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Everything posted by SteveS

  1. Any alteration to the depth of the blind drilled holes for the captive nuts (sometimes called receiver plates) may well cause a load of trouble to some restorer in the future. Pulling out the captive nuts can damage the instrument by pulling veneer away with the nut. You may even affect the potential resale value, since putting right any alterations is an expensive process. As a repairer, I would caution against any alteration to a vintage instrument. Looking at the photo, have you tried turning the instrument through 45 degrees in its case? The wrist strap thumbscrews shouldn't then touch the inside of the case.
  2. Look forward to hearing about it and to seeing the pics
  3. Do any of the repairers and restorers here have any vintage wrist strap thumb screws from a scrapper available? I have a requirement for 2x wrist strap screws (Wheatstone Aeola EC), and the corresponding brass receiver plates. Thanks in advance.
  4. As a restorer, given an appreciation for the nature and amount of work involved in a concertina, my guess would be about 1 instrument per month (maximum 2) for a sole maker (maker and assistant possibly 3-5 every 2 months).
  5. At a ceilidh I once witnessed a potentially serious accident between a high-heeled shoe and a sporran.
  6. There is no caller usually at Scottish ceilidhs, so that relieves the band of asking which tunes will fit. Dancers are expected to know the dances, and by and large, they do, or can pick them up in real-time.
  7. I recall when I played in a ceilidh band in Edinburgh - we'd play may be 10 dances per hour, and 3 tunes per dance - with a few spares, we played around 100 tunes in a 3 hour set. I can't play any of them now - I went over entirely to Nordic folk music.
  8. FWIW bandos used for Argentinian tango (Rheinische tonlage) I read that they are tuned to A=442Hz.
  9. Here's a video of this instrument in action.
  10. Results of experiment with glues for ends repair. As I mentioned in a previous thread, I have an EC on my bench that has solid ebony ends, and is suffering from the typical hairline cracks. I solicited opinions in that thread on various glues to use, along with tips, in repairing and strengthening the ends. One thing that was apparent from the thread is that a low viscosity glue would be best for the repair: low viscosity to allow the glue to permeate the wooden structure and any other cracks that there maybe in the wood. I conducted an experiment into the effectiveness of CA and Chair Doctor glues for the repair of hairline cracks. Objectives: - To test which glues are best suited to the repair of hairline cracks in concertina ends - To create an analogue of a solid concertina end to conduct this test - To determine the performance, open times, effects, and whether glues can carry stain - To gain an insight into how much work is needed after gluing to prepare for finishing - To understand the best way to apply glue in repair of cracked solid ends. Materials: - 2 glue types – CA super thin and Chair Doctor. - 2 test pieces were assembled – one for each glue type – CA and Chair Doctor. - Pear veneer cut into approximately 35cm squares. A sandwich of 3 pieces, glued with hide glue around the sides only, grain all running in the same direction, and then clamped up overnight. - Spirit stain (brown mahogany being an approximation for rosewood-coloured ends). - Disposable pipettes for accurate application of the glues. Method: - In each piece cut 3 parallel cuts with a sharp knife in the direction of the grain to simulate hairline cracks. o One cut to the depth of the thickness of the outer veneer o Second cut the depth of the outer and middle veneer o Third cut to almost the full depth of all three layers of veneer - Marked the test pieces, CA Glue and Chair Doctor - Raised the knife cuts slightly with a sharp knife, so that the outer surface at the cuts was a little proud of the surface to touch with the fingertip. - Applied the CA and Chair Doctor glue to the cuts on the relevant test pieces. - After allowing the glue to dry according to the minimum times suggested by the manufacturers, I scraped the excess glue with a scraper fashioned from a sharp flat-edged blade. - I then applied spirit stain to check whether the glues would accept stain. Results: - Both glues bleed through the cuts to the other side, but only with the deeper cuts. It can be assumed that with the shallower cut the glues spread to bond the veneer layers. - The CA glue seemed to bleed through more readily than Chair Doctor. I suspect that the CA glue maybe has a lower viscosity – however there may also have been differences in the depth of the cuts in the veneer than encouraged to CA glue to bleed through more readily. - The Chair Doctor glue causes the wood to swell and on setting the cuts stood proud somewhat of the test piece surface. - The CA was easier to level by scraping than the Chair Doctor glue. - After levelling, both glues accepted spirit stain - the brown stain helped make the stained cuts more visible. The stain did not rub off after application. - After applying the stain, the cuts stained a darker brown than the surrounding wood veneer. The CA glue was not as dark as Chair Doctor. - The relative approximate useful working open times for the glues are: CA 5-6 seconds; Chair Doctor 15 minutes. - Both glues filled the cuts quite well. CA required a second application to fill one of the cuts (which may have been because of my glue application technique). Conclusions: - Both glues appear to be suitable for the repair of ends with hairline cracks. - Both glues should be applied to the rear side of an end. Chair Doctor causes the wood to swell, and this would necessitate scraping and/or sanding if applied to the finished side of the end, possibly resulting in the loss of detail. - Where glue is likely to bleed through to the finished side, it may be beneficial to mask the end using suitable self-adhesive tape. Some post-glue rework may be required on the finished side of the end if glue bleeds through from the inside face. - Chair Doctor offers a longer open time – especially important if clamping is required. - If staining is required after gluing, be aware that both glues will darken. This may be relevant in the repair of say, solid rosewood-coloured ends. - both glues offer gap filling capabilities
  11. I have a Wheatstone baritone on my bench right now - serial number 25278 - it's tuned as follows: C3 = 134.0 Hz C4 = 266.5 Hz A3 = 225.7 Hz A4 = 452.4 Hz The 'tina has brass reeds, which play wonderfully, making it sound like a harmonium. This concertina should be wonderful for song accompaniment. My plan is to tune it so that it is in tune with itself - my assessment is that the reeds would not tolerate being tuned down to concert pitch. What I want to do is tune it so that it's consistent across its full range with only minimal tuning (I'll be replacing pads and valves necessitating some minimal tuning). Incidentally, it's tuned in equal temperament. My question is - like we centre concert pitch on A=440Hz - which note should this concertina be pitched too? Doing a bit of research, it looks to me like the tuning is Philharmonic Society "high pitch" centered on A=452.4 Hz at 60F. It seems that brass bands used this pitch in early C20th, so maybe concertina bands also used this pitch. If this is the case, A4 is tuned bang-on.
