6. Here's a rare opportunity to acquire a 38-key C/G Anglo by Jurgen Suttner, who, by general consensus, is one of the world's finest makers, at a comparatively modest price, and with no waiting. (I'm selling on commission for a customer in France who has ordered a new Dipper.) It's an early one (No. 016) and not mint, but in good original condition (nothing beyond a few light scuffs on the bellows). It is playing very well - the reeds are lovely! It also comes with its original hard case. The layout is Jeffries, but there is one curiosity about it. The right-hand G row lacks the F#, which is found on the press stroke of the isolated button inboard of the G row. There is a certain logic to this, in that it means you can play the scale of G without sliding the same finger across two buttons, but it may take a bit of getting used to. Where you would normally find the F#, by the way, there is the G# above. This reed is a good deal smaller than the F#, so I'm afraid you can't revert to a more usual layout just by swapping them. My client is asking £2250, but is open to reasonable offers. If there's anything else I can tell you, please ask.
  7. W S Jenkins,in Tottenham,will supply you with spirit black powder,which you can add to clear French polish. This should avoid the inflammable import problem.
  8. What Robert perhaps doesn't realise is that the prototype pictured here was a resounding failure! In the end, I did the "filing" in situ, with a diamond-tipped abrasive bit in my Dremel, and checked the tuning simply by holding the end in place and letting the bellows fall open (it's a single-action instrument).
  9. As everyone says, you need to lift the chamois seal to reveal the threaded plate which is screwed into the edge of the bellows frame. Just to make this quite clear, you should lift the chamois from its inner edge, not the edge that faces outward. This latter edge is tucked under the black leather binding,and you should try not to disturb it. It can be difficult to lift the edge of the chamois and prise it up - I have a bodging tool designed specifically for the job. It consists of an old teaspoon with the last half inch of the handle bent to a right angle and ground to a blunt edge. This can be insinuated under the chamois and used to pry it up. Good luck!
  10. OK, I confess - I have occasionally used a round file on a button, but only where a replacement had a smaller hole than the originals!
  11. Quite right, Dave - I was thinking of the end-plate holes. (That'll teach me not to post while still half asleep.) However, I'm still having trouble with the concept of using a reamer on the felt bush, and it should never be necessary to use one on the cross-drilling itself.
  12. I would be astonished if Steve (or anyone else) uses a reamer to adjust the fit of a felt bush. He may well use one to adjust the size of the hole, since the replacement felt may not be of a similar thickness to the original, but if he does, I'd guess it didn't come from Toolstation. What you need is a peg-hole reamer, designed for a fiddle or cello. These are not cheap, but they do have the merit of producing a circular hole. I have tried cheap reamers, and found that they have a tendency to produce holes which are unaccountably hexagonal!
  13. These tenors are rare instruments, By switching the B's and Bb's, and having Db's instead of D#'s alongside the D's, they enable you to play a fifth below a treble, but with the same fingering. (For a fuller explanation, see this thread.) This one has just emerged from a comprehensive restoration, with new pads, valves, springs, bushings and straps. The woodwork has been stripped and French polished, the bellows re-bound, and the reeds tuned to modern concert pitch. (No case, I'm afraid.) The lower pitch makes the tenor a lovely instrument for a singer, or for playing with fiddles. I also have a customer in California who says his F tenor sounds wonderful with the Northumbrian pipes! I'm looking for £1850, and will always consider offers and trade-ins. But please, no magic beans.
  14. Thank you, Jim, for shedding light on my darkness. (It's what comes off being an Anglo-abuser rather than a musician!)
  15. While idly browsing the 1925 Wheatstone price list, I noticed that the Model 14 and Model 20a Aeolas appear to be identical - same G to G range, same price, though the former is described as a baritone-treble, and the latter as a baritone. Can anyone offer a plausible explanation?
  16. And when you have installed your new felt bushes, you'll probably find it a devil of a job to get the buttons back onto the levers. I find it helpful to wiggle an old bradawl around in the hole first.
  17. Perhaps more to the credit of Steve Dickinson, who fettled it for me when I bought it!
  18. Since a couple of people have been kind enough to mention my name, may I say that you're very welcome to bring it to me for assessment (no charge) - and you'll be able to compare it with my own 38-key Jeffries, which, to my shame, has had no restoration work done for the last 20 years!
  19. Here's a puzzling auction entry, featuring a concertina with "two buttons on the end to lower the instrument a semitone". How does that work, then? Two sets of reeds?
  20. I'm a little puzzled by these recurring references to "the usual telephone bidder", with their implications of underhand dealing. Let's be clear: while it is true that one person tends to hoover up a lot of the quality instruments at UK auctions, he does so in a way that is open to any of us - that is, by bidding more than anyone else. May I suggest that if you are looking for questionable conduct, you need look no further than the auctioneers themselves, who contrive to be paid for their efforts by the seller, and then extort a further 20% or more from the buyer!
  21. I have just acquired the New Model I mentioned in this thread. I've always been a fan of the New Model, so I bought it unseen, and was very happy that it turned out to be a tenor in F - that is, all the Bb's are in the inner rows, so you can play in F with normal treble fingering. At present it's languishing about three months down the restoration queue, but if anyone is interested, I could always move it nearer the front...
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