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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. Not the best reason for a recommendation..! There are others who give advice here who know their stuff but for my money if you want great advice ask Theo. In all the time I have been reading his posts here I have not seen him put a foot wrong.
  2. Your instinct sound about right to me, though not sure what “ crazy” glue is. Thicker consistency super glue would be OK. If the post seems quite loose in the hole a sliver of wood (this sort of thing was a great use for matches in the old days) placed in the hole first will take up the slack. When you hammer it back in (if it will push in by hand I think it is too loose) be careful as a spurt of superglue could be forced out under pressure and it could end up anywhere ( remember the golden rule of OH&S, “first cover remaining eye”). Next thing to think about is why the post is coming out. It could be the wood has shrunk from being too dry or it might be that the spring pressure for that lever or the whole instrument is a bit high. It is common to find post issues when a broken spring is replaced with a safety pin, which has the benefit of looking a little like a concertina spring but they are usually made of much stronger materials and will lift the post out over time. Your fix is not irreversible because you can always drill the damaged material out and epoxy in a dowel of the same size and redrill.
  3. Chris Ghent

    Lachenal Maccann Tuning

    Just when you think you have heard everything...
  4. Chris Ghent

    Snapped off end bolts

    If you do end up replacing one bolt with another with a non-standard thread there is some merit in making the bolt head look different to the others as it is a clue to anyone reassembling the concertina at a later point to be careful which hole the non-standard one goes into.
  5. Chris Ghent

    Peterson Strobosoft Tuning Software

    That is what I do, I think it is good to be consistent. I have come across a couple of concertinas I was told were tuned to the initial reading. They did not sound in tune to me. There are other inconsistencies; bellows pressure if you are not using a constant -air source and also how much force is used to hold the frame down in the tuning jig can change the tuning. If you are using a mechanical clip it will be consistent but if you are using hand pressure the reading can vary a lot and you need to develop a “standard touch”. Edited to add, sorry I did not answer your direct question. All of the tuners I have used show the bounce. I understand the great legacy and affection for Peterson Strobes but don’t use Strobosoft because I find it fussy. I currently use APTuner because it supplies a large analogue style needle and a cents reading. I have checked it against my Korg Orchestral and also Cleartune and there is no difference. Hey, it is also free.
  6. You could make it any shape you want, round is convenient but plenty have been square.
  7. Chris Ghent


    Many Irish concertina players use a very abrupt grace note as a percussive sound on a rhythm point or as a differentiation on the second of two identical notes. They produce this sound by playing another note, often the button immediately beside the expected note, using a lot of force on the bellows and a very short tap on the button, only putting the button down about halfway. This creates a sound which is less a tone and more a “snatch”. I have heard people say, what is that intermittent noise when they first hear it. If you listen again and count the beats and if the click often falls to the 1st or 3rd beats then it is likely this is what you are hearing.
  8. Chris Ghent

    Does this case need work

    Given it is a ‘signed’ case, why not ask the case makers..? The Dippers will probably know if they are still around. Lovely case...
  9. Chris Ghent

    24 key C/G Anglo Lachenal/ Wallis date ?

    I have one of these; the extra buttons on each side are the notes you would expect to find on the first two accidental row buttons.
  10. If the pan is warped then the underside of the action box is likely to be concave as well.
  11. No need to replace the gasket around the outside of the bellows if it is OK. Same for the gasket on top of the partitions but if it needs to be done, you would normally cut it from one piece of chamois but not all in one piece. Make a series of long strips around 3mm wide and apply them piece by piece. Chamois skins can have a lot of variation in thickness, try to make the strips as consistent in thickness as possible.
  12. It would be best to use a leather rather than a modern material for the gaskets. Chamois was common. It is common for the pan blocks to be out of position and the best thing would be to remove them and put them back in the right place. A work flow which would work, barring the unforeseen or so far unmentioned, would be, remove the reedpan blocks, clean them up and also the place they will be reattached, fix the gasket if necessary, place the reed pan in the bellows and place the bellows face down on a flat surface, then from the other end of the bellows put your hand in and push the pan down against the flat surface and refit the pan blocks. This is a little more fiddley than I have made it sound but it is not rocket science. Use a reversible glue, ie. fish or hide, and mistakes become tedious rather than tragic.
  13. The clearance issues are the same with concertina reeds. I have seen on a highest quality Wheatstone concertina the frame tapering in towards the reed in the last few mms to the point there seemed to be no clearance and when this was shown to me it was understood to have been done for precisely the reason the polish is applied in the video. Any gap around the reed is essentially a necessary leak. It is not a surprise only best quality reeds might have had this; apart from the technical difficulties, lesser quality reeds could be more easily improved by lifting the quality of the clearance all round. Once this was done I can imagine someone saying, what else can we do? Do we need this clearance where the reed doesn't really move? I do wonder at clearances figures like 5 to 10 microns at the most? BeePee, how is this being measured? On a harmonica red plate there are not be the forces which shift clearances according to the weather but even so. In a concertina reed you would be asking a reed to not deviate sideways over as much as 20-30mm. Perhaps a surface ground reed might pass this test but a hand filed one?
  14. Chris Ghent

    “Winterizing” the concertina

    Numbers 1 & 2 on your list are valve issues and yes it is likely the valves are reacting to humidity. (Was this a 40 button from Hazelbrook in the Blue Mountains? If so then I know the instrument, a decent example of its sort and in good condition.) These may settle down but supplying a (consistent) more humid environment would help. Number 3 may also be valves but also could be fluff caught in the reeds, a loose reed shoe, or even a just touching tongue. These often respond to removing the assembly, inspecting for fluff and replacing back in the slot. Many instruments have valve related buzzes and gurgles and top instruments owned by top players often have them too. People learn to play around them. Avoiding changing bellows direction with the button depressed will often eliminate your number 2, which is common on lower notes. The way you express number 1 indicates you can find ways to play around those noises also though it will dictate your phrasing at times. If it does not settle you might need to change the offending valves.
  15. Chris Ghent

    Fingers slipping

    I used to suffer from fingers slipping but found attention to technique helps. The most common button I had issues with was the f# on the Grow. When I looked at the problem of that button specifically I found I was hitting the button with the flat of the finger and with a lot of sideways movement; the best description of this might be throwing the finger in that vague direction and hoping part of it might hit the spot. This was as a way of coping with the lack of dexterity and strength in the little finger. When I decided to use the end of the finger and be more precise in an up and down movement the issue receded and I rarely slip now, though if it is hot and sweaty I might still have the problem occasionally.