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Swappable Reed Sets?

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I have been half watching this discussion with interest.


I agree with Steve that the reed pans would be 'at risk' on a pub table, but if you double chamber them or just put 'feet' on the non-chamber side then the vulnerable reeds would start to gain protection. Use locating keys or pins of sifferent sizes in the bellows frames, so you always get the pan in the correct orientation and into the right end of the instrumnent.


Chris, please keep inovating!!


I would use a springy frame end gasket and make the ends slide into fixed slotted or dovetailed dogs with a single cam or over- centre locking device to clamp the end into place.


Of course one can always get get the benefit of playing in a multiple of different keys, at the drop of a chord, by learing English or Duet, it might be less time consuming and cheaper?



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pub table, but if you  double chamber them or just put 'feet' on the non-chamber side then the vulnerable reeds would start to gain protection.

"Start" is the critical word here. Aside from "sticky feet", that doesn't protect a reed pan from the less common but far from improbable risks of a drink spilled on it, or cigarette ashes (though no longer in Ireland) or a clumsy rap at the table knocking the reed pan onto the floor.

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Would the expense and difficulty of swapping between, say, a C/G set and a G/D set outweigh the expense of simply keeping two instruments handy?


Well if you are only going to play in the "home" keys of the instrument, a workable solution would be to have two 20-button instruments in different keys. The cost and difficulty of obtaining them would be small compared to swappable reed pans. If you want to change key as fast as a string player using a capo its the only way to go!


Another approach which I often use on a two and a half row D/G melodeon is to play the tunes in G, D, and related minors, in A and C which I am gradually learning, then just learn the "3 chord trick" for other keys and play an accompaniment instead of the tune.




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And it is true, I'd like a "one bolt" system on the ends; only because I am a tinkerer.

Not sure how you mean that. Do you mean that as a tinkerer-builder you would prefer to use a bolt, or that as a tinkerer-player you would prefer unscrewing a bolt to flipping levers?


See it as just one fastener, of whatever kind you want.


If you remove the word wingnut, which was the clue to the amusement factor, and imagine a flush fastener, something like the round bolt with a slot in it on the base of a camera where the batteries go, with the slot big enough to take the edge of a small coin, it would not get in the way.


True, but there are still a couple of factors that could cause difficulties. First, one would need a coin (or something similar). What to do if all I have with me is notes or a credit card? Or coins of the wrong size? (Coin vary in thickness not only by denomination, but from country to country.)


In the end any system needs some operator competence.


More important to my mind is how many turns it will take to unscrew the screw.  A major pain with modern machine screws is their shallow pitch, which is great for getting really tight clamping, but not for quick insertion and extraction, unless you carry a powered screwdriver with you.


Something to consider when thinking about concertina hardware is you will have to make almost everything, including bolts, if you want them to fit in and look right, as you are unlikely to be able to buy what you need in the right size and the right finish and not looking out of place and modern. The latches you suggested would suffer from this, as do the cap (allen) screws used on some modern concertinas. As you have to make your own machine screws to avoid this it is up to you how many threads per inch you put on them. Modern machine screws do not have any particular pitch around here, the only difference between them and old ones is they are shiny!


Warping for example would be minimised by making the hex corner joints in a more robust way.

I don't see how redesigning corner joints can compensate for the effect of having pressure on the edges only from "underneath", while the only "topside" pressure is in the middle, which is something that I would expect to cause warping.


Sorry, I could have put more detail in, in essence the whole structure would need more strength both in the bellows hex and also in the action box to withstand a single point clamping system (SPCS), meanng more weight, by the way. Luckily the project I am imagining is already really light (easily done in the imagination) so the extra won't be noticed :lol:


...I was musing on the look of a delicate brass piano hinge along one side of the hex between the bellows and the end box, and on the opposite side of the hex a single screw in the usual position.

I had thought of that, but dismissed it... again for various reasons.

.. 1) The flipped-up end would still be attached and potentially in the way. That should be insignificant if you're just lifting reed pans in and out, but what about when you want to work on the action?


In the context of this discussion, quickchange reedpans, working on the action box is a non issue, but for the record, undo the screws on the piano hinge.


..3) Getting a good seal around the hinge itself would require very precise insetting of the hinge plates, and if wood screws are used to mount the hinge, they would probably work loose over time.


By this logic nothing screwed together can be trusted. Precise insetting of the hinge plates could be done by the same person who put your captive nuts in, the job is exactly the same.


I have often wondered what a concertina would look like if designed today. O rings for sealing seem like a good bet.

Maybe so. I'm not sure it would be superior, though. First, it should be a hex (or octagon, or...) ring, not an O, since it won't seal as well if it's distorted.


You can make your own O rings with a length of the stuff and some glue. There is enough width in the section for sufficient radiusing of the corners to avoid any problems of the sort you suggest. The bellows hex would probably be a plastic casting of some sort with an O ring groove built in.





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  • 2 weeks later...

No one seems to have suggested a B/C/C# concertina rather than C/G/D/A etc.

Isn't this the most efficient use of space and a tried and tested system with no variations?

With the amound of button box players out there, surely this would interest some of them?

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No one seems to have suggested a B/C/C# concertina rather than C/G/D/A etc.

Not in this thread, until you did, but such ideas have certainly been discussed in the past.


And the results in terms of playing style would be quite different. The C/G/D/A concept would give four common primary keys each of which could be played on a single row. The B/C/C# concept has three single-row keys, but only C is close to common. All other common keys would require cross-row fingering.


A sort of combination of the two has also been discussed, i.e., a C/G instrument with the "accidental" row replaced by a row in either B or C#.

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