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About d.elliott

  • Rank
    Heavyweight Boxer
  • Birthday 08/08/1950

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  • 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

    Concertina care

    I was prompted to dig into some of my 'earlier existence' technical notes: Corrosion rate of carbon steel, in atmospheres over 0 degC with a humidity of 70-80%. These figures are for constant exposure to the atmosphere. A concertina reed would have intermittent exposure to these conditions, even if you live by the sea side and adjacent to a melting shop, or refinery. It does, however show the intensity of the problem in different living regions. Rural atmosphere 40-60 micron loss per year Urban " 30-70 " " " " Industrial " 40-160 " " " " Marine " 60-170 " " " " Marine atmospheres can extend several miles inland, subject to prevailing winds. Please note that a micron is pretty small, a micron is one thousandth of a millimetre All you can do is try to prevent reeds sitting in their own condensate as has been discussed in other threads. The bottom line is that you have a concertina to play, if you want to play 'out' in a pub, a hall or out doors where ever you you are located the instrument will suck in air at what ever humidity, temperature or contamination, saline, sulphur or what ever. The reeds will be cooled or heated by the air flow and the rest is just physics. I have seen reeds so corroded that you could see light through the corrosion pitting. The only advice I can get is to play as you want to. When you have finished and you are home at your normal living air ambience, play it to move any damp out, and to get the reeds above dew point. I am not suggesting you get home at 1:00am in the morning and then feel obligated to have play for another couple of hours. Corrosion takes time to build up. but within a day or so give it a good playing. Dave
  2. d.elliott

    Remaking ends by hand

    I too use a fretsaw, and I also second Geoff's comments on rosewood dust, it is a high potency sensitizer, it can cause asthma and is a skin and mucus membrane irritant. Use a dust mask, and keep it out of your eyes. Scroll saws often have a blower to keep the line clear, not a good idea in this medium. On the practical side I have noticed, and I have also tried to emulate the sawing on a slight angle where the fretting section is thinner on the inside of the finger board than the outside. It gives a nice neat finish
  3. I shall be looking out for the dates, or you can PM me or put me on a circulation list??
  4. d.elliott

    Concertina care

    Back in my days of real work, I can remember seeing maps of air salinity and the corrosive/ erosion effects on galvanised steel. The air quality was bearing salt up to 5 kilometres inland. Unless your room is hermetically sealed, against both air flow and osmosis then what ever you do is probably a waste of time. as far as humidity, saline or otherwise is concerned. If your climate is relatively stable, I don't know much about Bermudan climate, I guess condensation is not much of an issue unless you are taking the instrument in or out of air conditioned premises where reeds will be stable at say 70 F (21 C is fairly warm in the UK) and are then played in hot moist air at 80 F and 85% RH, then you will get condensation and damp in the instrument. If the air-con is set for about 75 F then you should be OK as this is a bit above dew point. The issue to me is more about wood shrinkage and movement. You cannot fight the environment, so let things settle, and only then make good glued joints, splits and gaps would be my advice.
  5. d.elliott

    Success with lubrication

    I have just received a nice Aeola to work on, but every riveted pivot is not far off sold, I know that wet lubricants seem attract and definitely retains dust and 'gunge' I know that concertinas filter through an awful lot of air. What I normally do is use graphite powder, but sometimes it needs a carrier medium that will vap-off, eg meths. Some silicon 'foodsafe' lubricants also work well, but they tend to be aerosols. I spray some into the cap and use a clock makers dipper to lubricate from the liquid in the cap. It penetrates well and does not run as the carrier is quite volatile. That is what I shall use on this concertina. Wiping off any excess as I go, naturally.
  6. d.elliott

    Irish Trad in Venice

    I was in Venice a couple of weeks ago, I was surprised to find there were two Irish pubs, but my wife wanted to max out on things Venetian, or at least Italian....
  7. Cannot make this meeting, but you are only about an hour or so away, how often do you meet?
  8. d.elliott

