JohnSmith Posted May 26, 2014 Share Posted May 26, 2014 I'm just starting an overhaul on a 1913-14 metal end Wheatstone English (#26159). As part of the job I'd like to build a new set of 6 fold bellows to replace the 5 fold set. I have pored over the site (and the net) for a few weeks and have learned as much as I can so that I can ask informed questions about building ENGLISH bellows. Firstly I should mention what music I intend to use it for as that surely has a bearing on the requirements. I will mostly be playing solo, accompanying traditional folk songs. However, I will also be playing ITM *shock, horror*, and Scandi tunes (and maybe someday a little Bach). I'm buying all of the consumables through Concertina Spares, and, whilst I know Mark sells all the necessary materials, I'd really love to source and purchase the materials myself locally and do a complete build. So, down to some questions. As I understand it, the difference between Anglo and English bellows is the thickness of the folds. This is presumably due to using thinner card and perhaps thinner top run leather. The difference in thickness is really to make the bellows respond quicker and last longer with the frequent bellows reversals required on an Anglo. After reading plenty, I have decided to use cotton ragboard, but I can't find anywhere that mentions a thickness for bellows card for English concertinas. I have seen 4ply (~1/16" or 1.5mm) as being the thickness for Anglos. Am I to assume that 2ply (~1/32" or 0.75mm) is the correct weight to use? I will likely use this supplier. I have very little idea on what leather thicknesses to use. Being in Australia it is relatively easy to get my hands on kangaroo leather, which like goat and dog, is a good air tight leather. I'm trying to get my hands on some chrome tanned kangaroo which should be a lot softer than the veg tanned kangaroo I have used in the past. I will build a home splitter to thin down the leather but to what size? Bob's photo thesis references 0.025" (0.635mm) but this is for an Anglo. What would be the appropriate thickness for the top runs, end runs, and gussets for an English? Let's move forward to glues. I have built instruments and projects before using hide glue and am happy to use it throughout this job where applicable. I assume all leather- leather, leather- wood, leather-card bonds will be fine using hide glue. Bob also uses gummed linen tape (which have found here) for the inside. I assume tape was used here to give structure whilst building and offer strength and support for a frequently exercised joint. It doesn't need to be air tight as it is internal and the outside is covered with leather. Is there anything wrong here? How about depth. Currently the 5 fold bellows have 1" folds (measured from outside with the bellows in situ). Should I stick with 1" or maybe increase the depth. I do like the idea of having lots of breath in the instrument but not if it compromises stability. As for papers. I really like Wim Wakker's gold stars on black paper. Is it okay to use on a chrome plated instrument? That ought to be enough to get me in trouble for now. JohnSmith I know I shouldn't just barge in here on my first post and expect others to help. I hope that any answers I receive help others who have the same questions. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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