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Replacing mesh screens in fretwork?

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I've been working on tweaking a few beater Anglos recently, and a couple of Bastaris I have either have really grimy (rusted?) mesh screens in the fretwork holes, or are missing the screen in some places. I did also have some of the mesh come loose on my Elise Hayden, but I believe it's still in one piece and can be secured back up.


I glanced through a few posts about this, but most were from 2007 or earlier; I'm also still not totally clear what the "dust-preventing mesh screen" is called. I understand that "baffles" are something different that are deliberately made to soften the sound, but I'm talking about just the dust-screen on cheaper concertinas.


Between PVA, double-sided tape (some fancier kind, or just the kind used to paste up paper notices?), spray-adhesive, etc., what's the consensus on the way to install new screens, and re-secure my loose screen on the Elise? I don't necessarily need anything fancy, just something to keep foreign objects from falling in, larger bits of dust, etc. I'll take a closer look at the Bastaris, but the gunk on them is reddish, so it's my impression it's actually a ferrous material instead of just gauze. I read the bits about using silk or nylon stockings, but that seems a lot less durable than what these have now. So any suggestions on what has turned out (since the old 2007 discussions) to be a durable wire screen stuff would be great.


While I've got these cracked open (which I also need to do for the standard Stagi/Bastari replacing of fossilised ruber button sleeves, any other recommendations of things to watch for and fix? I'll check for any bellows rips (I have bellows tape), any leakages between chambers or loose pads, etc. I read something somewhere about using some kind of weather-stripping for cases where air leaks between the bellows-seam and the ends; is there any standard brand to use for that, or thread with advice on it? Lastly, while I'm learning to tweak these, any recommendation for what to use to clean these? Both for getting out gunk internally, as well as polishing up the outsides? Yes, the outsides are some kind of ply (and on the two other generic Italians they're ABS or some other kind of plastic). But still it'd be nice to de-grime them with whatever won't damage ply veneer and celluloid (?) plastic. Thanks!

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I've never laid my hands on a concertina that had such mesh screens, but I would hazard a guess that the grille cloth / mesh used for accordions should work for a concertina too. Take a look: http://cgmmusical.co.uk/CGM_Musical_Services/Grille_Bass_Linings.html (the shop itself is probably irrelevant because you live in the States, but no doubt someone in your general area is stocking similar materials).


In the concertinas I have that have/had baffles, the baffles were made out of leather. The baffles cut off some of the higher frequencies of the sound, and depending on how tightly they're fitted, they may reduce the overall volume as well. Robert Gaskins' article on baffles: http://www.concertina.com/gaskins/baffles/index.htm


The choice of adhesive will of course depend on what type of screen material you decide on. For cloth on wood, I'd use casein (milk glue), because it's easier to remove than PVA, and I use it for a lot of things anyway, but there's really nothing wrong with PVA either. For gluing metal or plastic, some kind of contact cement is probably required.





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Turns out grille fabric is a bit pricey, like $25 per sheet.


Some folks on Melodeon.net mentioned using "milinnery net", the lacy mesh stuff that sticks out of ladies' hats, for grilles. A related American term seems to be "tulle", and that's literally $1.25 with free shipping for a yard of it on eBay. I might just try buying some tulle and giving that a shot and seeing how it goes. So long as it glues in place and is mesh-y, I don't think I can go too wrong...

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