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Andy Holder

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Posts posted by Andy Holder

  1. Robin, those blades look exactly the same as the Tandy Leather Factory blades.




    As Geoff said, I don't believe there's a razor that had narrow blades like that (38mmx8mm)


    I don't use mine now. I took the plunge and bought a Scharf Fix skiver (£300) and it is the most amazing bit of kit. Entirely manual but such a nicely engineered instrument.



  2. Hi all, and thank you to Geoff for those kind words. I am indeed totally honest and a very genuine fellow (but then I would say that wouldn't I?)


    My apologies to anyone that was watching it when I so brutally and shamefully pulled it, and apologies to Mr JD Leedham in particular. No suspicious circumstances at all, I don't want to say much more for the moment because the eBay police are everywhere, suffice to say I am a happy man. It's a lovely instrument and I've grown rather fond of it!


    If only I had the sticking power to practice a bit more, but I've got way too many hobbies for one person. I've just completely dismantled a Canon EOS500D camera and installed a different filter for doing astrophotography of hydrogen alpha emission nebulae, and I don't even understand most of that yet!


    Next job is a McCann 55 button (sorry Geoff, metal ends) which needs pretty much everything. I might even learn to play it, it seems far more logical to me!


  3. Hi Geoff, as you know I've been involved with this recently. I have spent literally days on the web and phone and my findings are, for a parcel going from the UK to an overseas destination, the maximum any courier will insure for is £2500, that includes Fedex, UPS, DHL etc. It may be different if you have an account with them, this is just going direct or through one of the agents.


    Via ParcelForce it will cost £144, insured up to £2,000


    Unless you have a regular account, no courier will insure £4,000 so anyone who says in their adverts "insured up to the full value" is lying or misguided.


    Most of the agents, like Parcel2Go and Interparcel will not insure over £1,000 and the general rate is 5% of the value + the carriage cost.


    I would love to be proved wrong but, as far as my research goes it is not possible to send a £4,000 instrument fully insured. Dont even think about insuring anything classed as an antique!


    Good luck though.


  4. Last saturday night I was able again to play with "the band" for the monthly Ball in our local town. I had an especially wonderfull time, watching a hall full of people enjoying their dancing and I felt so priviliged to be in such fine company, among friends.

    This experience was particularly poignant for me because three months ago I had a Stroke and when I came out of hospital the first thing I wanted to do was check my ability to play my instruments. Well, this was very frustrating, as anyone who has suffered a Stroke will tell you.


    My first attempts at playing the English were a total failure,of course, because my stroke had affected control of my left side the coordination of left and right hands was nowhere near fine enough to get anything more than gibberish music.


    So I tried the Duet and that made more sense... at least I could play the melody on the right and fumble bits of accompaniment on the left.. it got me started again.


    I was heartened and helped by the postings of other Stroke victims here on Cnet too and so thanks for that.In fact Forums like Cnet are so helpfull and entertaining when one has nothing much to do during a recuperation period.When I felt sorry for myself I could take heart from the fact that my Stroke was not too severe and that I should just take it as a warning to start behaving myself.


    With constant daily practice I have regained most of the use of my left hand and the EC is back "in the Band" and my Maccann playing has improved too.


    You might never aprieciate the value of what you have untill it's gone!



    Geoff, I haven't been around here for a while and was shocked and dismayed to hear your news. I wish you the most heartfelt good fortune with your recovery and a joyous Christmas. Although we've never met I appreciate your comments and opinions and have great respect for your depth of knowledge. Good luck mate.


  5. Hi all. I recently sold my Bb/F Jeffries for a tad over £2,000 to a gentleman in Southern Ireland. I had quoted £50 for carriage, assuming I could send it insured for probably about 60 or 70. When it came to it, the cheapest I could find that would be insured up to £2K was £144!

    In the end the sale fell through but when it comes to it next time, does anyone have any recommendations for sending high priced instruments?

