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Thanks, Jake, that clears it up for me. Is this what people are talking about when they speak of bushing the buttons? I saw a video recently of "burling the felt" when buttons stick, but "bushing" the buttons was something in an online article (without pics) and I had no visual in order to understand what was meant. I believe that those are two different procedures done for different reasons (and, apparently, not all buttons have felt) but I'm not even sure I'm right about that. :)

No! The way our concertinas are made results from corners being cut in order to drive the price down!

 

When we speak of the buttons being bushed, we mean a felt collar around the button where it comes thru the end. This reduces noise.

[Not found on lower value 'tinas!]

 

Here's a link to a picture of a SUTTNER concertina : http://www.suttnerconcertinas.com/images/a2-32_lg.jpg

 

you can clearly see the red felt around the buttons.

 

Higher quality concertinas also have longer buttons that project below the lever and locate into a hole in the board on which the lever mechanism sits. This keeps the button straight when moving up & down. The bottom of this hole is also 'bushed' to prevent a loud knocking sound every time a button is pressed!!

 

I mean, we don't want to be relegated to the rhythm section do we!?!?

 

Jake

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I mean, we don't want to be relegated to the rhythm section do we!?!?

 

HA! I'm glad I set my hot cup of coffee down before I got to that part! :D

 

The Suttner is a beauty! Well, this is an education for me. I've not torn back into the concertina today, as I'd planned, because when I do, I'll need to leave it open for a bit in order to address the button issue, so I'm going to read the links you guys have given me and do a little prep work before I go in. I'll come back, either in the afterglow or aftermath, depending on how it goes, and let you know how it went.

 

Thanks, again!

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I have a Gremlin 30 button Anglo, which is basically a Stagi W15S.

 

Which brings up a point for IAmGrammy: Various "makers" sell Stagi-made instruments under their own names/labels, so might yours be an actual Stagi intended for such rebadging?

 

Is there a short length of rubber tubing at the base of each button? I can't be sure from the photos but on Stagis the tubing is black, on yours it looks white - if it is there at all.

I've seen older Stagis where the tubing was clear and either colorless or slightly yellowish, so I don't think the color of the tubing is definitive.

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That's interesting about reselling Stagis under different names. I guess that might be done all the time, but it seems as if it should be illegal. Kind of like me starting my new computer company by slapping grapes on the front of all my Macs and selling them as Concords. :)

 

The buttons seem to have bands of discoloration, as if there was some sort of tubing at one time. I've ordered new tubing so I'm hoping to get it back open this week and have a go at it. I'll send pics when I'm done. Thank you guys for all your help!

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I hope I've learned a lesson, ha! I have some issues with my hands and have had a few surgeries. (Something about my having "too many bones". My X-rays look as if I'm wearing lace gloves.) So, when the concertina arrived, my first thought was, "You know... since I'm going to try to play this with the right end resting on my knee, if my little fingers could actually sit on top of the rests, as if they were in troughs, instead of beneath them, they could actually rest and they wouldn't tire out so quickly and begin to ache." That was my line of reason, anyway.

 

So, as most concertinas seem to be made, the finger rests are attached as if you have a capital letter "J" and slapped it to the left, onto its face (hook down). I was hoping to swap the rests and flip them so that the letter "J" would be first turned backward and slapped to the left onto its back, hook up, creating a sort of "shelf" or trough for my fingers to lie in and rest on.

 

It all turned out to be an exercise in futility, even without the nuts/washers issue, because I soon discovered that while my fingers might like to sit on top, rather than beneath the rests, there's no control that way. All that to say that concertina designers apparently know what they're doing. :D

 

I'm sort of glad, though, to have opened it up. Those buttons are so wobbly and loose, that it'll be a huge relief to shore them up. I need all the help I can get.

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I had seen the circle of reeds on some concertinas on online videos so when I saw the hinged stack of reeds on mine, I didn't know what to think. But I began reading a few articles and, even in my ignorance of concertinas, I believe I'm able to agree with you. I think it's clever.

 

The bushing is beautiful! It's a shame they aren't all like that; besides what it does for function, it really enhances the instrument.

 

I ordered tubing to commence seeing what I could do to shore up my buttons, but, of course, the company sent the wrong size, so I'm back to waiting. If I can secure the buttons well enough to learn the instrument, I hope to graduate to something a bit more elegant. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

*WHEW!!!!*

 

Thank you guys for your patient help and for bearing with me. Twice, I ordered some tubing from Amazon and twice they sent the wrong size. (It turned out Amazon had received a mislabeled bin of tubing and had to ship the whole thing back to the company, because the contents didn't match the bin specs.) I finally found a bit of tubing left over from a chainsaw rebuild and, oddly enough, it fit perfectly.

 

But then, after the buttons were all shored up, nice and tidy, and I had it put back together, I squeezed the bellows without pressing any buttons and it just coughed up notes. It was only today that I finally found a couple of rods on either side that had somehow gotten raised a bit too high, making the spring work too hard, I guess. In any event, the pads were letting air through and when I relaxed the height on them, it all settled down, nice and quiet.

 

The bellows feel a bit stiff to me, but I'm not accustomed to pushing and pulling bellows the way you guys are, so I'm not sure if I'm just a bit weak or if they really are stiff. I'll practice every day and if it's still a struggle after a couple of weeks, then maybe they are a bit tight. Not that I'd know what to do about that... Bellows scare me. :unsure:

 

Just added a couple of button pics, the first two showing what was there and the last showing how they ended up. I should have thought to take pics of the really bad sleeves, though, most of them were practically falling off, they were so soft and worn out.

 

Thanks again, guys!

 

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