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Henrik Müller

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Everything posted by Henrik Müller

  1. I seem to remember that there is a special place for these kind of pictures, so forgive me for placing it here. It was Joel, my harmonica playing associate, who pointed me to the link in Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/46908570 The fun starts at 1:30... /Henrik
  2. But - I forgot to add - I can only agree with Geoff about the dangers of doing this on a vintage instrument: "Don't do this at home, kids" - unless it's on something modern and cheap! I had, at some point, a damaged Edephone with ebony ends. The damage was a major rip-out of the (too thin, IMHO) ebony fretwork, on both sides, because a screw or screws had loosened some time in its history...crack, crack! /Henrik
  3. Now, having had the pleasure of being in the company of Simon Thoumire for a few days about a month ago, I find that idea interesting. His thumbstraps seems permanently twisted about 45 degrees, since he plays about 45 degrees ACROSS the rows (instead of up & down), hence the twist. My guess is that with this change you find the low notes easier to reach? I don't use thumb straps at all, but that is another story ;-) /Henrik
  4. The Hymn, John - breathtaking, loved it! /Henrik
  5. Yes, Steve DIckinson has a machine, maybe the one we can see in the Pathe film. I know that "Use CNC..." is the fast-draw answer today, but I find a certain logic and beauty in using machines which are built to perform one or a few operations very quickly and without any heavy intellectual requirements for use. It isn't only a question of acquiring a machine, it also means having the room for it, buying a Windows/Linux computer to run it, buy the program, learn the program, buy router bits, etc. To me, that is endless - making my own is not. Though two days ago I thought it might be ;-) because I suddenly realised that my offsetting scheme (the moveable arm with the guide oin, on top of the router arm) is based on wrong thinking. Grrr! Luckily, I know what to do to fix it - but we'll have to wait till March to see it done! In the meantime I'll continue the Christmas celebrations, /Henrik
  6. Hi, all - For a couple of years I've been fascinated by the reed pan routing machine that can be seen in the short, historic film about the Wheatstone factory, on the British Pathe site. In all likelihood a machine made for Wheatstone by Louis Lachenal - at least the large sums paid to "Mr. Lachenal" in the "Payments" books 1845, 1846, 1848, 1849: approx. £1670, indicates that he made something "big" for Sir Charles. So the last six months I've been hammering away on what hopefully will be a modern version of the machine. Today it took its first step, not altogether a great success, but a proof of the concept: No - I will not use plywood! It's only a test to see if the concept works, and it does, though order is wrong: The machine should perform three operations: Rout the tapered, dovetailed tracks for the reeds Rout the long tracks for the walls Rout the air holes The order should be walls, reeds, air, because when the walls are mounted, they are used a guide or reference for routing the reed tracks. When they are done on both sides, the air holes are done. At least that's the idea. Today, on the kitchen table (it's built upstairs, but demoed in the kitchen), it looks like this: The handle is missing - what handle? A handle on the left hand side that can push the router table to the right. A proof-of-concept has been done (out of wood...), worked fine. The center piece - a 28 mm diam piece upon which the reed pan is lowered. The top clamp - a large (as large as possible), round piece that goes on top of the reed pan The top screw - not a screw, more like a fat, knurled thumb screw that screws on to M5 shaft you can see sticking up. The more intricate part is here: Router arm in the center, with the guide pin sticking up. This pin is runs into a straight track, routed in a 4mm plate below the table. The plate can turn around the center of the track's end circle - which is also the center of the router bit. Hang on - but it looks like the router bit is not in center with the pin?! Right, it isn't: the guide pin is attached a part of the arm that can be offset. In clear language it means that the track will be routed, say, 4 mm to the left of the wall track - because otherwise it would rout into the wall. Anyway - the outcome of today's exercise is that the intricate looking thingies in the left side of the table need to go and be replaced by something more stable and sturdy. It will take a while - the owner of the workshop I use is in Spain, will be back March 1st. Merry Christmas to all! /Henrik
  7. So close! They could do a much better job, considering the quality of the rest of their reeds. I pretend I don't see the [unmentionable] at the tip... /Henrik Come to think of it: it doesn't really fit with Czech mechanical engineering - the rest of the stuff on the site looks fine, and the Czechs have a good reputation for high quality. So this is puzzling. /Henrik
  8. So close! They could do a much better job, considering the quality of the rest of their reeds. I pretend I don't see the [unmentionable] at the tip... /Henrik
  9. What?! Really? That's not something that is shown on their site, as far I can see. When you say "look like" - do you mean a single reed on a single, tapered reed shoe, brass or dural, not riveted? /Henrik
  10. I would add "And so are the surroundings". There is a reason why serious acoustic measurements are done in an anechoic chamber. What we want is the sound from the object only, not the contribution of reflections from the walls and any other objects nearby (this will lead to the increase or decrease of certain frequencies depending on the phase of the reflected signals). A simple test with a real-time spectrum analyzer confirms this: move the instrument around a little bit and the overtones are jumping up or down. It also shows the dependency of the pressure - it's near impossible to keep the it constant, this again changes the relationship between fundamental and individual overtones. So in lack of anechoic chambers in our homes, we'll have to do with our ears - /Henrik
  11. He, he - you are not nuts - in my eyes you are very normal ! I don't know how much help this is, but anyway: in 2006 I bought a set of 27 reeds (for EC) from Antonelli. It seems like they have changed the company policy since then. I simply sent them an email, asking "Can you supply this [specification]" and they said "Sure, send the money" (€102). A couple of weeks later they arrived. I didn't understand the reference to the czechs - would they not sell you a single set? May be the reason is that they will need to make "specials" - I mean, some of the reeds will be identical to accordion reeds, but some will be anglo-specific. And only as long as they can pull reeds of the storage shelves, they are willing to sell just one set. As I said - not much help. But more power to ya elbow! /Henrik
  12. It does indeed! Interesting, for future thinking... /Henrik
  13. No help from here, I am afraid - just a comment: I've wondered for a long time if people really find the small buttons (e.g., a Jeffries with 4 mm diam) comfortable? One of the items high on my "want"-list when I built my instrument, was large diameter-buttons - at least as large as on the Stagi miniature that had inspired me to start building: 6 mm. In the end I settled for 5.5 mm ("Rotring" pencil tops...) since I had another item on list, "metal caps on a wooden body", or at least not solid metal. And they worked very well. While we are down here in the nitty-gritty... I also feel that there is an optimal curvature of the tip of the buttons, somewhere between completely flat and pure spherical. Another story, probably. /Henrik
  14. That's what I do... ...though I've tried Alex West's way as well. /Henrik
  15. Two things: 1) I don't think people will change their instruments, even in a non-invasive way 2) I (personally) believe that the instrument should be built with the changes, from the start. 3) In general, I have found people a wee bit on the conservative side when it comes to changes (that may take a few days to get used to ) Beating my own drum now, but when I started playing my modified design-English in 2006, I couldn't even imagine how much "another (and better) instrument" it would feel 6 years later. It led to a well-defined set of rules - a "system" - for fingering, especially in Irish tunes. /Henrik
  16. I started dabble on guitar when I was 17-ish (but no girls arrived...) and had advanced to ragtime/Stefan Grossman stuff when I was around 22. I then got sucked into the 5-string banjo - clawhammer style. Around 30 I started on the English and in 2006 on my new-design English. Status now: 1) New-design English 2) Claw-hammer banjo - I just got sucked in again, and on my fretless too!! 3) Guitar is dead - don't have fingers for it anymore. /Henrik
  17. Ha! I know why you caught it - it has swallowed your concertina! /Henrik
  18. Thanks, Marcus! Getting a birthday greeting from Bermuda is exactly what I need - though it is much warmer (=less cold) now, only -4 °C...

