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About d.elliott

  • Birthday 08/08/1950

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  • Interests
    ENGLISH System: including: Bass; Baritone; Treble; Miniature, some Anglo

    All forms of Concertina playing, but also Repair and Restoration of traditional instruments (all systems). like to provide help & assistance as needed. Author of 'Concertina Maintenance Manual'

    I give talks and run workshops on repair and restoration

    West Gallery Singing & Shape Note Singing

    Traditional Music, Concertina Band Playing
  • Location
    Oughtibridge, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

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  1. The buttons almost look as if they have been re-capped or re-processed, or are they aluminium?
  2. There is no practical way to turn the bellows without removing the reed pan support blocks and re-setting them. Not an easy job for anyone.
  3. I am surprised by your comments Aldon, Aeolas are the top end model of Wheatstone's and would have had nickel plated keys, or may be chrome in the 1950's. Either way, the keys would have been plated onto a copper substrate, none of which would be likely to corrode from finger contamination. I have seen an instrument where all the metalwork had taken a dull pitting, presumably from some sort of atmospheric/ industrial/ release. The metal cleaned up using jeweller's rouge on chamois leather (the metal items each being removed from the instrument and any residue carefully removed) . Nickel is very unlikely to flake, Chrome may as it is deposited in 'platelets' but again this is unlikely. I regularly see a green waxy contamination on the metalwork that contacts leather, and occasionally on buttons under the swept area below the end cover in the action box. Accepting that the 1950's were after the best period for concertina manufacture, the button holes in the end plate would have been bushed with felt. Continual wiping will do the bushing no good and any use of lubricant/ cleaning medium will contaminate the bushing and do more harm. I echo Alex in his request for a photograph or two.
  4. A couple of drinks and all the buttons change place randomly, then I need a pee.
  5. try lamb skin glove grade, the thicknesses vary upon the valve size you are using: No 1 : 0.5mm No 2 : 0.7mm No 3 : 0.8mm no 4 : 0.8mm No 5 : 1.0mm No 6 : 1.5mm, These are a rough guide, it depends upon the stiffness of the skin you are using.
  6. Steve, I have a 25mm stack of A4 sheets of silk lustre finished gold dot and cross papers which I have sold through concertina spares. The idea being that you print your 'nest' of papers on the reverse and cut away to your hearts content. I went down this route so I could make papers for baritones, bass, of any bellows configuration, for me this has worked well. I used Corel draw and print at scale 100%. getting about 40 papers per sheet for a generic treble.
  7. What are the new valves made from? they look synthetic???
  8. Can you please explain what you mean by Bass-Baritone? There are two types of Bass, a 'G' bass, and a 'C' Bass. There are baritones that extend down below the 'G' at the bottom of the Bass clef, and baritones that extend up above the 48k compass. There are bass instruments that are 'Short', typically only going up to say middle 'C', or may be a note or two less. Some baritones were also 'Short' not having the full 48 keys either. The main trick to all this is that the treble has it's middle 'C' on a line with the centre of the thumb strap on the left hand side, and the 'D' above middle 'C' level with centre of the thumb strap on the right hand side. The Baritone has the same but one octave down; the bass has the same configuration but two octaves down from the treble. Everything else is either an extension up, or down, or is a short compass. Juliette, can I assume that you have a bass extended through the baritone range?
  9. Bernard Wrigley plays a bass concertina. I repaired and serviced the instrument last year.
  10. I think you will find that the reed note value suffixes are not the same as we use as octave numbers today. The suffix defines the order of each reed of that note value. G1 is the lowest G in the instrument, G2 is the next lowest note, G3 is the G above G2 etc. Similarly, Ab1 is the lowest Ab, the next Ab above is Ab2 etc etc. The other numbers for each position are reed frame size references. I have a Louis Lachenal #13735 on the bench at the moment and it's nomenclature is exactly the same as in your photographs.
  11. I don't like that the guide holes in the action plate have been lined with something, often these holes wear to a slight taper which is beneficial if not too excessive. To amplify a comment made by Greg, the key must be able to freely rock on the lever arm to accommodate the changes in angle of the lever as the key is pressed down. Your keys seem tightly packed and the felt looks on the thick side. This is particularly important on the shorter lever arms. Some times this causes the whole arm to push up and down in the pivot post aperture rather than pivoting properly as designed. I would also encourage you to check the key travel distance, if it is too much then the guide pin on the key may be too high in it's hole, and/ or any reduced freedom of movement of the arm in it's cross bushing through the key will be made much worse. I would also check the key height against the others around it, the pivot post tang might be backing out of the action plate. Finally Greg's comment about aligning the axes of the end plate hole, the guide pin hole and the lever arm is essential for free movement of the action elements.
  12. Oberon, thanks for the 'other' thread reference. This is why you need to determine what you feel is the problem with the instrument, what you would like to see different in a replacement. Your repairer is not going to know what your concerns are unless you can identify them and find a way to 'quantify' and discuss your concerns. Until you have been through this process you don't know what to look for in a replacement. My advice is to manage by fact, understand the issues and not just throw money at the problems. Replacing the action in total is unlikely to yield as much benefit as you may think. Just remember that sprung levers can move faster than fingers, the biggest 'slowers' are valves followed or combined with reed tongue set, then key travel distance. The only thing a newer instrument guarantees is that it might be shinier, not necessarily better, however you define better.
  13. Before worrying about action, I would recommend that you optimise what you have, check air efficiency, the age and flexibility of the valves, the reed set set ups, and the key travel heights. None of which is big money, all of which can bear on the responsiveness of the instrument. Lachenal reeds can be variable, the later reeds can be softer. You need to ask yourselves what is not 'right' with the instrument you have, Volume? dynamic control? breathiness? slowness to respond? tappy keys? Is it the Lachenal layout versus the Jeffries layout? the need for an extra couple of accidentals? Are the bellows too heavy? do the keys catch a bit? You could stave off the day of replacement by getting the concertina looked at by someone like Greg (in the US). In truth, action replacement is the last thing I would consider, unless it is to replace one or two worn sub assemblies. You may well find that a service and set up will achieve all you need, and perhaps new bellows with an extra fold.
  14. I use Gum Arabic. Easy to wet off if needed, but sticks like gum to an army blanket.
  15. The usual cause is that the felt dampers around the guide pegs at the base of the keys can compress or disintegrate and the guide peg taps on the bottom of the guide hole in the action plate. Hard pads are percussive but the sound is much duller. If pads that have too thicker felt is fitted, and then action height is adjusted to compensate, then the lever arm pad end grommet can strike the underside of the fretting. I have never had a clicking off action arms, riveted or other wise, nor from worn keys and bushes, the amount of play is not enough to generate an impact. Delrin (nylon) will make little difference (to tapping), other than to spoil the 'originality' of a traditional instrument. Bone keys are also traditional, and give the same characteristics.
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