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Chris Ghent

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About Chris Ghent

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    Heavyweight Boxer

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    Blue Mountains NSW

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  1. Chris Ghent

    20-Year Anniversary of Concertina.net

    Paul, thanks for the fun..! Chris
  2. Chris Ghent

    Bellows Card Depth

    My recollection of measuring Jeffries a long time ago was they were more like 30mm. I pulled back from that depth some time ago because instruments I had played with shallower folds seemed inherently more stable. I ended up at 27mm and they do seem less floppy.
  3. A large percentage of accordion parts can be bought; reeds, bellows, action etc, leaving some cabinet making to be done and then the assembly. The equivalent parts all need to be made for a concertina. Consequently a concertina course would need to be much longer.
  4. Chris Ghent

    Concertina Bow Arm

    Another way to put this; both hands play melody, but only one hand plays rhythm.
  5. Chris Ghent

    Creeping Reed Shoe

    Noel, this is not uncommon and is usually due to humidity changes altering the wood, shrinking or expanding it. Shimming with paper would be the standard fix though placing the shim all the way along one side of the frame would be my first choice because it is likely the wood has retreated right along. Wally's reed slots have a more complex shape than most I see and this may account for his method. I would suggest using a paper which is well compressed because a strong joint between frame and pan helps the tone. If I get a loose frame and I suspect a humidity change I do not glue the paper in as I am hoping in time the situation might resolve itself and I will be able to remove it. If I do finally decide to glue it in I place two tiny smears of glue on the wood, one at the tip end and one at the root end, never in the middle beside the reed.
  6. Chris Ghent

    C# within 20 button CG Anglo.

    Putting a middle octave c# in a slot designed for a low D could be done but it would not work well as the chamber is too big to make the reed work well. Making the chamber smaller would most likely upset the sound of the reed of the other reed. Retuning a D could certainly be done but would playing a C# an octave low really work other than in chords? And then the instrument would then be very idiosyncratic and anybody used to the fingering would experience trouble on every other anglo concertina. Hey, its yours. There are a number of reeds in a C/G 20 key no-one is going to use, way up at the squeaky end on the right eg. the last button on the g row. It is likely the chamber will be wide enough for two c#s, one each side of the pan. You would need to break out the end of the chamber, fill the wind slots with wood and recut the frame slots and wind slots in the right place and big enough for the c#s and redo the chamber walls. You might need to open out the padhole and replace the pad. In order of difficulty this job is somewhere between easy and hard. Any repairer who is also a maker could do it in a couple of hours plus glue set time if the reed assemblies are available, longer if they are going to be made. If you do not have the gear then it will look very hard. I have done one on a 5" Lachenal, went OK, but my better advice is, buy a 30key.
  7. Chris Ghent

    Tuning up or tuning down

    There is less chance of damaging high reeds if you tune down, and less chance of damaging low reeds if you tune up. Yes, this information doesn't help make a decision!
  8. These are the deeds of repairers. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with using different leather on the partitions, what matters is that is seals. And while I wouldn't do it, I have seen many instruments with a screw through a reedpan block. It works but seems unnecessary when glue would work on its own. If at some time later you wanted to move the block only a small amount the screw would no longer work though you could plug the hole and drill again. The one you picture is unfortunately placed: the screw, which is essentially a wedge, is being forced into a join between two pieces of wood. It has to be weaker than before the screw went in.
  9. Chris Ghent

    Perfecting a setup

    It's south, we also suffer from the sense the northern hemisphere is somehow the top of the world and that anything that falls can be seen to be slipping downwards towards the south pole. If anyone goes down there to through the giant piles of things that went south I'm looking for a sock, made from possum fur, black with a blue heel. The possum is probably looking for it too.
  10. Chris Ghent

    setting the reeds for nice attack?

    Wolf, I noticed your statement in the other thread and it does not tally with my experience. When the reed set is very high you will get a bit more cut but the effect on the output at low pressure is not quiet playing, it is no noise at all, just a sound of air passing the reed until sufficient pressure is attained so as to start the reed. This sometimes feels like a delay in starting at low pressure. If your reeds will play quietly and you have a bit of cut at volume then it sounds to me as if they are adjusted very well. The equation goes something like this; when the reed set is low the reed starts easily and has a slightly more mellow sound. It is however prone to stalling or choking if the initial bellows pressure is sudden and high. When the reed set is high there will be a little more cut in the tone but the reed will not start well without a lot of pressure and it is difficult to play quietly and have control over note starts. Somewhere in between these two stations lies a way which will suit our individual needs, for example, an Irish dance player might want a little higher set than a person who wanted only to play airs.
  11. Chris Ghent

    Perfecting a setup

    If the sluggish reeds were not like that after the Dipper rebuild then the most likely culprits would be valves (not just the ones that won't close but those that won't open) or leaks from either shrunken or warped wood or from reedpan blocks no longer being in the best position. The reeds could also be inefficient due to too great a clearance or the set could be too low. Try one of the sluggish reeds by putting sudden immense presure on the bellows and see if the sluggishness is worse, a sure sign of low set. Check where the pads for the sluggish notes are located, they may seem random on the keyboard but be near each other on the pan. If so check the pan blocks and the sealing between the pan and bellows and how flat the reed pan is. Check all of these things anyway. Check the partition gaskets don't stop short of the bellows frame walls in those chambers. HTH
  12. Chris Ghent

    Buzzing Reed

    Could be the valve next to it. To test, change the valve, remove it, or put a tiny piece of sellotape to hold it down. If the buzz goes away then change the valve. Another clue as to whether it is the valve next to the reed is if it is worse when you change bellows direction without lifting your finger off the button.
  13. Chris Ghent

    making a jig for springs

    You can make more than adequate springs on a very simple jig, all you need is a four inch nail, a brad, and a piece of round wooden rod. Drive the four inch into the end of the wood and cut it off at about 4mm. Put the brad in 15mm away and cut it off at 2mm. To use, put the bend into the wire for the foot, hook it around the brad, make three turns around the four inch holding the wire low as possible to keep the coil tight, and stop bending when the top run is at at or near the required angle for the preload. Cut the wire a little long. Form the hook directly above the foot and cut off the excess. Correct the foot and hook angles. If you want to make it look flash you can bend the top run over sideways as it comes off the coil and then reverse that bend a little further out so top and bottom runs are in the same vertical plane. Sorry about the mix of imperial and metric, a four inch nail is a colloquial term here, they used to be 4 inches long and 1/8" in width so about 3.25mm in width.
  14. Chris Ghent

    Harsh Reed Work Around

    It seems strange that the only reed different to the rest should be harsher when it is more usual the other way around. Can I suggest shifting the reed to a different position and seeing whether the harshness follows it? If it does then it is either touching, has much tighter clearances than its peers, or is ridiculously thin. As an easy fix it might be the best thing ask around for a replacement reed of the same value. If the problem vanishes when the reed is shifted then it may be the wood slot it is in is shaped to jam one end of the frame but not the other. If the problem stays in the original position then it may be again one end only jamming. This can easily happen when a person reshapes a frame to fit a different instrument and it sounds as if this is true of all of the reeds in your concertina. When a mishapened frame jams only at one end it is often hard to see. Putting a thin sliver of paper down between the frame and wood roughly alongside the tip of the reed while you put the frame in is helpful; if it is easy to pull out when the reed is in then it is too loose at the tip.
  15. Bill, thanks for the insight, I have seen them on eBay and wondered how good they are. I'd like to have one, I can think of a lot of uses for it, but always suspected 40 watts would not be enough. It is hard to know how much power would satisfy me in terms of quality.