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SteveS

Unusual & emergency repair locations

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The picture of repairs to a concertina in the middle of a session in the Wheatstone Concertina Restoration thread got me thinking about the unusual places in which our concertinas have had to have emergency or life-saving repairs.

 

I recall one incident when busking in Copenhagen with a fiddler friend of mine (we were probably playing some Swedish tunes). My concertina lost a pad - I had to disappear leaving my friend to continue playing whilst I looked for a newsagent to buy some glue. Back at the place we were busking, I whipped out a scewdriver (I always keep one in my case), and proceeded to glue on the failed pad. Allowing a few minutes for the glue to set, and replacing the end, I was good to go after about 15 minutes. Needless to say the impromtu surgery elicited some comments and applause.

 

Do you have any unexpected 'tina repairs or life-saving surgery stories?

Edited by SteveS

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Ha... my pic inspired this thread. That wouldn't be the first time I have had to do emergency surgery on the thing; I have replaced springs, replaced or moved good buttons to where a button broke, and glued pads. I keep the screwdrivers, glue, spare springs and buttons, etc., all in my case... just in case. On one occasion as I was repairing something that had failed at a session, my session mates played a tune I composed along with several tunes that are known personal favorites of mine just to taunt me. Bashtards!

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The picture of repairs to a concertina in the middle of a session in the Wheatstone Concertina Restoration thread got me thinking about the unusual places in which our concertinas have had to have emergency or life-saving repairs.

 

I recall one incident when busking in Copenhagen with a fiddler friend of mine (we were probably playing some Swedish tunes). My concertina lost a pad - I had to disappear leaving my friend to continue playing whilst I looked for a newsagent to buy some glue. Back at the place we were busking, I whipped out a scewdriver (I always keep one in my case), and proceeded to glue on the failed pad. Allowing a few minutes for the glue to set, and replacing the end, I was good to go after about 15 minutes. Needless to say the impromtu surgery elicited some comments and applause.

 

Do you have any unexpected 'tina repairs or life-saving surgery stories?

 

I blew a pad once while playing in Galveston, Texas, on board the 1877 barque "Elissa". No time or place for glue, but a quick piece of scotch tape over the hole got me back in business, only minus one note until I could fix it properly later.

 

Gary

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Do you have any unexpected 'tina repairs or life-saving surgery stories?

I think concertina players are supposed to expect and be prepared for minor repairs -- dust in reed, reed loose in pan, loose pad -- on stage. But how about in the audience?

 

Some years ago at a concert, a "drone" suddenly appeared on the performer's concertina. He opened it up and discovered not a loose pad but a broken spring. As he was lamenting, I interrupted to say that I had with me (in my concertina case, of course) my emergency kit, including a couple of spare springs. So while he did a few numbers using banjo and guitar, I sat in the audience and replaced his spring. The concertina returned, he used it the rest of the evening. As far as I know, that spring is still in use.

 

And just this past year I assisted another performer with a similar problem, though the solution didn't require a new spring.

 

I recall one incident when busking in Copenhagen with a fiddler friend of mine (we were probably playing some Swedish tunes). My concertina lost a pad - I had to disappear leaving my friend to continue playing whilst I looked for a newsagent to buy some glue. Back at the place we were busking, I whipped out a scewdriver (I always keep one in my case), and proceeded to glue on the failed pad. Allowing a few minutes for the glue to set, and replacing the end, I was good to go after about 15 minutes. Needless to say the impromtu surgery elicited some comments and applause.
I blew a pad once while playing in Galveston, Texas, on board the 1877 barque "Elissa". No time or place for glue, but a quick piece of scotch tape over the hole got me back in business, only minus one note until I could fix it properly later.

Since hide glue was used to affix the pads in vintage concertinas, my standard fix when a pad comes loose is simply to moisten the existing glue with a bit of spit and press the pad back in place. That has always lasted me at least until the end of a performance.

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I had a pad fall off in a session at Bradfield this year.... no glue available ... a small blob of Blutack cadged from the pub Landlord ... did the job a treat.

 

.... hmmm... come to think of it, I can't remember if I ever got round to doing the job properly ??? :huh:

 

I've seen many pads attached with chewing gum, sealingwax, candle wax & all manner of other unidentifiable materials ... even had a box in recently where most of the pads were cemented on using glaziers putty :lol: .... easier to put on than remove, I can tell you!

 

Once had a twenty key lachenal where all the springs had been replaced using fairly heavy duty safety pins, nice neat job mind you.

You needed pretty strong fingers to knock a tune out of that one but the overall effect of such a heavy action was to make it play a bit like a single row Hohner melodion .... very 'snappy'

 

Dave

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i repaired a friend's broken spring the other day with a severely undersized safety pin, making all the proper bends with my teeth. needless to say it's not a permanent repair, but it "got her back on the road" :)

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I was at Swananoa some years back and Father Charlie was teaching our concertina class. He was having problems with multiple notes sounding on one side of his concertina. I didn't have my full tool kit, so I drove to the nearest CVS and picked up some Mole Skin and a pack of razor blades. We met that afternoon and I was able to use the mole skin to seal a couple of offending chambers. Once it was back together and working, I got to share a wonderful private session with him.

 

Ross Schlabach

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It seems to be taken as read that concertina players go around with a toolkit.

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I heard a story of a concertina player, who, when he heard a fluff note (suggesting that a reed shoe needed to be shoved a little more tightly into its dovetail slot) would figure out where the offending reed was and then without stopping playing he would bang the opposite edge of that end of the concertina into his head, forcing the internal correction by inertia.

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I heard a story of a concertina player, who, when he heard a fluff note (suggesting that a reed shoe needed to be shoved a little more tightly into its dovetail slot) would figure out where the offending reed was and then without stopping playing he would bang the opposite edge of that end of the concertina into his head, forcing the internal correction by inertia.

 

 

Sounds like he played "Head- Banger music" :D

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I remember posting on here a repair I did when a pad fell off. The person next to me had a Safety First kit which included an elastoplast, I cut a small strip off the adhesive which I wrapped over the end of the lever leaving enough to stick either side of the pad. The repair was still working OK a week later.

I remember Niel Wayne used to take with him a roll of masking tape and actually repaired a hole in his bellows whilst he was playing it.

I too remember scrounging a safety pin which I turned into a spring. Slightly harder to push the button down, but lasted a week.

Finally a pad started to drone quietly and on inspection a maggot had chewed a half moon out of the centre of the pad. I scrounged a soft, but of the required thickness, piece of leather off a shoe mender cut the leather to size and used it as a pad.

Al

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Mine is more unusual than emergency. My first concertina was a near wrecked Lachenal with some missing buttons. I made new buttons from bone knitting needles found in a charity shop. Still works today 25 years on, and you can't pick the difference until you take the sides off.

Edited by Gordo in OZ

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