Jump to content

I need help with an Anglo please.


Recommended Posts

Hey there,

 

I need some advise. Yesterday I bought an 20 button anglo concertina at an antique mall. Now I don't think that it is a real expensive instrument, but I also did not pay very much for it. I already play an English concertina, but wanted to try my hands at an anglo. I am guessing it is a student model because it is not at all like my Wheatstone. The sides are made of wood veneer and the insides is made of wood which I think is pine. Written on both ends on the inside is the number 37. The bellows are made with a leather like material ( black) and the papers. I do see a few holes in the white leather. It is an 8 fold bellows. The buttons are wood with a white disk of something glued on top. If I was to guess I would say it is on the lines of a Stagi or a Horner but there is no name on it at all.

 

I am attaching a few photos for your veiwing enjoyment.

 

So what I am asking is....is it worth trying to repair it? I can replace the leather straps and add the missing palm rest. But not too sure about the bellows.

 

Thanks

Pam Howard

Brasstown, NC

post-6850-0-72406900-1306876612_thumb.jpg

post-6850-0-22564500-1306876622_thumb.jpg

post-6850-0-11308800-1306876632_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I am attaching a few photos for your veiwing enjoyment.

 

So what I am asking is....is it worth trying to repair it? I can replace the leather straps and add the missing palm rest. But not too sure about the bellows.

 

Thanks

Pam Howard

Brasstown, NC

 

Interesting...

 

The bellows may not be in the critical path here. If you say that there are only a few holes in the gussets, that may be patched, but it's hard to tell by the picture what kind of a job it is on the bellows. How quickly do the bellows extend if you tilt the instrument with no button pressed? It looks as if some of the top run leather has brittled off as well so there may be leakage through the top runs, but one would really need to have a look at the instrument to say for sure.

 

The reed pan is rather unusual, as far as I can tell; normally you'll find the radial type of reed plate. Do all reeds work and sound ok? What are they made of? Steel or brass? Instrument in tune?

 

How about the action plate - do all holes open/close easily without deferrment and cover the holes completly? If not, you'll be looking at spring and/or pad and/or peg work.

 

Is there reason to believe that air escapes through anything else but the bellows (eg the casing of the action plate may be slightly warped so that air escapes through the space in between the action plate and bellow case)?

 

These are only a few of the things to look at to decide how much of a job is lurking... maybe if you prepared a little UTube clip with a few sound samples and a 360° view of the instrument, assessment would be easier...

Edited by Ruediger R. Asche
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yesterday I bought an 20 button anglo concertina at an antique mall. ... I am guessing it is a student model because it is not at all like my Wheatstone.

Not an English-made "student model", but almost certainly German.

There are others here who know much more about such concertinas. Be patient, and I'm sure Stephen Chambers and others will chime in with helpful information.

 

I really like the bellows papers! I wonder if the instrument could be dated (approximately) by the style of the artwork on them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies!

 

When I saw this concertina in the case, I almost didn't buy it. I figured it was not that old, but has been not taken care of. But when I opened it up I got the feeling that it is older that I realized. Now that is not saying much since I haven't a clue what I have. But my gut feeling is it was made in the 1950's.....just a guess mind you.

 

The reeds are made of brass. There are leather pads that are glued over a slit. Some of the pads are missing, but they were not inside the instrument. So someone has opened it up before. I sure wish I had them!

 

Actually the bellows are not so bad and it will play each note. But it is hard to test it since one of the palm rests is missing and no hand straps.

 

The bellows do extend when I hold it up, there are at least two holes. There top run leather chips is not the problem, but the holes in the white leather of the bellows. The black is not leather, but black fabric made to look like leather. I do like the papers too. They are green, blue. dark maroon and then silver. I thought it was unusual. They look in good shape.

 

I thought the reed pan was unusual too, but I really don't know my concertinas or their history. When I took out the screws I thought that they were of the 1940 to 1950 look. But there again, what do I know!

 

In tune...well there again, I haven't played it much.

The action is pretty smooth...I think. When I try to play it, I do feel a breeze from air escaping from the leather part (white) of the bellows.

 

I have never done a Utube clip,so that may not happen at this time. I can take a few more closeup views of it and post them this evening. I have to get ready for work now.

 

Thanks you both for your help.

 

Pam Howard

Brasstown, NC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Actually the bellows are not so bad and it will play each note. But it is hard to test it since one of the palm rests is missing and no hand straps.

 

 

well then...

 

I would first try to get the bellows airtight. If it's only holes in the gussets, it shouldn't be too hard to patch them up. Consult with Dave Elliott's Concertina Manual for instruction on how to do that. DO resist the temptation to use tape for it, it'll ruin the bellows for good.

 

Once the bellows hold the air alright, you'll find out about the rest soon. The reason why I suggested earlier to check out the action as well as the reeds along with the bellows was that you want to have a feeling for how much work awaits you down the road - there really isn't a strong point in spending a lot of time on the bellows if it turns out afterwards that the reeds and/or action elements need a lot of restauration as well (unless see below). As far as I understand it, brass reeds are more susceptible to problems than steel, so there may be another issue lurking. If it's really the hand strap and palm rest preventing you from giving the keys and reeds a thorough test, you may want to improvise that somehow so you can evaluate the instrument as well as possible before tackling the job.

