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Pete Dunk

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Everything posted by Pete Dunk

  1. The reed shoe wasn't a good fit and the hole in the reed pan was clearly visible with the shoe in place so there was undoubtedly an air leak; whether that small air leak caused any problems at all is unknown. I didn't think of using brown paper but I've filed this little nugget of knowledge for the future, in the meantime I hope the scrap of bellows leather does the trick. The long awaited bag of spares containing new pads, thumb-strap kit and stuff to patch the bellows before rebinding arrived this morning, I also got an email from David Leese letting me know that the first package has been returned to him marked 'not known at this address' which is not really surprising as he'd forgotten to include the village name and the postcode in the address! I'll be finishing off the last dozen or so valve replacements this afternoon and then moving on to the chamois gaskets and bellows patching, I hope to post more pics of the progress in the next couple of days.
  2. Short of sending the remains off for analysis we'll never know, and although I would be interested to know what it was I'm not interested enough to pay for the privilege. Not a lot has happened this week because I'm back at work after my holiday although the reeds and shoes are now all gleaming and most of the valves have been replaced. I would have finished them this evening but it's been a long day and I like to be in the right frame of mind when working on the 'tina, I'm sure the results will be better if it's pleasurable tinkering rather than a must do chore. The good news is that David Leese has posted out new spares as a replacement for the missing package, it should arrive tomorrow with a bit of luck. I'll be able to start on the bellows then, a prospect I find quite worrying, never having done any work with leather.
  3. I'd be interested in this material too David if you wouldn't mind posting or PMing the details. Pete.
  4. Work progressed in spurts again today, most of the reeds and shoes are now cleaned because the fibreglass pencil refills arrived this morning. One reed pan is now fully re-valved and the last dozen or so were done by my other half Sally who enjoys rolling her sleeves up and having a go at almost anything. Having watched me on the sly while I figured out the best way to do the job, she waded in and did her first one like an old hand; by the time she'd reached the last one she was working at least as fast as I had been and added a couple of refinements to the process along the way. Tomorrow I'll leave the other reed pan out with a bag of new valves and with a bit of luck she'll have finished the job by the time I get back from the pub! Before long I'll have to stop because the spares I need next are in the missing package David Leese posted last Monday. The postal service around here leaves a little to be desired sometimes. The last package from David that went missing ended up in a village four miles away and took weeks to finally arrive here. By that time a replacement had already been posted to me and I had to send the 'first' one back.
  5. I've now figured out how to post full sized pics from the webhosts site so here's a a closeup of the reedpan slot damage. To answer your question about the leather patch Dave, it was worked into the corner of the far slot to take in the curve and cover the hole from behind. It also straightened out the splinters on the far side of the hole so there's a fraction more wood back in place. As to the long term effectiveness of the patch, I simply don't know but the repair is reversible to allow a better solution at some time in the future. My thinking here was that the laws of physics dictate that the airflow will take the easiest path so there will be little stress on the patch and the bellows leather is airtight in itself. Sal is going to get the big digital SLR out later to take some better pics of the patch. The close up pic also bring another thought to mind. The machined surfaces of the slots through the reed-pan are quite rough and I wonder if there is any mileage in carefully smoothing the inside to improve the airflow. Porting and flowing might indeed produce a turbo-charged concertina! (only kidding ).
  6. Most of the people in the morris side have at one time or another worked with my other half. Some of them still do.
  7. Sorry Dirge, I posted over the top of you because my reply to Peter took a while to write. It was easier posting a link to a folder of pics but individual photos supporting the text is a better way to go about it. I had hoped the pics would show full sized like other images linked from the net but I suppose the whole idea of offering free space for files is to drag you to the hosts website and bombard you with adverts. Yes, I Iiked the the little printed note index too, presumably unique to Lachenal & Co.
