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The Stretched "hex"


nicx66
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This poor beautiful instrument! I feel like there have been several "stretched hexagon" instruments that have popped up as of late, all with fretted ends that are in rough shape, this one being the roughest. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Second-Hand-Wheatstone-Concertina-/192048185472?hash=item2cb6f6c080:g:d3kAAOSwA3dYSW~a

Edited by nicx66
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This poor beautiful instrument! I feel like there have been several "stretched hexagon" instruments that have popped up as of late, all with fretted ends that are in rough shape, this one being the roughest. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Second-Hand-Wheatstone-Concertina-/192048185472?hash=item2cb6f6c080:g:d3kAAOSwA3dYSW~a

What a shame! It looks as though somebody has driven over it, then driven over it again to put it out of its misery.

 

Steve.

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I would say it's been kept in a very damp place for some considerable time. Going by the way the veneer is dropping off and the ends seem to be delaminating.

That doesn't bode well for the condition of the insides in general, and the reeds in particular.

 

It's an odd design, with such fine fretwork around the buttons, but none around the handrests etc.

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coh, I guess that is how bad it can get. I wonder if the reeds are salvageable. Maybe not if its a damp problem!

 

If they are brass reeds, I would think they might be, but I am no expert

 

Though I've seen Wheatstone Aeolas that were made with (top quality) brass reeds, for a tropical climate, I've never seen a Lachenal New Model (which is what this one is) or Edeophone like that.

 

The reeds could well be rotten with rust... :(

Edited by Stephen Chambers
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On the subject of stretched hexes, I bought one this week. (my second, I must beware of concertina acquisition syndrome). A Lachenal 68 key Maccann duet, Serial number 2184. It was advertised on this site last week, I made an offer and got it. It arrived today and is a lovely instrument with good restoration potential. The bellows are like new. The reeds are largely very good, with most having no rust at all. Strangely though, the very few which are rusted are on the inside, and have heavy-ish rust. One bent like paper and broke when I tried to sound it. How do we account for this - largely rust free, with the few having rust being heavily affected and on the inside?

Dave

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coh, I guess that is how bad it can get. I wonder if the reeds are salvageable. Maybe not if its a damp problem!

 

If they are brass reeds, I would think they might be, but I am no expert

 

Though I've seen Wheatstone Aeolas that were made with (top quality) brass reeds, for a tropical climate, I've never seen a Lachenal New Model (which is what this one is) or Edeophone like that.

 

 

 

 

I have had 2 Edeophones through my workshop with original-looking brass reeds, both having had a reasonably long history in Oz (pre-concertina revival), though not strictly in the Tropics. Both were high quality models with amboyna ends.

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On the subject of stretched hexes, I bought one this week. (my second, I must beware of concertina acquisition syndrome). A Lachenal 68 key Maccann duet, Serial number 2184. It was advertised on this site last week, I made an offer and got it. It arrived today and is a lovely instrument with good restoration potential. The bellows are like new. The reeds are largely very good, with most having no rust at all. Strangely though, the very few which are rusted are on the inside, and have heavy-ish rust. One bent like paper and broke when I tried to sound it. How do we account for this - largely rust free, with the few having rust being heavily affected and on the inside?

Dave

Can't really account for it, it's usually the outside reeds that get it worst, in my experience.

But rust moves in mysterious ways. On old cars you get some places with zero rust, and others where the rust goes right through the metal. Once it gets a hold, it seems to take off. One tiny spot of rust seems to give it a way in, but if that first tiny spot doesn't form, it can stay untouched. A hard smooth surface doesn't offer much of a surface area to moisture to condense on.

 

I know that if you keep your windscreen very clean, it's far less likely to steam up. The vapour in the air needs that tiny speck of dirt to condense on. Maybe once the first speck of rust manages to form, it helps moisture to gather on the reed.

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Patrick, yes I think there is something in the theory that a speck of dirt seeds condensation and rust. Many decades ago when I did my first concertina tuning, I used to start by polishing the reeds with 1200 grit paper on a flat stick. I would not do it now because It is not in line with minimal impact restoration, but those polished reeds never got a speck of rust in years. Maybe that was because the instruments were better looked after, but did used to wonder if the polishing had the effect of which you spoke.

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Yeh. If the reeds are shot, I'm not sure what's left of any value.

Quite a lot of buttons I guess.

I'm not sure what they mean by silver inlay. The reed shoes will still be usable, if that means anything.

 

I hope that it's all in better nick than it looks. The buyer deserves to be lucky.

The end bolts look surprisingly clean and bright, so maybe the reeds are ok too.

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OK, I own up - it was me! It's a 62 button Lachenal MacCann "New Model", probably dating from 1890 or thereabouts.

 

The fretwork is completely shot - delaminated, broken up, in fragments so totally unsalvageable - and there are no handrests. The whole thing has a coating of white mould internally so it's obviously been somewhere damp. I suspect that's down to the customer rather than the seller's though. However nearly all of the joints in the woodwork are coming or have come unglued. Is it really so great that hide glue is reversible?

 

All the buttons are there - I may be missing one but that could be a miscount and the action looks to be very good for a Lachenal - I'm used to seeing more recent anglos which are nowhere near as nice as this.

 

As for the reeds - well, there are a few rusty ones, but not many. The right hand side is pretty clear and only 5 or so on the left side are so rusty as to be doubtful. The rest look pretty good - as for the action, much better than any other Lachenal reeds I've ever seen before.

 

I haven't found the silver inlay yet but that just relates to the number plate and the seller's reference is from a note within the case which dates back to 1979 so I wouldn't be surprised if that's gone missing.

 

My big debate at the moment is whether to try and restore it or keep the components for spares. I'll take some time to decide and maybe try to dry it out and rebuild some of the woodwork to see if it will hang together. It'll definitiely need new bellows and a few new reeds which I think are the big cost items which I would struggle to do myself - maybe the fretwork is a step too far as well?

 

I'd be interested in others' thoughts

 

Happy Christmas everyone!

 

Alex West

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Hi Alex, I'm glad the reeds are good. You've got your moneys worth there, even if you can't salvage the rest.

Especially if the buttons are nice. I couldn't make out what they were made of.

 

Take care testing the reeds. I have a habit of blowing them just to see, but with all that mould about, it could be dangerous.

(I've heard that bagpipers can get a nasty version of pneumonia from mould in bagpipes)

 

Best of luck with it, and happy christmas.

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