 

The leather pads in the reed assembly are valves. Replacing lost or defect ones isn't a very big deal. Again the manual will help with the basics.

 

About the top runs - maybe it IS leather after all; the leather used for that purpose (bookbinders spilt goat's hide to about 0,6mm and then skived to almost 0 at the end) will lose a lot of its leatherlikeness over time (I'm working on a concertina built around 1875 right now, and some of the leather crumbles apart like cookies). If it's not leather, it may be buckram, but as Jim pointed out, other folks here on the forum are much more in a position to comment on those details.

 

So to make a long story short - if Stephen or another one of the wizards finds out that you have got yourself a little gem there, you may consider giving it away for pro restauration and spend more money on it and end up with a nice enough instrument. But a 20 button with brass reeds, wooden top and wooden pegs... hmmm, my gut feeling is that this may turn out to be more of a good fixer upper to become experienced in restauration than a sleeping beauty. But of course I may (and possibly will) be totally off the rocker here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Pamela,

 

It's a German export box, but quite an attractive one. Repairing it yourself shouldn't cost much money, but might take a little time. The construction is similar to an accordion or melodeon, and is still used on low cost concertinas.

 

First check that the end woodwork is flat and hasn't become warped (middle photo), as the three screws can allow the unsupported corners to distort. You can fix some distortion with a gasket, but if it's bad you will struggle to get it airtight.

 

The light leather bellows gussets can be a fiddle to repair. Ideally you would replace them, but life is maybe too short. You can buy thin leather and glue to repair them from the inside. It's fiddly - look critically to see how many need doing. The edges can be re-taped, but get an idea of how well the paper is sticking, and what you have in the inner folds. If it's starting to disintegrate it could be a major job, but if it all looks in good shape it might be worth risking an evening or two.

What can happen is that you fix the worst leaks, then you find a couple more, so you fix them and that reveals a couple more... but it rather depends how much you enjoy playing with it as opposed to playing it...

 

The bits sticking up in the middle photos are the reed blocks. The curly leather valves will need to be replaced. Again not expensive, but you will need to take a view on how well the reeds are sounding. If you can get a sensible note on each direction on each button, albeit with a little effort, it should be worth taking it further. You will need to remove the metal reed plates, it should be fairly easy as they will most likely have L-shaped metal clips holding them in place. If the reeds aren't speaking, or sound well out of tune, it's a rather bigger job.

 

THe wooden plate with the reed blocks should lift out. You should be able to check the levers and rectangular pallets all look in good shape.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I saw this concertina in the case, I almost didn't buy it. I figured it was not that old, but has been not taken care of. But when I opened it up I got the feeling that it is older that I realized. Now that is not saying much since I haven't a clue what I have. But my gut feeling is it was made in the 1950's.....just a guess mind you.

If Stephen chimes in he will know better than I, but I think that it's older than that. I would guess 1920's, maybe 1930's at the latest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So you think it is German, that is great. I really have no clue so that is why I came to Concertina.net. If it is worth repairing, I think I would like to try to do it myself. I am good with tools <G> I don't want to spend too much money but if I could put in a less than couple hundred dollars and my time I am willing to do that.

 

The ends are flat and looks like it has a wool yarn ( felt) between the bellows and the end piece. I think that needs to be replaced.

 

I think if I can find a source for the thin leather I would first do the inside repair on the gussets. If that does not work, I thing I would like to redo the entire bellows. I like to make books and working with davey board and fine papers is not a problem for me.

 

Where do I find the leather valve replacements? I did manage to play each button and a sound did come out of each one I played.

The wooden plate and reed block seem to have two small nails holding them in place. I have not yet tried to get into that to see how the buttons work.

 

With some loving care, it might be able to play again. So where does one go to find replacement "parts" for old german export concertinas?

 

Pam Howard

Brasstown, NC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So you think it is German, that is great. I really have no clue so that is why I came to Concertina.net. If it is worth repairing, I think I would like to try to do it myself. I am good with tools <G> I don't want to spend too much money but if I could put in a less than couple hundred dollars and my time I am willing to do that.

 

The ends are flat and looks like it has a wool yarn ( felt) between the bellows and the end piece. I think that needs to be replaced.

 

I think if I can find a source for the thin leather I would first do the inside repair on the gussets. If that does not work, I thing I would like to redo the entire bellows. I like to make books and working with davey board and fine papers is not a problem for me.

 

Where do I find the leather valve replacements? I did manage to play each button and a sound did come out of each one I played.

The wooden plate and reed block seem to have two small nails holding them in place. I have not yet tried to get into that to see how the buttons work.

 

With some loving care, it might be able to play again. So where does one go to find replacement "parts" for old german export concertinas?

 

Pam Howard

Brasstown, NC

 

The thin leather can be obtained from bookbinder supplies, but then you'll need to skive them. There are concertina makers who sell them preskived, but that'll cost you more.

 

If you want to make bellows, your first (and last?) place to look is here: http://hmi.homewood.net/bellows/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...