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Mike Jones

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Everything posted by Mike Jones

  1. Thanks Simon, it as not on his website when I looked early last week. Another of his excellent restorations and finishes I see. I'll give him a ring. Mike
  2. Hi Simon, Is the 'tina with David at the moment? I am interested and would like to try it, assuming it is a C/G, and I can get to his place very easily.
  3. SqueezEast 2015 For the 11th Year SqueezEast will again be held at The Arts Centre in Stamford, Lincolnshire, and this year on Sunday 7th June. This event is both suitable as an introduction to playing in a Concertina Band, and also for those who have enjoyed the informal atmosphere of previous events here. Playing is from prepared scores in parts, aimed at Intermediate Level players, mainly played on English system instruments but with some Anglo system players. Once again the Musical Director will be Paul Barrett. Registration is now open, by contacting David Nind by email david@lomil.co.uk or by telephone at 01526 323012. Further details are on the website www.lomil.co.uk with travel information and reports on previous events. We look forward to seeing you.
  4. East Anglia Concertina Players (EACP) has been reborn as SqueezEast Concertinas. We play mostly folk tunes and concertina band parts and are based in Mid-Norfolk If anyone would like to join our small convivial group of mixed ability players (of various systems) we welcome you, especially beginners, or, to find out more, please Contact: SqueezEastconcertinas@gmail.com, or send a personal message. Mike
  5. Hi Andrew, Good to see you joined up. See you Sunday. Mike
  6. Marcus built me a G/D special (625) in 2011, I've had to tune one reed since. I asked for a light low action, which is what I got, specified the drones (I wanted a non-standard set-up) and have thoroughly enjoyed playing it ever since. I visited their workshop when on holiday and tried out several models before making a decision, but I have also tried out other hybrids as well, and to my ear the Marcus was less shrill and suited my style of playing best. I found them very helpful, prompt and good to deal with. The guarantee I got with my instrument was for as long as I keep it, worth thinking about. I have four Lachenal Anglos (3 x C/G and Bb/F) and a Wheatstone EC as well. The Marcus I generally play outdoors for Morris or in a small concertina orchestra and practice indoors on a brass reeded Lachenal 24 button so as to not annoy the wife. My only complaint was the corners of the steel ends pressed rather too hard into my palms, so I glued some thin HD foam on the corners and this has solved the issue for me. Good quality, good sound, easy to play, and thus recommended.
  7. Hi Ollie, Good to hear from you, and with yet another type of instrument to play too. Maybe see you at the DD Ale in March. MIke
  8. Hi Tom, You could have refurbed the 24 button you have just sold me and used the C* s on that. I'm planning to juggle the reeds, etc. once I have it working to try and come up with a C*/C or B/C just to see how it goes. The intention is to use the additional buttons to keep some of the reversals and maybe add a drone. I already have another 24 button (Brass reeds) that I got working again and think it probably feasible. Mike I fear the day after I sell the Rochelle I will want to play a tune with c sharps in it.
  9. David, I was fortunate enough to pick up a dead 24 button two row a couple of years ago on Ebay. OK, I spent abut £150 buying it and a further £100 or so on parts but It is great fun with its brass reeds and the extra buttons are C*/Eb, G*/Bb over two octaves, which still enables me to play tunes in C and G, as before, and some tunes D, A, Bb and F, although the range is less than with a 30 button and sometimes the button you want is on the wrong side and in the wrong direction. Even so it is cheap fun and I play it at home more than any of my other Anglo's despite its floppy bellows, leaks and five folds. So, Keep looking, they do turn up. Mike
  10. Doh, hit the wrong button! Solution: remove the offending buttons/keys from the brass operating rod slightly move the brass rod aside and with a sharp drill of the same diameter of the hole in the fingers, insert said drill and rotate smartly, blow out the hole to remove swarf, dead spider legs and dust, etc. rotate the pin end of the button against some beeswax or and old candle, and move up the peg/pin and down in cleaned hole. reattach key to brass rod , reassemble 'tina and try. if still sticky it may be the rod is slightly bent and judicious gentle use of a pair of pliers against the rod may be needed. My experience with old (edwardian and earlier) 'tinas is there should be enough wear/play in the pivot rivets, lachenal hooks, simple staples to minimise this latter adjustment. This what worked for me, it is not necessarily the recommended or best way. Anyway, best of luck. Mike
  11. This happened to me with an old Lachenal Anglo clone I bought to practice restoration. My solution was to
  12. Nice one Alex. I am toying with the idea myself, have been for sometime, because they are a local tradition; see this URL http://www.eatmt.org.uk/jigdolls.htm. EATMT recently organised a day for fledgling puppeteers , but I had to miss it. Mike
  13. On my first concertina, a Hohner badged Stagi, I had problems with both the buckle and the width of the leather as well as the tightness of the strap, so I made my own copy of one from a Lachenal owned by a friend, from leather offcuts, some diluted PVA glue and hand operated Singer sewing machine. I found two or three layers of leather (depending on the thickness of what you can get hold of ) was ideal, so the overall thickness is about 3mm. Experience now tells me to put the nap side inwards, this soon picks up skin oils and becomes smooth and comfortable. My first set of straps are now 10 years old and still in use, although I have made others since for other 'tinas I have owned/own of similar designs, but generally with nice wide bits to cover the back of the hand, leaving the fingers mostly uncovered. a small square of the same leather glued to the point of the button box/action box where the palm of the hand rests also helps with comfort and from an ergonomic standpoint I have also made new plam rests in different sizes for different boxes so that I do not have to overstretch to reach the buttons or curl the fingers under too much either for the inside rows, easy to do. Don't play any better as a result but it is comfortable and pain free. Mike
  14. I got my box (with my G/D hybrid) from Marcus Music and its one of the best I have come across in the UK, bar bespoke makers. Marcus sells them separately as well. Have a day out there? Marcus is welcoming, at least he/they were to me when I visited (my wife had to drag me out after an hour or more of mardling and trying boxes) and subsequently at a distance and the historic house in whose grounds they are situated is worth a visit as well Also have a look at Piano Covers on LIne, a friend of mine brought his box for his C/G Lachenal from them cheaper than Hobgoblin and in three different sizes. Mike
  15. Dave Townsend also occasionally sings to his own playing using an Tenor/treble EC or Baritone, but mostly in concert, not often recorded.
