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Alex West

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Everything posted by Alex West

  1. Goodness! Well done Andy - now if only I'd kept a picture of the instrument (or knew who'd won it) I'd be much better informed! Alex West
  2. I stand corrected Stephen - my error. But if it was originally tuned to A=439, then my conclusion remains - there's no pressing need to retune just to move up to A=440Hz? Alex West
  3. Back to the original post - Everett, if you're happily playing along with other players in a 1927 original pitched instrument, then they're either all string players who can tune up to you or they're tone deaf. There's no way that you can play comfortably on an A=452Hz instrument with others in A=440Hz. If the others are happy to retune to you, then keep going - you don't have to change a thing. If you do decide to retune to A=440Hz, then the reeds won't necessarily be compromised. Sure, some metal will be removed (mostly at the root) but there are adjustments that can be made to the response to keep the reeds sounding well. Get the work done by someone who knows what they're doing and you'll be fine. The decision to go for an equal temperament or one of the unequal temperaments is a different decision and may depend on what the box is already in as well as what you prefer Alex West
  4. I had this issue on a concertina which originally had metal handrests so I replaced them with shaped wooden handrests which lifted the joints (which Chris Ghent so anatomically described!) and made it much easier. On another note, there are concertina players in Brisbane who might be able to let you try their instruments. I sold one there a year or so ago - a fairly basic Lachenal - but I know of at least one person there who has a stable of more exotic instruments. I'll ask and see if they're prepared to let you have a try - if lockdown permits... Alex West
  5. Alex No, the reed pans were clear and free of holes when I got the concertina. I tried the trick with screws but the bellows were still fouling the reeds at the intermediate position so rather than "nail gun" the pans with screws I decided to use the wooden wedges as a neater solution Alex West
  6. I had this issue in a bad way on one concertina I refurbished. Here's my solution - thin wedges of wood alongside the valves with the tallest part of the wedges where it would touch the inside of the bellows Alex West
  7. I'm guessing this is the one that sold last night (21st July) and went to £945. Given the condition it looked to be in - bellows sound and woodwork intact - I'd say this was just about right. I certainly wouldn't have gone any higher and I've been told I don't need another concertina Nice looking instrument Alex West
  8. Larten There's lots of reasons why a reed can stall or refuse to sound. Too close to one side of the frame; too little gap between reed tip and frame; too much gap between reed tip and frame; too tight in the reed pan slot... Whereabouts in Scotland are you? I'm in Ayrshire if that might help you find the solution Alex West
  9. ...and mine's a similar press. with the thin veneers, the dampness of the epoxy and the relatively small amount of curvature being created, the plywood bends easily and takes the form with no trouble. Alex West
  10. How do you make the blanks for new raised ends? I've done this by making a male and female mould to the dimensions of the area of the raised portion - circular for one instrument and a sort of ellipsoid for another - then making a laminated board from multiple layers of veneer using a Cascamite epoxy as recommended by Steve Dickinson (other glues/epoxies are available!). Here' a picture of the moulds with the right hand end as (more or less) finished Alex West
  11. Reuben Yes, the Koot Brits 40 key G/D is still available Alex West
  12. Sorry Peter, All of mine are 26 key or above. Some may be suitable as a beginner instrument but all are more expensive than a 20 key would be. I'll send you a PM with some suggestions when I'm back home in a few days Alex West
  13. I got this case from a yacht chandler a good few years ago. I've a feeling they were made in Italy but with a Netherlands distributor. I had to add the padding but they were around £70 if I remember rightly. Plywood frame, leather clad, very robust
  14. Arktrav This attached PowerPoint file won't be identical to your layout I'm sure but might give you a clue and a starting point. The stave represents the treble clef and the note values from G2 upwards) are as you get from a Peterso tuner Good Luck! Alex West 32 Key GD Jeffries.pptx
