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Alex West

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  1. Ah - OK - I didn't see that Alex West
  2. Definitely not in the right position. The reed should sit just above the shoe, like it's neighbours. Be careful, but if it was playing OK before, then the likelihood is that it's just caught there due to a hair, spec of dust or the reed being a little tight in the shoe and getting stuck during playing. In which case if you take the reed pan out, take the reed out and - very gently - push the reed with a small wooden coffee stirrer, it should snap back into place. If it takes more than a very small effort, there's something else going on. If you have a thin feeler gauge, you could run that along the sides between the reed tongue and the shoe just to make sure there's nothing stuck there. Good luck! Alex West
  3. Matt I know some of the anglo concertina players in Edinburgh but there aren't many. I'm SW of Glasgow if that's any use sometime? And I can put you in touch with the Central Scotland Concertina Group if you're interested (mostly English system players) Alex West
  4. I've got enough takers now so I'll get them ordered today. I'll probably have a couple of spare sheets if anyone else is interested Alex
  5. Clive UK price would be around £35 per sheet. The quote (only valid until 30th April 2024) is $315.50 plus around $60 for postage from US plus a bit to cover UK postage at an exchange rate of 1.25. I'm not looking to make a profit on them so if they come in cheaper, I'll pass that on. I imagine that the quote would be revalidated beyond 30th April if we get interest beyond then Alex
  6. I've been searching for German silver or nickel-silver sheet to make new ends for a concertina with wrecked ends. I've been trying to get a specification of 65% Copper, 18% Nickel, 17% Zinc - at least this proportion of Nickel under advice from a respected maker. It's not proven easy to obtain and certainly not in the size and small quantity I need - 2 sheets of around 200mm square at a thickness of 20SWG - .036" or 0.914mm. There are places in the US which have this grade in 300mm squares, but to get 2 ends, I'd have to get 2 sheets and there's be a lot of waste. I found one place which has offered to do a special order of 10 sheets at 200mm square - but I only need 2 (4 at the most). Is there anyone who would need or want the remaining 6 sheets for their project(s)? Contact me and we can discuss pricing, postage and all those things if you're interested Alex West
  7. I use a marble wall tile. Flat enough and the leather doesn't seem to slip too much. I've not noticed the edge dulling, but then I strop the knife fairly regularly And like Jake, I use a saw blade, ground to a shallow profile. I've made a few in curved, straight cut and also in right and left hand angled versions Alex West
  8. Peter, Alan - I understand; my BBb tuba made in 1916 had extra lengths of tubing added at a later date in order to make it in tune at A=440Hz. But I remain confused; a typical concertina at that time would also be in high pitch - so a high pitch trombone in Bb would match a high pitch Bb concertina, whereas a high pitch B concertina would be a semitone sharp? I've checked and I don't think the concertina I have is a Bb/F in high pitch. Unless you're saying that people ordered a B/F# concertina in A=440Hz so that it would play harmoniously with a Bb trombone in A=452Hz? Alex West
  9. Thanks Alan - That would make sense if it was Bb/F - but B/F#? Alex West
  10. I recently acquired an anglo concertina from around 1880 and although the reeds are stamped as if it's in C & G, it seems to play in B and F#, even accounting for the probability of it being in an old pitch somewhat different from A=440Hz. It's not the first time I've had a B/F# and I've been told by very reputable sources that it was very common in the 19th century. Has anyone any idea why B/F# should be so common then? Alex West
  11. I had a concertina with bad smells. I "soaked" the bellows in a UV light for 36 hours and fixed a small piece of charcoal filter material inside the bellows where it wouldn't interfere with playing. The owner (very sensitive to mould and odours) declared herself fully satisfied with the result and could play the instrument once more without bursting into coughing fits Alex West