  19. Definitely works! /Henrik
  20. An old friend sent me a link to this odd piece. I had to google the "Zoetrope"... /Henrik
  21. I am on the "not the done thing" team, which not necessarily leads to "practice at home until fully fledged player". I look at tune books (which I've used a lot in the beginning, 30 years ago) as skeletons of tunes, nothing else. Once the skeleton is in place, leave the book. If Irish sessions sometimes seem a bit unforgiving when it comes to certain behaviors, I actually find that OK and acceptable, too - "Right, these are our rules, period". Those kind of social rules exist in all society and cultures. Why should a group be forced to accept whatever behavior is forced upon them by any casual visitor? I'd say that a visitor has an obligation to be alert and receptive to what goes on in the group and - yes - adapt to that. If I am visiting another country, I keep eyes and ears open to avoid putting my foot in too many social muddles. Try Japan. Here's a true, real-world example: A man appears at a local Irish session here in Southern Sweden. He plays bones, extra large super-sized, wooden bones. Clickety-clackety, ad nauseam. Right. He then switches to spoons and a young man at a nearby table of seven comments: "Oh - I didn't know that spoons could be an instrument!" So. Our man proceeds to the bar and return with 14 spoons, which he delivers to the table of young men. He demonstrates how to use them. I leave the following 15 minutes to your imagination… This man, who made several appearances after this, now infamous one, insisted that "this is an open session" and what he did was "audience participation". Two points are clear here: 1) This fella had set up his own interpretation of "open" and taken it to the extreme. 2) Nobody had asked for or wanted any "audience participation". In Sweden, where everything is supposed to be quiet, middle-of-the-road and democratic, a situation like this is difficult to solve. Which probably was the man's god fortune - in Ireland, he might have had been asked: "Wouldn't you like to play your spoons for a bunch of nice doctors and nurses?" But I am straying away from the subject. Personally, I wouldn't object to a tune book at a session, but I would wonder about it. /Henrik
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