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Alex West

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Everything posted by Alex West

  1. A couple of other suggestions, depending on how far you want to go, similar to and expanding on Shayfogs' suggestions. It doesn't have to be sycamore to fill (or partially fill) the lever pivot hole. A matchstick will do, glued in with woodworking glue. You can recreate the serrations on the side of the brass lever post by gently (but firmly) squeezing the corners of the post in a pair of pliers - not so hard as to cut the post in two, just enough to crimp the edges a little. This should deform them enough that there's some "teeth" to grip into the wood in the hole Alex West
  2. Have you tried C A Cornish? https://www.cacornish.co.uk/musical-instruments/ Alex West
  3. I've a 38 key Shakespeare in Bb/F which might be of interest? Obviously not a Jeffries but I use it as a regular player and it's got speed and volume. Zoom or FaceTime is of course possible, as is a trip over to Belfast ... Alex West
  4. Mark supplied me with some parts recently and I know someone who's restoring an instrument with a set of Mark's bellows so I wouldn't give up on him. Try a direct contact rather than rely on the rumours spread here Alex West
  5. That would be logical, Stephen. Any clue as to date? I agree about the lovely sound. Mine's a CG and it's full, rich and ringing. Mine has a different but similarly awkward lever arrangement for the lowest LHS button... Alex West
  6. I have a 26 key Jeffries which has very similar (but not identical) wooden ended fretwork. Mine has a C Jeffries stamp on the veneer on the RHS. I wouldn't rule Jeffries out without further examination. I can send you some pictures of mine if that helps Alex West
  7. Whereabouts in the world are you Pete? As Jim says, Barleycorn are the most well known dealer but there are plenty of experts on the site and with any luck someone will be close enough to give you a face-to-face opinion before you make any decisions Alex West
  8. Ugly, yes, but I use one to keep my concertina when I'm on the boat - totally waterproof! Alex West
  9. I have a Lachenal New Model Maccann Duet and have in the past had a Wheatstone Maccann (and have seen and worked on plenty of the latter). In general, the quality of a Wheatstone up to roughly 1930 is at a higher level than a Lachenal. The action is always riveted and therefore smoother/faster and the reeds are of consistent quality. Although there were different prices for different grades of Wheatstone (as you'll see from contemporaneous catalogues), there's a smaller difference between the lowest and best quality Wheatstone than there is between the lowest and best quality Lachenal. Having made that general point, specifically the New Model Lachenal (and the Edeophone - although I've never worked on an Edeophone Duet), are of very high quality. The reeds are at least as good as a Wheatstone and the precision of the lever/gate action is very good - almost the equivalent of a Wheatstone. So I'd say that if I was in the market, given that Wheatstones probably have a price premium because of the brand name, I would consider either a Lachenal New Model or a Wheatstone and want to try both to see which one suited me before I committed - and thatI would then be unlikely to be disappointed in the Lachenal Alex West
  10. I'm sure I was told (by someone who should know) that the fretwork ends on this age of Wheatstone would have been a ply of ebonised veneers rather than solid ebony. The wear at the top of the picture certainly seems to indicate that a piece of veneer has broken away. When I made new ends for a big duet, I was advised (by the same person who should know) to make a sandwich of stained tulipwood veneers using Cascamite to bind them together, then sand, seal and polish in the normal way. My experience was that when I routed the edges and polished them, I didn't get the "grinning" effect that Dave describes but I'm sure that's possible; maybe I was lucky. I used an offcut piece of the same veneer sandwich to repair some of the moulding on a Lachenal anglo recently. Again, I think I managed to hide the veneer edges - although I guess they might show through in time Alex West
  11. I've used C A Cornish in the UK https://www.cacornish.co.uk/musical-instruments/ I could be wrong but I believe it was Dave Elliott who spoke to them and set them up to market leather for concertina components. You do have to be specific about the sizes and thicknesses you require for the appropriate reed slot size but I've found them to be helpful and deliver quickly. I've not used them for very big valves Alex West
