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  1. Hello, Robust design is one of the things I love best about old equipment and tools. I'm definitely not trying to make an instrument to last for centuries out of duct tape, but I believe in building strong things and having a good quality of workmanship. This is an exploratory project to get a handle on the idiosyncrasies of building concertinas. I want to try different things with the aesthetic and materials, but in the long term and short term I plan on sound construction instead of "bubble gum and scotch tape", I'm just using cheaper materials while I work out the problems, although cheap isn't always inferior in suitability. I'm not planning on starting a business or anything, I just like building/understanding things and think it's cool to figure out how a less-common instrument may be built.
  2. I guess "rustic" or "brutalist" is more what I mean, I'm interested in making a well-built thing out of basic materials and without a lot of decoration, but not necessarily poor quality or inferior materials, just a more fundamental design which focuses less on grace and fine material and uses simpler style. The concertina in the video is unpolished and use materials like sheet-metal-cut levers which I'm not a big fan of. I appreciate that this guy cuts his own leather and makes a lot of things from scratch, but this is different from what I'm doing. I'm not looking to use a lot of scrap material like this guy does. I hope I didn't come across as too pretentious, I wrote that message a little quickly, and I often have to spend a lot of time in my regular writing pretending that what I'm writing about is more important/unique than it really is. I'm sure, as with any craft/trade, everyone's pretty much done anything. This is really just an exploratory project to learn about concertina construction and take a less common approach.
  3. Hello! One thing I love about the concertina is that it is not as "standardized" of an instrument compared to things like accordions or trumpets. Granted that any instrument can of course be modified and constructed, I feel a greater license to play around with concertina construction because of its varied constructions/techniques/philosophies. The trouble is, I really don't want to get in over my head with concertina building and end up making a monstrosity and terrible waste of time/money. Thus, instead of the typical design philosophy of "grace and poise" which I see from the professional manufacturers and experienced craftsmen, an approach which I acknowledge as superior and meritorious, I want to gain experience concertina-making by purposefully adopting a "rustic" and "lo-fi" strategy. Instead of the greatest woods and the finest leather, graceful sound holes and brass rivets, I will be using less expensive materials with an aim of function over form. Eventually, I do want to use "the finer things," but the purpose of this experiment is both to practice concertina construction and to take a different approach to the design. I have plans drawn up for the body and the materials budgeted. I should be able to construct the whole thing for about 200$, by far the major expense is the accordion reeds, which I cannot manufacture and must buy. I won't be able to do much for the next two months because I have to defend my thesis soon and take some exams, but I have constructed a few sets of bellows so far and I've finally gotten to the ones I plan to use. Leather lining would of course be standard, but a little expensive. When chatting with a friend, he suggested that I could find vinyl or leather from old furniture. I eventually had the (brilliant?) idea to make bellows out of duct tape. I've attached some photos to this post to show off. Please let me know if you guys like this idea, and if you have any suggestions related to the build. I'd really like to know what you think and any fun ideas you have -Batman
  4. Concertina Connection is a manufacturer which allows trade-ins so that people can upgrade their concertinas to a higher-end model for a little less money. They tune-up the used concertinas and sell them used for a discount. I would check with them for used models you could buy, although their used models can go pretty quickly and you may need to be vigilant waiting for something to come in stock. You won't be able to control the price of the used models, but I think it's probably your best bet for something close to 370$. I would recommend raising that price ceiling if you can though at least up to 500$, just because it will be difficult to find anything at all in that range. https://www.concertinaconnection.com/trade in program.htm Good Luck!
  5. Questions: -Which kind of concertina? (Anglo, English, Duet?) -How many chords/what kinds of chords? -Why not just buy an accordion (the left hand buttons are all chords and can do what you are asking)? That being said, a duet-type layout would probably be the best because it is the same note for push-pull and it's also fully chromatic with the single hand (again, we're basically building a miniature accordion here). For the chord side, you can assign a chord arrangement to a duet-style layout, or use a miniature version of what the accordion already uses, it is the most sensible arrangement in my opinion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accordion#/media/File:120-button_Stradella_chart.svg I imagine that there would be an array of holes, and a single lever would uncover three pads. For example, a single lever would uncover the holes for C E G for the C major chord. The accordion accomplishes this by a system of "rakes" which each pull a set of levers, uncovering the desired holes, when a button is pushed. What you're proposing here is basically an accordion, except it probably would cost thousands more dollars than an accordion and have less than half of the functionality. Basically what I'm saying is: just buy an accordion. Bonus round: You could always consider looking into electronic instruments/software capable of mapping chord sounds onto sets of buttons or a (computer) keyboard. This would be a much cheaper option. You can even acquire electronic accordion sounds.
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