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Chris Ghent

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Everything posted by Chris Ghent

  1. Lovely to see Richard Morse’s name resurface after all this time…
  2. I find if your fingers have to bend back towards your hand ( from the proximal interphalangeal joint, sorry, don’t know the common name, is it second knuckle?) to use the closest row then it is harder to play. Raising the handrest height does not increase the distance to the close row at all but it allows you to straighten the last joint. I have my handrest set at 30mm. More valuable for a larger hand would be to incline the handrest back at an angle a little. This would be relatively straightforward if making a new rest. I did it once on a 4.5 inch concertina to make it easier for an adult to play. The handrests could be swapped to the other ends so the incline then set the top closer towards the buttons and it could be played by a very small child.
  3. My experience with building one of these was the old squeaks and whistles were not wonderful. I did wonder if it was because the chambers were too small. I exchanged the old squeaker (think it was from a Lachenal) I first used with one from a modern dog toy and it was much louder.
  4. So glad I can now recommend this album; I waited until people could buy it. I have had it for three or four years. It is a brilliant recording and shows Ciarán O’Grady (Cogsey) to be one of the great anglo players of the world. His wife Afric is equally skilled on the fiddle. Disclaimer: well, more of a claimer! They are friends..! But seriously, listen to them.
  5. Find yourself some harmonium or reed organ reeds as a source of the brass. They will be around, almost no-one keeps the instruments but people sometimes keep the reeds. Take the reed from the harmonium reed frame; it will still need drilling, filing to fit , riveting (the secret there is to have a hole in the reed a little bigger then the rivet and this will allow you to adjust the position of the reed as you rivet it) and then filing to pitch.
  6. Looking at the reed in the foreground, if that one is not sounding quickly then no surprise. While people often say the tip needs to be raised up above the frame, in fact the reed needs to be raised up above the frame from about 1/3rd of the way along the frame from the root, not just the tip.
  7. If you have the right file getting your .5mm down to .25 or 2 will take about 90 seconds per reed.
  8. A book binder offered to do one retrospectively for me, in fact he said it would be his preferred method. Only thing was, he wanted a piece of the leather to do a test on, some tanning methods make it difficult to do successfully. I didn’t have one, or the blocking die either so it did not go any further. There is a fellow in South Australia had a device built with 6 Jeffries style dies on a wheel. You feed a strip in and turn a handle and the strip comes out with the impressions all in a line. I have seen a few, it works, but getting them to line up in the exact place when fitting must be a struggle. It hasn’t been used in 20 years and could well be for sale.
  9. Yes, one of the RHS d#s in the Jeffries layout. My point about the drone was not that it could be converted to extra reversals but that the space it occupies on the reedpan (which I don’t really have a grip on as I have had little to do with hybrids) could be used instead to supply one more of the usual accidental row buttons.
  10. I put an E in the same place on my own concertina a few years back but never did convert to using it. You couldn’t pull from D to E because it was the same finger but apart from that worked OK. I have found putting non-reversed notes (typically E/F and A#/G#) from the left onto extra buttons on the RHS works well. Typically when your left hand is busy your right is not. And there is more real estate available on the right. Every instrument I have made has had the low F# reversed on the second button RHS accidental row instead of one of the d#s, a Dipper mod. Speaking of real estate, could you achieve another accidental note if you dropped the LHS drone?
  11. I suspect the transition from an incomplete (sorry, sounds pejorative, don’t mean to be, supportive of this project) learner instrument to a standard instrument would be easier if all of the buttons on the learner instrument had the same pitch values and positions as the equivalents on the more complete instrument. Is G minor a typical key for an entry level player? I found in my own playing using both A and G on that button made a huge difference to phrasing in my playing (including using the G in G minor) and I find encouraging students to use that G/A button early on is better than converting to that way of thinking later. As a teacher (of ITM) this would be a deal breaker for me. I have a laser cutter too, uphill learning curve! Struggle!
