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Help / Advice Needed - Repairing Broken Spring (I Think...)


lxnx
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I'm due to fly off to the Noel Hill concertina school in 2 weeks, and as luck would have it, it looks like one of my button springs has just broken.

 

I was playing, and after pushing a button in, it didn't come back up. Looking more closely, it seems like there's a gap between the spring and the button lever, so it isn't putting any tension on it. This has left the button stuck down, and the button lever loose.

 

I've got a 30 button Lachenal anglo, and had a go at getting it open for the first time (following the advice in Dave Elliott's book) to take a closer look.

 

I was able to remove the 6 outer screws, and remove the action box from the bellows, however I couldn't work out how to separate the pad board from the action box to expose the levers/pads though. There was one screw on the bottom of the pad board, but removing this didn't seem to help. The only other screws I could see were 6 tiny ones around the edges of the outer metal face place, and 4 tiny ones near the middle buttons of the face plate (I didn't want to touch any of these, they were very small, a bit worn, and I don't have a good enough screwdriver to risk messing with them).

 

Has anyone got any advice on:

 

a. Suggestions on how to separate the pad board from the action box for a Lachenal

 

b. Whether fixing a broken spring myself is feasible (assuming that is indeed the problem)

 

and failing that;

 

c. Recommend someone who's likely to be able to repair it within the next 2 weeks before I'm due in Ireland... (I'm based in London, so anyone near there I can physically take the concertina to would be ideal!)

 

 

The only positive is that this gives me a good excuse to keep a backup concertina around :)

Edited by lxnx
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Lynx,

As you suspected there are usually two long screws that tie into support posts beneath the buttons. The other two small screws hold on the bushing board which either contains the individual bushing felt or at least limits the buttons' side movement. You'll need to get a small screwdriver with a "sharp" (squared off) blade to remove these screws. (They can be a pain! :() Take some care not to let the screwdriver slip which can then scratch your metal ends.

 

Although taking off your ends may initially appear a daunting task it is not a bad idea for every concertina player to procure a few proper tools and take the time to learn how to perform a few necessary maintenance operations inside their concertina. The Dave Elliot book "Concertina Maintenance Manual" is a good guide.

 

Best of luck.

 

Greg

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Very carefully remove the metal end by removing the 6 screws which hold it in place. With luck the two portions of the offending broken (or fractured) spring will be clearly visible and can be carefully removed with the aid of tweezers. Use the tweezers and something like a tiny screwdriver to manipulate the new matching replacement spring into position. Make sure that the spring is attached and mounted securely at both ends and all should be well. A fiddley job which has worked very satisfactorily for me a number of times over the years, but then mine is not a Lachenal.

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Many thanks for the advice, and thanks for the offer Bill, it's reassuring to know there's a backup plan if all else fails!

 

I've ordered some replacement strings, and will go out hunting for some appropriate screwdrivers this week.

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]I've ordered some replacement strings, and will go out hunting for some appropriate screwdrivers this week.

 

Make sure you've paid attention to whether the spring that needs replacing hooks to the left or to the right. Any concertina will have both types and the replacement needs to be the same configuration as the broken spring.

 

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