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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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  • 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. Carola, Is the click audible, or more something you feel? or perhaps both? One thing you might like to check is if the bushing in the key is too tightly packed on the end of the lever arm. If it is too tight then the very necessary rock of the key on the arm will be missing or restricted. Pushing of the key down may be pushing the arm down in the pivot post rather than causing it to swing easily around the pivot point. It can also cause the key to bind in its hole in the action box cover and also the key's guide peg (under the bottom of the key body) to bind in the small guide hole in the action plate (what the pivots are fixed into). The last observation I would make is that the key travel distance is supposed to be 1/8th inch (3.2 mm) if this is excessive then the guide pegs can be nearly out of their guide holes and the keys may be starting to bind on the lever arms. Travel distance is the distance between the key top (pad closed) and the key top (key full down). it should be the same for all keys, and all keys should be of an even height (except perhaps the wind key and a drone key which may be a bit higher) Remember: fault finding as as much fun as playing, or maybe not. Dave
  2. Davida, I shall be running the WCCP concertina maintenance workshops in March as at Halsway Manor in March, if you are there I would be happy to talk to you about this, but that is a long way a way, time wise. My take is that, once a concertina is made playable, maintenance comes under two headings: the ongoing upkeep, adjustment, and replacement of consumable items, and breakdowns. The consumable items: valves, pads, springs & felts have a similar life, maybe hybrids have a better valve life due to using sprung valves, I am not too sure. The springs on a traditional instrument may be part time expired, unless all have been replaced. The same with original bellows, also a consumable item, albeit with a long service life. Original bellows will be part time expired. This is where you need to examine and check the instrument. Adjustments, refurbed versus new reproduction: not a lot in it, pad compression may be grater of a traditional instrument, but this is splitting hairs. Some refurbed instruments have brass tongued reeds, these can drift in tuning a little and are prone to fatigue failure. Breakdowns, Refurbished instrument reliability is determined by the depth of the refurbishment, new bellows, new springs etc. no an issue with the new instruments The other factor is maintainability, not all new hybrid instruments are easy to maintain, some have the reed blocks waxed in, so it is not easy to say a remove a reed blockage. The one thing about the old instruments is tat they are dead easy to maintain. Dave
  3. Excellent Idea, Theo does know his stuff.
  4. Bazza, if you are in North Yorkshire. I am in North Sheffield, Theo is in Gateshead, why not call ans see one of us? I would be happy to have a look and advise, and I am sure Theo would be happy to assist if you approached him.
  5. The issue that Chris is referring to is not a instant result of using a overly strong spring substitute, but over time the pivot post 'tang' can back out of the action plate. I once saw it happen after a full re-spring with good 'tina springs, about ten posts started to extract themselves. Causing the key heights to rise. Dave
  6. We often get springs made from safety pins, they work but they are usually very strong and need big holes in the action plate to anchor them. I would always fit proper springs, less overall damage and less chance of fouling adjacent action components
  7. Hi Wolf, The harmonium reeds that I have dealt with have a different tongue shape and voicing, it is true that even Wheatstone bought reeds from France , possible from harmonium reed manufacturers, however the reed set up is just like any other concertina reed. The size and the length of the reeds are about pitch and volume. Many baritones have the lower octave or so set out in parallel as opposed to radial chambers, this enabled the lower reeds to have more oomph, and the instrument to support more treble instruments. The downside is that the upper registers with the radial part of the reed pan can sound a bit reedy compared with the bass end of the keyboard. The reeds are just appropriately big concertina reeds, surface mounted or otherwise. I know these stretched, part parallel part radial instruments as band baritones, because of their ability to support lighter instruments. I concertina band work I have noted that one baritone can support four of five comparable trebles , and one bass can support say three baritones, yet a full band only needs one piccolo concertina, the human ear is just odd in the way it works. In short, I dont think there is such a thing as a harmonium style reed, in a concertina sense. However, someone may well wish to contest this. Dave
  8. I am confident that the instrument is a Lachenal 30k , Only the Lachenal Instruments had 'steel reeds' stamped on the Right Hand Palm rest. The embossing on the Bellows frame end-wraps is also Lachenal. what would confirm the 'deal is if you look at the same palm rest on the face that is the same side as the keys but vertical to the metal plate there may well be the Lachenal trade mark of an outline of a reed and 'English Made' Dave
  9. Then there was the Nag's Head, Mild & Bitter and the Manchester board in the back room, too much of my grant was passed over that bar
  10. Hi Wolf, how did you identify your Baritone lower end reeds as 'harmonium' reeds.? Many thanks Dave
  11. I have a slack handful The original screws were much thinner than anything you can get, even what Chris got from Nick. I also have some of those. Some times you need to open up the hole in the pillar as it should be a clearance hole over he screw thread. The finger rest screws were slightly shorter and lighter than the thumb strap screws. Even if you have to clear the support pillars it is not a long job unless you have the remnant of sheared screw burred deep in the wood work. Make contact and see if we can arrange for you to visit me and I can do the job whilst you wait. Is it Just the thumb screws? my post code is S35 0FH.
  12. I live not far from the Flouch end of the Woodhead Pass, Manchester is a big place, but I usually allow about 45 mins, plus whatever to get to where I need to go in Manchester itself. I see you are in Urmston, I was in digs there in the late 1960's, its a small, and now hexagonal world. Dave
  13. Check the stamping in the action box and/ or under the pad board. You may have got a composite, a bit of one instrument and a bit of another. It is not that uncommon. or perhaps reed pans were swapped at some time steel reeded for brass, who knows? Dave
  14. You are looking at the reedpan, lift out the reedpan, and you will see a 'clean' stamping below the chamois gasket on the bellows frame. its the same corner as the reed pan has been stamped on. I notice from your photo that some one has added a red biro cross on the gasket and the reed pan to ensure everything is lined up correctly. Personally I don't like to see this practise of marking on the chamois gaskets, it is unnecessary. If you did not know, there is a system in concertina stampings, left hand major assemblies are all stamped 'L' at the corner which corresponds to the fretting positions of the maker's serial number window on the Left Hand Side. Conversely the right hand assemblies are stamped 'R' to line up with the corner of the maker's 'seal' on the Right Hand Side. This way the assemblies for the two ends can be easily identified. The Bellows Frame is also Stamped 'L' at one end and 'R' at the other. You can line the stampings of the reed pans and bellows frames and the reed pans will go back where they came from. Similarly the underside of the action box assemblies are stamped in one corner, 'L '& 'R' and if they are lined up withe the reed pan stampings then the assembly will be properly oriented. Lachenal also included the serial number in their stamping as did some other manufacturers, Some like Jeffries and Wheatstone did not, choosing to stamp the jig reference number instead. Even knowing this I sometimes catch myself putting things in the wrong place especially when teaching and I am talking or answering questions. Hope this is of interest. Dave
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