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Alex West

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About Alex West

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    Chatty concertinist

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  • Interests
    Came late to the concertina having started with tuba. Now playing in regular Scottish and English dance music sessions. Occasionally still playing tuba with Flowers & Frolics.
    Also devoting a lot of time to restoring concertinas
  • Location
    North Ayrshire, Scotland

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  1. Robin I had exactly the same issue with a Lachenal New Model Duet which I restored. As Alex H suggests, the local jeweller helped me out and it wasn't too costly either Alex West
  2. In doing some research for one of my instruments, I looked at the Wheatstone price lists available over at the Concertina Library. My instrument is a special so slightly bigger than a typical 40 key Wheatstone but that was my starting point to see how much my concertina might have cost when it was made in 1921 and what it might have cost relative to the average wage at the time. I'm only the second owner of it and I'm still curious as to why the original owner commissioned it, whether he was trading up from something less expensive and what he might have played on it. My first no
  3. I'd say Theo's got it about right - and very succinctly too! Dances are different in different places though so a tune played for Contra might be considerably faster than the same tune played for dancing in the UK (although there are regional differences even here - the tempo in Scotland tends to be a bit quicker than in Southern England where dances are "stepped" rather than walked or run through). I'd gauge ability in a slightly different way. To qualify as advanced, you should be able to keep up with a session playing a tune that you're familiar with, without fumbling for the
  4. Yes, it's still available and I can send more information and pictures to your email address if you send me a PM. My best guess as to age is around 1880-1890. It has mahogany action boards and bone buttons Alex West
  5. Keith, Sorry to not reply earlier but I seemed to be having some problems with my computer or the site or both. I’m not a dealer and don’t run a shop. I play concertina and restore instruments as a hobby to get them back into playing condition. If you’re interested to know more about any of the instruments here, let me know your email address - via private message to be more secure - and I’ll happily send you more information, pictures and let you know what sort of price I’d like to get for it Alex West
  6. I've now sold the 33 key Lachenal and made the usual donation to cnet - Thanks for this site Paul. There's interest in some of the others, but nothing confirmed yet so by all means get in touch. I also have a couple of 20 key Lachenals which are nearly ready to ship - just awaiting new papers Alex West
  7. Chris Of course you're right - it's impossible to turn a poor Lachenal reed into a sparkling Jeffries, Wheatstone (or Dipper or...) reed, but not all Lachenal reeds are bad and it is possible to improve even a poor Lachenal reed. But only with even more work...!🙂 Alex West
  8. I'll admit that I did exactly this last year. I was "gifted" a very run down 39 key Lachenal MacCann duet with beaten up fretwork but reasonable reeds and reed pans and I converted this into a GD Anglo. It has to be said that this was not a trivial conversion as the action had to be totally reconfigured, (and I took the opportunity to make a better action than a Lachenal "gate" mechanism), I had to make new bellows, the ends had to be completely remade, the reed pans had to be adapted and I had to make a few new reeds - about 13 as I recall. What I've now ended up with
  9. Thanks for the reply Dave. I've since had it on very good authority that the instrument is more than likely (better than 90% certain) a Shakespeare, confirming what John Dipper thought. I don't think "my" instrument is very similar to David Aumann's - at least in the fretwork, but perhaps it does support the thinking that Shakespeare acquired his parts from a wide variety of makers. It'll remain a bit of a mystery, and it's now in a new home, but it still sounds and plays very well! Alex West
  10. Sure Bill It's a 39 key Jeffries pattern instrument in concert pitch and equal temperament, which I got from the late Paul Davies, rebuilt by me and tuned by Colin Dipper. Send me your email address via a Private message and I'll send you some pictures, a key map and a bit more detail Alex West
  11. The G Jones is now sold and a donation made to concertina.net. The rest are still available - make me an offer before I have to consider selling on ebay! Alex West
  12. Yes, Mark's still in business and supplying. I've been communicating with him about supplies very recently Alex West
  13. The difference in size in this case is rather small so wouldn't change the pressure/volume ratio significantly compared to a piano accordion. You could argue that a baritone concertina would have a very different ratio from a piccolo, but again, I'd suggest that the accordion would still be an order of magnitude different. I play Anglo, so I'm not sure about the English, but I prefer a slightly larger concertina, simply to fit my hand size Alex West
  14. Dana Where do you get your UHB20C steel in appropriate reed thicknesses from? Are there any UK suppliers for small quantities? Alex West
  15. The protrusion of the fretwork screw through to the action board face is fairly common I'd say. It looks a bit odd, and can be a source of a mysterious air leak until you put that screw in, but once it's seated, the leak goes away... Alex West
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