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d.elliott

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About d.elliott

  • Rank
    Heavyweight Boxer
  • Birthday 08/08/1950

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  • Website URL
    http://www.concertina-repair.org.uk
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Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    ENGLISH System: including: Bass; Baritone; Treble; Miniature

    All forms of Concertina playing, but also Repair and Restoration. like to provide help & assistance as needed.

    I give talks and run workshops on repair and resoration

    Male Voice Choir Singing, West Gallery Singing & Shape Note Singing

    Traditional Music, Concertinal Band Playing
  • Location
    Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

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  1. d.elliott

    445 Hz?

    I tend to look at the issue this way, If you want versatility in the music you play, you want a chromatic instrument. I play anything between 4 flats to 5 sharps so an anglo would not work for me. If you want to play basic session tunes C; G; D, F then a 30k anglo with the right accidentals will work. If you are only playing at home for fun, then Old pitch, or concertina pitch does not matter as long as you are not trying to play along with someone else's track. As long as the instrument is in tune with itself. If you want a fully chromatic instrument the Duets are the most complex and heavy, but you can play left hand against the right hand. English are less complex than Duets but more complex than Anglos. So called 'tutors' can have poor reedwork, brass reeds, can be difficult to learn on and usually get grown out of, and may not be a good investment. Black accidental and white natural note buttons could be fitted to good grade instruments, as could brass reeds also of a superior grade. The button colours are not 100% reliable as an indicator of instrument grade. Finally, instruments in old pitch usually need work doing to them, new valves etc. They are in old pitch because they have not been attended to in a long time. If the reeds are old pitch then usually they have not been messed about with, and the instrument is a candidate for re-pitching to A=440Hz concert pitch. Wolf's tolerance on tuning of +/- 5 cents is OK for private play, but for group play it is not really good enough, most repairers strive for +/- 1.5 cents, but that is another story Dave
  2. d.elliott

    Gap filling.....

    Under these circumstances I have gone away from using any form of filler, epoxy or otherwise. on thin cracks I use fine card doused in PVA glue, shaped pack after curing, More usually I shape wood and again use PVA. Why PVA? you have lost wood volume through drying out and subsequent shrinkage over many decades. What we are doing is replanting that volume to make the instrument stronger and stable. we want, we need a good hard fix. I smooth off with a very sharp blade, I dont like using abrasives for fear of affecting air tightness
  3. d.elliott

    Tuning stability

    After tuning, like a dwell period following the first couple of playings & sounding of the notes, some reeds change their set which can alter tone slightly, I tend to thing of this a 'playing in'. A practise commented on many times now. We bend the reeds past their elastic limit to change their curvature, the reed shape was stable before bending, the stresses balanced and the are stable after bending, static equilibrium. when we file a reed we alter the stress distribution through the reed, it bends to a new position of static equilibrium. Vibration stress relief (VSR) has been used in industry for years, we used it on railway car (coach) bogies where we welded onto castings, I have seen it used on other fabrications and castings as well. I believe it is used on battle tank main gun barrels (Abrahams) . VSR works best when the work piece, is not constrained ( like a reed tongue), it fairly thin in section (like a reed tongue) and the vibrations achieve a resonant frequency (like a reed tongue). I have always ascribed the changes in set and very occasional pitch shortly after tuning to relaxation in the grain boundaries due to the phenomenon vibration stress relief. The conditions all fit, we know changes occur, and I have no other tenable explanation. I cannot prove it, regrettably.
  4. d.elliott

    Remaking ends by hand

    yes, a good job, just one comment on Alex information on drilling the holes for the keys, I follow the Wheatstone principle of tapering the hole from the underside of the fretting , but leaving around 1 mm of the bore parallel at the top surface end. This was explained to me by Steve Dickinson when I first started out. Dave
  5. d.elliott

    Morse Concertinas

    An interesting sounding shop, however It seems that they concentrate on new made instruments rather than instruments from the period, bring back concertina reeds, most of these seem to be accordion reeded
  6. The original poster asked about volume and sustainability of a phrase of music, and the impact of adding extra folds to the bellows. The only thing that changes a reed's volume is playing force. This is a constant irrespective of the number of bellows folds fitted. Worth remembering is the fact If you apply too much force you 'stall' the reeds or make them sound flat. so the limiting factors on volume are playing force (which equates to air pressure and thus air flow across a reed), and each reeds ability to handle the pressure / air flow. The extra folds do not change pressure for any given and sensible playing force, the extra folds gives more air to play with and thus more time at a particular air flow rate. So you can either play longer phrases, or the same phrase with more reeds sounding at the same time, that is, broader chords. Dave
  7. loose reed frame in its slot, needs shimming or 'bushing' with paper. see concertina maintenance manual 😏
  8. d.elliott

    Are sampers necessary?

