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Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

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Everything posted by Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

  1. Well done on all the hard work and dedication you have and are putting into your work. I have been doing it a bit under 10 years and can see how demanding the job is especially if, like yourself you make your own reeds. It can be quite a demanding lifestyle in it's way, and it's a form of manufacturing which from what I have learned does not always fit easily into the modern manufacturing paradigm... So mostly the maker has to go at it alone. Best wishes from England and enjoy the world outside the workshop, you will have to tell me what that world is like exactly 😂
  2. Now that is fancy. Mine is literally just a broken hacksaw blade which I ground in a similar way!
  3. Probably all makers will offer this, all of the makers I can think of anyway.
  4. Gary thank you for sharing this video, I was not aware of what Mr Crook was up to. I met him some years ago and he seemed a good chap. Very interesting to see the ways of dealing with reed making people come up with, that belt sanding setup used to profile the reed is something I never imagined. Its a bit like the Italian way of doing it, but the belt sander they use is at a different angle with the reed flat to the workbench. There are a few videos of Italians making reeds this way on youtube as well.
  5. I did stainless ends at 0.7 at one point and would not recommend doing it any thinner, as Alex points out the design itself is quite a big factor as well. I would not personally go thinner than 0.7mm using any metal. Looking at older instruments most Lachenal instruments seem to have 0.7mm nickel silver, Jeffries can by anything between 0.7 and 0.91, the thicker 0.91 generally a bit better for the very fine fretwork some Jeffries do have. I once worked on a Wheatstone with 0.6mm ns ends and that was really a bit flimsy in my opinion, with pillars under the hand rest being a necessity. The pillars are quite relevant - on Anglo concertinas especially, they will stop the fretwork flexing if thinner metal is used, the thinner the metal, the more important they are. That is my experience anyway. Good luck with the project, can we see them when they are done? Its always interesting to see peoples work. Best wishes Jake
  6. The chart stating the prices of various reeds is interesting. Does anyone know which historical manufacturers the harmonicas company copied? Wheatstone? Jeffries? I never asked them I'm just interested though.
  7. I can play the melodeon and that was my first instrument, honestly I don't really pick the melodeon up anymore I was not dedicated enough to maintain what I would call a competent standard on melodeon and concertina at the same time. I can play tunes on it though. If anyone was living in Hertfordshire in the noughties they may well have seen a teenager with red hair busking with a melodeon, that was me. @Geoffrey Crabb you might have seen me, one of my regular places to play was Bishops Stortford. For years I was at it.
  8. It should be good, sorry you cant make it. We might have some videos taken at the event which I could upload to youtube. All the best Jake
  9. My local folk club - The Song Loft in Stony Stratford (England) is putting on a concertina music event here are the details: A Feast of Concertina Music -February 16th 2024 In recognition of International Concertina Day (6th February) the Song Loft brings to you four talented concertina players: Jasper Kanachowski, Stephen Ferneyhough and Jake Middleton-Metcalfe. If you want to learn more about concertinas and to hear some top-class performances this is the event for you. Steve Turner will be making a guest appearance and will play some tunes from his 9th album “Curious Times”. Doors Open 7.30pm. Event starts 8.00pm Tickets £11 from https://www.wegottickets.com/event/596607 or £12 on the door. here is a link to the song loft website: https://thesongloft.com/concerts-2021/ for those not familiar with the song loft it is at this address: York house centre, London Rd, Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes MK11 1JQ Perhaps some people on here might enjoy this!
  10. It's interesting that the frames were actually stamped at the note below what they actually are. It does sound like they stamped the notes before building the tongue or they then tuned the tongue up after it being already made. Anyway it sounds like you have long scale reeds there (all notes made 1 size bigger except the very highest) - and that would explain them sounding with less pressure and being able to play louder, sounds like a great instrument.
  11. good point about the hand rests. Perhaps its more significant in an English where you have no hand rests but still - on its own raising the ends (or indeed lowering the frames which is what is really happening) would be a very small difference in weight. Really the weight saving approach has to be applied to the whole design rather than just the ends if its to be a significant difference. I really have no idea about the differences in sound some people talk about with raised ends, but that is interesting to hear about.
  12. As in there was no or hardly any difference in sound between the wooden or metal ends? I have to say I found the same thing, I made 2 instruments to the same design and tuning one with wooden ends and one with metal and was astonished that it was incredibly hard to tell any difference. At a guess I would say it is probably more to do with the pattern of the fretwork and how large the holes are .. somewhere on here I posted a recording of it but I'm not sure I could find it now
  13. I am not sure which came first, the metal or wooden but it sounds to me that the metal end would most probably be more rigid, though I am not an engineer.
