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(See attached image) A quick plea from the C & R Dipper & Son concertina workshop:

 

Who ever is 'wonking' these springs and ruining them in the delightful misbelief that a super-light action won't leak, will you please stop!

 

This is the second instrument we have had in recently, where almost all the springs which were in perfectly good condition, will now need to be replaced, due to the spring-wonker's antics!

 

 

 

post-6474-0-15692600-1425564488_thumb.jpg

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Geoff is a fine upstanding member of this community and an Innocent bystander in this torrid affair. While you sir, may be suffering from Spring fever!

 

However misguided, it was good to see someone spring into action. B)

 

I wouldn't have pictured myself advocating a spring break at one point... :ph34r:

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Oh! :o

 

I vote for a Spring Break for all musical instrument makers and repairers after a very trying winter of dealing with all the wonkers.... paid for by subscription ,of course , by all those on long waiting lists :wub: ...................... fat hope, I'd guess :( !

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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>Who ever is 'wonking' these springs and ruining them in the delightful misbelief that a super-light

>action won't leak, will you please stop!

 

Would some kind person who knows more about this stuff than I do (not difficult!) please

point out exactly what has been done to these springs, and what the effect will be?

 

Thank you.

 

Roger.

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Coincidentally, I've just had an email today from Colin, regarding a Crabb Crane he's working on for me: <<I had to replace lots of springs as the Crabb ones had been comprehensively bent an flattened by the last repairer -- leading to a loss of compression>>

 

I take it that this is one of the two, John?

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Coincidentally, I've just had an email today from Colin, regarding a Crabb Crane he's working on for me: <<I had to replace lots of springs as the Crabb ones had been comprehensively bent an flattened by the last repairer -- leading to a loss of compression>>

 

Further evidence of Geoff's innocence... :)

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The picture of the 'Crabb' action board John posted, might well be of your Crane duet, then, Chas. And there was me thinking, misguidely, that 'Wonky Springs' was an outpost somewhere in the Australian Bush, and prepared to attach the blame to one of our members downunder. :rolleyes:

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Drinkwater
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The picture of the 'Crabb' action board John posted, might well be of your Crane duet, then, Chas. And there was me thinking, misguidely, that 'Wonky Springs' was an outpost somewhere in the Australian Bush, and prepared to attach the blame to one of our members downunder. :rolleyes:

 

Chris

 

Yes indeed - in fact since my posting here, Colin has emailed me a photo of the same thing from a slightly different angle. I gave up taking the ends off concertinas years ago, preferring to leave it to those less cack-handed than myself, so I didn't recognise it but it must be mine. Nearly ready, it seems! As well as spring replacement and some tuning, Colin has moved the handbars to a more comfortable position so I'm looking forward to getting it back.

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Chris

And there was me thinking, misguidely, that 'Wonky Springs' was an outpost somewhere in the Australian Bush, and prepared to attach the blame to one of our members downunder. :rolleyes:

 

Not guilty, Your Honour.

 

In Oz, we don't use springs any more in concertinas. We have tiny, specially bred minature crocodiles fixed under each rod, trained to close their jaws when a button is pressed and open them when the button is released.

 

To adjust the tension of the buttons, tiny rubber bands are positioned around the crocodiles' jaws to achieve an even pressure. Fitting these can be a dangerous job, as, despite their small size, the crocs can give you a nasty nip, not unlike that which can be obtained from making and fitting a conventional spring.

 

Cutting edge technology, Oz style. What's next? Well, we're experimenting with the use of gum leaves as replacements for metal reeds. Trouble is, when playing outside, players tend to attract attacks from hungry drop koalas, so we're hoping that we can soon import synthetic gum leaves from Asia, though there is a rumour that some Chinese concertina makers have been using them for years....

Edited by malcolm clapp
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Malcolm,

 

your tune is, I think, 'Wonking Matilda'?

 

What do you make valves from?, Ah yes, you still have lots of sheep down under.

 

BTW

 

I support Rodger, above, from the picture shown it is difficult to see exactly what some silly wonker may have done..

 

Dave E

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As I am suffering from sore finger tips today after playing several hours last night with our dance band on a newly aquired (old) concertina which still has its 1930 spring strength settings, I do feel some sympathy for the Spring Wonker. It is not as if I have delicate digits or any wimp-y attitudes to playing my concertinas, buttons do get slammed open with enthusiasm as I watch the dancers, but a depression pressure of about 60g is my comfort limit... just did not get the time prior to the gig to do any wonking... was too busy sorting out a set of very unhappy valves which had been replaced by a 'restorer' with little regard to the playability of the instrument..I just wanted the thing up and playing well so as to give it a test run on-stage and forgot how much nerve damage the heavy springing would impart.

 

I've no idea who the restorer was but throwing a new set of pads and valves at the instrument and giving it a quick tune up whilst leaving the soot,cobwebs, fluff and other accumulated internal detritus intact is a wee bit rude.

 

My two main squeezes have their original Pads and Valves which date from 1898 and 1927 respectively and there is nothing wrong with them, in fact to replace the pads on the 1898 would require special slim versions to be produced as there is not enough space in the action for the modern equivalents. So it's a case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"... but do adjust any ' too heavy spring pressures'... just not in the way Mr.Wonker uses. :)

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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I've done a bit of spring pressure adjusting along the way, in both directions. The wonking in the photo seems to have widened the spring coils. What effect on the spring would that have? I'm curious, what is the best way to do the job right (assuming it needs to be done at all). I might attempt this adjustment if there was air leaking out from a pad or if there were a few buttons that were stiffer than the rest. I've never done a whole box.

 

Lacking a gram meter, I would check the spring pressure by holding the action board up above my head and blow into a hole to see how much resistance there was. I would do this on a number of holes to kind of calibrate myself and if the problem hole blew through too easy or too hard and if all other solutions were eliminated, then I would adjust the errant spring or perhaps simply replace it.

 

If an errant spring seemed to need adjustment I would use my needle nose pliers and with the spring in place, put a gentle crimp in the arm of the spring, not the coil, recheck with the blow test to see if the adjustment was consistent with the other holes.

 

Then get back to playing.

 

I does seem that there is an optimum compromise between enough pressure to avoid leaking around the pad and the lightest touch possible on the buttons. Playing style might well effect where this sweet spot is.

Edited by Jody Kruskal
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