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Everything posted by d.elliott

  1. must remember to remove shell, next time egg is sucked.
  2. Yes Clive, I am aware of that, and as you say not on a concertina. In other applications the petrol has soaked into the wood making glueing problematical, even tried lighter fuel. It also makes pretty patterns in the end polish.
  3. 'Better safe than sorry' comes to mind. At least get a letter, copy packed with the instrument, dating it. I seem to remeber that items made before a certain date don't count.
  4. probably made without the fabric core or, the core not anchored onto the leather.
  5. If you try rolling, then the metal can stretch, if you hammer, then you probably will mark the surface, even with brass guard shims. Pressing is the best option, but you need to take the metal just past flat, to allow for the elastic limit, even on relatively soft material like nickel. Personally I would talk to the manufacturer who will be dealing with this sort of issue on a daily basis as part of the manufacturing process. There are other more brutal and certainly not recommended ways: a peck hammer on the reverse side, or heating and water, both very skilled and likely to leave permanent marking of one form or another
  6. I recently had to attend to a minor fault on an 'Irish Concertinas Co.' model 'Vintage'. I was seriously impressed by the build standard. The only issue was that one of the reeds was too tight in it's dovetailed slot and the wood had pinched a bit causing the clearance along the flank of the reed tongue. The reeds tongues were accordion style mounted into individual brass frames, riveted. I did not have the opportunity to check tuning, but it sounded OK to me, and bold of tone. The bellows were nice and neat, the action riveted. the reed pan is Jeffries style in layout. I cannot comment on cost, but as a concertina choice I would not hesitate to put the model forward for consideration.
  7. A thought for the day, oft repeated. There is no 'Student Model' on any Lachenal price list that I have seen. The coloured keys were standard on bone keys, just a convention. I have seen them on Aeolas, I have also seen brass reeded Aeolas. Lachenal produced a brass reeded plain and low grade instrument, simple mahogany ended, called a 'Peoples Model', aimed to make the concertina more accessible to the working man. later a 'Popular model' concertina was introduced which, whilst still being plain and a lower grade had steel reeds. Whoever coined the term student model did us all a disservice, condemning some good instruments to the assumption or low worth.
  8. Can you get the serial numbers on both instruments? I tend to agree that the 4 fold instrument indicates either an earlier model, or lower grade model; before domed keys were introduced etc, and the 56 keys extended upwards add weight for little benefit, other to annoy sound engineers, or dogs. The Lachenal is a well known 'label' and the paragon is a well developed model with all the 'mod cons' of it's day. Just make sure about the Cites documentation, the rosewood is likely to be a controlled material.
  9. it is probably the fact that you have so many reeds packed into a small space, the chamber sizes are correspondingly reduced, the reed lengths may ne shorter, so the reed thicknesses are greater. I might guess that on the Bass end, there are several reeds that have been weighted on their tips to drop their natural pitch.
  10. The drawings I have seen from this company, are essentially accordion reeds mounted onto single brass dovetailed frames. The frames appear to be wider than the common concertina reed, you may have to do some serious woodwork, to get the frames into the chambers, re-cut or modify the vents, and even alter the chamber lengths. Furthermore they may have a different tone to what you might expect. Steve Dickinson is still making these reeds, have you talked to him. When you say 'rusted' is it just the steel reed tongue which is corroded, or are you talking about oxidisation of teh Aluminium frames as well. Rust on steel reeds can often be cleaned off and the reeds made quite playable.
  11. Looking at the photo of the RH side fretwork, this instrument has the hallmarks of a good quality instrument, rosewood ends, fine grade fretting and moulding around the edges. The buttons are bone, This could probably have been an option on ordering, metal buttons etc, were not always a preferred option - especially those with flat tops. I would not spoil the instrument with 'plastic' buttons to no advantage. The instrument is fitted with 6 fold bellows, again an indicator of quality. Looking at the picture It looks like you are going to need to replace the bellows, the bellows, like pads (which also seem life expired) and valves are all consumable items, like tyres, oil filters, sparkplugs etc. on a car. They all have a life, and whilst they all make up to a functioning car, changing them makes the car perform better an is more saleable. I would expect to have to replace: pads, valves, bellows, some felt work in the keys, I would also expect to have to get some springs as well. A final thought, I can see a pile of end bolts, it is generally a good idea to put bolts back in the position they came from, just commenting...
  12. I cannot remember on the Morse, if there is a central long screw going down a pillar into the pad board or not. On traditional instruments, this is the case on thumb strap plates and finger slides. Please remember that the hole down the pillar is a clearance hole to the screw, the pillar is a spacer to prevent damage to fretting, hence the packers between the pillar top and the underside of the fretting to make a firm 'sandwich'. The long screw transmits the forces of play from the thumb strap/ finger slide through to the action assembly without any stresses being applied to the delicate fretwork. It is the tip of the long screw that bites into the action plate wood that does the work.
  13. Sounds like a cock-up, with reed pans aligned to a misaligned action box, or the reverse. I can think of no practical purpose, other than a physical issue on the part of a previous player??. I assume that the thumb straps & finger slides are also out of kilter? Do you yet know which end is a flat out of position?
