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Stephen Selby

Miniature Concertina Maintenance

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I have attached some photos of a Wheatstone English miniature dating from around 1962. I need to do some minor maintenance on the reeds.

 

1. How do I remove the reed pan? There's nowhere to get a purchase.

2. What are the little metal brackets (below the half-removed long screw)? There's one at each end. They fit into holes and come out easily.

 

Observation: the leather seals on the reed pan look really clunky. Is that how they made them in the 1960s?

 

reed_pan.jpg

Bracket1.jpg

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I looked at that. It doesn't secure anything and only goes in about 2mm. It doesn't give enough purchase to use pliers and I'm nervous about trying further without expert advice.

Edited by Stephen Selby

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Stephen,

Generally the lone screw is used to help remove the pan on a miniature.  Sometimes there is room for fingers but yes, pliers are often necessary.

 

The rail, i believe, is to give added purchase (grip) for the thumb.  In my experience it is only a marginal help.  I usually add thumb straps and sometimes scaled down finger plates for serious playing.

 

Greg

 

The valve material may or may not be overly done.  Depends on the size of the vents they cover.  The tan colored valves are consistent with the ones Wheatstone used during this period.  (Doesn't mean there is no room for improvement.)

Edited by Greg Jowaisas

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On 5/30/2019 at 7:23 PM, Greg Jowaisas said:

Stephen,

Generally the lone screw is used to help remove the pan on a miniature.  Sometimes there is room for fingers but yes, pliers are often necessary.

 

The rail, i believe, is to give added purchase (grip) for the thumb.  In my experience it is only a marginal help.  I usually add thumb straps and sometimes scaled down finger plates for serious playing.

 

Greg

 

The valve material may or may not be overly done.  Depends on the size of the vents they cover.  The tan colored valves are consistent with the ones Wheatstone used during this period.  (Doesn't mean there is no room for improvement.)

 

STOP PRESS: I did it! Took a lot of force; but one side had more give than the other. Once one reed pan was out, it was no trouble to push the other out from inside the bellows.

Edited by Stephen Selby
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So. Everything done. New pads, new valves. Yet...

 

There is still some breath through the pads, even though I can't blow back through them from the back. The reed pan is not leaking around the edge. Is it the high pressure that does that? Is it an inherent issue with miniatures? Or do I still not have the pads set right?

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Is the issue with all pads or just one or two.  Try isolating the offending pads/holes by sticking Scotch tape over each hole and removing one pad/hole at a time.

I've had issues with a small nicks in the pad holes, or even splits, that have caused air leakage around the pads (not on a miniature however).

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Which side of the pad leather (home-made pads) should face down over the hole: the smooth side or the nap side?

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I have an earlier version of the same instrument, 12 k English miniature. Main is from  11th November 1915. The screw you can see is to be gripped by a pair of pliers to lift the reed pan out with. The valves you have look a bit heavy and you may need to clip the valve tips to prevent the reeds from being choked. Tuning is a bit like filing 6 mm & 8 mm long strips of kitchen foil, but steel not aluminium. I use a 'blunted' 600 grit diamond file on these and the upper reeds on piccolo instruments

 

Dave 

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5 hours ago, Stephen Selby said:

Which side of the pad leather (home-made pads) should face down over the hole: the smooth side or the nap side?

Always the smooth side

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Ok, folks. Thanks for the advice again. Luckily this is a modern (1962) instrument and it's in tune.

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