  12. Stasia It really doesn't matter which side you rest the instrument on. Whatever feels comfortable for you. Some really good players of both Anglo and English rest the bellows on their knee as they feel it gives them greater freedom of movement and accepting some wear - on the basis that bellows are relatively easy to replace albeit at a cost. Some people put a cloth over their knee to minimise the abrasion and hence wear. Personally, I don't subscribe to either of these views but that's just my preference Hand straps should be a bit looser than you think. If they're too tight, you won't be able to move your fingers freely enough to reach all the notes fluently (or at all). A Hayden or duet player may have a different view, but as an anglo player, The heel of my hand, the non-playing finger(s) and the back of my hand for a 3-point support giving stability and a strong basis for pushing, pulling and control as necessary I hope that helps Alex West
  13. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/276301783355?hash=item4054dea13b%3Ag%3ATuQAAOSwy9BkwUp-&amdata=enc%3AAQAIAAAA4IKKvW%2FiFnFMi8xl7LqpYGZLwJN13izJsmxNElCToD4TQ1b9xdOR0oImZFh3cP%2BhxEzsbWNG2GOxwt%2Bp8CaVgLnKOZ8PtrSz2QLM7atOC5cFAJKun8Awc0wH87CHk2T7YSIAnAc7jLIDJinIUImIuiDfufAzv7DEROjLyD%2B2eDoLkCHo0MUPSQZr5WMWuXhxsX8L9kD7Gy2waLKBj844nIkzaCGy9jI434XC1EUlYy4Oki1C4k%2B6Gv%2BnlNodroJPqwENy8BNf22wDLHkgqGuhE2UOSy3DwD7qUxAJbS1o0OB|tkp%3ABk9SR6KPtoSoYw&LH_Auction=1 Looks suspicious to me with the Buy It Now price hidden in the description? What do others think? Alex West
  14. Just a small correction to Wim's article. I've made a couple of wooden ended raised ends, copying another maker's methods. The ends aren't carved out of a solid piece of wood, they're made by glueing several plies of veneer together and pressing in a mould. I can't comment on the acoustic effect but I find it hard to believe it's significant. Alex West
  15. The raising or doming of the ends has nothing to do with button height above the end when the button is pressed. Buttons can be made shorter and felt washers can be removed (or added) to adjust the depressed height to suit the player. I believe that the Jeffries and Lachenal New Model raised ends were both made based on a circular mould (but I only have a limited sample). In both cases the surface around the buttons is flat. There is a slight weight reduction in having raised ends but I doubt this is significant. They do look cool though 😎 Alex West
  16. Many thanks Geoff - interesting details! Amazing that the bellows have survived relatively unscathed for 145 years! Alex West
  17. Thanks Stephen For future reference - is Geoff's data here at cnet or do you have a personal copy? Alex West
  18. This nice little 26 key concertina has come my way recently. In most respects, it's identical to 26 key wooden ended Jeffries that I've seen before but: It's not stamped C Jeffries Maker on the sides of the action frame The levers are steel, not brass The bellows papers are the dot & cross Lachenal type papers It has a number 8115 stamped on the left and right action boards and reed pans The seller thought it was a G Jones, but my working assumption is that it's a Crabb, dating from the 1880s. The reeds are stamped as for a C/G but it sounds as though it's a Bb/F. The left hand lever layout as pictured is peculiar - I've not seen one quite like that before Any thoughts? Geoff? Alex West
  19. I've a decent 30 key C/G Jeffries which I've recently restored and which might be suitable for you. (I have a 30 key Lachenal as well but I doubt that's much of a step up from your Phoenix). I'm away from home at the moment but can send you more details and maybe FaceTime (or similar) to show you "live" in a few days Alex West
  20. SR = Steel Reeds, 6F = 6 fold bellows, CP = Concert Pitch Depending on what you're looking for, I have a couple that you might be interested in Alex West
  21. I have a couple if you're still looking Steve. PM me for details Alex West
  22. A hide glue should do it, but rather than holding the strips of fabric (or leather?) in place, you can either use butterfly type document clips to clamp the strips or make up a couple of hexagonal blocks to fit just the inside of the bellows and bolt them through to clamp all the folds at one go. If you want to be refined about it, you can put paper in between each fold to stop the folds sticking to each other. If the glue has failed on the external "peaks" and corners, then it's a different ball game. You could strip off the external binding, glue some fabric over and replace the binding but by the time you've done that, you're well on the way to making a new set of bellows Alex West
  23. 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
  24. Have you tried C A Cornish? https://www.cacornish.co.uk/musical-instruments/ Alex West
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