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Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

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Posts posted by Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

  1. another thing you can do is to drill the holes then use a "self centring wad punch" which has a spring loaded centre point in the cutting hole so you can put the centre point in the pre drilled hole and then whack it with your hammer. Here is a link to the sort of thing:




    the only thing is that you have to be sure you are holding the hammer straight or you end up with the hole being central on one side (the side facing up as you strike your hammer) and off centre on the other. Maybe the wad punch could be mounted square in a press to eliminate this

  2. What does it say about me that for a split second I misread this as "Concertina Pornography?"



    There is actually a bicycle forum which has a permanent thread called "bike porn" where people posted bikes they found beautiful, my friend introduced me to it. I showed him concertina.net and he asked "where is the porn thread?" to which I showed him the thread "what our concertinas look like"

  3. lots of interesting analysis here, i think that the melodeon jazz chord thing is probably not as new as I thought it was, I have only been into folk and folk festivals for the past 5 years so there is probably a lot that has gone on which some of you guys heard/maybe after a while got a bit tired of years ago but I am not aware of :lol: Maybe after a while I will get tired of it and prefer a more stripped back approach who knows.


    All part of the rich tapestry I suppose

  4. hmm.


    I am interested by the responses people are giving on this thread, mostly people are not into the more repetitive parts of the tune. The thing is its just a repetitive arpeggio following a chord sequence, that part of the tune seems to me to follow the general pattern most modern dance music you would hear in clubs. Most mainstream clubs play music which is pretty much a beat, a chord sequence and then some vocal samples thrown in, its mindless to listen to but in a club its just a beat to dance to and people enjoy it. Most modern music I hear people dancing to is like this, I think it is a generational thing. If you listen to younger melodeon players in England (I use melodeon players as an example as there are not many young concertina players in England sadly) they don't sound like the generation before, they put in the odd bits of jazzy stuff, different rhythms and especially chord sequences that would not be found in traditional music normally. As a young player I find it very exciting, it gives this sense of having possession of something rather than just repeating it.


    Perhaps we are somewhat dry in our approach to playing traditional music? The danger being that following a "tradition" can lead to a somewhat unadventurous musical style. To give another example:


    I was in Ireland a while ago and went to some sessions, all of the fiddle players were very very good but they all played identically, I learned that most had been in competitions at points in time and some might have even had the same tutors when younger. Then there was this Canadian woman who had learned Irish music away from Ireland and completely put her own spin on everything. It was way way more interesting and full of life, the other fiddle players seemed so stiff and un humoured by contrast...



    To conclude perhaps the piece of music that started the thread was not perfectly suited to the present audience

  5. Geoffrey Crabb once told me this story about how a clown (from somewhere in europe cant remember where) ordered a few concertinas over the years from the Crabb family, each order was for a consecutively smaller concertina than the previous - maybe he could tell the story if he sees this thread

  6. I have thought on this one quite a bit and play a 7 fold concertina.


    Another factor at play is how deep the folds are, a deeper fold can make the bellows hold considerably more air (within reason) I have owned 2 anglos with 7 folds each, one (an edgley) has deeper folds than are found on most 19th or early 20th century instruments the other had folds of a similar deapth as would be found on your typical lachenal for example. I found it much much easier to play harmonic style on the edgley.


    My advice is that if you want to play in this style 7 folds is best (never tried 8, I don't know how that would be), yes you can do it with 6 or 5 folds if you develop ways of working around this limitation but why would you when you have the option of a more appropriate design?

  7. I have not seen a 3d printer with high enough tolerances to print things like reed carriers, all of the ones I ever saw or worked with gave a bit of a rough finish and it needed rubbing down. (I find this job occours with more regularity than I would like at work). Though that's not to say such machines are not out there


    Banjojohn I am very interested in seeing the 3d printing you are talking about. I have often wondered about this, the thing is you can get a great result out of a CNC router - as I understand this is how wakker concertinas reed holders are made? I think the 3d printing seems a bit behind and/or expensive in this regard.


    A good use of a 3d printer might be to have a very advanced bellows making jig printed - something really hard to make like an edeophone bellows jig (I imagine such things exist though I never saw them)

  8. good advice going round here.


    If you do decide to cut the levers out of sheet brass on an electric scroll saw I did this once and found the following things out:


    1mm brass is good for the levers themselves but for the pivot posts get something thicker like 1.5mm brass otherwise it tends to bend when you press or tab it into the action board. You could use 1mm stainless steel for the levers AND pivots as the guy in the concertina video posted earlier makes but it would be a long and unpleasant experience to try to machine those by hand with a scroll saw. If you are handy with any vector based cad program you could draw up your lever shapes and get them done at a commercial laser cutting business.