  14. I usually do what Alex suggests, as does Theo. I also agree that the plug is better than a dowel. As to tightly adjusted thumb straps, novices/ improvers often do this, it can make them feel more secure in the instrument, but experience will dictate that you need to slide your thumbs easily in the straps, so you can move up and down the keyboard without your thumbs turning blue!
  15. I just received, two days ago, a set of green goatskin Bass bellows fitted onto supplied frames, and two sets of English treble bellows for me to fit on other jobs. Mark is active, accessible, and iuf he forgets something then a phone call prod works just fine.
  16. The convention would be to call it a 'baritone extended', Or it might be one of those odd brass band tuned concertinas where some flats are in the place of their naturals and everything is twisted about. One that someone has re-set to make sense to a conventional player. Another useful tip is that on a treble the centreline of the RH side thumb strap matches the lowest D, and the centreline of the LH Thumb strap conforms to that of middle 'C'. On a baritone these notes drop 1 octave, of a full bass the notes drop an octave again. These are transposing instruments, however the hand falls onto the transposed equivalent keys.
  17. The Wheatstone price list of 1915, defines a baritone as: 'Three octaves and three notes from the 'G' 1st line of the bass Clef. 48 keys'. it then states: 'The disposition of the keys of the above being the same as the Treble concertina, but sounding an octave lower, those who are already acquainted with the latter can immediately play the Baritone. ' So yes middle 'C' is on the RH Side. This definition is consistent through all price lists I have seen. The Lachenal price list I have does not define the compass of the treble instruments, but does quote: 48 keys, down to 'G'. no octave is mentioned. It is interesting that my first Baritone, a new model ebony 'band model' went down to 'G' but only had 42 keys. saving weight and making space for the parallel chambers for the large reeds for the lower octave or so.
  18. As long as the instruments are held with their axis horizontal, and the bellows are firmly compressed....
  19. I assume that these metals are for the reed frames not the reed tongues?
  20. I don't know what make or style your concertina is, but pads are a sandwich of card, felt and then the leather facing, I find it cheapest for me to buy pads and dots from people who have the buying power and the tooling to form the pad sandwich and then stamp out the pads I need. These pads are then of a consistent thickness and quality. I would look at repairers on the continent, including Eire to buy from, stick in the Euro zone.
  21. Central heating can wreak havoc, but it is also worth while remembering that woods were not seasoned as we season (dry) woods today. Green wood has about 80 to 95% water by weight, air dried wood has about 20%. Kiln dried is 6 to 9% water by weight. The wood used would have been air dried. As wood dries it shrinks, cracks and twists. Action boards are thin and made of single sheets, you can see shrinkage away from the action box casing or cracking through neighbouring pad holes. The concertina woodwork may not be as well seasoned as you might expect, especially dense hard woods, ebony, rosewood, mahogany etc. Air Con can be far worse than central heating, A.C. reduces humidity (if set up that way)
  22. When servicing and repairing concertina, you occasionally come across ideas from previous repairers, some are filed away for future reference, others make one want to wince. To day I have been looking at the action of a George Case baritone. Rare and beautiful until you try to play it. The problem statement was that the keys feel loose and sometimes jam. A quick examination showed a key travel of around 4.8mm, some are worse and the guide peg under the keys were hovering over the mouths of the peg holes. Clearly the keys were set far too high. Other observations show a set of brand-new pads, a total re-bushing of the keys and all new dampers. Also, the instrument has been fully re-sprung. The workmanship is neat and tidy, someone has put a lot of effort into this action, but a lot of it was wasted. The key’s vertical travel expected is usually 3.2mm (1/8 ins), yet there was a consistent ‘error’, not just on a couple of keys but across both sides. Needless to say it was a result of the last service work. The pads fitted were made with very thin felt, with the result of consistently lifting the key heights and thus the guide pegs out of their holes. This could have been OK if the action arms had been bent down to adjust the heights of the keys. Thankfully the repairer did not do that, as the brass arms on a 160yr old instrument can be very brittle and casualties can easily result. In this case the brass is so delicate and soft. I thought I had done damage when making a very minor adjustment, thankfully not. A major mistake the repairer made was to not match pad thickness to key travel and the action’s design height. By selecting appropriate pad thicknesses, you can make life so much easier and reduce risk of lever arm fracture. The next wincing point was the removal of the pads for replacement. The leather beads (AKA spuds) on the end of the arm had been bonded in place on the arm (no real problem with that), but then the pad was glued to the bead with some form of rubber glue. This glue was starting to deteriorate and was stringy and tacky, like blobs of under chewed brown chewing gum. The pads were ‘floating about’ and I had to peel the substance off each arm end fingernail full by fingernail full. I guess I am pleading here for the avoidance of ‘petroleum’ based adhesives, like rubber cement, Evode, Bostick etc, etc. Please use a traditional adhesive or a white PVA. Thankfully I was able to pick the old glue off without bending the levers. The bottom line? Choose the right thickness of pad and then set the key heights remembering the target overall travel of 3.2mm. Then use the appropriate glues. Pads should last 20 yrs plus, as must the glue.
  23. The biggest problem that I have experienced when combining beer with concertina play, is that all the buttons seem to run around and swap places randomly.
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