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Don Taylor

Anybody Want To Convert A Jeffries Duet To The Hayden System

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It may well seem an unnecessary complication, but I think of the Maccann and Jeffries duets as being as different from one another as, say, a tenor banjo and a guitar. I don't lump the duet systems together under one broad heading - yes, they share characteristics but playing each one of them is a very different experience. The configuration of the instruments leads you to do different things with them.

 

Agree with this completely. I tried to make the same point in the Concertina FAQ. We do tend to blur the different types of duet together in normal conversation, regrettably.

 

As with many other "comparisons", it seems to me that this seeming misrepresentation is most often made by those who don't actually play -- and often have never even attempted -- the instruments they're discussing. And it's something that's hardly limited to discussion of concertina systems. B)

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However, I think that a custom made slotted sound board could be made by an amateur using a hobby grade CNC router. Sadly, I do not have access to one of these.

And the other components of a new end are significantly more difficult? Which ones?

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To Chris T: "a custom made set of reed-pans - COULD ". But I have yet to find a good concertina maker who WOULD. If there is any concertina maker out there who is willing to do this I would be very pleased to hear from them. Unfortunately good concertina repairers I know who are willing to do a job within a short time scale do not have custom routing machines,

Regards different types of concertina for different types of music: The Hayden duet system is a neutral system, rather akin to a free-bass chromatic button accordion. It is just a matter of size. The 6.25" 46 button Wheatstone Hayden is ideal for traditional folk music; and the larger 65 button instruments are suitable for 3 or 4 part harmony classical music, and song accompaniment, or what ever music you might like to throw at it.

I do sincerely hope that the Jeffries duet in question is bought by someone who is first of all going to learn to play it rather than put it into the back of a draw for another 50 years, and that the Jeffries system is the ideal one for the type of music that they favour.

 

Inventor.

Edited by inventor

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Beside the reeds themselves, the most time consuming parts of the concertina (and hardest to do in an amateur workshop) are levers and buttons - even some proffesionals outsorce lever making to a laser cutting workshop.

 

From my experience, any wooden part can be home made with satisfactory quality and tolerances with reasonably cheap equipment and enough patience. But metal working requires heavier equipment, heat generation handling, better tools with tighter tolerances which are usually more expensive etc… And don't forget, that there are dozens of levers and buttons in a concertina, and those sheer numbers make making them very time consuming. My 66 buttons took me the same amount of time, as the whole endboxes and reedpans (without the fretwork cutting, which is another time consuming part, but depends heavily on fretwork design and material used).

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However, I think that a custom made slotted sound board could be made by an amateur using a hobby grade CNC router. Sadly, I do not have access to one of these.

 

And the other components of a new end are significantly more difficult? Which ones?

Lukasz answered this question very well.

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I don't lump the duet systems together under one broad heading - yes, they share characteristics but playing each one of them is a very different experience. The configuration of the instruments leads you to do different things with them.

Stuart,

My sentiments exactly!

As a multi-instrumentalist, I appreciate the variety of timbres that strings, reeds and fipples offer, and the variety that various tunings offer within each one of these categories. However, this doesn't mean that I have, for instance, one stringed instrument that I contimually retune for different effects. I have guitars, banjos and mandolins in their "natural" states. After all, it's not only the tunings that are differrnt - the timbre of a guitar, banjo and mandolin are also different, and have particular uses in musical expression.

 

That's why I don't see much point in this conversion thing. It doesn't give you two concertinas with different characteristics - it gives you one type of concertina at the expense of another. Why not just buy the type of concertina you want in the first place? If your leanings are towards multi-instrumentalism, you'll need two concertinas anyway (mine are an Anglo and a Crane), because there's no way you're going to convert back and forth during a gig or a session.

 

Cheers,

John

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Why not just buy the type of concertina you want in the first place?

While I'm personally opposed to the proposed conversion -- at least if it's not reversible, -- I think this has already been answered:

because it's not available for purchase, at least not with a reasonable timeframe for delivery.

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Why not just buy the type of concertina you want in the first place?

While I'm personally opposed to the proposed conversion -- at least if it's not reversible, -- I think this has already been answered:

because it's not available for purchase, at least not with a reasonable timeframe for delivery.

