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Everything posted by SteveS

  1. I had a chat with CA Cornish - damned Brexit might make the prospect of sending to Italy prohibitively expensive and a load of paperwork is needed. Even they can't source some leathers for concertinas because of import requirements as a result of Brexit. There are no Brexit benefits.
  2. Thanks Dave - sounds like just what I'm looking for. I'll send you a PM. One of the concertinas I have on my bench is a rather nice Wheatstone baritone with awesome non-ferrous reeds - it sounds like a harmonium.
  3. I recall some time ago seeing sheets of gold stars printed onto white paper suitable for cut-it-yourself bellows papers. I don't recall where I saw them - may have been eBay or Concertina Spares. Does anyone have any intel on where I may be able to source such? I had loads of parts in stock, but now things are running low. I'm tooling up to make my own, but I've a 'tina I need to repair and I'm after valves, pads and bushing felt. Previously I'd sourced some parts from Concertina Spares, but now I'll have a chat with CA Cornish about the leather parts - including hides for bellows. I'm still after the bushing felt though. I'd appreciate tips re. suppliers for parts, and especially the bushing felt. Thanks
  4. I have a brass-reeded Aeola TT which I use for song accompaniment. I used to use it for playing Nordic dance music but TBH the reeds quickly went out of tune. Now it awaits being retuned to 1/4 comma meantone.
  5. I see that a 56-key ebony-ended Aeola TT (S/N 32619) sold yesterday at auction for a hammer price of £320. Someone got an amazing bargain. Although I was registered for the auction, I was unable to participate - so I missed out possibly.
  6. Peaking in through the fretwork, I think I discern a Lachenal-style action. Another diagnostic - does the handrail have a reed symbol stamped onto it?
  7. I always describe my concertina as a 'small accordion' - never using the word 'concertina' unless on the rare occasion the security person recognises it.
  8. Take a photo with a newspaper, date/headlines clearly visible, in a clearly identifiable location.
  9. I've seen that number before - I believe it's a registered design number relating to the bellows, and nothing to do with the SA.
  10. I have some photos of SA concertina bands taken from SA's own publications. Here's one of the Sheffiled Citadel band
  11. It can take a few days for the shellac to dissolve completely - I keep mine in a sealed jar. Baby food jars are ideal for keeping small quantities of shellac. To make a 1/2 cut divide in 2 and add the same quantity of alcohol (meths) again to one of the halves - then repeat for 1/4, 1/8 and 1/16 cut. Ed. once mixed, the shellac/alcohol has a finite shelf-life, so it's best to make as much as you think you'll need for the job at hand.
  12. My starting concentration is 200 ml of meths and 50 grams of shellac flakes. The final shellac cut is 1/16 from the starting concentration. My final polish step is with a rubber charged with meths only - but only after the 1/16 stage has cured for a month or so, and after I've removed residual oil. When charging the rubber I use maybe 3 drops or so of meths and keep the rubber moving otherwise it'll stick to the shellac requiring then to go back a few steps, including a possible sanding stage. I tend to use blond shellac and colour it with whatever dye I require, e.g., ebony. In some cases, e.g with rosewood, I don't colour the shellac if I want the natural hues of the wood to show through. I've never noticed the purple dye in meths being an issue, and I've not yet had occasion to FP pale woods. ------- Ed. drops of meths when polishing are dispensed from an eye dropper. What I found surprising at first is just how little is needed. This is the step no one explains in YouTube videos or anywhere else, but was clearly explained in the 1905 pamphlet I have (and I wish I could find it to share).
  13. I struggled initially with FP - everything I did, following guidance on YouTube and other sources didn't work - I concluded that although the various videos were helpful, they were missing a vital aspect to FP, maybe not revealed deliberately. I was convinced that FP might remain a black art. Later I found a pamphlet in a junk shop (I'm unable to find it amongst my things) published around 1905 that explained exactly how to do FP, and especially to load the rubber with a small amount of 1/16 cut shellac when polishing. Given the small surface area of the concertina, this is particularly important so as to prevent the rubber from sticking - and I tend to use a tiny drop of refined olive oil (the variety from a pharmacy) as the lubricant for my FP. Also what I found using olive oil is that the oil comes to the surface as the shellac hardens. After maybe a month or so, the FP finish is sufficiently hard to be cleaned using a little white sprit to remove the oil, and then lightly wax polished. Here is an example of finished ends with a high gloss finish.
  14. My ratio of gum sandarac to shellac is around 5% by weight.
  15. I add gum sandarac to my shellac to improve the hardness - it was recommended to me by a luthier acquaintance.
  16. What a super find. Can you maybe scan the document and make it available to the International Concertina Association library? I'd also appreciate a copy for my own records and research. Thanks
  17. Whatever course of action you take in converting a DA to SA bass, make sure your changes are reversible, so that it can be reinstated to DA if required sometime in the future. And reeds you take out store them in a safe place.
  18. Indeed bellows pressure does affect the pitch - and this is a problem when tuning reeds. Yes as repairers we might strive for as close a tolerance as possible, as d.elliott mentioned, but its hard to tune an instrument for an individual playing style. The pressure applied on tuning a reed will probably be very different when played by the owner. And even getting a consistent pressure on tuning is difficult - although personally I use gravity activated bellows which does offer a degree of consistency. After tuning an instrument I will play it for a while, making a note of any deviations from nominal, and then tune those reeds in the instrument to get as close to nominal within tolerance. (I'm soon going to be checking the tuning on my band instruments for consistency across them ahead of recording my quartet arrangements.)
  19. I have Shure SM57 and RØDE NT1 mics. (I've been collecting studio gear for the last few years acquiring kit in sales, when reduced in price, or at auction.)
  20. I think the click track is useful for underpinning the timing of the track - especially if say laying down the bass track first. Another alternative might be to program the DAW with the tracks taken from the score and then play along to those. I need to discover the techniques that work for me myself - but this thread is highlighting some very interesting ideas to take into account.
  21. I downloaded the soundfont some time ago, so I'm not sure which soundfont it is. I plan to create a soundfont based on my own instruments - the full range - bass, baritone, treble - so as to minimise sound extrapolation. I'll make this soundfont available in due course.
  22. I wouldn't chance sending any vintage instrument to UK from Italy.
  23. Thanks seanc for your suggestions. My tango arrangement does have quite a few repeats in the bass line so record/copy/edit might work. More things to experiment with.
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