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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. You must have a very unusual circle of free reed acquaintances. Among diatonic accordion players Hohner have a place of honour as a good cheap playable instrument which is widely regarded as one of the best beginners instruments, and also finds a place in the playing of some professional musicians. Unlike Hohner concertinas they are not prone to any of the the mechanical difficulties you mention. The explanation is implied in Daniels post: Hohner diatonic accordions are made by Hohner, their concertinas are outsourced to other makers.
  2. Apply a hot soldering iron to the end of the bolt before trying to turn it. The heat will tend to loosen the the screw and make it easier to remove. Hold the soldering iron in place for long enough for the heat to travel along the bolt. Maybe 30 seconds, or a minute. You can also try a few taps with a light hammer on the end of the bolt. If you can get any turning movement it's also worth turning it back and forward an 1/8th of a turn a few times before attempting to fully unscrew it. All these suggestions are well known engineers tricks for removing stuck bolts and should mean you can avoid having to weaken the woodwork in an area that is already highly stressed. If you do have to cut a slot through the wood then a better repair method is to cut a shallow trench that extends either side of the bolt for something like 1/2 an inch each side and glue on a patch of wood with the grain running the same way as the bellows frame. That will give you back most of the strength of the original. You can use a thicker piece of wood and sand it flat after the glue has dried,
  3. I had an AE to sell a few years ago. It hung around for quite a while but eventually went to an accomplished Irish musician who hand been searching for an AE to play along with a piper who liked to play a set of pipes in B. Using the fingering that would give D major on a CG gives B major on an AE
  4. Possible early 30s. It has Erinoid buttons which Lachenal only used right at the end of their existence as a concertina maker.
  5. Depends on it's condition. Fully restored and in concert pitch it's worth a lot more.
  6. Definitely Lachenal and their best anglo model. I can see there is a serial number on the reed pans. you should be able to see the Lachenal trade mark on the right side hand bar.
  7. Interesting, I didn’t know that. I suspect it’s not a commonly used cleaning method for concertina repairers. The reeds I mentioned earlier retain their pink colour when the surface is removed during the normal course of tuning.
  8. Phosphor bronze has a distinctly pink colour, so if tongues were bright yellow then they are more likely to have been brass. There are dozens of different brass alloys. I have an Aeola from I think the 1920s which have non-ferrous reeds which have the pink colour that I associate with phosphor bronze. It plays with the responsiveness and dynamic range that would normally be associated with the best steel reeds.
  9. Ah, I missed that! I was looking at "T&Cs & Important info"
  10. In an auction you normally only pay VAT on the buyers premium, not on the hammer price. In this case the buyers premium is 22% so you would pay hammer price plus 26.4%. Still a big chunk of money on top of the hammer price.
  11. It's almost impossible to appraise a Lachenal from that basic description. Lachenal made a wide range of different qualities. When fully renovated the present day values in the UK might range from £400 to £3,000. If it looks "a bit rough" then professional renovation costs could easily range from £400 up to double that. Chances are that the one you have been offered is one of the cheaper models just because they were made in huge numbers compared to the good quality ones. It doesn't sound to me like a good choice for a gift.
  12. I’m working on an 1850s concertina at the moment with original brass springs. One spring has failed. There is no sign of any others being replaced. One out of 48 in 170 years isn’t bad.
  13. Phosphor bronze has a much longer working life than brass, and is also much less prone to corrosion.
  14. Yes its a 48 key treble English concertina. Metal buttons mean that was better than the basic quality versions which have bone buttons. Completely flat wooden ends suggest it's of an early date, later models usually have some moulding to the wood round the edges. It's probably a Lachenal, or a Wheatstone from the period when Louis Lachenal made many of the parts for Wheatstone. If you visit Tyneside I can have a look at it and advise you.
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