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Concertina Maintenance Manual Volume 2 (Repairers)


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After some discussion with my publisher, I have been asked to give a content's page/ topic list for a Repairer's manual to complement, but not duplicate the concertina maintenance manual, I need then to estimate the number of pages etc. etc.

 

So I have some thoughts on topics, but what does the team think I ought to include?

 

what would you advise or want me to include?

 

answers on a post card....or by posting here please.

 

Cheers

 

Dave

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Talking about accordion reeds It depends especilaly on the person and the background of skills this person allredy has.

 

http://www.hyperbox.org/jpascher/de/h/Stimmen.htm

 

 

The technic of tunnig is esely discribed but the actual work needs a lot of experiance, and this only can be aquired with time.

 

I did show and teach tunnig boxes to diffent persons some did get profesionals even with only giving verbal advice over the phone.

Others did watch me over days and did practic next to me and the could not get to a dicent result.

 

Best regards, Johann

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Talking about accordion reeds It depends especilaly on the person and the background of skills this person allredy has.

 

http://www.hyperbox.org/jpascher/de/h/Stimmen.htm

 

 

The technic of tunnig is esely discribed but the actual work needs a lot of experiance, and this only can be aquired with time.

 

I did show and teach tunnig boxes to diffent persons some did get profesionals even with only giving verbal advice over the phone.

Others did watch me over days and did practic next to me and the could not get to a dicent result.

 

Best regards, Johann

 

I think Johann has it about right. Knowledge, skill, experience and DISPOSITION play an important part in instrument repair. The tuning of concertina reeds involves removal of material which is irreversible (in that you really can't "put it back" once you take it off.) So while it is not quite brain surgery it is important to get it right with a minimum of mistakes (least amount of reed material removed)

 

I think the disposition part is important. Aspects of instrument repair require a deliberateness and patience (and sometimes tenacity!) that not everyone possesses. "Know thyself" is good advice before attempting a delicate or demanding repair.

 

I've just finished refurbishment of a New Model extended treble for a customer. The reeds were in terrible shape with abusive filing and apparent use of a rotary tool with abrasive bit (PLEASE! PLEASE! Leave the Dremel in the tool box, and if you must, learn to tune correctly using abrasive paper attached to a wooden platform or a file (And never pick up a file unless you know exactly what you are doing!)

I have succeeded in putting the New Model back in tune but some of the reeds I was forced to work with were paper thin with some tips nearly disappearing. We will never know how the original instrument sounded; presently it plays nicely but I suspect the sound, like the reeds, is a little thin.

 

So I think, with good instruction and deliberate care, it is possible for many people to tune a concertina reed successfully, I'm not sure I'd recommend it as a general practice. It may be a good idea for

Dave to include proper procedure and all the cautions in his book. It still leaves you with the question: Do you want the first year medical intern or the surgeon with 20 years experience performing the brain operation on your Jeffries?!

 

Greg

Edited by Greg Jowaisas
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It is often said that tuning concertina reeds should be left to the professionals. Is it possible that a clearly written guide might make this dogma a little less absolute? If so (and the answer may be 'no'—I defer to Dave's judgement) this would be the place for it.

 

Actually this is referred to in the maintenance manual, but more aimed at the odd errant reed rather than changing the pitch of the instrument, I will re- reed the maintenance manual and take a view

 

thanks for the suggestion

 

Dave

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Greg makes a good point, yet in the maintenance manual it does cover the points raised. There is nothing to stop an enthusiast buying a workshop manual for their nice new car and dropping off a CV joint or pulling the brake cylinder's apart.

 

We, the repairers, have a choice, inform people, caution them if you will, but allow them to take informed decisions so that they know how to assess what needs doing, what tooling, materials, and skills are required and the risks. Or we keep them in the dark, keep the skills and experience to ourselves, and allow the capable but uniformed to fall into the traps that we may have guided them around. I prefer to explain, show with pictures and provide information. If this prevents some people from having a 'go' because it frightens them off, then good, if it enables others to do jobs within their capabilities, then also good. If it convinces some people to get 'professional' help then fine. If someone thinks they can do a job, and start to struggle, the information can either take them deeper into the mire, to guide them out, or convince them to stop.

 

This is moving away from the topic, what aspects do we want to see added to the contents of the maintenance manual or covered in more depth? Sheared bolts? pad board shrinkage & cracks? fitting a bellows kit? making up a thumb strap kit, fitting new thumb strap screws & inserts? preface each job with a form of risk assessment?

