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Dave Prebble

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Everything posted by Dave Prebble

  1. What you should ask for is thin (say 1 to 1.5mm) bushing cloth. This is a stitched felt rather than the ordinary craft type felts which are loose and tend to break up fairly quickly. Regards Dave
  2. Terrible news indeed. Barry has been a good friend and a great companion in sessions over the years. His extensive knowledge of English Country Dance Music was matched by an abundantly obvious enthusiasm and his ability to really make the music 'bounce' on both melodeon and concertina. His untiring research and all the superb material he produced and shared with us all , has left us richer by far. Barry was a great guy and will be sorely missed by all who knew him. My condolences To Linda Dave Prebble
  3. Thanks Fellas. I realised a couple of minutes after I posted that I had made no reference to pitch in my post but my positon at the keyboard had by then been usurped by a somewhat fractious daughter so, discretion being the better part of valour, I beat a hasty retreat. Having been out in Singapore, the reeds are well covered by surface rust (thankfully there seems to be no pitting) so until I get them cleaned up and sounding properly I will not be able to have a stab at what tuning, if any , they are in. It certainly looks to have remained relatively untouched for many, many years Yet another totally uneconomic labour of love - but eventually one more back in a someone's hands. I have in mind to make a new set of 7 fold bellows as this is easier for me on my Jig ... would that make it much harder to manage as an instrument ? ..... any views on this ... ? Regards and thanks again Dave
  4. Hi Folks, Just had a Wheatstone 56k extended treble come in, as you see below, in a pretty sorry state. It was, I am told, rescued from a Singapore flea market some years ago. The instrument bears has an interior batch number on numerous parts but no full serial number anywhere. It has 7 fold bellows which is a bit unusual, These seem to be original as they are marked internally on the cards with the same batch number. Ends are solid ebony which have suffered somewhat over the years. The buttons are square silvered top caps on wood cores, the reeds are riveted and the action is Wheatstone flat type riveted. It bears a '15 West St, Charing X Rd.' paper label There is a small silver/ nickel silver plate on the RHS below the buttons (see below) that reads 'PHILHARMONIC' I have never come across one of these before. It appears to have been fitted at manufacture or, at least, very early on, as the polish beneath is in pristine condition. Perhaps the mark of a dealer or maybe a concertina band ??? Anyone ideas as to approximate age of the instrument or the meaning of the 'Philharmonic' label ???? Regards Dave Wheatstone 'Philharmonic' Label
  5. If the price comes down Dirge, you could always enquire about the size of the buttons.... never know....they could come in handy one day Dave
  6. Hi Mate, Provided that the buttons are the originals, I would suggest that the action has been adjusted at some time, possibly to suit a particular customer's preferences, but more likely to accommodate different thickness pads. When overthick pads are fitted, this 'sinks' the buttons down into the holes and the action may often have to be raised compensate. If, at a later date, the pads are again replaced, but this time with thinner pads, and the levers are not re-adjusted, the action will be too high. I very much doubt that Wheatstones would have originally supplied the box in the condition described. A few detailed pictures of the action might clarify matters. I would suggest that the 'spacer' solution is not the road to go down. Other possibilities might be to : - Replace the pads with some of appropriate thickness - Add additional leather spacers between each lever end existing pad. - If the pads are of reasonable thickness and are in good condition, the action can be lowered by careful bending of the lever arms to regulate the button height. Dave Elliott's book provides an excellent description of the process but I would add that it takes a fair bit of practice to get this right and there is always a risk of damaging the action. On a box of this quality it may well be prudent to send it to an experienced restorer. Hope this is of help to you Regards Dave
  7. Sadly, I don't have occasion to work on a Dipper, but the modern accordion-reeded makers are all very willing to walk buyers through simple repairs and adjustments. You're right, that's the place to turn first, since they know their instruments better than anybody else. Frank Edgley provides buyers with a one-page users guide that deals with simple repair issues. Also, Paul Groff has talked me through several repairs of the vintage instrument he restored; he offered a level of expertise and familiarity with the instrument that eased my (considerable) concern about delving into its innards. While most general repairers would not turn away someone with a problem and nine times out of ten, will be able to provide a fix, I do agree that the maker should be the first point of call where modern boxes are concerned. Apart from the maker being the best source of advice regarding his own instruments, going back to them with problems provides valuable feedback on little glitches in materials or construction and can help shape and improve future manufacturing design. Regards Dave
  8. Hi Taka, If it is now a G/D and was indeed a salvation army instrument it is most likely that it was originally in Ab/Eb and has since been re-tuned. I believe many of their instruments were in this tuning in order to play along with the flat keys of Brass instruments in the SA bands You will be able to tell if this is the case by comparing the note stamped on the reed with what the note actually plays on the keyboard. If it has been altered, many (but not necessarily all) of the reed stamps will not correspond the the note the button plays. (For example the reed that the G button plays when pushed ... the inner reed .... may be stamped Ab instead of G) Many of the G/Ds around these days have been 'tuned down' by a variety of methods from their original keys and, if the reeds were good to start with and the work is done by an experienced tuner, they can sound very good Enjoy the instrument Dave P
  9. Hi folks, I understand from a friend who spoke to Harry Minting about this many years ago, that they had extreme difficulty obtaining quality tortioise shell particularly pieces large enough for duets and that that was a significant limiting factor on production. Tortoise shell instruments also commanded a huge premium on price so somebody must have loved them. Regards Dave