  15. Arktrav On a 30 key instrument, the C row is the same on "most" CG instruments. There are likely to be some variations on larger instruments for the buttons outside the core 30 key pattern. The G row on a CG is not the same as the G row on a GD. The lowest notes and highest notes (little finger) are almost certainly different values and the whole row is an octave lower on a GD than on the CG Wheatstones tended to be a lot more "standard" than Jeffries, but variations are possible, particularly on the accidental row or at the upper end of the range either as customs from original or as modified by players over the years to suit preferences F# over E is the standard for a Wheatstone GD in that position, but F# over A is common on a Jeffries and preferred by some players who may have swapped the A in there or had Wheatstone put it there originally No such thing as a daft question! Alex West
  16. Indeed Richard - my mistake. The G makes perfect sense Alex West
  17. OK - All of the other keys I checked have the equivalent of A5 there - apart from the Bb/Fs which all have a G there when I would have expected a Gsharp. Apart from one Bb/F instrument which had a C in that position Alex West
  18. And I've just checked my records on Jeffries CG instruments - yep, they all have A5 there. I'll take a look at the other Jeffries in other keys for which I have maps and see if it's the same equivalent Alex West
  19. George Yes, the Ab/Eb is still available. I've attached a file with some more information and pictures and if you send me a PM with your email address, we can talk further. There's no drone under the left thumb with a 27 key instrument, and even if there was, it would typically be Ab/Ab. It would be possible to swap a couple of reeds around to get a Bb drone under the left little finger, or there's space to add an extra button and a couple of reeds to get a drone but that's a job for one of the makers I'd suggest Alex West C Jeffries AbEb.docx
  20. I thought that might be the case Ciaran but the element of doubt put me off bidding as high as you were obviously prepared to risk! With the cost of a new set of bellows, you must be getting close to the top end price for a Jeffries Duet though, add in the tuning of 102 reeds... Brave man! Alex West
  21. Joachim I used this method specifically to be able to re-use the leather end binding without damaging it. The pictures below show the edge binding I wanted to save and the new bellows built around the old leather. If you want to make a completely new bellows, then you don't need to take such care. If it's a vintage concertina, then it may well be a water soluble glue or a glue softened by heat. In my experiments, it came off without heat or water. In fact it may have been less messy as the old glue turned to powder when I ran the feeler gauge along. In a newer concertina, I would not be sure what glue might have been used to attach the leather to the end frame. No problem to contact me if you want assistance Alex West
  22. Joachim I'm not sure how good your English is or how Google will cope with the translation but here goes! I have done this so it's possible but I won't say it's easy and it is not without risk. It might be more easy or more difficult, depending on what the concertina is and how the bellows leather was glued to the frame. In my case, it was a vintage concertina and there was a layer of cloth glued to the frame and the leather was then glued to that, either using a starch glue or a rabbit skin (or similar hide) glue. Basically, I peeled back the chamois gasket at the edge of the frame and slipped a feeler gauge between the frame and the bellows. If you do this in the middle of a side, the glue seems to be weaker near the brass 'nut" where the end bolt goes and it's easier to get the feeler gauge in here anyway. Since I was going to re-cover the frame with new cloth, I wasn't worried if the cloth ripped but I was careful to keep the bellows intact. Once you can work the feeler gauge down the full depth of the bellows frame, you can then work it backwards and forwards to the corners and you should find that the leather/cloth comes free. You may have to wiggle the feeler gauge a bit and approach the corners from both sides and have a bit of patience. but with a time and small steps, the corners come free and it's possible to remove the frame. If you want any more help and think that I can assist, feel free to PM me Alex West
  23. Did anyone else see the Jeffries Duet which went at auction today at Sworders auction house? According to the declared condition, it sounded to be a bit of a wreck which makes the hammer price of £1,300 plus a buyers premium of 30% (inc VAT) a bit of a surprise. I don't see much change out of £2,700 to get this to playing condition and if it was bought by a dealer, that pushes the value up towards £3,000 which is surely a bit steep for a 51 key Jeffries Duet - even with the history of this one Alex West
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