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Marcus

Clover kit assembly

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One more question! How much ink did you end up using?

 

Since the insides of the ink bottle are themselves coated in ink, I'm not entirely sure how much I used. I have a feeling it was only a small fraction of the contents of the bottle (and the bottle itself is pretty tiny). My impression is that a little india ink goes a long way, and a 6-inch concertina doesn't really comprise that many square inches of finish-needing surface.

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Here are two pictures of an india-inked coarse-textured end -- one taken with a flash and one without. There are only two coats of undiluted tung oil on it right now, and it's still possible to rub off the ink, so many more coats will be applied, and if tung oil fails me completely I'll switch to a more conventional finish.

post-9245-0-33581500-1326056405_thumb.jpg post-9245-0-28479800-1326056436_thumb.jpg

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Looks very much the same as mine! I used Danish Oil. Installed the chamois gaskets and reed pans. Riveted the levers to the posts and am about to start assembling the action. I think my rivets may be a little too tight, so adjustment may be necessary. Laying out the levers on the action board is proving to be quite the puzzle! I am in awe of the craftsmen who turn out the beautiful instruments we play! I'm sure mine won't be quite the same quality!

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I had to loosen (and sometimes retighten) quite a few of the rivets. They didn't look pretty when done, but they have been working for a year now. Yes, the levers take a few fancy bends to fit everything in. Watch where you put the springs too - I tried reversing a couple, but in most cases that wasn't the answer. The tolerances are pretty tight in there, so be patient and keep trying, and changing where needed. It is worth it!

 

Ken

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So the very first fancy bend I was attempting ended in disaster and I have a snapped lever! Hopefully spares will be on their way soon! :P

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I didn't break any parts (well, I chewed up the slot on one or two of the very tiny brass wood screws, which I replaced locally), but I was missing a couple in the original kit and Wim sent them right away. Guess I was lucky (I'm usually not with mechanical things) as I bent several of the levers repeatedly but never weakened (or broke) one.

 

Hang in there,

Ken

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I have put my levers through some squidlike contortions, but none of them snapped on me. Working on the springs now, which are finicky little buggers. I'm unable to simply drive them into the action board wherever I please; I have to create a little divot (with a gentle tap of a nail) to serve as a pilot hole. When a spring exhibits too strong a desire to rotate away from the lever, I snap off the sharp end of a staple and drive it into the action board next to the spring to keep the spring in place. I am getting my money's worth out of my tiny pliers.

 

Tight rivets loosen up nicely if you place a very small drop of canola oil on them (I had to do this to one of the rivets in my old Rochelle as well).

 

I am baffled by Wim's apparent ability to make the end bindings disobey the laws of topography by conforming exactly to the shape of the corners with no folds. My corners have folds. We shall learn in time whether these folds represent a defect in the pneumatic integrity of the bellows.

 

My only real complaint at this point -- other than the fact that my job and my family soak up a lot of valuable concertina-assembling time -- is that the tung oil seems to be vanishing into the ether. I apply a coat (which looks gorgeous when wet), it takes forever to dry, and I am left with very much the same piece of wood I started with, which continues to deposit ink particles when rubbed. I think I am up to six coats now. In retrospect the decision to proceed without a solvent was a poor one.

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If you're getting your india ink as a powder instead of a liquid, I suggest trying to make it substituting denatured alcohol or mineral spirits for the water, both of which should be suitable to suspend the lampblack in, while not raising the grain of the wood. Try the alcohol first since it dries very quickly -- mineral spirits needs about 12 hours to fully evaporate.

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Bender, if you give the part of the spring that goes into the wood a slight rotation tweak the spring can be made to bear left or right without extra assistance. Also, if the part of the spring that contacts the lever does so at two points, ie. the lever is round and the spring bent like a V or the lever is square and the spring shape at that point is a rounded cup as in U, changing the angle at which this part of the spring departs the longer top run will also encourage the spring to sit in the right place. It is important the spring not be shifting while bending, ie. not rotating in the wood or sliding on the lever. The coil should also not move against the post.

 

The bindings will have fewer creases on the corners if you stretch them a little at that point. Some people dampen them a little to encourage this. The creases won't leak if they are well glued.

 

Chris

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So I finished assembling the instrument and now the real work begins! I'm sure that a couple - if not all the reeds are in upside down! At least it sounds that way! I only had one drone note which was very surprising but it's a bit breathy at the moment. I'm sure there will be plenty of tweaking going on over the next few weeks and months.

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I carefully put in the reeds as labeled and had more than half upside down. Wim said the labeling convention is not what you would expect - the letters aren't written where the actual reed is. I suggested this was worth correcting. Maybe he hasn't changed the labeling yet!

 

Ken

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That's really good to know Ken! And it explains the fact that I couldn't force anything that even resembled a tune out of my instrument!

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After swapping a few reeds around I have a result! It's a little rough (like my playing!) but it feels great to have built it myself. There's loads of adjustments to make and it can only get better. How do we post audio within the forum?

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That link just took me to the SoundCloud site -- but no video!

 

Ross Schlabach

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No video - only audio! And badly played at that! Excited to be playing an instrument I put together! That's my excuse any way!

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Hello. I bought a Clover kit in August. I finished building it today, except for fine tuning. I took some pictures while I was building it.

 

http://irish.cocolog-nifty.com/flute_concertina/concertinaclover_anglo_kit/index.html

 

Though it took much time, I've enjoyed it very much and learned many things about concertinas. I hope you enjoy reading my article.

 

Tomoyuki

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Hello, I've finished fine-tuning the reeds of my Clover Kit today. It was a little difficult but very interesting!

 

My blog

 

Tomoyuki

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