  9. I was told that it is so that the bellows themselves don't touch the table when the instrument is put down thus reducing wear (as well as being a visual thing). Different makers seem to do it to different degrees from what I see, Marcus music bellows are not that inset and still look pretty good imo

  10. The thing is instruments with better quality reeds tend to have 6 fold and upwards anyway, with anglos only the cheaper ones seem to have 5 folds. Personally I would always avoid 5 folds unless you want to have some new ones put in which might be about 300 quid.


    Play style has a big part to play also, if you put loads of chords in while playing quite an "English style" then I would recommend 7. Playing single melody lines its less of an issue but I would still recommend at least 6, its just nicer

  11. I am not sure about the later exhibition, was that after they moved the whole crystal palace? The 1851 exhibit looked like this according to the website:

    1851 Great Exhibition: Official Catalogue: Class X.: William Wheatstone and Co

    526. WHEATSTONE, WILLIAM, and Co, 20 conduit Street, Regent Street — Patentees and Manufacturers.

    Treble concertina, with 48 keys, for the performance of violin, flute, hautboy, or concertina music singly, or in concert; the same, displaying the whole internal mechanism.

    Baritone concertina, with 48 keys, for the performance of harmonized music, especially psalmody, in the same register as sung by four voices.

    A concert tenor concertina, with 43 keys, for vocal tenor, tenor violin, or wooden wind instrument music, singly or in concert.

    A concert bass concertina, with 56 keys, for violoncello or bassoon music, singly or in concert; the same, of a smaller size, for the use of ladies.

    Double concertina, with 50 keys, so disposed that a melody may be played by one hand, and an accompaniment by the other.

    A symphonion, with a single vibrator, acted on by rollers moved by stops, so as to produce any note required.

    A tonimeter, which produces any note in the chromatic scale merely by finger pressure.

    An enharmonic tonimeter, which produces any sound in the enharmonic scale.

    Portable harmoniums, for producing expression, which can be played alone, or be placed in front of the key-board of a pianoforte, and played by the same performer; adapted for wooden or stringed instrument solo, or part music

    Portable harmoniums, for producing expression, which can be played alone, or be placed in front of the key-board of a pianoforte, and played by the same performer; adapted for wooden or stringed instrument solo, or part music.

  12. I have been looking into the history of the Great Exhibition of 1851, the crystal palace and the exhibits there. I had a look through the list of exhibitors and found William Wheatstone (Charles brother?) exhibiting concertinas at the exhibition, which would make sense as much of the worlds latest tech was on display there, Especially as the concertina was relatively new at the time.


    Here is a link to the exhibition catalogue describing the exhibit and which concertinas were on show:




    Has anyone ever looked into this, perhaps there may even be photos somewhere? Daguerreotypes? If anyone knows I would love to see




  13. About carbon fibre for the soundboard:


    I actually have no idea what effect this might have on the sound - the thing is with my build is it was a learning experience and a prototype on which to try lots of new ideas. The problem with this is that I changed so many variables at once that its hard to tell which variables are resulting in the soft sound. My feeling is that as my instrument is larger than a conventional concertina it is playing at a lower preassure which as chris Ghent notes means I have to press quite hard - not great. It must be a combination of that and the small holes making it quiet - so as for the carbon itself I am not sure to what degree it is deadening the sound - for a sound board I am not sure what effect that might have. It could be an interesting experiment.

  14. You might have seen my story about the carbon fibre and plywood concertina I made a while ago:


    pictures also found here:



    You mentioned the possibility of using a carbon fibre for some components, I would say this about it: it is very very strong and stable. The only thing about it is it seems to have quite a deadening effect on sound, my instrument is rather quiet, though this is probably not helped by the fact I only put small holes in the ends.


    On the subject of bellows, I think if a product design company were to design and market a concertina now as a new instrument I very very much doubt they would opt to use leather for bellows, a rubber impregnated cloth or some sort of rubber/plastic sounds much more likely. The tooling for it might be hard to make though. I would really like to see someone try this as I suspect the real reason we make bellows from leather and card has much to do with the tastes of players and lack of modern technology research and money to fund such research. Concertinas though popular are quite specialist in the grand scheme of things so most research and innovation seems to be done by individuals rather than large companies with huge budgets.

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