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Long Haired David

What material to cover ends of a Lachenal concertina

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Yesterday I travelled over 200 miles to Barleycorn Concertinas (Chris Algar) to swap my 20 button C/D Anglo Lachenal (with a 74xxx serial number) for a 30 button equivalent.

 

I now have a very nice 30 button Lachenal but it differs from my old one in one respect.

 

When you looked at the old one, there was a red sheet of paper(??) behind the fretwork so that you couldn't see the pads etc. My new one doesn't have that so

a) I can see all of the works and

b) I can feel the air coming out on my hands (which I didn't notice before).

 

I realise that this is done to increase the volume but I play solely for my own pleasure and thus the volume doesn't matter.

 

I had another concertina from a different supplier just for a couple of weeks and in that time some fluff got into one of the pads stopping the C# from sounding. I have never had this happen with my old concertina and I am sure that it is because of the lack of this element.

 

Finally, I get to it. My question is what material should I use to put behind the fret work to make it look and sound like my old one? I attach a photo of my new instrument.

 

concertina.jpg

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Hi and congrats David,

 

I applied silk (in fact from a scarf I didn't wear anymore) to very good results (no dampening of the tone audible).

 

BTW, is it a C/G or a G/D? your indication is sort of ambiguous... 😎

 

Best wishes - 🐺

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I have it on my "To do" list on my small Crane.  I propose to use modern "Vellum" craft paper from my wife's kit of Card making stuff and very easy to work with.  It is stiff enough to hold it's own form, and although not actual vellum 'skin', is made from cotton and wood pulp (cellulose) so skin-like/translucent in it's appearance. 

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It's a C/G.  Thanks. I will have a look around and see what I have.

1 hour ago, Wolf Molkentin said:

Hi and congrats David,

 

I applied silk (in fact from a scarf I didn't wear anymore) to very good results (no dampening of the tone audible).

 

BTW, is it a C/G or a G/D? your indication is sort of ambiguous... 😎

 

Best wishes - 🐺

 

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38 minutes ago, Sprunghub said:

I have it on my "To do" list on my small Crane.  I propose to use modern "Vellum" craft paper from my wife's kit of Card making stuff and very easy to work with.  It is stiff enough to hold it's own form, and although not actual vellum 'skin', is made from cotton and wood pulp (cellulose) so skin-like/translucent in it's appearance. 

My daughter is big into crafts so I will ask her advice. She might have some!

Thanks

David

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Vintage concertinas often had either true vellum, or very fine goat skin.  I'm not saying that you need to do the same, but it is likely this is what was in your other concertina.  My 20button Lachenal has this in red, just as you describe.

 

If you are adding something like this yourself, pay attention to the clearances at the edges.  Very little clearance is required at all, but don't make the ends completely air tight.   If you use silk or anything more porous this isn't an issue.  I have seen a fine screen used too, perhaps a scrap of tulle fabric, which wouldn't dampen the sound or prevent the feel of air on your hands, but would be enough to keep bits of fluff and bugs out.

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For one restoration recently, I used a damask red woven material - a sort of artificial silk, that was the nearest that my local department store fabrics department had available on a roll. I had to buy a metre length, and the width was about a metre, so I have enough for several concertinas! It seems to work well, being decorative, keeping out the  dirt, but not blocking the sound.

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I have sorted my problem. I am lucky enough to live close to Mike Acott who has supplied me with a very nice piece of soft white leather. I am attaching it using UHU glue and little cork pads. I can see the places where the original pads were sited so I am using them as a guide.

IMG_5077.JPG

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Thanks for the glue advice.  I am thinking water soluble is best since I want to experiment with something reversible. But it does need some strength or I'd end up with a rag rolling inside my concertina. I bet that would slow things down a bit.

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I used double-stick foam mounting tape, small pieces, only three or four per side, I think.

Edited by mdarnton
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