  10. Looks like pretty standard Lachenal type spindle cut fretwork which was typical of their lower end concertinas. The red leather baffle was pretty much standard for Lachenal anglos but these are frequently discarded these days when instruments are rebuilt. In my experience, many of the instruments that were made specifically for the Salvation Army, have better than average reeds for the model. I guess they were an important customer for Lachenals and could thus demand a certain level of quality for their money. I don't recall ever coming across one with a Lachenal Label (or any label for that matter) fitted in the round hole. Was it perhaps a S.A. label or perhaps just left empty ? Regards Dave Prebble
  11. Bath, Somerset ????? and Lo and Behold - the address still exists in Bath, Somerset Dave
  12. Seen a few of these - all, if I recall correctly, were salvation army instruments. Dave
  13. Hi Gerry, Though not strictly a 'concertinafest' do consider the Bradfield Traditional Music Weekend Near Sheffield BTMW This event always attracts superb concertina players of all systems and all types of music from English Country dance through Irish trad to Jazz and at least two top makers will be in attendance this year giving advice and workshops. Check it out - you won't be disappointed. Regards Dave Prebble
  14. Hi Chris, I guess these guys were either varying their designs or, quite likely, using the same outworkers for some of their parts. The Nickolds I had, funnily enough, came from a Sussex antique shop for .... £48 some twenty five or so years ago. It was a nice instrument with finely fretworked and inlaid ebony ends and when restored, both looked and played like a dream. I shall always remember that box... principally because It went in a straight swap for a 38 button Bb/F Jeffries (albeit one in pretty bad shape) Regards Dave
  15. Hi Chris, thanks for posting the photo - great definition btw I rather like this type of action. it makes for a nice stable pivot point and seems far less prone to clattering than Lachenal type hook actions. I have only ever seen them on English concertinas by Scates and Nickolds They are a joy to work on. Simply unhook the spring, a gentle push down at the pivot and the arm, complete with pad, just unhooks and lifts away. Regards Dave P
  16. Hi Frank, You certainly know how to give a fellow nightmares ! Perhaps a small blob of well used chewing gum would get him to the end of the session? Regards Dave P (ps Michael... I believe nail varnish remover (acetone) will disolve superglue - take along a couple of pints of that in the bag too.. for emergencies )
  17. couldn't get link to work ..... try searching item no. ' 270101890031 ' It'll have to make good money to pay ebay for all the photos I quite like those papers .... reminds me a bit of my granny's wallpaper Dave
  18. Indeed I do approve Dave E ! Steel loses it's structural integrity and reaches critical failure at temperatures slightly in excess of 540 degC.... and it does not take much of a fire to generate such temperatures (Cunning so-and-so's have to cheat by fireproofing the steel with reinforced plaster and intumescent linings and the like...) Large section oak timbers burn quite dramatically for a while but, as the thickness of surface charring builds up it actually insulates and protects the core for quite a significant period of time. It is this property that in fact saved the Minster from far, far more serious damage than would have been the case with steel ....... besides oak looks so 'in keeping' with the rest of the building..... Them old boys certainly knew how to build 'em .... and it seems that there was a bit of a shortage of RSJs, UB's not to mention UHU and PVA glue back in those days ....and didn't they make a superb job of the restoration ? Regards Dave P ps .. bet Fred Dibnah never used UHU glue either
  19. Like theo, The UHU I know is a clear solvent glue - like Champagne to a glue sniffers ... or so I'm told. It tends to be 'stringy' when you apply it and beware...do not get it on a traditional shellac/french polished finish - it will cut into it in a split second. As for fixing pads I will stick to the methods tried and tested for over a century and a half. I use leather pads between the the spud and the card and always attach the pads to the lever arm with a blob of hot hide glue. I have tried a whole range of synthetic glues for padmaking over the years but have settled on flour paste with some gum arabic added. Getting thin leather to stick well to woollen felt without saturating either (or both) with glue, is harder than you might think. I also tried out various synthetic foams instead of natural felt, but soon decided that the traditional product was the best. I recently found a few samples of these foam pads some 10 years old, and they are hard and brittle and the glue (I forget which type, but quite likely UHU) has softened and all but failed. I also find that foam tends in time to compress and lose the ability to re-expand.... more so than felt. One other point I would make is that some of the pads that you buy today are simply too thick. If you look at original pads in vintage boxes the pads are really quite thin... especially so in many English concertinas. Accepted, a fair degree of compression will have taken place over the years, but it is pretty clear when you try to replace them with an 'off the shelf' thicker pad that the action geometry was set up for thinner material. When such a replacement pad is fitted, it will often not allow sufficient clearance for the airflow and will interfere with the sound from that reed unless the action is modified by removal of button dampers and/or bending lever arms. A 3mm foam along with the card and leather facing would, I suggest be too thick for optimum performance in many, if not most, vintage concertinas. Regards Dave
  20. Aint all bad - The Irish beat Pakistan at cricket ) Dave
  21. Hi All, About 30 years ago I used to frequent a marvellous pub.... The Rose tree or Holly Tree - I forget - at Cauldron Low in the Derbyshire Peaks which had one bar with a dozen or so of these machines in. These were all in working order and the landlord had a load of old pennies behind the bar which he would hand out for customers to operate the machines. The whole pub was stuffed to the rafters with valuable antiques, much of the oak furniture used in the pub dating back to the 1600s. I would love to think that the pub is still there unchanged, but I somehow doubt it..... anyone else been there ? Dave P
  22. ....... and no two ears are calibrated the same You know if you have got it right when you see that 'wow!' look on the customer's face when he plays it...... and then sends you another concertina to tune Regards Dave
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