  12. Hammer Price was £1,300 with a buyer's premium (inc VAT) of 29.4% Alex West
  13. Norman The reed pans in most traditionally built concertinas are removable - they lift out from the bellows frames. The reeds you can easily see by removing the action are the reeds which sound when the bellows are pulled, and the reeds on the opposite side of the reed pan are the "push" reeds. If you can't see an item of dust which is stopping the reed from sounding, it may still be that the reed is blocked within the reed frame so removing the fame carefully from its locating slot (and you'll have to remove the reed pan from the bellows frame to be able to gain access) and inspecting the reed, making sure there is a gap between the reed and the frame, may well clear it sufficiently. Alex West
  14. There are more photographs on the Saleroom listing for this instrument. It's difficult to be certain without a closer and internal inspection but the only indication of this being a Jeffries is surely the bellows? Alex West
  15. I'm in Scotland Matt. You'll find the shipping to Scotland from Kansas just as expensive! Alex West
  16. Sandra In an old publication - Concertina & Squeezbox Magazine - there was a great article on Left hand chords. I've enclosed a snapshot here. If you send me a PM with your email address, I'll forward a .pdf file of the whole article Alex West
  17. Jeffries made instruments with 26 keys. I have one in C/G and one in G/D. Sizes are as Roger has noted above. They're both great sounding instruments and I play them regularly, although they aren't my absolute favourites as they obviously lack the note reversals in the accidental row and lack the lower buttons (and left thumb) which give such good options for chords Alex West
  18. It's a polyurethane glue (Gorilla Glue is a UK trademarked equivalent I'd guess) which has some advantages and disadvantages compared to PVA and aliphatic resins. I'm not saying it's bad or being at all critical, and I don't claim to be an expert but it might not be so good (for example) with very fine or hairline cracks. I would think that it wouldn't flow into the cracks in the way that Captain Tolleys or Chair Doctor would and it might start to expand a bit too quickly Alex West
  19. I've just got a 30 key metal ended anglo in for a clean, minor refurbishment and tune-up. Number is 201002. What would the database reckon? Alex West
  20. I settled on Chair Doctor when I did a comparative test of a few glues when I was sticking ebony veneer to sycamore for a bellows end repair. Chair Doctor was the strongest and I've used it on hairline crack repairs since. I've not tried Captain Tolley's on wood (though I have a tube of it on my fibreglass boat🙂). Alex West
  21. I use an aliphatic resin glue called Chair Doctor, made (if I recall) by Veritas. I'd suggest it's a bit more user-friendly than CA. It's quite thin and works by capillary action to get into the very tiniest cracks. I tend to flood the cracks with the glue using a small syringe applicator (or similar), then "pump" the cracks gently to make sure the glue is getting to all the hidden parts, then clamp (as necessary) to make sure the wood sets in the correct conformation. It goes off in about an hour and is very strong but you can wipe off the excess after 5 or 10 minutes. Depending on the application, there may not be any need to refresh the surface finish (French polish or otherwise. If you do use a syringe, make sure you clean it out afterwards otherwise the glue sets in it and it can't be used again! (DAHIKT) Alex West
  22. I I made a case from ply covered with leathercloth to replicate the one which a particular instrument came in which was a card based case and falling apart. One of the issues with ply is that it's inevitable that on at least one of the sides, the grain will be perpendicular to the edge so the ply will tend to split at the hole and on the parallel sides, if you drill the holes too close to the edge, the top ply can part away completely if the holes are too close to the edge. My stitching isn't as neat as Alex's but since it was all covered with leathercloth, any errors were covered up. It's a very strong case, but it was very time consuming. In the vintage Wheatstone case I have, the inner card is just stuck to the sewn leather outer which would make life a lot easier I suspect Alex West
  23. Except some of them are bamboo. Might not be an issue but I prefer to use something that's vaguely like a real tree-wood Alex West
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