  12. I’m selling another instrument from my collection. This is a Wheatstone Aeola 56-key Tenor-Treble with non-ferrous reeds (serial number 29277). It is a unique concertina that started life as an ebony-ended instrument. I rebuilt it several years ago and documented some of the process on CNet at that time. When I acquired it, the ends had decayed so much they were little more than sawdust held together by the ether. There were other major things too - the reed chambers were also decayed, all leatherwork had gone - it was a bag of spare parts. I essentially remanufactured this instrument and it is finished to an extremely high standard – as it might have come from the factory. The raised ends are a walnut laminate comprising of burl walnut veneers, all finished with blonde shellac. All metalwork is plated with 23ct gold. The instrument received new bellows, new pads, new valves, new thumb straps, new wrist straps, and is tuned to concert pitch (A=440Hz). The reeds are high quality non-ferrous reeds – Wheatstone called these tropicalised. They are every bit as good as steel reeds, with one difference, they are much sweeter sounding than the steel equivalents. This is ideal for a singer, and in fact I used to use this concertina a lot for song accompaniment. It has a balanced tone, with plenty of dynamic range. In excellent condition. No case. Located in Piemonte, Italy. Price: €4750 If a potential buyer wishes, I’m happy to use an escrow service (e.g. escrow.com) to safeguard our transaction across the Internet.
  13. I’m selling another instrument from my collection. This is a Wheatstone Aeola 56-key Tenor-Treble with steel reeds (serial number 30104). It was serviced a several years ago and received new pads, new valves, new thumb straps, new wrist straps, ends refinished, tuned to concert pitch (A=440Hz). This concertina used to be my regular squeeze and features on various YouTube videos I have made. I have used this for playing mostly Nordic music. It has a balanced tone, with plenty of dynamic range. It blends well with fiddles playing Nordic fiddle music. In excellent condition. No case. Located in Piemonte, Italy. Price: €4500 If a potential buyer wishes, I’m happy to use an escrow service (e.g. escrow.com) to safeguard our transaction across the Internet.
  14. Thanks, Dave, for the great idea. I found these which I think would work nicely (green bellows) William Morris – Grafton #12 – Dolls House Wallpapers William Morris – Sunflower #9 – Dolls House Wallpapers William Morris – Oak #16 – Dolls House Wallpapers 18th Century 1 #20 – Dolls House Wallpapers Design 1 #8 – Dolls House Wallpapers These are all a radical departure from typical traditional bellows papers - but I think they might work. I quite like the Design 1 #8 and I think the pattern repeat could be followed through to the bellows, the top of each paper repeating the pattern without too much wastage. These patterns are all in keeping with the era of the instrument (1860s at a guess - no serial number)
  15. I recently stumbled across some gold patterned paper that I thought might work as bellows papers. This is screen printed on 80gsm paper. I have a mid-Victorian concertina that requires leather work, bellows rebind, and new papers. It'll also need ends refinishing since there's woodwork required. I've also found reproduction 19th century bookbinding papers that look promising. What do you think about a radical departure from the traditional gold star papers, and using something along these lines instead?
  16. Still available - any interest? I'll accept €1800.
  17. I have a Wheatstone Tenor-Treble with the top 8 buttons omitted. It has exactly the same fingering position as regular TT. I've seen these referred to as tenors - but I prefer to call it a TT. This one is distressed and awaits restoration. My research indicates that these were made to special order for the Salvation Army. The case for this instrument shows it was supplied by the Salvation Army. The Wheatstone ledger for 1937 has this as a model 11a - the price list for 1935 lists it as Tenor-Treble.
  18. AFIK there are no modern glues with the same characteristics as hide glue. Hide glue even when cracked or flexed, continues to grab. It pulls the glued parts uniformly toward each other. And new hide glue will stick to old hide glue. Hide glue is normally heated to about 50-55C - above that its gluing ability can be degraded. Ed. and hide glue is reversible, meaning that parts glued with hide glue can be taken apart - modern glues do not exhibit this property. It's an important factor when considering the maintenance and repair aspect of musical instruments, which is why hide glue is favoured by luthiers.
  19. Thanks all for your contributions. I've ordered some Chair Doctor and super thin CA - I'll try both on some scrap to get a feel for how effective they are and their characteristics.
  20. Thanks everyone for the replies. The problem is there are so many hairline cracks on the inside and fewer on the outside. Opening the cracks on the inside isn't a viable option. My thinking right now is to use super thin CA glue from the inside - cautiously at first to see how things go. There aren't any cracks that run all the way through. I'd like to keep the original patina, but if I have to refinish then I'll have to do that. Sure it's a pain, but satisfying to have newly finished ends.
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