Jake Middleton-Metcalfe Posted June 17, 2015 Share Posted June 17, 2015 (edited) Hello people For the last few years I have been saying lots of "oh but what if concertinas were made like this and that" so in the end I made a prototype to test some ideas. This was made in my final year of my degree in model making and prototyping, it took about 4 months of learning, designing, working out and ect. It is the first working prototype I have made of anything, mostly in the past I focussed on static models which I guess is why it took so long to make this, lots of learning about moving parts. first up here are the pictures: http://www.middletonmodels.com/product/ The basic plan of the project was to make a G/D anglo concertina that overcame some of the things I didn't personally get on with on the original design. These are: it is harder to play it standing up than sitting down, I always found the buttons a bit small, I thought an air lever was more logical than an air button and finally I found many concertinas to have very small hand rests (not much height) which never really appealed so much to myself. So I made a design which tries to address all of these things I was not happy with. Make what you will of that, it is personal opinion and I am not saying what I have made is better necessarily for everyone, it just suited me. Others may play this thing and prefer a more classic anglo. So to make it easier to play standing up I carved these wooden hand rests that fit the hand very anatomically, and I made the hand strap have an elastic element which gives better hand retention while also being quite flexible. The straps are in a Y shape, the thumb goes through the top of the Y. I also tried to make the weight evenly distributed either side of the hand rests, I found this easiest with a rectangular shape, basically the heaviest reeds are mounted the other side of the had rests than the buttons to try and equalise the weight like a pair of scales. I also tried to reduce the overall weight by making the ends out of carbon fibre which is probably what took the longest to learn to make. Other than that I just made the buttons 8mm diameter instead of the more common 5 or 6mm diameter and added an air lever. Did it work? Some things went better than others. Basically I really like the buttons, anatomical hand rests and air lever. The thing I am not that happy with is playing it standing up. It is marginally easier but not completely easy. This may be due to my action which is a bit over engineered (lots of 1.5mm brass) making it heavier than intended. That aside the sound is good. The ends don't have much holes in them and the carbon is quite dampening, it sounds like a single voice melodeon or accordion, more so than other hybrid instruments which I think are closer to the sound of a classic concertina reed. Conclusion: to make an anglo easier to play standing up I would probably just give it a hard case that was a bit taller than normal so you can put your foot on that and rest the instrument on your leg rather than bothering with carbon fibre and Y shaped hand straps. So next I started making a more traditional 6 sided wooden instrument, this is unfinished but will be based on a lachenal anglo wreck I found in a junk shop in most respects (slightly higher had rests) The point of this prototype is to learn to do more basic stuff better, like making a better action and bellows my leatherwork is slightly messy in a couple of areas and the action is a bit clunky here and there. When this is done I imagine a third prototype where I will try to combine some elements of the first two prototypes in whatever way I conclude is best from the experience of making the first 2. (it will probably be a 6 sided instrument with an air lever, slightly wider buttons, slightly higher hand rests and a nice tall box to carry it in! The journey continues! Jake Edited June 17, 2015 by Jake of Hertford Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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