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Wheatstone Query


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A quick question for those of you who are readily in the know about Wheatstone Anglos. The post WW2 Anglos are much priced lower Than those of the 1930's and earlier. I have read (*Here in fact) that this is because they moved from a riveted action to a cheaper latch and hook type method. Was this the only change? My reason for asking is that I have been told (*Here in fact. :lol: ) that, barring any construction plans, the best way to build my own is to study another instrument carefully and replicate it. I would like to buy a ragged out instrument for study but don't want to spend any more than necessary. I would buy a beat up post WW2 Wheatstone Anglo for study if the only difference is the riveted action which I could get the drawing for somewhere else. Does this make sense or would I end up reproducing an inferior instrument? Thanks in advance for your replies, Dave. aka up-fiddler

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A quick question for those of you who are readily in the know about Wheatstone Anglos. The post WW2 Anglos are much priced lower Than those of the 1930's and earlier. I have read (*Here in fact) that this is because they moved from a riveted action to a cheaper latch and hook type method. Was this the only change? My reason for asking is that I have been told (*Here in fact. :lol: ) that, barring any construction plans, the best way to build my own is to study another instrument carefully and replicate it. I would like to buy a ragged out instrument for study but don't want to spend any more than necessary. I would buy a beat up post WW2 Wheatstone Anglo for study if the only difference is the riveted action which I could get the drawing for somewhere else. Does this make sense or would I end up reproducing an inferior instrument? Thanks in advance for your replies, Dave. aka up-fiddler

Many of the post-WW2 Wheatstones also used non-traditional construction methods for the reeds ("crimped" rather than "screwed") and reed pans ("screwed down" rather than "dovetailed"). You may be able to find a post-WW2 Wheatstone Anglo that has the traditional screwed reeds and dovetailed reedpans, but it will likely cost you more than the other kind, though not as much as a "top-period" one.

 

There's a larger question here as to whether you might do as well to copy Lachenal reed and reed pan design was opposed to post-WW2 Wheatstone, but I'm not well-qualified to answer that.

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...I would buy a beat up post WW2 Wheatstone Anglo for study if the only difference is the riveted action which I could get the drawing for somewhere else. Does this make sense or would I end up reproducing an inferior instrument?...

And I hear you can observe a riveted action inside a Jack/Jackie/Rochelle/Elise. For what that's worth.

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The gross differences between Lachenal and Wheatstones with radial (spokes of a wheel) reed pans are not great. But the materials and execution of many small details add up to big differences.

 

For example the tolerances of reed to frame between some Lachenal and Wheatstones might be .0003 of an inch but in such a critical area that makes a world of difference. The tightness of the dovetail slot can make a difference in the sound of a note as can the type of wood and its density used for the reed pan and button pan.

 

The scale of the reeds was different for Wheatsone Linotas and Aeolas as it was for Lachenal's Edeophone. The longer scale made for a more responsive reed if executed with tight frame tolerances.

 

Bellows, action, the list goes on

 

It is a lot like guitar companies and construction. The little details and refinements add up to make a big difference in the end product: Martin vs Washburn

 

But perhaps the most important thing is to make one working concertina for yourself using the best available instrument to copy. The refinement can come with the next instrument.

 

Quite a project but as others have proved, it can be done. Good luck!

 

Greg

Edited by Greg Jowaisas
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Thanks to all so far. I am in the intense study stage at the moment. I hope to begin sometime in August or so. I chose Wheatstone simply because it is the button pattern used on my Rochelle and they have a great reputation as a fine instrument. I realize it is a big project but I have done many big projects in my life. They all have had one thing in common. They were simply a lot of little projects that added up into a large effort. The important thing is to keep going and not quit. This looks like a fun challenge but I need more info before starting.

 

As an aside, I notice the ends are often Rosewood or Ebony. I have quite a bit of curly maple that is just short of twenty years old and is beautiful stuff. There shouldn't be any reason not to use that is there? I cut and split the logs in 1992 and waxed the ends. I have seven or eight of them left and since they are over 30" in length there would be enough for my violins and still plenty left for concertinas. I also have several old accordions and a couple of Chemnitzers that I could get reeds from if you all think a credible instrument could be made from them. Thanks again, Dave.

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Dave,

To return to your original question of significant differences between pre and post WWII Wheatstones. Here is a link to a previous discussion and picture of a post war Wheatstone which modified their original design.

 

http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=10922

 

Many post war Wheatstones also kept the traditional radial reed pan and dovetailed reed slots.

 

Some post war Wheatstones are very good to exceptional instruments but I believe the general consensus is that overall quality and workmanship declined and the materials used were not as good as before the war.

 

Greg

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Greg

 

We had a talk from Geoff Crabb at The Royal, near Sheffield the other night and he made the same point about good fit etc.

 

He said if they made 3 'identical' concertinas to the same standard they could all sound different and be dipatched to the appropriate type of player (loud, soft etc!). He also said a lower volume reed chamber was desirable , as long as the reeds had clearance when in motion. Any views on that?

 

As I understood it Geoff said radial or rectangular chambers weren't that significant in influencing the sound. ( Sorry Geoff if I misrepresent you)

 

 

It has made me take my Jones 30b C/G apart to check on the tolerance withing the dovetail and chamber dimensions

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I also have several old accordions and a couple of Chemnitzers that I could get reeds from if you all think a credible instrument could be made from them. Thanks again, Dave.

Traditional concertina reeds are very different from accordion reeds. It's possible to build a good concertina with accordion reeds (see the "hybrid/midrange" list in this thread) but it would require a very different reed-pan design than you would find on a vintage concertina. And many of the hybrid makers use top-of-the-line accordion reeds which are likely to be better than your salvaged ones.

 

Chemnitzers use either accordion reeds or a "ganged" or "long-plate" set-up where there are many reed tongues on one plate. The German makers of small concertinas used to use these, but their concertinas were not as good as English-made ones.

 

Wim Wakker of Concertina Connection has posted some good information and photos here that you may find helpful.

Edited by Daniel Hersh
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  • 2 weeks later...

 

Wim Wakker of Concertina Connection has posted some good information and photos here that you may find helpful.

 

Thanks Daniel. It was VERY helpful. It looks like I should be planning on buying either high end accordion reeds or concertina reeds. That's not a problem for me. I simply like to tinker with bits of scrap. :rolleyes:

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