 

come on team.

 

Dave

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Here are some thoughts:

 

- repair of damaged end bolt holes

- finishing techniques - types of finish (eg French polishing, lacquer)

- repair of cracks between pad holes and shrinkage

- straightening warped action board and/or reedpans

- protecting and management of components during extended repairs (eg prevention of warping whilst dismantled)

- bellows repairs

- repairing fretwork

- types of materials used and matching modern equivalents

- repair of action box hoop

- veneers repairs (matching veneers, modern veneers versus old veneers)

- types of tuning temperaments (eg. equal, Bach, mean-tone) and tuning guidance

- making pads, valves & springs

- making jigs (eg. bellows, springs, action box hoop repairs)

- replating metal ends

- replating gold/silver fittings

- fitting of end bolt receiver plates (and making?)

- refitting reed tongues

- cleaning reeds of encrustations

- general clean before repairs (cleaning away a century's worth of filth and infestation - deeply unpleasant but needs to be done before starting repairs)

- health hazards

- repair steps & stages

- metal work fabrication

- assessing components (eg reeds, woodwork, metalwork etc) for repair or replacement

 

I'll add more later...

Edited by SteveS
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Nice list Steve, can I add;

 

-advice on threads for replacing broken and worn bolts including how to fabricate a thread to match a pattern which was never standardised

- lever fabrication and replacement

-glues to use

-how assess the valves and what makes a good replacement valve

-techniques for finding leaks and fixing them

-how to make a cheap spring gauge for button pressures

-advice on diagnosis

-what to expect of this concertina

 

These last two points always seems the most important and sometimes the hardest. As an example, I find people hand me a concertina and tell me the bellows are stiff or that the action is too slow. It might be the bellows leak and the action is adjusted poorly but the most common reason for these complaints is the reeds are not very good.

 

Hope this helps Dave

 

Chris

 

 

Here are some thoughts:

 

- repair of damaged end bolt holes

- finishing techniques - types of finish (eg French polishing, lacquer)

- repair of cracks between pad holes and shrinkage

- straightening warped action board and/or reedpans

- protecting and management of components during extended repairs (eg prevention of warping whilst dismantled)

- bellows repairs

- repairing fretwork

- types of materials used and matching modern equivalents

- repair of action box hoop

- veneers repairs (matching veneers, modern veneers versus old veneers)

- types of tuning temperaments (eg. equal, Bach, mean-tone) and tuning guidance

- making pads, valves & springs

- making jigs (eg. bellows, springs, action box hoop repairs)

- replating metal ends

- replating gold/silver fittings

- fitting of end bolt receiver plates (and making?)

- refitting reed tongues

- cleaning reeds of encrustations

- general clean before repairs (cleaning away a century's worth of filth and infestation - deeply unpleasant but needs to be done before starting repairs)

- health hazards

- repair steps & stages

- metal work fabrication

- assessing components (eg reeds, woodwork, metalwork etc) for repair or replacement

 

I'll add more later...

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- Choosing an instrument to learn on other than Granddad's Aeola

 

- Fabricating some tuning bellows

 

- Something on accordion reeded instruments (more and more are being made)

 

- When specifying glues, it would be great if you could provide some non-UK brand names, maybe the international restorers on this site could advise you on this

 

In general, consider the international audience as it seems relatively easy to find a restorer within reasonable driving distance in the UK, but elsewhere it does require trusting your concertina to the vagaries of the post office or a courier company. (If I could take my concertina to a reputable local fettler then I would not consider doing this stuff myself).

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SJM has a point there about specifying (or not) Trade names of products that might well not be available in other countries.

 

Dave,

I did get a distinct impression, when reading your book, of a word useage and expressions that are not common outside of England. Several times I thought "what does he mean ?". We 'english' English have problems enough trying to understand each other let alone English speakers from other parts of the world and those people for whom English is a second language.

Might I therefore suggest the use of a Book Editor who knows nothing of the subject and several proof readers who do ?

 

Realising that there are no millions to be made from producing such tomes we all, I am sure, salute you in your work, and I for one would offer my services to proof read , gratis!

 

So how about :

Fret cutting.. in metal and wood.

Making new ends.

Making replacement Belows.

Tuning .

Making replacement reed tongues.

Making Pads.

 

Best regards,

Geoff.

