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Frank Edgley

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About Frank Edgley

  • Birthday 01/11/1946

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    http://www.concertinas.ca
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  • Interests
    Concertina maker for over 20 years
  • Location
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada

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  1. Difficult to say without hearing it. Or playing it. if it is a problem it may be the set of the reeds, or air-tightness of the chambers of the reedpan. If it is "mellower on both sides, it would be surprising if it were a defect, but still possible.
  2. There are several reasons a button could stick, so it's difficult to say what the solution might be. Also, there are different types of mechanisms, which makes analysis tricky. If you were to take the end off so as to expose the mechanism, and send a photo, it might help.
  3. There are probably buttons available from old scrapped instruments.
  4. If the reeds are steel, it might be useful as a source of reeds. However, even that may be a risk. Some Lachenals had reeds which were fairly good and some, in my experience, you could "drive a truck though." If the instrument was not a mahogany or rosewood model, but was made of ebony it might have a chance to have better reeds.
  5. What do the reeds look like? Are they screwed down?
  6. This is an Edgley Professional Model. Please check out the Edgley Concertinas blog at http://edgleyconcertinas.blogspot.com .
  7. I have a similar story. My mother bought me a Scholer concertina 40+ years ago after I decided to give piping a rest. In those days there was no internet or books on the subject or anyone that I knew of who played concertina. While I was looking for a better instrument I went to an estate auction and bid on an old Lachenal. I worked on it for months and got it playing, only to discover that it was a duet, which I had no idea how to play. I used what I had learned from the experience and started repairing and tuning for Elderly Instruments, in Lansing Michigan. People then started sending me concertinas from around the US and Canada, as there were very few others who would do the work. That was 40 years ago. I repaired concertinas exclusively for 20+ years until I started, with the help and encouragement of Harold Herrington (of Dallas Texas) to make them. Again there was a learning curve, and my first few, although they were much better than the Scholer left room for improvement. I am now very proud of the 570 or 580 instruments I have made, as my goal has always been to make the very best instruments possible. So keep on learning, and repairing. There is always room for people who know what they are dong with concertinas,.... the World's best-kepy musical secret.
  8. What band did you play with. Fifty years ago I played with St. Andrews Detroit. Then I was pipe major of Scottish Society of Windsor and most recently the Border Cities of Windsor/Detroit.
  9. I compare concertina straps to learning to ride a bicycle. You start off with training wheels, and eventually get rid of them. When you first pick up a concertina, you feel you need to have the straps tight for control. but that's not right. Looser is better so you can move your fingers around to reach the buttons, especially to G row buttons. There needs to be some space between your palms and the handles. Resting the left hand side of the body of your concertina (not the bellows) on your knee will give you control, even with the looser straps. It will get some getting used to, but too tight is not the answer to control, quite the opposite.
  10. His later instruments definitely had a much simpler design. Harold was a very smart guy, and a good friend. This had to be one of his earlier instruments...one that I have never seen. Before I made my first concertina, Harold sold one of his early six-sided instruments to the Windsor/Detroit Comhaltas branch. I don't remember what the mechanism was like, except it used coil springs. Comhaltas sent it back to Harold and he changed the type of action. It may have been just like the one shown above. I don't remember as I was just getting into it, in those days. I seem to remember at the very first "Squeeze-In" (where I met Harold) that the Button Box was in the process of designing their anglo and experimented with coil springs. Generally speaking, simpler is best, as long as it does the job well.
  11. Depending on who made it, it may be a bellows not using leather, at all. Then softener would probably not do anything to help in any case. An equally important factor may be the depth of the folds. very shallow folds mean that the bellows have to be pulled out more to achieve the same effect. For example, two bellows...one with shallow fold bellows and one with deeper folds. To pull them out to the same amount, let's say 8 inches, the angle that the folds of the bellows makes with the shallow folds may be 60 degrees, but the deeper fold bellows may only need to be pulled out to 30 degrees. Just a hypothetical as far as numbers are concerned, but you get the idea. A shallow bellows may never be as easy to play as a bellows with deeper folds.
  12. Probably not a good idea to use this pattern as it is too similar to another pattern, which would give the wrong impression of the person who would have it on their concertina. At least I hope no one would deliberately put it on their instrument.
  13. I recently received one of those South African- made anglos with Wheatstone logo. The tongues were crimped in place instead of clamped or riveted. Very poor response.
  14. Another factor in a good bellows is the depth of the folds. Shallow bellows may have seven or eight folds, but never reach good playability because the folds are too shallow. It's simple geometry.
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