    How on earth does anyone send a £4,000 instrument insured? I couldn't find a single courier that would insure any more than £2500. What do other people do?


    If there's an alternative, I've never found it. However, for the cost of expenses, I'd be willing to hand-carry and deliver your Jeffries just about anywhere.

    On the serious side - is it possible (I've never investigated this option) to insure it through a regular insurance agency who's coverage would include transporting it?


    If the sale had gone through I was going to take it by Ryan Air to Dublin, maybe £80 return (plus the cost of a couple of pints of Guinness!)

  6. G Wizz Couriers (now rebranding as Total Parcels) used to offer pretty good insurance options. Also worth looking at APC Overnight, though you may wish to phone your local office for details of insurance.


    Neither will do it, I'm afraid, Theo. It's 5% of the value for insurance. That's £100 on a 2K instrument.


    Happy Christmas, I wish I was up North for it.


  7. What I do is to get the customer to arrange pick up by a courrier company. That way, as soon as it is collected it is no longer legally your responsability, for one, and, the customer can arrange for insurance cover for the delivery under their own household or special musical instrument insurance policy.


    Most companies that send things of value regularly will have their own insurance cover, but us small operators can find that this is too expensive.


    Prior to deregulation of the Banking and insurance industries it was possible to buy insurance through a courrier company for whatever value you stipulated the item was worth.. then the rules changed and the Logistics companies were denied the right to organise insurances... so they let the qualified staff go (sacked them)... now these rules have been changed again to allow the courriers to arrange insurance but they are loathe to re employ the staff.


    I have sent instruments half way around the world that represented 4 months work on my part and with no insurance cover... these were worrying times... usually my customers collect their new toy.


    PS; Does £2000 for a Jeffries represent the full effect of the current ecconomic crises ?


    Hi Geoff, I wondered why it had all changed. I must admit I was a trifle disappointed with 2 bids and £2,050, even though it is a Bb/F. I'm not greedy, but 3k would have been nice.

    Have a marvellous Christmas.


  8. Hi all. I recently sold my Bb/F Jeffries for a tad over £2,000 to a gentleman in Southern Ireland. I had quoted £50 for carriage, assuming I could send it insured for probably about 60 or 70. When it came to it, the cheapest I could find that would be insured up to £2K was £144!

    In the end the sale fell through but when it comes to it next time, does anyone have any recommendations for sending high priced instruments?

    How on earth does anyone send a £4,000 instrument insured? I couldn't find a single courier that would insure any more than £2500. What do other people do?

  9. There is also Gumtree, Adtrader, Craigslist, http://www.musicalinstrumentsales.co.uk/, http://www.musicalads.co.uk/, netinstruments.com/ and probably many more. I'll sell your instruments if you wish on The Box Place, 15% commission on a completed sale, no other fees, set your own price. Just sold two concertinas this week.


    Thanks for the offer Theo. It did sell in the end, not quite as much as I hoped, but I'm reasonably happy. I have noticed prices going down over the last few months. Maybe there's a recession going on! :)


  10. Thanks for the encouragement. It's always a problem. I don't like using reserves as I think it puts people off after a couple of bids that don't make it. You might as well do a buy it now. But sometimes you get loads of watchers (I have 96 at the mo.) and it goes up by £50 in the last 20 seconds. It's not that I'm being greedy but it is such a lovely playing instrument I would rather keep it than let it go for £500.

    I think the best system is more like a real auction where, if there's a bid in the last minute, the auction extends. There is one site that does that, but of course nothing touches eBay's monopoly.

    Thanks again all.


  11. The stiffest cream leather I have is very thin - it's an old banjo head!


    It spent 25 years on a banjo, having been wetted to make it pliable and then dried slowly after fitting. It's vellum rather than leather, and only 0.5 mm thick, but it is flat and (given a piece the size of a concertina end) stiff. Might be hard to find, even if you know a few banjo players. Most of us use plastic heads nowadays, and even vellum heads don't split and get thrown out that often!


