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Adjustable Straps ?


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I have a Mc Can duet concertina, very good instrument (I am a beginner).

 

My problem is the following :

I feel (and have always felt this way from the very beginning) very uneasy with its straps, find it very boring to settle them, unscrewing and rescrewing ... the holes in the straps are either too near from each other or too far etc : tedious and boring job each time for a dubious result :angry:

 

So I'm dreaming, maybe I could get some adjustable straps for my duet, as are found herebove ?

 

on cheap recent ones :

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_0caN5DoH4ko/S7j6mcAdRwI/AAAAAAAAAGE/55ta6TNEvbA/s1600/P1010002.jpg

 

or even as it seems on old ones :

http://www.concertinamuseum.com/Images/Concertinas_T-Series/C352c1a.jpg

 

Any information, advice wellcome :unsure:

 

 

 

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I have often found it necessary to punch new holes in between the existing holes to get a comfortable grip on the instrument, but a strap with a 'buckle' adjustment like the ones you have linked to here should not be hard to make and any decent leather worker could produce something to your desire, I'm sure.

 

I think players generally find the most comfortable point of adjustment and leave the straps like that untill the wear out but at the begining, with a new instrument we do tend to be looking for this 'perfect grip' and fiddle with the straps a lot.

 

PS: Bonjour :) ,

 

Geoff.

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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I have often found it necessary to punch new holes in between the existing holes to get a comfortable grip on the instrument, but a strap with a 'buckle' adjustment like the ones you have linked to here should not be hard to make and any decent leather worker could produce something to your desire, I'm sure.

 

I think players generally find the most comfortable point of adjustment and leave the straps like that untill the wear out but at the begining, with a new instrument we do tend to be looking for this 'perfect grip' and fiddle with the straps a lot.

 

PS: Bonjour :) ,

 

Geoff.

Thank you Geoff, for your answer.

 

considering the age of the straps, I'm afraid punching new holes would not be wise.

 

Maybe I'll ask a leather worker to help me, you are probably right. But I like the original look and touch of this instrument, and would appreciate not to add something too new, so it's not easy to make up my mind. Maybe I could find on the web such straps to buy ?

 

Catherine

 

PS : bonjour aussi ;) As-tu été à Ars cette année ?

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Well, the straps of a concertina are a 'consumable' Item , like the Bretelles of an accordeon or the tyres of a vehicle. If the straps are old and liable to break, or do not provide the support needed to comfortably play the instrument then it is surely better to replace them?

 

Chateau d'Ars cette année ? Mais oui, pour les trois jours et c'est meilleur avec le comité nouveau.

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Well, the straps of a concertina are a 'consumable' Item , like the Bretelles of an accordeon or the tyres of a vehicle. If the straps are old and liable to break, or do not provide the support needed to comfortably play the instrument then it is surely better to replace them?

 

Chateau d'Ars cette année ? Mais oui, pour les trois jours et c'est meilleur avec le comité nouveau.

 

I found a melodeon and concertina seller (and luthier) on the web, and phoned him.

 

http://morel-accordeons.com/qui_suis_je__045.htm

 

He lives in Bordeaux which is a bit far for me to go, but he gave me good pieces of advice concerning the improvement of my straps :

 

According to him, I could put a velcro on my straps and use the metal buckle to flip it on itself ( :unsure: difficult to explain pffff ...) and let the copper screw only for decoration.

 

If I can, I will go and visit him.

 

Je ne suis pas allée à Ars cette année, mais j'ai entendu dire en effet, que c'était beaucoup mieux qu'avant !

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I have often found it necessary to punch new holes in between the existing holes to get a comfortable grip on the instrument, but a strap with a 'buckle' adjustment like the ones you have linked to here should not be hard to make and any decent leather worker could produce something to your desire, I'm sure.

 

I think players generally find the most comfortable point of adjustment and leave the straps like that untill the wear out but at the begining, with a new instrument we do tend to be looking for this 'perfect grip' and fiddle with the straps a lot.

 

 

That's exactly my experience too, Geoff. I think when the straps are new, they tend to flex a lot and I've found myself constantly fiddling with them until they get stretched. I've also found the pitch of the holes to be a bit wide and often put an extra one in between. Playing standing up, the adjustment seems to be a lot more critical and it can also take awhile to get a comfortable feel.

 

Adrian

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I had a saddler cut new shaped straps for me and I punched the straps myself. She cut the leather with a razor-sharp, half-moon shaped cutter using a rolling motion, leaving a perfect crisp edge finish. Charged me next to nothing. There must be a name for the tool.

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I have often found it necessary to punch new holes in between the existing holes to get a comfortable grip on the instrument, but a strap with a 'buckle' adjustment like the ones you have linked to here should not be hard to make and any decent leather worker could produce something to your desire, I'm sure.