  12. Some cheap bellows are made with folded card rather than hinged card. They may break in eventually.
  13. Totally personal but I’d hate not to have the A/G reversal on the left end accidental row. A lot depends on the canon you are making the instrument for. A learner Irish player would be better off for future playing with the A/G than the Bflat/Aflat.
  14. I think you have misread Dana, Tom. You are in agreement. Tom, your man with the bandoneon; my guess is he doesn’t know much about his instrument but knows he can get what he wants out of it, so he imagines it must be right.
  15. Richard, don’t know if he is still in business, he is getting on, but try Peter Saville from JamesDeanDesign@bigpond.com.au, 0414 992 000. He is on the Princes Highway in Tempe, Sydney. He made a couple of knives for me a couple of years ago, well made. He has been in the shoe manufacturing business all his life. I think the principal at Lucris might have retired, his daughter is running it now. Both use a form of strip steel which they have on rolls. It has one sharpened edge (single sided) and they bend it to fit. It must be possible to buy it but whether it would be at an economic length would be something else. Either Lucris or Peter might tell you what it is called, which would make it much easier to find. Lucris used to work from a cardboard template, specifically manila folder! Peter worked from examples. The only good reason for wanting a set of knifes is you can stamp out a large number of valves quickly. The shape of them is usually a taper with rounded ends. While the rounded ends have no function once the valves are installed, the taper may make a difference as the smaller tip area would have less square area and the root end would be similar in stiffness to a parallel one meaning the speed of lift and return could be different. But you can cut a taper into a square valve easily if you want that. I often find my standard valves will not fit a repair or some of my own chambers and have no hesitation in cutting one from scratch with square ends or trimming the sides down on an existing valve. If I was reordering a set of knives I would get a number of shapes in each length.
  16. Alex, sorry,somehow didn’t notice you had given all of the same info...
  17. If you can find a company that makes clicker knife dies they will make them for you and it probably won’t be very expensive. They typically work for leather industries like the shoe industry. Here’s the outfit that made mine https://lucris.com.au Clicker knife making is a dying industry but there will still be makers in your country. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were makers in or near Street in Somerset, former home of Clark Shoes. Cornish’s, who supply bellows leather parts are there and they would know of a clicker die maker.
  18. Putting the (sharp) wadding punch in the quill of a drill press will give you straight sides to your pads. And no, don't turn it on while pressing the pads, just bear down on it.
  19. You can run something hard along the middle of them bearing down into the vent and they will appear to behave as normal but I doubt that will last long. In Ireland where there were few repairers until recently and no manufacturers I have heard people take the reed off, roll it up shiny side out and then put it back on again. They say this lasts a while. The best (only) solution is another valve, which needs to be fitted to work similarly to the other valves on the instrument; that is, with similar “give”, in order to preserve consistent starting pressure and affect on tuning and the tone of the reed. To get this right you need access to a range of valve materials and to be very ready to say, that one is not good enough and try another.
  20. I have a Tile on my keys; this allows me to find my keys by looking on the phone and find my phone by ringing it from the keys. It has saved me a lot of time many times over. How well it works if the keys are out of bluetooth range from my phone I don’t know but I would not expect many other people to have the app running where I live so I’m not depending on it. If you can find a place to put it on the reedpan where it does not foul a reed, valve or the bellows I doubt whether you will change the sound. I wouldn’t worry about damaging an older instrument, they are well made and if you are careful how you do it there will be no problem. If you want to drill a hole, its yours, you can do what you want. Just be sensible.
  21. @Clive Thorne The frames in a Lachenal are good, and the steel may be. The usual issue is the clearance between the frame and tongue is excessive. I have heard of people cutting the tip off and pushing the reed further into the window; this reduces the side clearance because the reed is tapered. The reed would then need tuning. @Alex West Alex, you might be right about there being some good Lachenal reeds but I haven’t seen any great ones. This may be because my focus is on Irish music and Lachenal anglos were not their best instruments; they lack the speed and power needed for today’s music, but none of the ECs I have seen have really been great either. It may be some are good for purpose, the Lachenal tone can be very pretty. You have probably seen a lot more of them than I have.
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