  8. The marks that look like waterstains were made by some sort of gunge smeared on top of the chamois gaskets in an attempt to reseal the chambers. Dave Elliott thinks that putty was used but having glazed a few windows in my time I'd be surprised if it was because it came away from the wood so cleanly. That said it was very crumbly like old putty and perhaps the smooth finish of the sycamore action board prevented it from getting a really good key. I had a thought after my last post; perhaps all of the destructive work that was carried out was an attempt to stop the ghost notes caused by leakage in the badly machined G sharp chamber of the reedpan. The top shoe didn't fit too well so wasn't blocking the hole but perhaps that happened many years after it was made and the timber had moved opening up the slight gap at the side of the shoe. As to where it came from: - just up the road near Tunbridge Wells where your friend Pip will be going to pick up an old anglo 20 button this weekend if the price is right. I paid less than the asking price but more than I would have if I'd known the extent of the internal damage. T'was a 50/50 chance, I opened up the end that was pretty much ok and took it as read that it was indicative of the general state of the 'tina, I might have opened the other end and simply walked away. I've never worked on a concertina before but so far the work has been interesting, if a little laborious and repetative. Once you get the hang of what you're doing and feel confident about it the laborious and repetative parts becomes quite thereputic; until of course you come across a hole where no hole should be and your heart sinks to your boots! Then you find a way to work around the problem and you feel justly proud; I'm sure others would have used a different approach and packed the hole with plastic wood while covering the other side with clingfilm but I didn't have any plastic wood and I have an aversion to it anyway after seeing too many guitars botched with 'repairs' that can't be undone. I'll PM my phone number so if Pip gets his box and you're at a loose end this weekend we can take it to bits and have a good laugh about how much it will cost him to fix it up.
  9. The fibreglass pencil ran out of 'lead' halfway through the second side of the first reedpan! I'm now waiting for refills to arrive to complete the cleaning process. One of the orders from David Leese containing new pads and several other bits and pieces has gone AWOL in the post somewhere but my second order arrived this morning so I started revalve one of the reedpans. Before starting the revalving on one pan I repaired a couple of cracks on the other pan and set it aside for the glue to set before splinting to reinforce the thin chamber 'walls' The pegs were used a wedges to hold the split sections upright while the glue set. This pan needs new chamois leather gaskets to affect a proper seal so I stripped the old stuff of on that part of the reedpan so I could see what I was doing. Once that was done I set about the revalving in earnest, working my way around the reedpan from the smallest to the largest. I'd almost finished one side of the first reedpan when disaster struck. Nothing I'd done but a manufacturing fault that's been there since the concertina was made. One of the largest reed pairs had been machined so closely together that the cutter had opened up a hole between the reed shoe dovetail on one side and the valved slot on the other. I tried to cut a sliver of veneer to block the hole but it's just on the corner of the slot so I settled for a tiny patch of 0.2mm thick bellows leather with the edges skived. I glued it in place and waited half an hour before trimming off the excess, all in all the patch is only about 4mm x 3mm. The pic is a bit blured because my compact digital camera doesn't do proper macro and the light was too bright for me to see the image properly on the tiny LCD screen - that's my excuse anyway! After that I finished the revalving on that side of the reedpan and called it a draw for the day.
  10. I live in Kent, near Tenterden and would happily look at this concertina. I'm no expert with regard to anglos and duets but I can tell one from the other and determine the tuning pitch of the instrument. Advice is free for the asking, just drop me a PM.
  11. Last weekend I had the opportunity to try out quite an array of concertinas, one of which was a Wheatstone the like of which I've not encountered before. To descibe the action as crude really doesn't do it justice, your description 'staples' is correct and makes the Lachenal 'hinged' action look like a triumph of engineering! It was a pile; priced at £999 purely on the name. That said, my favourite vintage 'tina (of a dozen or so Wheatstones and Lachenals including a well restored and very playable Edeophone with slightly twisted (replacement?) bellows at a mere £1800) was a metal ended Lachenal treble that played like a dream. Sadly the asking price of nearly £1000 is in my opinion vastly over-inflated for the quality of instrument offered for sale. It is after all a basic Lachenal with the added banefit of plated ends and metal buttons, the bellows are servicable, a bit scuffed but not restored or replaced. I'd pay £800 gladly but no more. As sad as it makes me, I'll walk away from this lovely 'tina because it's time to say enough is enough. To be frank I'd rather save up £3500+ and buy a brand new top flight antique of the future from Wim Wakker. That way I'll experience the joy of a custom built instrument made in the traditional manner harnessing the power of modern technology. I think Sir Charles Wheatstone would approve.
