Jump to content
Eshed

I'm now an owner of a concertina, what next?

Recommended Posts

Hi there!

Yesterday I took an opportunity and bought this lovely box which thanks to the Wheatstone ledgers I know is a model 5 from 1936.

It is relatively well preserved (not a scratch on the wood) and I'm greatly enjoying playing it, but some things are off, which is why I'm asking this learned forum for advice.

 

  • It is mostly in tune with itself, but slightly lower than concert pitch (could it be that it stayed in C=522Hz?).
  • A reed or two rattle.
  • One of the thumb straps i all but disintegrated.
  • There is a slight leak (I think) that I can't locate yet.
  • The bellows gussets (I hope I'm using the term correctly) leave a little bit of black powder on my finger if touched (maybe on the process of disintegrating, similar to the strap?).

 

As I'm located in the middle east, quite far from most reputable repairmen, I'd prefer fixing what I can on my own. I have some experience fiddling with melodeons and doing small repairs/tuning and I have some technical aptitude, but I don't have a full fledged workshop.

Any input regarding whether/what I can/should fix on my own would be appreciated!

 

In the meanwhile, I've tried disassembling the box. While I've managed to find the rogue screw hidden in the thumbstrap and remove the top, I have no idea how to get to the reeds. Guidance in that matter could also be nice :)

 

Thanks!

P91108-164553.jpg

Edited by Eshed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strongly recommend buying a copy of "The Concertina Maintenance Manual" by David Elliott.  Excellent advice with description and photos, and it even seems to focus primarily on the English Concertina, just like what you now own.

 

To answer your question on how to get to the reeds:  You remove those 6 screws from one end, one in the middle of each edge, and gently lift off the wooden end.  That exposes the action pan, with all the buttons and levers, and pads.  This is then gently lifted out to get to the reed pan.   Half of the reeds will then be visible, and you can gently pull out the reed pan to see the other half.  There will be a hole in the reed pan to help in removing it.  I emphatically suggest that you only remove one end at a time, and also be sure to put everything back carefully in the same orientation.  Probably best not to leave the ends apart for an extended time either, or the reed pan or action pan can warp due to changes in humidity.  There are others here who can tell you a lot more, including Mr. Elliott himself.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Tradewinds Ted said:

This is then gently lifted out to get to the reed pan.   Half of the reeds will then be visible, and you can gently pull out the reed pan to see the other half.  There will be a hole in the reed pan to help in removing it.

 

Thank you Ted, I've now managed to reach the reed pan and align the rattling reeds, so I can strike one item off the list!

Apparently my problem was that I applied too much gentleness in my previous attempt :D

 

I haven't measured it, but I suspect that now there's a little bit more leak, could it be that the things I propped open had dust or muck sealing them for a few decades that is now gone. Fixed this leak, a pad needed some wiggling. Now it's just the old leak.

 

 

One interesting thing is that the reeds are brass, I suspect that's what they meant by the "Special Non-corrosive Metal Reeds for Damp and Tropical Climates without extra charge" option advertised in the pricelist.

Edited by Eshed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With leather that old, it may be dried out. More playing may lead to disintegration of the leather, especially in the middle east. I would think something to rejuvenate the leather should be used before damage is done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Frank Edgley said:

With leather that old, it may be dried out. More playing may lead to disintegration of the leather, especially in the middle east. I would think something to rejuvenate the leather should be used before damage is done.

That is quite possible. I have never worked with leather, though. Any pointers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Eshed said:

That is quite possible. I have never worked with leather, though. Any pointers?


I‘ve been using this, to good results:

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Beeswax-Leather-Balm-250-ml-Suitable-For-All-Leather-Furniture-Brand-New/293253300084?hash=item4447423f74:g:7DwAAOSwc8ZdkMRQ

 

Best wishes - 🐺

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...