  14. I have been re reading this thread a bit. Firstly sorry I got a bit heated in my discussions with Goran Rahm (HansQ) This is a good forum, I don't mean to dis the forum generally. In relation to the weight idea though personally I have never actually done a precise weight test, to see what the actual difference would be in grams. It would actually be quite hard to precisely measure the weight saving unless you made two identical action boxes except one had raised ends (with slightly lower frames) and one had flat ends but both were designed to encase the same action and then weigh them both (before the action is built inside) and see the result. The reason for doing it that way is if you weigh an entire concertina (especially an old one) there are so many other variables in hand made instruments and the designs varied so much for example: is the diameter of the pad board holes the same im both the instruments? Or are the reeds the same size for a given pitch? Reed scaling is incredibly diverse in older instruments. Or did the wooden frames get machined to exactly the same thickness - or indeed the action levers in Wheatstone concertinas for example were just clipped to size by eye - someone might clip the lever with more overhang over the centre of the pad, someone with less - and all this could give difference in the weight - and you would weigh two seemingly similar complete instruments and see there is a difference in weight but you would have no idea what actually caused it. So its actually a bit hard to test that - if I ever do it... I will report back! Gosh this is going into it deeply though, we must remember the simple joys of enjoying playing some lovely music.
  15. I wish you all the best in this pursuit, and I hope it helps people in the EU to have such work undertaken more easily.
  16. Just to explain something that happened on this thread: HansQ is someone who was banned from this forum in the past who just made a new profile. He is banned again now. Hence the comments disappeared. Ehem, back to raised ends.
  17. HansQ can you clear one thing up for me, just something I have been wondering about: is your real name Goran Rahm?
  18. I think I would have to see the instruments you are measuring to validate any of what was just said. If you can't see why a heavier instrument is going to be harder to play if only fractionally then I don't think there is any hope for you on this one. More and more on this forum I see self appointed experts going on and on about things and when a professional adds something they are not even listened to. This is why most of the professionals in the UK are never posting on here and the online community is poorer for it.
  19. Basically the reason given for the raised ends design feature was: "less weight = less work for the player". I learned this at the C.Wheatstone and co workshop as part of a period of training that has lasted a number of years. I would caution people against over thinking this one.
  20. This philosophy has to be applied to all aspects of the design for it to make sense, if you just remove the few mm of height from the action box by adding raised ends it is a very small difference in weight - insignificant one might say. But if you then - reduce the weight of the buttons by making them metal capped plastic or just plain plastic or bone instead of solid metal, and then also use for example 1/16" brass for the reed frame clamps instead of 2mm and numerous other things then the end result of all of these efforts is of significance in terms of reducing the weight. The weight of the instrument isn't the be all and end all but it was believed by these designers to be a factor. Yes, added cost can be a factor in this - if a manufacturer would go down that route it depends really on if they are making an instrument up to a standard which the cost has to follow or down to a price and the quality has to follow that. It might seem finickity or a bit fussy as an approach but the thing is comparing a "very very good instrument" to "an instrument where you literally could not imagine it being any better" is probably only a matter of 5 or 10% in terms of performance (though I would not try too hard to quantify that mathematically). Also I should add, don't let it appear that I am saying anything without raised ends is bad, I'm just trying to explain the thinking of designers in the past. Personally I have never made an instrument with raised ends! 🤣Also I feel I should mention this funny story: I recently repaired what I considered to be a really bad instrument and was unhappy with it, when the musician (a very well known musician) collected it he played the most beautiful music I had heard in ages on it. Ultimately its the musician who makes the difference I suppose.
  21. I learned about this somewhat at C.Wheatstone and co who always do raised ends nowadays I think. The reason they do it is it lets you make the action box shallower, using less wood thus less weight. It is a very small difference but the philosophy is to try to improve the instruments performance where ever possible even if only by a small amount.
  22. Here are some of the measurements from concertinas which I have copied the button placement from in the past. There is variation of how grouped together the buttons are as well as how far from the hand rest. Measurements taken from edge of hand rest (the edge which faces the buttons) to the centre of the G push A pull button on the left hand side G row (assuming its a c/g anglo) Lachenal mahogany ended 30 button 52.63 modern Wheatstone anglo 30 button: 51.6 Jeffries 38 button: 49.28 Jeffries 31 button: 47.58 Based on that I would say that your measurement of 40mm to the centre of the G/A button on the left hand side is an unusually short distance - it is quite a bit below the historic instruments I have studied at any rate. Perhaps the manufacturer had some internal design based reason for doing this but it is unusual. I hope this is helpful Jake
  23. Just a question: is the glue joint between the strip of leather Which connects the bellows frames to the bellows securely glued? Or is it coming off. I only ask as there have been a number of new bellows turning up recently on old instruments where they don't even seem to be glued together in a manner that will keep. I have no idea who is making them. This might not be one of those though.
  24. play the highest E on a G/D then the lowest E alternately a few times being sure to play the low one a bit too hard so the pitch bends and it sounds like a donkey. I always play that noise at the end of our version of the song "donkey riding"
  25. I always denoted middle C as C4 (scientific pitch notation) and uploaded a variety of diagrams to my website. I think its easy enough to work out what is what when looking at these diagrams but the fact that people would use different numbers might confuse people - C.Wheatstone and co supply a nice diagram which has the notes on the stave for each button which clears up any doubt, probably that is helpful to include on the diagram as well as the octave numbers (from whichever octave numbering system one chooses). I would like to do that at some point.
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