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Cheapie Anglo Repair

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Hi, List -


I'm a newbie to concertinas, and ordered a cheap made-in-China model (eBay) to allow me basic time to try the instrument and see if the Anglo style will work for me, as opposed to the English style. The concertina was duly sent and arrived this week - in a thin corrugated cardboard box that had split here and there in transit, plus of course the taping over the place where the postal Customs inspectors opened the box to check its contents. And there was no insulation or packing of any sort inside the cardboard box, just the instrument, which fit loosely. The first thing I noted was that something was loose in one end, and that only the other side sounded. Took the screws out of the silent head and found the screw block at one end of the reed holder was split, so the screw had nothing to hold to and the reed holder was flopping.


It's too far to send this back to Los Angeles, and the folks who sent it are an import house, not instrumental repair folks, so I took this to a local fine cabinetmaker whose father is a superb accordion player, figuring they would know between them what to do. The instrument is now back in my hands and plays just fine, but one button continues to stick when played, though a subsequent flick of finger gets it to stop and return to normal height.


I don't see how, easily, to access the button mechanism but figure it must be a lever system as it is in most concertinas. Any clues on how to fix the stuck-button syndrome? I can take the instrument further apart as needed to see what's up.


I did send a note to the folks who imported and sent the concertina that they would have to put packing material around any further instruments before they send them out - not sure if they will take the trouble to do that, but at least they have been told of the damage done to this one in transit and should be prepared for complaints if they don't add the packing.


And I expected and got a cheaply-made concertina, but now that it works I can begin to figure out the button system and see if I can get any tunes out of it, which is all that I need it for. But ideas on fixing the stuck button will be welcome.


Muff in Iceland

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This was in a discussion a year or two ago. I first came across one of these Chinese instruments a few years ago when I was teaching the summer concertina class in Goderich Ontario. Someone had borrowed a Chinese anglo and on the second day of class it had a stuck button. "No problem," I thought, until I tried to repair it. Access to the button mechanism was sealed, either with a glue or some sort of sealing wax. As it was on loan, the student didn't want to mess with it. This seems to be a significant problem with this type of concertina. It has a similar type mechanism to the Italian Stagis, but at least with the Stagis, access to the mechanism is simple, and since this problem of sticking buttons occurs on a fairly regular basis, access should not be a big deal.

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Thanks for your sympathy, Frank. That sealed access is the case here too, and is putting me off opening up that part of the instrument in case I can't get it back together afterwards. So far I can fix the stuck buttons with a finger flick - will save demolishing the seal till I really have to get in there.



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