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Do I need special paper to make paper for my bellows


daviseri
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I am considering making custom bellows papers to glue onto my Wheatstone.

It's a wheatstone black ebony ends. I think it would look nice with some red papers to match the bright red bushings.

 

I saw some sites about how to glue on papers, but nobody mentioned if it requires a certain type or gauge of paper...

Anybody have knowledge on this?

 

 

Thanks,

 

Eric

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I would leave the poor bellows alone.... you could end up making something very gaudy that ruins your antique. if you feel the need to put bellows paper on, at least buy some traditional papers that match the make and period of your instrument. think of how long it has survived in such good condition and how hard it will be for some poor repairman to undo your changes in 50 years.

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There are many views...one decorated Wheatstone I know of is Ken Sweeney's, which has cigar bands for papers.

 

Me, I would only do this on a modern instrument. Do you need special paper? Probably not.

 

The water soluble glue I used would be easily removed without damage, just by dampening the papers.

 

Ken

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I would leave the poor bellows alone.... you could end up making something very gaudy that ruins your antique. if you feel the need to put bellows paper on, at least buy some traditional papers that match the make and period of your instrument. think of how long it has survived in such good condition and how hard it will be for some poor repairman to undo your changes in 50 years.

uhm? that was not my question.

 

Thanks for giving me your opinion about my instrument and life.

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I am considering making custom bellows papers to glue onto my Wheatstone.

It's a wheatstone black ebony ends. I think it would look nice with some red papers to match the bright red bushings.

When it comes to design, I guess that's up to you. David B's concern is a matter of taste, apparently his vs. yours, though the added papers might also affect the future value of your concertina. (Not a concern if you intend to take it with you to the grave?)

 

Ken has indicated that adding papers can be reversible. Will the underlying leather really be completely unmarked? I don't know. But a new bellows, while neither cheap nor as common as replacing pads and valves, is a "repair" often made and so could be done for any potential future owner, if they felt it necessary.

 

What paper? Having never tried it, I can't claim expertise, but I would think that limiting parameters would be fairly broad:

  • Thickness - not too thick (don't want things catching on the "edge") nor too thin (easily abraded, or even torn in application)
  • Density and finish - non-absorbent (don't want them turning to mush or coming loose too easily if a few drops of liquid hit them)

I would think that most decorative endpapers used by bookbinders would be suitable. (I have some nice red-mottled-black ones I've thought of using on a concertina but never have done.) And as the examples of Ken Sweeney and Ken Coles indicate, the quality of printed labels is often suitable. To be safe, you might try getting samples of "traditional" papers from Concertina Spares and then try not to stray too far from the type of paper used.

 

Good luck.

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I would leave the poor bellows alone.... you could end up making something very gaudy that ruins your antique. if you feel the need to put bellows paper on, at least buy some traditional papers that match the make and period of your instrument. think of how long it has survived in such good condition and how hard it will be for some poor repairman to undo your changes in 50 years.

uhm? that was not my question.

 

Thanks for giving me your opinion about my instrument and life.

 

all i can think of is all those episodes of antique's roadshow: "oh, you polished it? now it's worthless..."

 

personally, i've been wrestling with getting an antique flute from 1864 tuned into modern pitch. currently it is in Eb and out of tune with itself... if i get it retuned, it will be in D and in tune with itself. as it is now, it cannot be played in sessions. if i change it, the historical providence will be lost but it will have a new life. 3 years later and i still haven't made up my mind. the only reason i am even considering retuning it is because it is an unbelievably great flute from a completely unknown maker. if it was a rudall & rose, i wouldn't dare change it...

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I rather sympathise with david_boveri here. Musical instruments potentially have a lifetime measured in centuries, and there is a point of view that we do not own them, we are merely their temporary custodians. If you accept that philosophy, you should aim to do the minimum necessary to keep the instrument playable, and any changes should so far as possible be reversible. This especially applies to purely cosmetic changes. Even retuning, as his example indicates, raises difficult questions.

 

Of course, the reality is that you are free to do what you like with your own instrument. However david_boveri is right to point out that this could reduce the value, if not the saleability, of the instrument. This is less to do with personal taste than historical authenticity.

