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Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

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Posts posted by Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

  1. I think they must have had different qualities of reeds, as they catered to quite a wide price range. On one end you have simple mahogany ended anglos and Englishes with routered ends at and edeophones and such things at the other.


    However I have found that even within the same model of concertina made by lachenal there is a huge variation. They did this metal ended anglo with black end frames, most I have played of this model have been basically pretty bad but there have been one or two real gems. Massive variation.


    Perhaps their quality control was not that set but that is only a guess

  2. These materials look very exciting Dana! I have never worked with this sort of thing, the closest thing I have used is birch ply which we use a lot in the modelmaking industry. This stuff looks a lot denser and more beautiful, the possibilities for musical instruments are vast!


    I will try and find something like this in the uk..

  3. My initial interpretation was that the reeds are accordion style but mounted on brass plates, instead of aluminium.

    That was a guess, but it would be an interesting development if they were.


    Of course, how they are attached to the wood is as important as what they are made of. They show that the reeds are single, not double, and fit in a dovetailed slot. So maybe they are traditional concertina reeds in every respect. That's what comes over from the pictures, so why don't they make it a bit clearer?

    They could have just said, reeds made in the Wheatstone/Jeffries style, or in the style of vintage concertinas from England.

    That's how I would market them. But maybe the actual reed tongues are accordion reeds, with the brass plates custom made.


    I'd love to know.


    Edit : After watching a few of the videos, they seem to have a good authentic concertina sound, and describe the vintage ones as having traditionally made reeds.



    well you can buy concertina reeds of a sort here:



    I don't mean to suggest that is whats in the instruments, I have no idea. They have been discussed here before, the general consensus being that after some slight modifications you can get great results. I have never actually tried an instrument built around them though.

  4. Just a thought


    Steve did the aeola feel nice to play? I mean was this spring pressure inconsistency noticeable while playing as opposed to pressing each button consecutively with the same finger?


    I have been wondering on this one, each finger is a different size and surely a different strength. It may be that this sort of deviation is actually not really noticeable. Or did it just feel a bit inconsistent to play?



  5. Hmm


    I originally purchased a c/g anglo to play all sorts of music on. English trad, Breton music, Irish trad, heavy metal covers ect. After a while I just got annoyed with it as mostly I wanted to play in G, D and A. When playing In D and A I found the non linear lay out of the scales quite non-intuitive so I got a G/D. I found G/D just simpler to play in these keys which for me made it a lot more fun

  6. My concertina case is wrapped in that sort of stuff. I have seen a lot of instrument cases with the same thing on them. Might be on a fabric type substrate though. Many years ago Rich morse was looking for something for bellows and found a number of coated fabric things, but they were either difficult to glue or had poor wear qualities. Eventually they just went to leather, but they do Wheatstone style bellows where papers are cosmetic, not used to cover the edges of the bottom hinge, gussets and top run, like on a Jeffries style bellows.

    But why go with faux leather when you could use the real thing if you are not looking for a printed pattern?




    good question.


    My reasoning was that for the cosmetic bellows paper (as you say not part of any of the hinges) a water-fast leather effect paper would be a cheaper and quicker alternative for bellows decorating as you would not have to bother with skiving the edges of lots of leather patches (unless you brought it very thin). I have a frank edgley concertina which has this stuff on it where it seems a pretty appropriate solution. I could always ask him what he used I guess

  7. this is kind of an aside but you might like some of the wallpapers designed by William morris:




    he was active as a designer/artist/political idealist pretty much during the heyday of concertina making and his designs are quite reflective of the tastes of that era. Have a scroll through on that website, I am pretty sure his designs would even make a good piece of inspiration to design a concertina end from.

  8. haha cool alex!


    I found it hard to find small quantities of spring wire but that site is great for it. Spring hard brass wire is also very hard to get full stop. Did you ever find a source of small quantities of spring hard brass wire? All I ever found for that stuff was commissioning a wire factory to make it which cost at least £300 and whoever I asked always seemed to gasp at the suggestion as if it was something deeply rare and esoteric.... Not helpful :P

  9. Hi Jake,


    I discovered the easiest way to taper the side of the shoes (reed holders) is to hold shoe in one hand, file in the other, place the shoe at approximate 7 degree and briskly rub against file: it is very quick if a new file is used..




    wait wait hold on, so you literally are putting the slant on the outside of the reed shoe at 7 degrees and that angle is done entirely by eye and feel? Or did I mis-understand


    I am not being critical I am just surprised

  10. I am always impressed by reed making.


    I remember when you posted ages ago showing how you laser cut the reed holders then used a filing jig to put angles on the sides. Did you find you had to file the frames a bit then test fit it in the reed pan and file a bit more and fiddle with it in this way until it fit the reed pan or was it generally pretty fast "reed frame in jig, run file across, done"

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