    As above, Frank, Greg and Alex, plus glue it gives a greater gluing area between the leather bits and the card backing of the pad. Dave
  9. The issue is how do you define 'good' robust? durability reliable? light in weight? fancy cosmetics? Super-fast? Loud? Mellifluous? unique in someway? Mellow? keeps it's tuning? extra bellows folds? Easy to control Bellows? Soft Bellows? smooth action? Firm action? Modern Materials? Modern adhesives? when there was the major fire in York Minster some of the major roof beams had to be replaced, there was an effort to determine what materials should be used, the performance criteria was that the original beams had lasted over 900 years, the replacements had to be at least as 'good', take all the stresses, perform and last that long. The research and learned bodies teamed up and looked at stainless steels, carbon fibre composites and goodness knows what else. The only material that could be 'guaranteed' to last 900 years was European Oak, as per the original beams, the logs were floated over (so I was told) from Scandinavia. The so called vintage 'tinas have lasted over 100 year, some a bit less, some a fair bit more, made using animal glues and Victorian materials, this is established, a fact. we can only lab test MDF, Birch ply etc and try an judge what its longevity may be. Modern tina's might last 200 years, bone as used in bone buttons, can last centuries in the ground,what about nylon/ delrin? It all comes down to what you want, the kudos and buzz of owning and playing a historical instrument, the pride in owning and playing a finely crafted reproduction instrument? yer pars yer money and takes yer chances Dave
  10. Actually, and surprisingly, concertinas with OEM or near OEM faults have survived, and not just one or two. I have had instances where something that made an instrument a problem apparently caused the owner to lose patience or confidence and the concertina has been stuffed in a wardrobe to surface many years later, and in pristine condition. Put the fault right service and re-tune as needed and a fist class 'tina emerges. Some times the fault was minor, sidelined for a broken action part, or a split in the pad board. Yet hardly ever played. Dave
  11. d.elliott

    Concertina care

    I agree Alex, the issue is one of condensation rather than being coastal, if there is condensation and if that condensation has contaminants in it, then you get trouble, coastal, industrial or whatever. But if you are managing your instrument by playing regularly, letting it breath and come to temperature before putting it away then no condensation and no corrosion. Dave
  12. d.elliott

    Large valves

    Helpers springs are something invented to go on accordion valves, some of the accordion reeded hybrid concertinas have inherited this feature, yes they are weak, some times added to vinyl(?) valve backers. The helpers are permanently engaged with the valve, trying to hold the valve closed, and thus return the valve to it's closed position. Dare I say that there are pictures of 'proper' concertina valve springs in the Concertina Maintenance manual. The concertina valve springs are not there to add resistance to air flow, or to hold the valve closed, they are stood off from the valve back and act as much as a restrainer limiting overall valve opening distance. The are usually shaped to make sure that the curvature of the valve is progressive along the valve length forming a natural shape where no part of the valve is taking all the bend. This way, there is a minimum of resistance to air flow, and the valve shape is controlled making it more reactive to changes in air direction.. Dave
  13. d.elliott

    Elastic band

    I ship concertinas and hold them using 'X' bands, Laufer 0515198 X-Bands Size 150 x 11mm, 100mm Diameter - 100g Box
  14. d.elliott

    Scored A Miniature Lachenal

    Recently I had Mark at Concertina Spares make me a set eight fold bellows for my 12k miniature, just to put this into context, this concertina is a top quality metal ended Wheatstone. It has been in my family since new so I wanted a a good job. As I said eight folds at a tiny 2.75 inches across the flats. The bellows are all black with leather panels and it fits in the same container as when the original bellows were made. A nice bit of workmanship. I think a large (comparatively) 4 inches across the flats would be straight forward for him. These bellows were made in the last 4 months or so. You can see that this is relevant information if you are thinking about new bellows for the mini-Anglo. Dave
  15. d.elliott

    Large valves

    What you have is valve springs which are fitted to the non-chamber side of double action baritone and bass instruments. I have never seen them corrode through, and I suspect these (from what I can see of the spring stubs, have been clipped off. Usually they are made of brass wire, although I us phosphor-bronze spring wire. Their purpose is to emulate one of the functions of the valve pins in the chambers in that they force to valve to open progressively and prevent the long valve from opening too far whilst enabling the valve leather to be chosen from stock which is sufficiently supple to permit playing on the widest dynamic range possible. I have seen accordion valves with 'helpers' but I prefer to make the instrument work as designed. Valve springs are easy to make, cheap to fit, and can bring a sluggish baritone back to life. Dave
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