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SteveS

New ends for an Aeola TT

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I'm finally getting around to repairing the ends on a Aeola Tenor-Treble from 1922.

This has the makings of a fine instrument: brass reeds, decent bellows - should be great for song accompaniment.

But both ends are completely shot - you'lll see one of the ends in the attached picture.

 

I spent about a day puzzling over whether to try and stablise the ends and attach the parts that I have, letting in new wood and cutting the fretwork accordingly.

The trouble is the existing laminate seems to be rotten - the outer veneer can be picked away from the core using a thumb nail - I have great misgivings about whether a mend-and-make-do approach is actually a good permanent solution.

 

I'm now giving some serious thought to making new ends. I'm considering using pear veneer to build my own laminates for the ends - the veneer I have in stock will give a 6-ply laminate including the inner & outer veneers, and result in the correct final thickness. The raised ends will be achieved by building up the laminate in the appropriate places and sanding to shape before applying the inner/outer veneers. This should make a nice strong job. Button holes drilled & reamed, after which the fretwork will be cut. Finally the ends will be ebonised and French polished.

 

Steve

post-1950-12782561913518_thumb.jpg

Edited by SteveS

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The raised ends will be achieved by building up the laminate in the appropriate

 

Possibly simpler stronger, and needing less finishing would be to make a mould of the required dome - a simple turning job, then laminating to the shape you require using vacuum clamping which is a common technique in furniture building. If interested I can put you in touch with someone who can do this.

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I'm in the process of making the dome mould from a solid piece of wood.

 

The end substrate will be a multi-ply laminate, and the outer veneers I've decided will be some rather nice walnut that I have.

 

To shape the dome in the ends it is necessary to steam the laminate and use the mould to press to shape. The wood will be clamped in the mould until thoroughly dry.

 

One question arises about whether to cut the frets before or after moulding the dome?

 

Steaming after cutting the fretwork should allow the steam to penetrate the laminate more effectively than with a piece in which the frets havent been cut, possibly facilitating the softening process. The danger is that the fretwork may be damaged - and after spending many hours cutting fine fretwork, this would be disasterous.

 

Does anyone have any suggests about how to approach this?

 

Steve

Edited by SteveS

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You could always go down the route Stormforce10 took with his Edeophone and make new ends out of carbon fibre! See here for a link to the the topic thread.

 

Chris

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You could always go down the route Stormforce10 took with his Edeophone and make new ends out of carbon fibre! See here for a link to the the topic thread.

 

Chris

Chris - thanks for reminding me of this thread - there are some nuggets there that are getting me thinking again....

 

 

Edit:

Been digging around my wood store - I have some rather nice walnut veneer of the right size - set me thinking about making the outer veneers walnut instead of ebonizing - if I'm making new ends anyway, might be nice to try something different.

Edited by SteveS

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The new ends are now made - walnut with burl walnut veneers.

 

This concertina I can't help feel was a Friday afternoon instrument. On making measurements of the button spacings on the original ends for my drilling template, it seems that the buttons on the right hand end were drilled at different distances apart - so much so, that the difference in offset is obvious. The left hand side is much more uniform.

 

On measuring button offset on other Wheatstone instruments, they appear to be much more uniform.

 

This leaves me with a question - whether to correct the button offsets to be more uniform on the right hand or leave as-is. My thought is to correct the button locations to make more uniform - as they should have been originally and as I see on other instruments. This will mean also plugging the button guide holes in the action board and drilling new ones (not a problem, just another unexpected job).

 

I'm not sure if maintaining the current button arrangement would affect playability though - any thoughts?

 

(I'll post some pictures of the ends a little later).

 

Steve

Edited by SteveS

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Here is a picture of the new ends I've made - features:

 

- burl walnut veneers

- walnut substrate

- raised ends

 

All that remains now is to drill the button holes, cut the fretwork and French polish.

 

The ends will look a lot darker once the polish is applied, and the grain will become much more emphasised bringing out the beauty of the wood. Right now the ends are a little dusty after final sanding.

post-1950-009183200 1285253157_thumb.png

Edited by SteveS

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The ends now completed and French polished.

Waiting for the newly gold-plated labels to be added and the button holes to be bushed.

All metalwork will be plated and new bellows and thumbstraps made.

 

Also attached is another before picture - this time of the right hand end. The original ends were a mess.

 

Steve

post-1950-034783900 1287916577_thumb.png

post-1950-046546700 1287916595_thumb.png

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They look very nice. Any idea how many hours went into cutting the fretwork?

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They look very nice. Any idea how many hours went into cutting the fretwork?

Thanks - I estimate at least 50 hours went into cutting the fretwork - using a scrollsaw.

But I cut them over a 10 day period, so wasn't all in one sitting.

I can really appreciate the work that went into cutting the fretwork by those who did it day-to-day.

Edited by SteveS

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They look very nice. Any idea how many hours went into cutting the fretwork?

Thanks - I estimate at least 50 hours went into cutting the fretwork - using a scrollsaw.

But I cut them over a 10 day period, so wasn't all in one sitting.

I can really appreciate the work that went into cutting the fretwork by those who did it day-to-day.

 

 

So, here is where I'll insert into the conversation: my brother-in-law re-invented an old cast iron sewing machine (not sure if he replaced the tredle--would that go fast enough??) for cutting fretwork on dollhouses. Then he didn't need to keep resetting the saw part? I think he used the newer "cut-in-any-direction" spiral blades? Seems like this would be another good application? Michelle SE Wis

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"cut-in-any-direction" spiral blades? Seems like this would be another good application?

These blades are wider than the blades I used - this means that many of the tight / narrow points and corners would not be quite as sharp - for an intricate design like with my application I felt a very thin blade was more appropriate. They may however be suitable for the more open type of fretwork seen on some concertinas.

 

Whatever type of blade is used does not obviate the need to reset the blade in the machine blade clamps between each fret cut.

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I've now completed the ends.

 

All that remains now:

- adjust the action

- retune the reeds

- repairs to the bellows

 

This will get the 'tina playing well. The initial indications are that this plays smooth and the reeds have great dynamics.

 

I plan to improve the appearance of this instrument - new bellows & thumbstraps in suitably matching brown hide.

post-1950-0-04653900-1290690048_thumb.jpg

post-1950-0-46789800-1290690064_thumb.jpg

Edited by SteveS

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Having spent many an hour at the foot of a Hegner scroll saw, I can vouch for the effort that goes into this process. Your work so far looks really nice -- especially now with the finish and the fittings back on. You should be really proud of your hard work. Next time put bigger pictures up so we can really appreciate your craftsmanship.

 

Ross Schlabach

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Having spent many an hour at the foot of a Hegner scroll saw, I can vouch for the effort that goes into this process. Your work so far looks really nice -- especially now with the finish and the fittings back on. You should be really proud of your hard work. Next time put bigger pictures up so we can really appreciate your craftsmanship.

 

Ross Schlabach

Thanks Ross, appreciate your comments.

I've uploaded slightly larger pictures at your suggestion.

Steve

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You really have made a superb job, making new ends, Steve. Congratulations. You must be very proud of yourself. If I gave you some suitable wood, could you make me a new pair of ends, too? :unsure: B)

 

Chris

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