  12. I've just started to reinstate a rosewood ended 48 key, brass reeded Lachenal treble and I wanted to share my progress, trials, tribulations and the possible disasters I may encounter along the way. The instrument has been poorly stored and has suffered botched amateurish attempts at repair along the way. I posted a folder of pics in the 'Test' forum which I'll now link to here. http://s279.photobucket.com/albums/kk137/p...henal%20Repair/ I'll add new folders of pics as I go along. All that's happened so far is that I've ordered a pile of spares from David Leese to repad and revalve; there are also numerous bits of leather to rebind and patch the bellows. In the meantime I've started to clean up the reeds and shoes with a fibreglass pencil as described in David Elliot's excellent Concertina Maintenance Manual. I must also thank David for his time, patience and invaluable advice when he gave the concertina a once over last weekend; his calm, structured approach to addressing the repairs gave me the confidence to start this project in a positive way. Please feel free to comment, advise, ask questions or poke fun as I go along.
  13. Concertina Connection quotes € 14.50 per key plus 19% VAT if you live in Europe so that would be € 345.10 for a 20 button instrument in the EC. If I had my old Lachenal 48 button English done it would cost far more than the concertina is worth. (edited to insert the € symbol - that took me a while to find!)
  14. I posted this version of the Londonderry Hornpipe on the Tune-O-Tron and set the Q value, I also rewrote the abc file in the correct notation for a hornpipe so that the midi file played pretty much as it should sound. I too was surprised that it shows a quaver as 300 in the published notation when the default note length is a semiquaver. To be fair I think the whole idea of abc and the associated tools is to give a good representation of the tune in question which players can pick up and run with rather than a slavishly accurate manuscript for accomplished sight readers. I'm pleased you now have a full version of the tune but what have you got against the third part?
  15. This page may help. Modal scales are all naturals, no accidentals. The note you start the scale on determines the main mode you are in, some of the modes like Phrygian sound very odd. You may have heard guitarists saying they are tuned to D modal (DADGAD), this is the Dorian mode, but mostly the chord shapes put the accidentals back in, it just doesn't take as many fingers!
  16. Whether you try to learn on the anglo depends on what it is. If it has 20 buttons then it will be diatonic in two keys - probably C/G. If it has 30 buttons or more then it will be fully chromatic but again with two 'home keys' which vary from one instrument to the next. If you are an accomplished musician already the Jack/Jackie might be too limiting and you will quickly outgrow them and need an instrument with a greater range. Check out the Morse and Marcus English concertinas but these are in a different class and price range. Morse and Marcus also make a 30 button anglo in D/A but Marcus charge extra for this tuning. The pipes sound nice but are lower in pitch than I expected, are they Scottish or Breton smallpipes perhaps?
  17. Just follow the two links I posted and then bookmark or add them to your favourites depending on your browser. You can also go to the http://www.concertina.net home page and click on the Tune-O-Tron link in the menu at the top of the page. I'm not sure that creating a desktop shortcut icon to a web page is even possible but if it is I don't know how you would do it.
  18. If you don't want to get too ambitious and want to keep the cost down I think the Jack Baritone concertina would be the kind of instrument that would serve you well. It would sit comfortably beneath the small-pipes pitch. A tutor book and soft case are included in the price. If it doesn't work out you will get a good second-hand price.
  19. The Tune-O-Tron is here and the Convert-A-Matic is here. You use them online, no need to download anything.
  20. The gold decoration on the ends makes it look more like a Lachenal to me. I might have had a stab at it if I could have made it to Lewes to check it over.
  21. A Planxty is a tune dedicated to or honouring someone so there will always be a name in the title. Pronounce it Planksti with a short i. The tune itself can be anything - waltz, hornpipe, reel , jig and so on. A number of Planxty tunes were written by Turlough O'Carolan, a renowned Irish harpist.
  22. This is quite easy, go to the page with the link to the mp3, right click the link and 'Save Target As' in IE or 'Save Link As' in Firefox
  23. Can anyone explain in simple terms the different rhythms that define the various tune types within a time signature. What makes a reel a reel for example, is it just speed or is it emphasis on particular beats? The thing that brought this question to mind is that at the top of a hornpipe tune was the helpful description that two quavers written together should be played as a dotted quaver and a semiquaver. Are there other such rules that define the rhythms of tunes types?
  24. Quite a few shanty tunes in abc format are to be found here from Stan Hugill's 'Shanties of the Seven Seas'. Cut and paste one of the song files into the Convert-A-Matic and click submit. You will see a rough draft of the notation, click on the tabs above to view a high quality PDF version you can print and/or save to your computer. You can also listen to/save a midi of the tune. Make sure you don't paste a blank line above or below the text or you will get an error. The Convert-A-Matic only allows one tune at a time and can't handle multiple tunes on a single page. Have fun!
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