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Chris Ghent

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About Chris Ghent

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    Heavyweight Boxer

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    http://www.concertina.com.au
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    Blue Mountains NSW

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  1. Things to investigate include; a missing cloth bushing in the button where the lever passes through it, a missing bush under the button, and wear in the joint between lever and post. As Alex says, that discrepancy in the lad is not your noise.
  2. Quite right Dave, I omitted the time element.
  3. I have found a couple of instruments with buttons protruding further than they should, to the point the spigot at the bottom was coming out of the actionboard guide hole. In both cases the post was coming out of the actionboard because a safety pin had been used as a replacement spring. If it is stronger than the springs around it, fine, play the gig, but replace it as soon as possible. You can also use the spring from a key you never use and put tape under the padhole from the key that now has no spring so it doesn’t leak while you source another spring.
  4. If Geoff can’t help a machinist can measure the tpi and grind a cutter to the threadform. New bolts can then be cut on a screw cutting lathe.
  5. Photograph the ends making sure you are absolutely vertical above each one ( use a plumbob from the camera to establish this). Also use a longer lens, not a wider one. Place a ruler in shot parallel with the top of the end. Take the image and insert it into a vector drawing program. Use the ruler to scale the drawing to the exact size. Draw around the piercings and mark the boltholes. Print the image (be careful you don’t lose scale on this step) in gray on white (works much better than black on white), glue it to the blank and cut it out.
  6. Machine screws only work with a machined thread. If you are putting a screw into wood you would be best to use a tapered wood screw. That said, I would expect a small wooden post to split if you put a screw into the end of it. Nylon would be less likely to have issues. Posidrive screws are not appropriate for aesthetic reasons but it is your concertina. Do lots of research before you do anything.
  7. Because I now often play with a piper who has a lovely Froment set in C I recently tuned my spare concertina to Bf/F. After a little advice taking I decided to make it 1/4 comma meantone as well. The result is unplayable in a regular session whereas when I had it in 1/5 comma meantone it wasn’t too bad. In all other respects it is absolutely wonderful. Chords sound smooth, especially thirds which I would not normally use. It is not only the chords, normal melodic sequences sound sweeter, as if your ears hear the implied intervals and add them up. I find myself thinking of wine writer’s jargon; hints of dark chocolate and cherry in the lower notes, mellow honey in the midrange and echoes of the trumpets at the gates in the upper ranges, etc... Since I finished it I have found myself avoiding my ET C/G and reaching for the MT Bf/F.
  8. The member called Old Nickilby sent me some of those screws a few years ago and I think from what he said he has more. You could also get a blob of silver solder placed on top of the old screw and the head and slot reshaped. If you find the wood the screws thread into is worn out, Wolf’s suggestion is a good one. I have replaced the setup in a couple of instruments with a narrow solid brass pillar inside the action box in place of the wooden spacer and short countersunk machine screws entering it from the strap plate and from under the soundboard. You can also pull the same trick with the short screws by making up a brass plate to sit under the end. 10BA is a reasonable size.
  9. It was only ever meant to be a prototype so it is a little rough and unfinished. It worked well enough and I haven’t replaced it. When I do I’ll use a nice hardwood.
  10. Sean, good question. It is best to keep the concertina lightly compressed when not using it. If you do not do this then the bellows will become less willing to close fully. This can be an issue when you need that last little bit of air on the push. I have seen one Morse Ceili (no reflection on Morse Ceilis, terrific instruments, most concertinas will act the same) which was unable to close the last 1” (25mm) without increasing pressure to compensate for the open resting position that had come about because the owner had never put it back in the case. After a number of years of being constantly held closed the bellows will give up and stay closed. If your case does not have blocks to hold the bellows closed, then fit them. If you want to keep the concertina out ready to play (I do) I endorse the idea of a velcro ended strip to hold the bellows closed, or make a wooden frame to pop the concertina into (I did) which keeps the concertina on show and means it just needs to be picked up to be played. The valves on accordions are not on the same angle as concertina valves, depending on the accordion, and may not be as affected by the accordion sitting vertically.
  11. If you choose a typical reed and take its valve off and reassemble the concertina you will find out whether it is the valves or not. If that note jumps out then a lighter valve will help.
  12. Lachenals often have reeds which are neither loud nor fast and without a high quality reed to compare you might have trouble assessing performance on the tuning rig.
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