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About Theo

  • Birthday 01/29/1950

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    I tune/repair/restore and buy and sell concertinas and melodeons.
  • Location
    Gateshead, England. Land of the Angel of the North!

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  1. One of the photos on the ebay listing shows serial number 12202 which appears twice in the ledgers for 1865 here and here
  2. I've used bellows kits from sandylaneman (Peter O'Connor). The kits I've used have been good and I would rate them as suitable for basic to midrange concertinas. It is a couple of years since I last used one.
  3. I would avoid felt, with use it will start to shed fibres as mentioned in a previous post. The loose fibres can easily end up inside the instrument where they can get stuck in a reed gaps silencing the reeds. some types of foam also deteriorate in a way that sheds particles which can have the same effect. velvet or soft leather would be my choice.
  4. Just a word of caution. If you are new to concertinas then ebay is a very risky place to be buying. There are some decent instruments offered there, but there are far more that might end up needing repairs, which can be expensive.
  5. Picking up on previous answers. The Jones concertinas I’ve seen and worked on seem to vary much more in quality of construction than similar level of Lachenals. They often have a softer, warmer sound than Lachenals, which is different, not better or worse, but would suit different players.
  6. Modern synthetic adhesive is not a good idea in this application. There will be old glue adhering to the wood, probably hide glue, pva and the like don’t stick well to this, and at the same time are difficult to remove in future when it’s time for the next replacement. Mush better to use fish glue, liquid hide glue or even starch paste, all of which clean up with a damp cloth, even when dry, will stick well where traces of old glue remain, and are easily reversible. Remember you are doing antique restoration here, but just new building.
  7. If you are checking the pitch with an electronic tuner you need to use one that is able to measure the pitch with an accuracy of less than 1 cent. A needle type display or a simulation of it is not precise enough and the type the show green/red to indicate in tune or not typically have a tollerance of +/- 3 to 5 cents as Lukasz has mentioned. So if you have two reeds of the same pitch measured within +/- 3 cents then one could be 3 cents sharp the other could be 3 cents flat so they differ by 6 cents. This will produce a very strong beat easily audible by anyone.
  8. It’s not just discoloured, the surface of the leather is starting to get worn away on the corners of the folds. If you play with the concertina in contact with your leg you might consider carrying a soft cloth that you can lay over your leg to protect the bellows
  9. All the above is good advice. In addition there are several other reasons why a reed may sound weak: The valve behind the reed may be partially stuck down, too stiff or making contact with the side of the reed chamber. The valve next to the reed may not be closing or may have fallen off. The reed plate may not be firmly attached, there may be an air leak from the reed chamber, the reed tongue might be slightly off centre, or in the case of a low grade instrument it might just be a badly fitted reed tongue with excessive side clearance. it’s also possible there can be more than one of the above combined. I I’m prompted to give this list because I’ve just dealt with exact the same symptom on a customers concertina where the reed assembly was loose and there was an air leak from the reed chamber. it’s not easy to diagnose these disparate defects if you don’t have any experience of working with reeds but with the list you know what to look for.
  10. Before adding lubricants (which should not be necessary) it's worth doing a bit of detective work to find out which exact spot is causing the problem. If it all works freely with the end removed that suggests to me that either the felt bush is too tight, or the button is not aligned exactly with the hole in the end. To check the bush take the button off the lever and offer it up to the hole in the end. It should move freely. Try it in other holes for comparison. If it is tight you can easily compress the felt to improve the clearance. A good tool for this is an artists paintbrush which a tapered handle that you can push into the hole until it begins to feel tight, then rotate is a few times and gently wiggle it around. Now before replacing the button inspect the end of the lever and check that it is exactly over the centre of the hole for the base of the button. If it's slightly off centre this will cause the button to bind in the hole and in the bushing. Gently bend the lever to centralise it before re-fitting the button.
  11. Your pad board looks fine. That tiny gap under the veneer is to close to the outside to be the source of the air leak. This is much more likely, especially as sometimes happens the end bolts have been overtightened in the past and the bolt heads have worn their way down into the wood.
  12. Of course. There is a 71 key Edeophone And an 81 key Aeola
  13. This old German concertina is looking for a new home. It is unrestored and has at least 4 broken reeds and missing buttons but may be of historical interest to a collector. It has rosewood ends and a paper label where I can make out "English Pattern" which possibly refers to the fretwork. The bellows papers are quite ornate. Reeds look like nickel silver on long zinc plates on the right and brass on long zinc plates on the left. It is two voice octave tuned and pitched approximately AE. If the images don't sow you can see them here
  14. Don’t write off Lachenal based on your experience of one 20 button Anglo. They made good quality instruments too.
  15. Carefully being the important word here. I'm sure I'm not the only person who has occasionally seen reeds that have been re-pitched without care.
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