    Another way to make leather stiff is to boil it. As a schoolboy, I read that in the Middle Ages they had armour made of cuir bouilli (literally "boiled leather") as a cheaper, easier alternative to steel, and I experimented with it . The leather cames out of the saucepan as hard as wood, if I remember correctly - or maybe it only hardened when it dried. At any rate, it was a bit warped, so to get a flat piece, you'd have to press it or tension it somehow.


    Hope this helps,




    Thanks John,

    The problem there is that when you boil it, it shrinks like crazy and, of course, as it shrinks it gets thicker! However, your suggestion was a good one because I've tried using a steam iron. I routinely smooth leather with a dry iron, which is fine, but if you use steam on a medium heat it does seem to add stiffness to some types of leather. Steam on a high heat on some leather makes it go rock hard, I guess it's something to do with the particular tanning process .

    Cheers, interesting new knowledge!

  12. Hi all. I'm restoring a very early Wheatstone EC which has one cream coloured leather baffle in place. I would like to replace the one that's missing and I have some thin cream leather. However, the existing one is quite stiff, whether through age I don't know. My new leather is much more floppy. Is there a way of perhaps starching a piece or dipping it in something and drying it out? Any ideas?

  13. I am looking for a small ES concertina for a child. Unfortunately I just missed a 18-key Stagi at German ebay.


    I have come across smaller instruments such as a 24 key Aeola or a piccolo-sized treble....


    Any offers ( PM ) or comments?



    I've always been of the opinion that the time you need the best instrument is when you're learning. A poor quality or limited instrument will only stifle the enthusiasm. What about a basic Lachenal 48 button EC, plenty of scope for learning! You can do some great chords when you've got lots of buttons!

  14. Thanks for the reply Alex. I think your idea about temperament is probably right, I can't see why you'd need that many same notes but they could have been very slightly different. Unfortunately it was almost impossible to tell what temperament it had been. Regarding the added buttons, it was definitely as I've drawn it, the RH has two original buttons below the 3 rows and the LH had just the 3 rows of originals. The chart you sent had one button below the 3 rows on both ends, certainly not the case with this one.



  15. Getting back o the original question, and adding to what has already been said:


    Every scale has exactly one version of each of the seven letter names (A - G).


    In C major and A minor, none of them are altered with sharps or flats.


    In Eb major, for instance, you have three flats, on the B, E, and A, so it's Eb F G Ab Bb C and D. You would never call the Ab a G# because there is already a G in the scale so there would be two versions of G and no A.


    Similarly, in an E major scale, with three sharps (F, C, and G), the notes are E F# G# A B C# and D#. You would never call the G# an Ab because there is already an A in the scale so there would be two versions of A and no G.


    So for extra credit, what are the notes of G# major? Doing the math, it comes out to eight sharps. That is, all of the seven notes are sharp, except F, which is double sharp: G# A# B# C# D# E# and F##. But don't let me catch you calling the F## a G (even though in equal temperament they have the same pitch). There is already an G(#) in the scale so there would be two versions of G and no F.



    That is a great reply David, and gets right to the root of my original question. What you're saying, as far as I can make out is that, on a piano, for instance, a note would not always be called the same thing, it depends entirely on what key it is in. Excellent!

    Hang on a mo! Just to be totally pedantic, does a scale in the key of C# begin on C# and end on Db? And if I play it an octave higher, does it start on Db and end on C# ;)




  16. I hope this goes some way to explain "Sweeter",


    Wow! Thank you Geoff. A lucid explanation, although received by my cloudy brain. Thank you for taking so much time to explain this. It will take me a while to understand all of it, but you've moved me forward.


    And thanks to Andy for starting this thread. Maybe someday you'll trying laying one of those things you mend?




    Just as soon as I finish this one I'm working on, then I'll start practising! :)

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