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I recently bought a "new" concertina at an antique store to upgrade my existing box. I currently play an economy box from the 50-60's that is a little weazy and cranky. My needs are limited. I play folk songs, Christmas carols and Woodie Guthrie using the hand held harmonica with bass approach. The "new" box has aluminium ends with heavy maroon textured paint. It says "BREVETTATA MADE IN ITALY". It had no straps but I tested it in the store by holding one end between my knees. All the buttons work and the bellows are tight. It has a clean bright sound and seems in tune to my inexpert ears. Here's the problem. The left hand side is upside down ie. the low notes are on top. I thought it might be reversible but upon taking off the end plate there seems no way in and I didn't want to use force and risk breakage. I will mention I've had a few accordions apart and done some repairs. Everything was always self evident. Not so this time. So why was it made this way? Is this a weird variant or was it customized? Someone played it a lot. You can see by the wear on the finish. Thanks in advance for any insight you can give.
Once upon a time in the 80's I had my first computer and modem and had my first taste of a computer network. I had to choose an internet name for myself. "Tinkerer" is what I picked because that was what I was. I tinkered with my computer, in fact, built it myself from an assortment of cast off computer parts and swap meet pieces. I'd been tinkering with everything all my life, from the time I took my toy telescope apart to my current job repairing electronic equipment and I've done pretty well with it. Now I find myself wanting to take my concertina apart. I'm not crazy, I don't plan on taking an expensive Wheatstone or Lachenal apart. Instead I have a couple of cheap second hand buys from Ebay coming, a Scholer and what I think is a relabeled Bastari. I'm hoping for some guidance from one of the books available on concertina construction and repair. There are two available. The Concertina Maintenace Manual by David Elliott and another available from Lark in the Morning. Does anyone have any opinion on which might be better for the concertinas that I mentioned?