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Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

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Posts posted by Jake Middleton-Metcalfe

  1. The measurement I have observed on jeffries cards was 1" and 1/8th" or something near 28mm. The benefits of folds deeper than 1" which was standard on Wheatstone and Lachenal instruments is something which experts seem to disagree on. The argument against is:  the bellows are able to extend further but the deeper folds mean there is a smaller volume of air inside. In such a case you would have a bellows that comes out further but does not actually have any more air inside. But others believe that the deeper folds do give you more air. I have been told conflicting things on the subject.


    If anyone could mathematically or otherwise calculate weather a 6" wide 7 fold bellows with 1" deep folds has more or less air inside than a 6"wide bellows with 1" and 1/8th" bellows I would be very interested to hear what the answer would be. I was thinking about building a deep fold jig at one point but am unsure if I should bother. 


    alternatively: build one of each and fill them both with water and see which holds more ?



  2. I have never purchased from them but I know Murray Grainger who runs the reed lounge, he is a competent musician on the accordion and has a lot of experience with the various brands of free reed instruments - be they accordions melodeons, concertinas, he used to work for the music room before they sadly closed. He is an all round good guy and I would vouch for him as an honest trader.


    I hope this is helpful

  3. On 6/29/2018 at 5:22 PM, alex_holden said:

    Thanks for the writeup, Henrik. It's a lovely instrument.



    As it happens, I'm soon going to be Müllerizing a Wheatstone English for another member of this forum. The conversion is fully reversible because it involves making new action boxes to fit the original bellows frames.


    Alex that is great. As an EC player you will be better able to understand Henrik's design than I was, as I play Anglo I was not really able to make much of it when I had a go - other than "this feels comfortable" *plays a few random notes*

  4. Well done, it is great to see how the design seems to have developed alongside your playing, and how the design has been subtly developed with regards to key spacing. It was great to have a go on this at the last consairtin.

    I tentatively suggest... Perhaps other people might also benefit from playing an English concertina of this design.


    The outer layer looks like Brazilian Rosewood of a quality that hasn't been available for quite some time. One sees it occasionally in old guitars. It is very regular in grain, and doesn't have the black streaks that are now inevitable. These days it's essentially illegal. The inside appears to be mahogany, but I'm not certain of that. If it's not, it might be sycamore, a British version of maple which is quite common and would be good for that job.In the photo I can't really get a fix on what I'm looking at.


    If I were doing this, I'd strip the rest of the veneer from both sides, glue on some currently-legal flashy wood, and go from there.

    The core appears darker than sycamore - and the grain looks like it could be beech.


    Stripping the veneer from both sides is an option I'm prepared to consider - but as a last resort (trying to have an easy life :rolleyes: ). I've found a source of some rather nice legal Indian rosewood - so I may go with something like that if I have to strip the veneers off both ends. Or maybe some other wood since I'll no longer be restricted to matching the current veneers.



    wood veneer hub are very good. They aren't so far from me so I went to look around, if you get the chance visit their warehouse I would recommend it, they are prepared to show you around and look at different woods. They have some MIND BLOWING woods to look at! As well as some more normal ones.


    The thing is their premises aren't like a shop per se - just a huge industrial hangar with loads of pallets of veneer - nice to see their website now sells smaller pieces as well though.

  6. I have no idea about the exact breed. I did wonder if "vintage wood" was exempt - I know there is a similar thing relating to ivory over a certain age being legal. Though I will read into it.


    Dana - that is what gave me the idea, my friend chris has a concertina supposedly made from that old cabinet. Some of the pannels I have would be suitable in size and cut for action boards or even reed pans perhaps.

  7. An interesting thing happened to me recently:


    I went to a local auction house for fun (with no actual intention of buying anything) and ended up buying a hideous mahogany bureau. No one else was bidding on it and it was going for £15 "hey that is solid mahogany!" I thought. Despite the nice mahogany the bureau was so hideous that purchased it and I plundered it for wood. You can see in these image how one drawer front was divided up to make blanks for many anglo concertina hand rests. Though I do not finish my concertinas in mahogany these blanks are going to be used for ebonised hand rests. Reuse and recycle!


    The concertina pictured has some hand rests made from this drawer. It is a Jeffries which had solid metal hand rests (also pictured). The owner of the instrument found them to be uncomfortable so requested some new ones to be made - a completely reversible procedure which caused the original parts no damage. Less can be said for the bureau.








  8. Honestly, of all the parts of a concertina that could be improved, the valve material is the one I would vote for. Being able to have a perfectly graded set of valves that maintained their properties regardless of age or humidity would be very helpful.




    I quite agree about the valves. It is surely the most perishable component. I use plastic accordion valves on my accordion reeds, they come in a variety of sizes and work very well. I do want to try them out in a concertina reeded prototype I am working on at the moment, its something I am very curious about.

  9. Hi David


    I have heard of people trying mahogany but cant be sure of the difference in sound. One would expect a harder wood to produce a brighter tone, sycamore and maple are very hard. Its difficult to prove such things as different tonal qualities produced by different woods used for a reed pan without tests. Do you have any recordings of your concertinas? I would be curious to listen as I am not familiar with huon pine.

  10. Would it really be necessary to harden 6061



    6061-T6 is heat tempered and I suspect that machining it would remove the temper.

    If this is true then, given the size of a concertina reed, making a small tempering oven and quenching bath should not be too difficult.

    A bit easier than tempering a lamp pole or a sailboat mast...

    I believe both 6061 and 6063 are precipitation hardened by holding them at around 300 degrees F for a few hours depending on thickness. It is not quenched after heating. T6 means that it has already been hardened either by heat treating or cold working as opposed to annealled stock. Hardened here is a relative term, only comparing it to the soft state, not to other metals like tool steel or any steel for that matter. Machining does not affect the hardened state unless it is heated much hotter and rapidly cooled. ( this has the opposite effect to quenching hardenable steel alloys ). I have successfully used my home oven for the work when making my bellows mold bars. Starting with T6 stock, you can ship any further hardening.



    Would it really be necessary to harden or use the pre hardened 6061 though? I mean its not like those frames are going to be exposed to much stress/abrasion in their lifetime right?

  11. a rather good way I have seen this done is by glueing up a laminate of say 4 layers of thin wood veneer, the bottom 3 being dark in colour (black tulipwood veneer apparently works well) and the top layer being brighter (classically amboyna or some other decorative wood) then the router is passed round the edge to form the moulding which will reveal the dark lower woods, its rather effective I have seen at least one other concertina maker do it this way.

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