 

I think players generally find the most comfortable point of adjustment and leave the straps like that untill the wear out but at the begining, with a new instrument we do tend to be looking for this 'perfect grip' and fiddle with the straps a lot.

 

That's exactly my experience too, Geoff. I think when the straps are new, they tend to flex a lot and I've found myself constantly fiddling with them until they get stretched. I've also found the pitch of the holes to be a bit wide and often put an extra one in between. Playing standing up, the adjustment seems to be a lot more critical and it can also take awhile to get a comfortable feel.

 

Adrian

A couple things. First if you have nice old straps that have a design on them but they are worn out, you can have the ornamental part cut off and stitched to the back of new straps. I've seen this with a set of old Jeffries Straps. Second, I've made a lot of straps now and confronted others that needed replacing sometimes too soon. What I noticed is that straps cut with the leather grain (parallel to the spine and not from anywhere near the belly ) stretch much less and last much longer. I recently got a set of straps back I'd made only a few years ago that we're starting to crack and tear at the point where they were fastened. The leather in that area showed signs of having stretched a lot. I was surprised because it had been cut from the same piece my straps (which were five years older and showing zero problems), were cut from. The difference was mine were cut with the grain, the faulty ones across it. If you are not sure about your leather, cut a couple narrow strips but perpendicular to eachother. The one with the grain will resist stretching, while the cross grain one will stretch easily in comparison. Leather from the belly area behaves differently and is best avoided for straps. Some leathers like Kangaroo are nearly equally strong in both directions. Others like sheep are very weak cross grain and are best saved for non stress uses.

Dana

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I have often found it necessary to punch new holes in between the existing holes to get a comfortable grip on the instrument, but a strap with a 'buckle' adjustment like the ones you have linked to here should not be hard to make and any decent leather worker could produce something to your desire, I'm sure.

 

I think players generally find the most comfortable point of adjustment and leave the straps like that untill the wear out but at the begining, with a new instrument we do tend to be looking for this 'perfect grip' and fiddle with the straps a lot.

That's exactly my experience too, Geoff. I think when the straps are new, they tend to flex a lot and I've found myself constantly fiddling with them until they get stretched. I've also found the pitch of the holes to be a bit wide and often put an extra one in between. Playing standing up, the adjustment seems to be a lot more critical and it can also take awhile to get a comfortable feel.

 

Adrian

A couple things. First if you have nice old straps that have a design on them but they are worn out, you can have the ornamental part cut off and stitched to the back of new straps. I've seen this with a set of old Jeffries Straps. Second, I've made a lot of straps now and confronted others that needed replacing sometimes too soon. What I noticed is that straps cut with the leather grain (parallel to the spine and not from anywhere near the belly ) stretch much less and last much longer. I recently got a set of straps back I'd made only a few years ago that we're starting to crack and tear at the point where they were fastened. The leather in that area showed signs of having stretched a lot. I was surprised because it had been cut from the same piece my straps (which were five years older and showing zero problems), were cut from. The difference was mine were cut with the grain, the faulty ones across it. If you are not sure about your leather, cut a couple narrow strips but perpendicular to eachother. The one with the grain will resist stretching, while the cross grain one will stretch easily in comparison. Leather from the belly area behaves differently and is best avoided for straps. Some leathers like Kangaroo are nearly equally strong in both directions. Others like sheep are very weak cross grain and are best saved for non stress uses.

Dana

 

Thank you Dana, Aybee, Geoff and everybody ..

My straps are plain ones, no special design on them, so they could be changed without any remorse.

First thing is to find the right leather worker and then explain to him all that ... will keep you informed ;)

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I do quite a bit of leather work, belts, knife sheaths, concertina straps, pouches and the like, and recently made a very comfortable set for my anglo. Just a few thoughts:-

  • Good quality leather is expensive and hard to come by in small quantities. 2mm harness quality should be available as pre-cut straps in various widths, from which you could cut straps to pattern;
  • Making a comfortable, quality strap is not difficult, but by the time you've bought the tools to groove, bevel and smooth the edges, a decent punch to make consistent holes and something with which to cut the leather, you're getting into a bit of expense;
  • Which brings us to knives. Now I wouldn't dream of suggesting that any of you are naturally clumsy or simple, but I collect cutlery, and I have to say that the one piece of cutlery that I have an almost paranoid respect for is the saddler's round knife. Do not mess with this. Properly sharpened it will cut 4mm harness leather with ease in a single pass. I took an antique one to a cutler recently to have it re-set - he nearly removed the end of his finger. Most saddlers will tell you that it's the most potentially dangerous piece of kit they have on the bench. Best keep your finger ends for playing the concertina and get a friendly saddler to cut a set of straps for you.
  • If you really wish to have a pop at making these things, Google bowstock.co.uk or Le Prevo leathers and have a look at what's on offer by way of hide and tools, but for really nice quality leather in small quantities, a sympathetic saddler is really your best bet.
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