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Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

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Posts posted by Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

  1. On 8/3/2023 at 8:09 PM, 4to5to6 said:

    To throw in something new here…  but closely related…. I’ve noticed that the edge of the tongue clamp in Wheatstone reeds is often not in line with the reed opening underneath the tongue.  Is there a possibility that this misalignment of the clamp at the pivot point is done on purpose to cancel some unwanted harmonics (in-harmonics)?

    I haven't heard of that as something someone would do on purpose, its probably just the drilling jig for the bolt holes in the reed frame was set up in a hurry or was a bit mis-aligned. It was just a simple little drilling jig that held the frame and clicked into two positions. Or maybe it got knocked half way through a batch or something like that. 

  2. Is that an unplayed original wheatstone in factory condition? Very rare to see that. It looks 1950s from the fretwork perhaps, you can check the serial number and date in the wheatstone books on the horniman museum website. If it's 1950s it's not their top top work but probably still good to play and will have some value to it.

  3. 31 minutes ago, 4to5to6 said:


    it would be interesting to see when this document was written.  I’ll look around for it. Thanks.

    Here is a link to the thread with the document Geoff wrote, it's quite an interesting read. https://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?/topic/20077-post-wwii-wheatstone-reed-pans/#comment-187627

     

    Document downloadable from Geoff's post on the thread at the bottom of the page

  4. Geoff crabb did a document about this process wheatstone used a while ago where it was described as a cost cutting approach wheatstone tried at one point. It was something c.wheatstone and co did or had made on purpose and not a later mod according to the document. 

     

  5. 1 free prime concertina given to each new Amazon prime subscriber, so long as the subscribers subscription is a prime number in the list of all subscribers

     

    Edit: you might have to make a lot of them though

     

    • Haha 1
  6. 5 hours ago, SteveS said:

    I've found someone on Etsy who can make clicker dies for valves, and an oval die for a pad.  Circular clicker dies are available off-the-shelf.  I'll need a clicker press too, and a modest small press costs less than €200.

     

    Its ok you should not need a press really - these dies can just be hand tools used with a hammer. A friend of mine had good things to say about this company: http://www.woodash.co.uk/index.html who made him some hand strap clickers

     

    or you could try this one if you cant get hand punches made at the above.

    http://www.sjwestpressknives.co.uk/our-products-and-services/

     

    Both in Northamptonshire which is an area with a long history of shoe manufacture. I would investigate woodash first - they have the worst looking website which probably means they are the best to deal with! That is just my experience with suppliers anyway! 

    • Like 1
  7. 14 hours ago, Wally Carroll said:

    Made mine a long time ago so I don't know pipe sizes (or alloys) offhand, but I cut off a piece of steel pipe about 6" long and sanded the ends square on a disc sander.  I then rotated the pipe on an angle against the disc (possible by hand but I don't remember) to sharpen one end.  I then took it to a vise and crushed the sharpened end into an oblong shape with a piece of metal inside the hole at the sharp edge to prevent it from closing too far.  Took a bit of trial and error to get all the sizes I needed using different diameter pipes but I've been using the same punches for 20 years now and they've never been heat treated and only have been resharpened with needle files maybe a couple of times ever.

     

     

    Well that has clearly worked well for you, sometimes the simplest way is the best. I had some made by a company, I can't remember the name of but probably would have done it the same way as you If I had thought of it!

  8. 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

  9. 16 hours ago, Theo said:

     

    It's a standard process among accordion tuners to work on the reeds in situ.  I tune both accordion and concertina reeds.  For accordion reeds you need a one file for raising the pitch, a scratcher for lowering pitch, and a reed lifting tool to lift the underside reed to where you can work on it.  There is a bit more to it than that, and I recommend practicing on some old reeds of little value, otherwise you may end up damaging expensive new reeds.

     

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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/

    • Like 1
  12. 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.

     

    • Like 1
  13. 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.

    • Like 1
  14. 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. 

  15. 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!

  16. On 9/18/2022 at 4:28 PM, wes williams said:

    If we go back to late 1920s/early 1930s, Lachenal were suggesting that it would take around 5 - 6 weeks to produce and despatch Edeophone and New Model concertinas, as they were not stocked but built to order. See bottom of page 2 of this price list.

     

    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.

  17. 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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