 

From my own point of view ( and I don't agree with the conversion idea either) the type of concertina that I am looking for is not only not available currently but unlikely to be so from what I can gather.

 

It would be good to have the keyboard one wants with the desired tone quality.....

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@ Don: have you seen this guys effort of doing traditional reedpans with hobby-level tools? http://concertinamatters.se/page38/styled-8/index.html

 

@ Geoff: my thoughts exactly. If one wants something bigger than Beaumont, traditionally reeded or with certain tone, then there are absolutely no valid options...

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I would not characterise Henrik as using hobby-level tools. I've been following his work with great interest through Facebook as with characteristic generosity he will share his images and experience with anyone interested. Here's a quote from his website about his current build that illustrates the point: 'This time, though – since the last couple of years has been dedicated to making the tools – I will not go into all details of that process but only show the finished tool “doing its thing”'.

 

One thing about concertinas (as I'm sure you know but is not always obvious to others) is: nobody sells tools for making concertinas. This means that any aspiring concertina makers spend much of their time making tools. Colin Dipper's training is as a tool maker. Another friend who is starting to build concertinas (he is on this forum) has a background in model building that gives him similar skills. It's what you need if you want to make concertinas.

 

I'm afraid phrases like "hobby-level tools" suggest popping down to B&Q and buying some clever power tools and off you go. It's not like that at all.

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Timson

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@ Chris: But all his tools listed on his webpage work in connection with a hobby-level Dremel multitool. Of course his rigs and setups are rigid, durable and clever (but sometimes "an overkill" for a one-time use, like his bellows mould or hexagonal cutter or slant tapering rigs, and could be easily substituted by one, versatile milling machine with compound table and tilting capabilities and much simpler add-ons, or even by hand tools in some cases. Of course they are more than justified if he is thinking about making more than a single concertina with them), nevertheless they are anything near industrial level pieces of machinery, and are a lot easier and cheaper to aquire/make than even the home-grade CNC router that Don have mentioned (I should have quoted the exact Don's sentence I was reffering to).

 

But I indeed may have a quite biased view of what a "hobby workshop" looks like, because I consider myself a hobbyist "object maker", but have invested a lot of time, money and effort in completing/designing my workshop and tools...

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If you are willing to take your time doing the layout and setup work, the tapered dovetail slots in a reed pan can be easily produced with a common router and a few homemade jigs. In fact, if all of the reed shoe sizes use the same degree of taper, you will only need one jig and would adjust length and width of each slot by placing it closer or further from the center hole of the pan.

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@ Geoff: my thoughts exactly. If one wants something bigger than Beaumont, traditionally reeded or with certain tone, then there are absolutely no valid options...

While the options are certainly limited, complicated, and somewhat formidable undertakings, they do exist.

 

Despite the liklihood of incurring the wrath and criticism of the purists here, I will share with you that my two Jeffries duets are two such examples. The 58-button was converted from a C-core duet to a Stark layout and the 62-button A-core duet was converted to a C-system CBA layout with extraordinary results.

 

This is certainly no undertaking for the faint of heart. It requires the skill, expertise, vision, and willingness of a superbly qualified individual like Wim Wakker, substantial planning and engineering, finding and acquiring an instrument with the proper range of notes that can be suitably adapted while preserving its originality and maintaining its fundamental integrity, the willingness to invest the necessary funds, and the ability, as Lady Macbeth so aptly puts it, "to screw one's courage to the sticking place."

 

It takes time (months, really) to properly analyze and suss it all out and determine the feasibility. Then it requires far more time to complete the work properly as it involves a meticulous and sophisticated series of intricate processes. But in the case of these two concertinas, the risk paid off and produced a handsome reward - two extraordinary concertinas that were previously lying dormant are now readily playable and regularly fulfilling the purpose for which they were originally constructed.

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WW's wait list is currently five years? For all types, or just Hayden? WOW!

Well, that was just a suggestion based on a post here lately from someone who recently received a Wakker anglo after a wait of 5 years. I imagine that if one were to put in an order with the man you might not get more than a guestimated delivery date. I only assume based on my own involvement in a very similar line of work that, faced with a mountain of orders/requests , it is hard to say exactly how long and far to easy to be optimistic on time scales when speaking with a customer.

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