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Thumb Strap Instructions

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I received a kit from Concertina Spares today to make new thumb straps for a Lachenal English, but it did not come with the promised "down loadable instructions", and I see that Mark has shut down his e-mail and telephone for a few weeks while he catches up on his backlog of work.  The instructions in Dave Elliott's book won't work as his design requires about twice the length of leather supplied in the kit, and there's not enough left of the existing straps to make a pattern from.   Having already waited a considerable time for the order to arrive, I am keen to get to work.  Can anyone here who has used the kit offer any insight?  For each strap I have been provided with a 2 3/4" x 7" rectangle of thin leather,  a 6 3/8" length of 1" linen tape, and a 1" x 2 1/2" rectangle of felt.


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It's a 48 button Lachenal English, serial # 6915.  Dowright has dated it c. 1860.  48 glass buttons, brass reeds, beautifully figured rosewood ends with brass inlays at the corners, and gold embossed green bellows and thumb-straps. It was found in an attic in British Columbia, Canada by the new owner of an old house, so no ownership history to go with it I'm afraid. It's in remarkably good condition- pads, valves, seals, reeds, pad boards and reed pans all look new,  and the ends are in excellent condition.  One fold of the bellows is damaged,  the thumb-straps need replacing, and the glue holding the action box together has dried out.  I'll be doing a careful, minimal restoration for a friend who is currently playing a Stagi .(I'm an Anglo player- can't make heads-nor-tails of an English)

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  • 9 months later...


I am new to the forum but am looking for help.

I have been 'googling' how to make thumb straps for an English concertina and came across this old thread started by Bill. I am afraid I have exactly the same issue....I have the kit from concertinaspares but no instructions and the kit  (which looks the same as Bills ) bears no resemblance to the size/shape use by Dave Elliot in his book.


If anyone still has any instructions or advice on how I create the thumb straps I would really appreciate it. 

Many thanks in hopeful anticipation

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It is one of the named Lachenal models, as Wolf says an 'inimitable'


Easy identification markers:


the Paragon was rosewood  flat ended with no inlays

the Inimitable was rosewood flt ended with inlays

the Excelsior was ebony flat ended with inlays

the Nonpareil was amboyna  veneer flat ended with inlays, 

The new model had raised ends and was usually ebony finished



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