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Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

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About Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

  • Birthday 07/14/1990

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  • Interests
    Morris dancing, playing music and concertina construction
  • Location
    Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes

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Chatty concertinist

Chatty concertinist (4/6)

  1. you can always send it to C.Wheatstone and Co they are still trading. It might be best to do that rather than have new buttons posted to you - the buttons in your in your instrument might be different from the new ones they would have in some way and as a consequence the action might also need adjusting - which also then entails re tuning. The best thing to do would be to send it to a company that can re make/replace the buttons and then adjust the instrument all in one go, maybe there is someone in America who could to this rather than you having to send it to the UK - you could always investigate, but of course Wheatstone is still there. Best wishes Jake
  2. That all makes perfect sense, im imagining sounding the reeds while they are mounted in the reed blocks by holding the block over a tuning jig with an air hole that the reed block is placed over to activate each individual reed to detect the pitch it sounds while outside the instrument? I think Morse concertinas must have had a slightly different setup for tuning in their workshop as the action and reedpan were one glued together part and then the reeds were waxed on. Perhaps they had a tuning bellows which was set up in a different way and the whole action assembly could be attached and easily removed.
  3. Beware of one thing, if you wanted to put some different/better reeds in: I have made a number of instruments using voici armoniche tam reeds and once asked them if their a Mano sets were the same size as their tam and was told they are not, there may also be a difference between dural and tam but I have no idea. I used to order about 20 sets at a time from this company and it was a very very slow process. The reeds are good though to be fair to the company. Maybe the thing to do might be to try and obtain the sizes of the reed plates from the manufacturer and if it's going to fit your instrument then order a single set through carini if they are stocking them. There will be quite some fine tuning to do on the new reeds as well so you will need a decent tuning set up. I'm not sure how Morse concertinas did that as I know their reeds are waxed in, maybe with reed scratchers? I am not sure. Best of luck with the project if you decide to go ahead, it's not that easy a task
  4. Probably the best thing is to have one made for you at C.Wheatstone and Co - they are only in Stowmarket, a short drive from Ipswich. The cases made there are excellent, they are hard cases though. I would really caution anyone to not use soft cases for concertinas, its just asking for trouble, ask any concertina maker how many bashed in or bent in ends they have had to repair due to soft cases. http://www.wheatstone.co.uk/
  5. very very thick metal! Are the sides of the action box in that metal as well? It sort of looks as if they are.
  6. Is his son Bob ham, who lives in Moulton?
  7. Aha. With metal ends sometimes the problem relates to electroplating which is partially worn. The ends being either brass or nickel silver with usually a nickel plating to prevent tarnishing. After a lifetime of playing some wear is inevitable. There are a couple of ways to solve it you can have it stripped in an acid which attacks nickel which is probably ok for brass but risky on nickel silver or you can polish it and get it copper plated then nickel plated over the flawed original plating. I have had done the copper approach twice, once it went well and once it went badly. The main problem is concertina makers don't usually have their own electroplating equipment and you end up having to give the parts to someone else. That is where everything is very likely to go wrong. Thus in the end usually during repair the ends just get a not too aggressive polish as it's less risky.
  8. I believe Andrew Norman makes 40 button Anglo concertinas with accordion reeds, the instruments are 7" across the flats, his work is well made and the instruments play well. You can read about his work here: http://www.acnorman.co.uk/ Andrew has explored the possibilities of making concertinas with accordion reeds rather a lot from what I can see, probably more than anyone.
  9. Interesting design, can I ask: Is that instrument a bit bigger than 6 and 1/4"? Looks a bit bigger (not a bad thing for a 40b in my opinion) Im just curious as I lately played a 40b Wheatstone that was 6 and 1/2" - the extra space was used to put in longer scale reeds, it played really, really well. As in, honestly I think it was the best old concertina I have played.
  10. well done, its sometimes a bit overlooked, the need for a robust case that holds the instrument securely in the closed position. It looks great too.
  11. thanks for sharing the images. I haven't worked on any Jeffries duets actually, quite interesting.
  12. I have personally not had to deal with this issue ever, all of the 38 key Jeffries instruments I ever worked on had the inboard reed frames screwed down, does anyone have any pictures of this different not easily removable setup? Sounds like one to be wary of. Also Clive I did after a few years actually make a "reed pulling tool" to make taking reeds out for tuning - someone told me Geoff Crabb had one and I thought "well that sounds quite useful actually", easier on the finger tips!
  13. That is pretty interesting. I would say 5-6 weeks to make an Edeophone is very fast really, given the complexity of those instruments and how many hand made reeds they have. Its hard to say how many man hours that would be though - I would guess that the instrument would have been worked on by more than one person at once, making different parts. From what I have learned Lachenal and Wheatstone practiced very good division of labour and ran a rather efficient production line.
  14. I think you are quite correct in saying that the 20b was very rarely or almost never made to a top standard. No one ever particularly said this to me but I haven't seen a 20b that was made to the full extent of the makers abilities, I am talking about historic makers here. There is nothing to say someone could not approach a professional maker today and ask for a very well made 20b but it would be an unusual request as it would probably cost almost as much as asking someone to make a 30b. A bit less of course but probably not 1/3rd less as might be implied by the number of buttons. In for a penny, in for a pound as they say.
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