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Alex West

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    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
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    North Ayrshire, Scotland

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  1. Sometimes, there can be some gunk in the bottom of the hole where the button guide fits and it's necessary to give it a bit of a clean out with a suitably sized drill. This is easy enough to do on a Lachenal where you can move the lever out of the way by pushing it through the post at the fulcrum. That's probably also the easiest way to get the button off the end of the lever. You can probably also rotate the pad around the screw thread at the end of the lever to clear it out of the way and create a bit of extra "headroom" at the button end. With metal buttons, you're unlikely to damage anything. Bone buttons need a little more caution... (I note that there does seem to be some kind of metal (?) insert in the hole in the detailed picture you've posted - maybe this is just a bit tight?) Aligning the lever with the hole is just a matter of bending the lever along its length somewhere. Doesn't need a huge amount of effort to move it the fraction of a millimetre necessary. Note where the button guide is binding a bit and bend the lever in the opposite direction Alex West
  2. I'll second that. I've carried out an action replacement using some of Wim's parts (albeit a previous generation and although it greatly improves the action feel, the Lachenal reeds still hold the instrument back from being genuinely fast. I once asked a well known UK maker the question "What makes an instrument fast? Why are yours so quick and good?" "Everything," was his reply Alex West
  3. Chris From the pictures you've shown of the ends, the veneers are worn through to the base wood in some places. It's not too horrifying a job to replace them with thin ebony veneer. The bellows look to have had some of the internal hinges replaced - fairly crudely, but possibly effectively - and some of the others look to be cracked or torn. Not a difficult job to strip them off and glue something more competent in their place. The corners of the bellows can be repaired if they're the source of leaks, but you may find some of the gussets have holes in them as well. As Stephen has said, it's a fairly standard configuration of 44 (or 45 or 46!) button anglo that you have. I have a GD version and have seen others in CG and other keys Alex West
  4. Do you have arthritis or experience of it or treatment of it? In my experience, with similar issues to Don, any exercise either of concertina playing or other activities which mobilise the joint are painful, do not increase suppleness or mobility and can increase the deterioration of the joint. Certain exercise can help with certain types and locations of arthritis, in building and strengthening muscle to support the joint, but exercise would need to be targetted towards specific muscle groups in order to help finger and thumb joints with arthritis, rather than general suppleness Alex West
  5. I cheated (only slightly) and got a local jeweller/silversmith to make and replace the tops for me. I cant remember offhand how much she charged but it wasn't a fortune Alex West
  6. In the UK, you can get supplies from some of the makers, eg Dipper, Wheatstone, Norman and possibly others as well as Mark at Concertina Spares. Alternatively, C A Cornish supplies - see https://www.cacornish.co.uk/musical-instruments/. I believe they were introduced to the concertina by Dave Elliott Alex West
  7. LR71 The vendor sent me some additional pictures which - to my eyes at least - confirm that the base instrument is a Lachenal with their typical gate and lever action rather than a riveted lever. The stamp on the fretted ends looks like the C Jeffries font, but the ends themselves aren't as finely detailed as you'd expect from a C Jeffries. Restored, it might be worth what a typical 30 key Lachenal would be, but the vendor didn't tell me (or didn't know) what keys the instrument is in Alex West
  8. Looks like a 46 key Maccann duet Alex West
  9. McCarthy, I have a 62 key Lachenal New Model Maccann which I'm looking to move on as I'm principally an anglo player. It's been fully restored and I can send you some more information and pictures if you're interested. I'm looking for around £2,000 plus postage/courier Alex West
  10. Yes Marien, I meant Titebond Original which is an aliphatic resin Alex West
  11. If I'm removing old chamois to replace with new, I always clean off any old glue so that I'm glueing directly to wood. In some cases, this has meant re-fixing the triangular reed-pan support blocks so that the height matches. I've never had a problem cleaning up either the PVA or Titebond (which sets brittle and can chip off easily) but I'll happily give fish glue a try. I like animal glues in general, but I'll give Gorilla glue a miss... Alex West
  12. I mostly play English/Scottish tunes with occasional forays into Swedish and Quebecois. I mostly play a G/D box, but yes, I use the thumb like a normal button as an addition to chords. I rarely (well, never) use it as a drone - though I can see if you're playing Irish style concertina you might find the D (or even a G?) useful Alex West
  13. I usually use either a woodworking PVA or Titebond. You don't need much and both work OK Alex West
  14. Paul Read. Nice bloke, on this forum and good for this job I'm not sure why you're in such a rush to make this change though. On a typical 38 key Jeffries, you have D in both directions, but the C/F thumb button gives you a C on the draw and an F on the push which you otherwise don't have at that pitch Alex West
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