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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Realising that there are no millions to be made from producing such tomes we all, I am sure, salute you in your work, and I for one would offer my services to proof read , gratis!

Agreed.

Edited by SteveS
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Nice list Steve, can I add;

 

-advice on threads for replacing broken and worn bolts including how to fabricate a thread to match a pattern which was never standardised

- lever fabrication and replacement

-glues to use

-how assess the valves and what makes a good replacement valve

-techniques for finding leaks and fixing them

-how to make a cheap spring gauge for button pressures

-advice on diagnosis

-what to expect of this concertina

 

These last two points always seems the most important and sometimes the hardest. As an example, I find people hand me a concertina and tell me the bellows are stiff or that the action is too slow. It might be the bellows leak and the action is adjusted poorly but the most common reason for these complaints is the reeds are not very good.

 

Hope this helps Dave

 

Chris

 

 

Here are some thoughts:

 

- repair of damaged end bolt holes

- finishing techniques - types of finish (eg French polishing, lacquer)

- repair of cracks between pad holes and shrinkage

- straightening warped action board and/or reedpans

- protecting and management of components during extended repairs (eg prevention of warping whilst dismantled)

- bellows repairs

- repairing fretwork

- types of materials used and matching modern equivalents

- repair of action box hoop

- veneers repairs (matching veneers, modern veneers versus old veneers)

- types of tuning temperaments (eg. equal, Bach, mean-tone) and tuning guidance

- making pads, valves & springs

- making jigs (eg. bellows, springs, action box hoop repairs)

- replating metal ends

- replating gold/silver fittings

- fitting of end bolt receiver plates (and making?)

- refitting reed tongues

- cleaning reeds of encrustations

- general clean before repairs (cleaning away a century's worth of filth and infestation - deeply unpleasant but needs to be done before starting repairs)

- health hazards

- repair steps & stages

- metal work fabrication

- assessing components (eg reeds, woodwork, metalwork etc) for repair or replacement

 

I'll add more later...

 

Thanks Chris,

 

Some of the things you suggest are in the first book, but I will 'cross-cover' where I can. Repair process, (steps and stages) is a really good one. as is health hazards

 

Dave

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SJM has a point there about specifying (or not) Trade names of products that might well not be available in other countries.

 

Dave,

I did get a distinct impression, when reading your book, of a word useage and expressions that are not common outside of England. Several times I thought "what does he mean ?". We 'english' English have problems enough trying to understand each other let alone English speakers from other parts of the world and those people for whom English is a second language.

Might I therefore suggest the use of a Book Editor who knows nothing of the subject and several proof readers who do ?

 

Realising that there are no millions to be made from producing such tomes we all, I am sure, salute you in your work, and I for one would offer my services to proof read , gratis!

 

So how about :

Fret cutting.. in metal and wood.

Making new ends.

Making replacement Belows.

Tuning .

Making replacement reed tongues.

Making Pads.

 

Best regards,

Geoff.

 

When the first book was revised the publisher put draft copies through a panel of technical and non-technical proof readers, the sad part is that we are all English (and a Scot), So we have cultural interpretations in English Language as well as Trade Names. When working in Pittsburgh I (can remember a deep and meaningful conversation about 'hardware', I could not understand what tools, & cutlery had to do with pneumatics, until I realised they were discussing fasteners.

 

Back to the topic, you are right that I should try to make the work culture proof, and tanks for the ideas.

 

Dave

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- Choosing an instrument to learn on other than Granddad's Aeola

 

- Fabricating some tuning bellows

 

- Something on accordion reeded instruments (more and more are being made)

 

- When specifying glues, it would be great if you could provide some non-UK brand names, maybe the international restorers on this site could advise you on this

 

In general, consider the international audience as it seems relatively easy to find a restorer within reasonable driving distance in the UK, but elsewhere it does require trusting your concertina to the vagaries of the post office or a courier company. (If I could take my concertina to a reputable local fettler then I would not consider doing this stuff myself).

 

 

I like the tuning bellows suggestion, and the internationalisation of the trade names, when the first book was being produced I had no idea that some of the terms were UK specific, nor the degree of international readership it would attract. Accordion reeded instruments I think would be a publication on their own.

 

Dave

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It occurs to me, and this may be the subject of a book way too far, but if you add up all the topics in the proposed book and the maintenance manual, you are not far from a 'build your own concertina' book... Jigs, materials, tools and a series of detailed descriptions and drawings.

Simon

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