    Concertina care

    wood stove= damp heat, as water is a product of combustion. (just saying) 'Tinas were designed & built in the British climate, the woods were not kiln dried as we know it today, (12% humidity). We have humidities 60%- 80% , rarely less than 60%. we do not have air-con in many homes, we don't need it. When most 'tinas were made central heating was not around, rooms were warmed by open fires, windows ran with condensation and in frosty weather overnight the windows froze over internally. If you want a rough guide to concertina climate control, look at the climate of he British Isles. You can store the instruments in a humidity and temperature controlled environment, but when you play it are you just pulling warm dry air into the instrument? how do you re-hydrate? Even in the UK as concertina woods have seasoned over many years, and have perhaps been subjected to central heating, I have seen gaps between pad boards and the wood frames open up, on Bass instruments I can remember gaps of around 5mm between pad board and casing. I have seen pad boards pull themselves apart, splitting across pad holes, and framing miss matches through shrinkage of a couple or more mm. Eventually the trick is to accept what happens, and has happened, let it stabilise, then peg the movement by adding new wood into the gaps or splits, Wood is a natural medium and if it wants to shrink, or warp then it will. I fully understand the urge to fit hygrometers in cabinets, and to try to stave off the issues, but as soon as you travel with and play the concertina the drying process will continue. Dave
  9. Back to topic, The one think I would NOT do is to strip the instrument to let it dry out in bits. The reed pans and the pad boards may want warp once damp, if they are all nicely bolted together then odds are that as they dry out (naturally) they will all stay stable and matched together. At most put silica gel sachets around the instrument, and in a nice dry environment play the thing to cycle dry air through the reeds and the bellows. Leaving the instrument holding moisture will risk corrosion and internal bellows fungus, a nasty white strands of musty stuff.I have seen it in bellows, on felt-work, coating woodwork and it is not easy to treat.
  10. I also ensure that I put a heat sink between the tip of the reed and the reed belly (the springing bit) to preserve the temper and elasticity of the reed. This is especially important of big reed instruments. Dave
  11. Soldering Iron is good, as is a touch of impact, do avoid releasing agents, like WD40 etc. Sometimes the corrosion is between the wood frame and the bolt, not the bolt and the nut. If in doubt, be prepared to drill it out I have a number of left hand spiral drills that drill in reverse, some times these can start the screw backing out. Dave
  12. Are there more Anglo players than English players? I don't know, but I suspect yes. There were a lot more Anglo's made than English system instruments, I personally find the Anglo lighter and more intuitive to play but so very limiting. Whereas the English (for me) does so much more but is heavier. Over the years I find that many English players can play off dots , whereas the balance is opposite on Anglos, this is a personal observation. So are there more Anglo players than English players? I see a ratio of 3 to 1 English to Anglo for restoration, perhaps that is because I play English more myself. The Anglos were cheaper to make, are lighter in weight, intuitive and rhythmic to play. The demand for Anglos seems to be driven by their attractiveness to session players, an Irish Cultural thing, and the Irish cultural influence on American society. Not all Irish music is frenetic 'diddly - diddly - dance it if you can'. The Celtic slow airs are superb which I like to play on my English. There are more Americans than we Brits, another consideration. There is also the resurgence in the UK of concertina band playing, always off dots, using Bass, Baritone, Treble and piccolo instruments, often in more than 6 parts. These groups can meet in 15 to 35 or more sized groups, formal music played predominantly on English 'tinas, some Duets, and a few Anglos. Anglos struggle with music set in 5 sharps through to as many flats, and key changes to cope with. I guess it all revolves around an individual's geographical location, interests, culture and skill sets as to what they end ip wanting to play, plus of course availability and affordability too. Dave
  13. Theo, I would not do any of this even on the most recalcitrant of big reed valves, but I have turned green wood and made simple furniture, it is actually quite difficult, hence the artfull bodger??
  14. d.elliott

    Creeping Reed Shoe

    Thanks Alex, yes the clamp is the bar that clamps the reed tongue into the frame at the widest part of the reed frame or shoe. If you look at a reed assembly there is a vent or slot that runs under the reed tongue allowing it to vibrate freely (free reed) at each end of the vent the shoe is solid and any sideways compression cannot squeeze the reed frame into the path of the reed tongue. Any shims are place between the flank of the reed frame and the edge of the slot, but on the 'strong areas' of the reed frame. Some times I glue a strip of paper full length and than cut out the bit parallel with the vent, some times it just needs a bit of paper at the clamp end, some times I use a bit of thick wood shaving and re-cut the reedpan slot side. Often you will see that a reed pan slot has been eased in manufacture, particularly on bigger reeds, where on first set up the pressure on the reed frame caused a problem Dave
  15. d.elliott

    Creeping Reed Shoe

    I think that fag papers are too hard for this short of shimming, I just use normal printing paper with the wood side face soaked in Gum Arabic. I usually ship as close to the reed clamp as possible and then at the toe of the reed frame, on the flank but not encroaching too much along the length taken up by the vent Dave