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Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

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Posts posted by Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

  1. tell you what this post has got me thinking, thank you for sharing your ideas dana.


    I am quite intrigued by the technique of bevelling the cards at the top and the bottom to get around the fact the bellows have to stretch to the closed position (given that they were made in the open position)


    The way I got around this problem was:


    1: put my runs of cards on the mould (individual cards were joined up off the mould ( mould similar to yours but wooden) and join them all up with a strip of cloth glued allong on the top runs

    2: let glue dry for 30-45 mins then take the bellows off the mould and clamp overnight

    3:put the bellows back on the mould and glue the gussets and top runs of leather and again wait for 30-45 mins before removing and clamping the bellows overnight


    this process gave me a bellows that was not acting like a spring always wanting to open.


    My question is: does bevelling the cards allow you to skip step 2 on my list above?

  2. Only hard because you have to make the molds, which are a bit of work compared to the hex or octagon cores or easier yet a piece of pvc pipe. Having done it both ways, the extra support the molds give to the folds when gluing the gussets or butterfly's/papers depending on style, is nice. The down side is the fixed angle at the ridges, which only means you want to allow for the top runs to stretch sideways ( not lengthwise ) so the bellows can close. On a core mold, you can pinch the peaks closed when you glue on the top run which means it is glued in the closed position. I get around the stretch by beveling my card at 45 degrees on both the peaks and valleys so the leather bends around a point rather than a square or v shaped ridge. I leave 2mm of space at the bottom when I glue on the inner hinge so the thickness of the covering leather has someplace to fit when folded closed. Steve Dickerson had a jig to lay out the cards with 2mm spacers between them, but I just use a long piece of angle iron with a couple wood strips glued on the side to support the long beveled card strips when I glue on the leather valley hinge. The side support strips are just low enough so the card doesn't get to the peak of the angle iron ( ^ orientation) which leaves just the right gap after gluing, both edges are beveled with the mat cutter / / so when you put the cards together, the outside peak and the inside peak look the same ( you swap ends ever other piece ). /\/\.


    I see, yeah milling aluminium can be a laborious process, looks well worth it though for a very good mould.

  3. oh wow!


    Yes this was made for my friend, who wanted to learn some sort of squeeze box for years. Andrew mentioned the project and I mentioned that my friend might be interested, its great this thing happened what a lovely occurrence. She is enjoying her instrument a lot.

  4. I have a friend who is a violin maker of the highest order. This luthier often takes great care to distress the patina of the varnish making it look like an old instrument. Instead of a shiny new fiddle he makes his instruments look like they were built centuries ago. I've seen him do it. After varnishing he rubs most of the varnish off, revarnishes, over-polishes, adds pits and scratches and scrapes and black soot, rubs his nose grease into the wood and I don't know what all. He keeps at it to mimic the aging process of a wooden object that is constantly handled and subject to the mishaps of use.


    He told me that he was convinced the players who requested this treatment wanted to sound like they were playing a Strad or Amati and the fact that the instrument looked like one helped them actually play and sound better. These are great sounding fiddles regardless of the treatment and top notch classical musicians who play them. Even though his customers knew they were playing a modern instrument, the appearance of age seemed to give them a psychological edge in their quest for musical excellence.


    I'm not sure if I buy all this, but that's the story.


    I have seen this sort of thing going on too, my father in law has a great fiddle. I always thought it was very old but recently learned it was 2009.


    To be honest this sort of thing makes me kind of sad, it feels so fake.

  5. Hmm gluing plastic to wood is particularly tricky to do in a way where you get a strong bond. What I would suggest instead is that on your small lathe you drill a small hole on the underside of the button and a corresponding hole in the lever and put a small self tapping screw through the lever from underneath and into the button, you would surely get a more secure bond.


    this website is great for ordering small screws: http://www.modelfixings.co.uk/self_tapping_screws.htm?qty=9.00&sub=10.05&shp=0.00&dis=0.00&vch=0.00&tax=0.00&tot=10.05&unt=5.9&sd=&tp=CONTINUE+SHOPPING


    Whether this is possible or not I am not sure as I haven't seen the mechanism in question, do you think it will work?


    this is all getting very very technical..

    ?? Isn't *weight* ( or mass..) a rather technical subject whatever way you look it?.. but if I expressed myself

    poorly please ask for some elucidation...Some of it is biological rather than technical I think which also may

    call for additional comments particularly if you don't recognize your own body in the description...


    My ultimate intention however was to reduce the importance of *weight* - as a technical issue - in contrast

    to other playing circumstances of greater importance from a general ergonomic outlook and even more from

    the musical aspect. Maybe I failed expressing that...



    Dont get me wrong, what you are saying is perfectly clear and the thread is very interesting indeed. I was just remarking that this is the most in depth analysis of this issue I have ever seen, that is no bad thing.


    I currently work as a model maker, what scale is the railway layout? ...




    Thanks for those insights into the possible alternatives to the multi-tool - though we seem to have established

    that for the basic 'tina maintenance I am likely to undertake, the multi-tool is probably not really necessary.




    fair enough, I wouldn't choose a dremel for the concertina maintenance either. Don't rule it out for the railway models though B)

  8. I currently work as a model maker, what scale is the railway layout?


    The coolest thing about the dremel is the number of attachments you can get for it, you can even get an attachment to turn it into a rudimentary milling machine as pictured below:




    this allows accurate drilling of holes and slots at semi precise co-ordinates and it is small.


    I would say that a regular pillar drill (drill press US name) is probably a better investment as you can get similar attachments for these such as this:




    However if as you say space is limited (I see you are in the big city) dremels can be a great tool as all of the attachments to turn it into.. a mill, a router and whatever else are pretty small.

    So bottom line I would say pillar drills are probably more desirable and useful but take up slightly more space and are potentially not quite as versatile.

  9. 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

  10. 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..

  11. 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.

  12. 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?



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