 

I've had a melodeon "de-clubbed" (changed a unisonoric button to bisonoric) and I have switched reeds around in my concertinas. The latter are easily reversible, the former can be reversed by a competent tuner but I thought long and hard about it. In both cases these were done for playing reasons. Personally, I wouldn't make purely cosmetic changes. However, it's up to you to decide.

 

 

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I would leave the poor bellows alone.... you could end up making something very gaudy that ruins your antique. if you feel the need to put bellows paper on, at least buy some traditional papers that match the make and period of your instrument. think of how long it has survived in such good condition and how hard it will be for some poor repairman to undo your changes in 50 years.

uhm? that was not my question.

 

Thanks for giving me your opinion about my instrument and life.

 

all i can think of is all those episodes of antique's roadshow: "oh, you polished it? now it's worthless..."

 

personally, i've been wrestling with getting an antique flute from 1864 tuned into modern pitch. currently it is in Eb and out of tune with itself... if i get it retuned, it will be in D and in tune with itself. as it is now, it cannot be played in sessions. if i change it, the historical providence will be lost but it will have a new life. 3 years later and i still haven't made up my mind. the only reason i am even considering retuning it is because it is an unbelievably great flute from a completely unknown maker. if it was a rudall & rose, i wouldn't dare change it...

 

You know, it's a really interesting topic, I guess.

 

My first reaction was to bit reactionary. Meaning, I was a bit pissed off because I didn't like the tone and the fact my question wasn't even addressed. My apologies if I seemed rude.

 

But someone has brought up the idea of whether or not the effects would be replaceable. Ultimately, I know who can answer these questions. I'll just ask Algar, whom I bought it from what the effects of putting papers on would be and if they are reversible without harming the instrument. My understanding from research is that with certain glues it can be removed. And I don't know if it is the original bellows or not anyway. But perhaps he will tell me differently.

 

And Yes. THE GRAVE!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm taking it to the GRAAAAAAAAVE.

Wow you people love that GUINNESS concertina. looks like it's given all of you considerable joy, eh. Ha! Not my style...

 

My current idea is to take original papers and photoshop them to custom colors to compliment the tones of black and red.

Edited by daviseri
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Wow you people love that GUINNESS concertina. looks like it's given all of you considerable joy, eh. Ha! Not my style...

 

Understood! As I said, I personally wouldn't put beer papers on an antique, out-of-production instrument. But Morses are still in production, and to his everlasting credit, Rich Morse himself gave a hearty laugh when I showed it to him. Mind you, there are playing situations where I'd rather not have those labels out in plain view. B) But it gave me the experience that adding papers isn't hard to do. Have fun.

 

Ken

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So-

 

I spoke to Algar-

his thoughts were as follows.

The 8 sided Wheatstone Cranes only came with Black Leather bellows as far as he knew.

 

He thought that any papers added, even if using a water soluble glue would leave residue.

 

He also said he would not recommend using water near the bellows.

 

As for me, I've done some initial cutouts of even traditional paper designs just to lay them on the bellows and decided I liked it better black.

 

So there it is. Hope it helps some other person in the future.

 

Thanks to all for your input.

 

Best,

 

Eric

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Possibly of use for anybody going down this path in the future. Years ago I was investigating having bespoke papers on my Norman 36b Standard and this was the advice that Andy gave re: dimensions, paper etc....

 

It is a trapezoid shape - 4 sides, the long outer edge is 66mm, the inside edge is parallel to the outside edge and is 40mm, the depth of the papers (distance between the inside and outside edges) works out to be 19mm. The measurements don't have to be exactly as given, but don't go under those sizes and don't go over by more than a millimetre. That is the final cut size including any borders.

 

You should supply them cut to this size (84 for six fold bellows plus a few spares) printed using waterproof ink on 100g paper not thin copier paper.

 

Note the "The measurements don't have to be exactly as given, but don't go under those sizes and don't go over by more than a millimetre." - Concertina builders work to completely different levels of exactness than most of us! :)

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