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Bill N

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About Bill N

  • Rank
    Heavyweight Boxer
  • Birthday 01/10/1959

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    Male
  • Location
    Hamilton, Canada

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  1. My local hobby shop sells the silicone tubing for $1.60 a foot. I got 2 feet which was more than enough for 20 buttons. A foot probably would have been enough. It was easy to cut and slide in place, had a good spring and flex to it, and a bit of "tackiness" to help keep it positioned on the lever.
  2. There are a few threads here on this topic already. You are on the right track. Folks recommend the silicone tubing used as gas line for model airplanes. https://www.concertina.net/gs_stagirepair.html
  3. Bill N

    Dog Days in Ithaca?

    Looks like you might be able to contact him through the Scrimshaw Collector gallery in Bellingham, Washington.
  4. Bill N

    First “Old Timey” Tune

    Bertram Levy's recent book, "American Fiddle Styles for the Anglo Concertina" has lots of tunes and ideas for how to approach this music on the concertina.
  5. Bill N

    Dating A Lachenal From The Serial Number

    Hi Dowright, Sorry to pile on this thread, but can you tell me anything about Lachenal English #6915? It has 48 glass buttons, brass reeds, rosewood ends with brass inlay, and gold stamping on the green bellows and thumb straps. It was found in an attic in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada by the new owner of an old house, so no provenance came with it. It's in its hexagonal rosewood box with a bone or ivory escutcheon.
  6. Bill N

    Rosewood Added To C I T E S Appendix 2

    I believe that was my post. I was returning to Canada from a concertina weekend at the Button Box with 3 concertinas in the car: a Morse GD and Edgley CG that I had taken to play in the workshops, and a family heirloom Henry Harley that I had previously mailed to the Button Box for a bellows rebind. We were pulled aside for a random secondary inspection, and the Canadian border agent questioned me because of the number of instruments. Not a CITES issue (although the Harley is "ebonized" rosewood), but rather a suspicion that I had bought them in the US, and was trying to take them across without paying the 13% Harmonized Sales Tax (concertinas enter Canada duty free). Fortunately the agent was called to a more urgent matter, and I was let off with a warning. I now have the little green cards for all my instruments, kept in their cases. Not a bad idea to have one for anything of value (camera, electronics, etc.) that might travel with you. You can pick one up at the Canadian border before you cross.
  7. For the kind of music you are interested in this would probably do the trick. From my experience, the cheaper Lachenals are all over the map in terms of playability. I think some were simply built better than others, but their treatment over the years probably accounts for most of the variability. I wouldn't buy one that I couldn't try first, however Chris is a reputable, straight dealer -he describes his wares fairly and doesn't sell junk. Having said that, if I were in your shoes I'd be keeping my eyes out in the USA for a used Morse or Edgley (or Tedrow, but they don't seem to come up often) while I saved up another 2 or 300 clams. You won't find an easier playing, more responsive vintage instrument in that price range, and you won't have to deal with 100 years of wear and tear and unknown maintenance. The sound of accordion reeds vs. concertina reeds is a matter of personal taste- the quality hybrids sound great, just different. I have both, and enjoy playing them all. The Morse has the added advantage of being as light as a feather. They also hold their value well, so if you are ready to move on in a few years time, you can generally sell a used hybrid for about what you paid for it.
  8. As I was making this modification on a cheap, nasty box reversibility wasn't an issue. If I wanted to fit a lever to a valuable instrument I think I would remove the original hand-bar, store it away safely, and fabricate a replacement hand-bar with a lever secured by a pin/axle. (here's a pic of the lever from my Henry Harley- the top hand-bar was the one that had the lever attached.) To clarify, the people I know who commissioned different types of air buttons specified them on new instruments, not as modifications to existing ones.
  9. Reenact, in the meantime you could try mounting an air button lever to help reach the button. I just did this for a friend who is having the same problem. I used a thin piece of wood (like a popsicle stick or tongue depressor) about 5/8 " wide, and 1" long. I glued a piece of stiffish scrap leather the same width and about 1/2" longer to the face of the stick. Then I glued the protruding length of leather to the top of the hand-bar where the thumb rests, and secured it with a small screw counter-sunk into the leather. This creates a hinged flap that rests on top of the air button. Your thumb lies along it, and makes it easy to depress the air button (you may have to cut a slight angle where the flap meets the Hand-bar in order to centre it over the button. If you just want to try it out, a stick and duct tape will work temporarily. I have an old German-made concertina where an air lever is original equipment (see attached), and I often wonder why it isn't more common. I do know a few folks who have commissioned top modern makers to put levers or melodeon style buttons on their instruments. )
  10. Bill N

    Tips & Tricks for Contra

    Thanks everyone. You've given me some good ideas to work with.
  11. Since the demise of my Long-Sword Side I have been sitting in with a band that plays for New England style contra dancing. They play a lot of stuff from the Portland collection, a little bit of Old Time stuff, and quite a bit from contemporary dance tune composers. It's a fiddle driven band, and they don't like to be confined to G and D Major. They like the concertina in the mix, and have been pushing me up to the front. I've been getting the new tunes and fast tempo under my fingers, but have been mostly playing melody or really basic harmonies. On nights when we don't have a piano, or it's just me and the fiddles, I would like to function more as a rhythm instrument, and am looking for ideas on how to tackle it. I don't read music. I have 30 button C/G & G/D boxes, a 20 button Bb/F, and a big baritone double reeded 20 button D/A. I've been making up chord charts, listening hard to the piano player, and wearing out my Jody Kruskal CDs and making some progress, but would welcome any advice.
  12. Bill N

    Anglo playing guidance needed

    The mechanics of it are very anglo-centric- a big part of it is using the reversals and duplicates to create push and pull phrases. But I would think that the approach of phrasing and blocking hand positions for each phrase could work with the duet. I don't think it would be very useful for English players, but I could be wrong.
  13. Bill N

    Anglo playing guidance needed

    For the type of music you are playing, I can't recommend Bertram Levy's "American Fiddle Styles for the Anglo Concertina: 30 Studies in the Art of Phrasing" highly enough. Challenging stuff, but almost easier to do before you develop a lot of self-tutored habits. The studies teach you how to construct a tune as a series of phrases, taking advantage of duplicate and reversal note buttons, and preparing hand position for each phrase. As a fellow self-taught player, I wish I had come across his ideas a long time ago. I wasn't able to play a fast reel convincingly until I started doing this.
  14. Bill N

    Buttrey manuscript

    The current line-up of FoFG has Ians Robb & Bell. Both are also involved in numerous other projects as well.
  15. Bill N

    Buttrey manuscript

    Don, the curator of this site, Ian Bell, has recently and quickly become a very competent concertina player (he's an incredible multi-instrumentalist), and there are some very tasty concertina recordings there. His versions of Sir Roger de Coverley, and an Ontario tune called Jim Fisher the Caller are worth learning.
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