  16. I made and fitted the modified hand rests because I could not "curl "my fingers sufficiently to use the inner row of buttons, which gave me cramp and the longer extension with the modified hand rest worked well and I could more easliy touch the inner row and still reach the accidentals. I have no trouble with other makes of Anglo such as my Lachenal, a Wheatstone I borrowed or the Marcus G/D (lovely instrument I think) that replaced the Gremlin. Marcus made the action lower and lighter for me on request when I went down to try and subsequently order the instrument. From a previous/different strand, I trained as an ergonomist in later life as part of my health and safety professional training and one of the causes of so called repetative strain injuries leading to all sorts of musculoskeletal conditions was 1. hitting keyboards too hard and 2. not having the correct design for the person rather than making the person conform to the design. I used to reassemble the Gremlin upside down, so the buttons hung downwards and slotted into the ends/holes more easily, when I effected repairs or modifications. Best of luck with it. I really disliked playing it, both the tone and the action. It was worst than the Hohner C/G (another Stagi clone?) I had and I got rid of that as well. I am now having similar problems learning the Wheatstone English Model 21 when reaching the lowest notes on each side and have had to modify the thumb strap slightly as a result. I have quite long fingers. and used to find that I was always putting my fingers through the ends of surgical gloves when I worked in the NHS, which was a slight problem when working in asceptic conditions (as a blood transfusion immunologist).
  17. Thanks Alex, I take your points about the end bolts and fixings. Originality was not an option really but i do like to conserve as much as possible. My concern was the mahogany (no veneer) of the reed pan box is only 6mm thick and drilling it to insert self tapping inserts is likely to thin the sides to an extremely weak thinness and thus lead to cracking/loss of the mahogany and ultimately a new box being required. I think I'll try Model Fixings as you suggest in the first instance, once I have measured the end bolts for TPI and procured some. With such a large number of turns per inch I don't think that variation in pitch will be much of a problem. I do need to measure to make sure the bolts are long enough. The steel end bolts are 1" 5/16 inch or 33 mm (31 mm for my lachenal and Wheatstone but 35 for my Marcus, although with these the shaft length is the same as the steel, i.e. the head size is larger) and 3/32" thick and approximately 44 turns per inch. I was resigned to having to use two standard springs for the air button, there is plenty of space for them. I have to get some more springs anyway as several are broken plus a few spares may come in handy. I'm definitely not looking to make my fortune. the intention was to find a winter project for those dark hours when I can't get in the shed and I have had enough of practice. It will make a change from scanning and cataloging my family photograph collection (back to about 1870). Eventually I hoped to be able to make something live again that is playable; enjoyment and an intellectual and physical challenge is almost as much a priority as cost. Regards Mike Jones
  18. 24 key Silber & Fleming concertina: to restore or not restore, help required I recently “won” (as they say) a 24 key Silber Fleming anglo concertina on e-bay. It resembles a Lachenal but has some significant differences, although it is very similar to the one illustrated in the Concertina Museum as specimen C-304. The keys are marked 1-10 on both sides with the extra keys on the left as G#A and right as C#D. One # sign acting for both notes I assume, as I would expect B flat and E flat respectively. Superficially the pictures showed some holes in the bellows and some low keys indicating broken springs and the usual rubbish leather wrist straps and missing knurled nuts to adjust the straps so I thought it worth buying to see if it was possible to refurbish to playing condition as my first restoration project. Following its arrival and a visual appraisal, I removed the first end bolt and it came out easily, followed by the two pieces of mahogany forming the side of the key box that the bolt went through. Then the pads and leather discs tumbled out of the hole, those that were not wedged in the springs, together with the corner pieces and bits of spring. Being optimistic I proceeded with dismantling. No matter how careful I was, all the end bolts sheared, either the heads came off or they broke further down the shaft. It took me two days of careful work to get the end bolts out sufficiently to remove the ends and get to the action. I did have to resort to drilling out some of the bolt heads. All end bolts were steel and, apart from the first one, had heavily corroded within the wooden parts/sides, so I had to resort to some mild heat and a drift to get the corroded parts out of the wooden sections, leaving more broken bits in the captive nuts for later. Having removed the ends and the sides of the action box the (cardboard) action plates fell off complete with levers, keys, springs and the remaining loose pads etc. this was the same on both sides. The instrument was never fitted with supporting pillars between the ends and action plate. Surprisingly, none of the (bone?) keys or levers are damaged. No woodworm either, however its (original?) wooden box has some worm holes and is in rubbish condition, although I do have some ideas about how to salvage and improve it. The reed pans were in reasonable condition and still well fitting. Shoes are brass as are the reeds, which are held in by two bolts. Reed shoes are marked with the note. The pans and action boards are numbered 18273 The green leather bellows are not too bad, the gussets appear to be whole, some repairs needed on a few corners, perhaps a rebind in places, may suffice temporarily, but they are old and the internal card is beginning to denature and become powdery. Some lost pads, sampers and other bits were also wedged inside the bellows. These extraneous bits look like new, not dirty and showing no wear, so I am presuming they were dropped during assembly and left there. Further investigation and appraisal shows that the glue has dried and is no longer effective in all areas. The air button spring is broken and is of a different size to the other springs. Some levers are fitted with two springs. The end bolts are different length and diameter to Lachenal end bolts and the thread pitch and count is also different. I've not had time to measure the shaft diameter with a micrometer yet or count the TPI, but end bolts from my Lachenal Anglo and Wheatstone Model 21 don't fit, they are too large diameter and too short! I have also carefully raised the chamois leather from the inside of the reed pan box to expose the captive nuts, which are simple flat brass plates drilled and tapped and inset into a hole the width of the wood and then glued in place, the tapped hole lining up with the holes for the end bolts. I managed to remove one as the wood holding it in was so damaged by iron corrosion if fell apart. Use of a blow torch and a clamp on the metal screw end got the stump of the end bolt out. I could not have got this far without using David Elliotts book on concertina maintenance. I now have to work out if it is worth trying to restore this 'tina, and I have some questions the Concertina.net community may be able to help with to enable me to make up my mind. Assuming new end bolts of the correct size are not available I will have to fit what I can get hold of. I am fairly sure that the captive nuts for these will be too large for the size of wood I have, but I may be able to redrill and tap and existing captive nuts. Where would I get a suitable tap from? Unless you know of a source for end bolts of the correct size? Are springs of a thicker/stronger material to normal concertina springs made and available? Who from? I only need one for the air button. I need more springs for some of the other keys but these appear to be similar to those I know are available. Would one from a melodeon fit? ( I don't want to take my Erica apart to find out). Costs for these would also help if known. If I decide to go ahead and repair I have also been thinking about the additional buttons and the accidentals. Why would anyone need two G#A buttons and reeds on the left? To my way of thinking it would be better to have one of these as an A push E pull reversals on this side ( I use the A push on the accidental row quite a bit on my 3 row) and on the right instead of two C#D# change, these to an F# push C or G pull. Any advice as to what might be better than what I have or propose would be appreciated? I don't suppose anyone has an inkling as to the age of the concertina? I know the Silber Fleming factory/department store burned down in the 1860's and were bought out in the 1880's, but none of that helps with dating. Does anyone have a working Silber Fleming Anglo? How does it play and sound? I know there are others out there as questions have been posed in 2010 and 2002 on various forums about them. Thanking everyone in anticipation Mike
  19. Got one at the weekend when Fendragon played at the Kemp's Men's ceilidh. Even though I thought I knew most of the tunes from sessions I used to go at Wilbraham, I am hearing something new in each one and the standard of play on the CD was much better than the session as well (probably 'cause I was not there). Excellent. I'm trying to play Juliana again, correctly this time, as I think this is a lovely piece. Support for Cancer Research is also important to me as my son is currently in remission from colon cancer for the second year and now has a chance to see is daughter grow up.
  20. I'll be going with a couple of others from Norwich, two of us in the Sandra Kerr concertina workshops, the other playing melodeon.
  21. Hi Malcolm, my first posting, I mostly watch. However, I have a "Gremlin" which I believe is from the 70's with the same action and have exactly the same problem with it. I solved the problem by buying a 30 button Lachenal from Pete Grasby. The Gremlin is now almost unused and unusable. The action is dreadful, one button lug has broken(I moved them round and now have a hole for accidentals I rarely use) and the 'tina is not even in tune with itself. It was supposed to be a G/D but Its more of a C/G but I don't think a single reed is in tune anyway. I'm happy to let you have it for spares if it will keep another player playing. PM me if you are interested. Mike in Norwich
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