Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi,

This Christmas, a friend’s dad gave me an old Lachenal 30-button Anglo that had been in his family for generations. Unfortunately it is in a pretty sorry state, but as an aspiring musical instrument restorer, I have decided to have a crack at mending it myself (with the help of our friend's tools and DT experience). It is a beautiful instrument, with hardwood ends and bone buttons, steel reeds and a 5-fold bellows. As the photos show, it is a bit dirty (nothing some good cleaning can’t handle) and has had the bellows poorly repaired in the past with what looks like plasters…?

Inside, the left hand reeds are quite rusty, while the right hand ones seem alright. The buttons also seem to be popping out of their guide holes, so they have to be wiggled around a bit before you can press them down. It also has some writing inside, saying it was tuned by a Wooding of Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1897, and an address that is only legible in bits, but appears to say:

(something something something)

170 (something) road

Cliff Vale

Stoke-on-Trent

Dec     (something)/96

The main problems will be de-rusting the reeds and patching up the bellows (which have got more than their fair share of holes in). If anybody out there has any ideas or advice they could give me, whether that’s on the history of the instrument or how to repair it, it would be greatly appreciated by both me and my friend’s family. Please find attatched some photos of the instrument.

Thanks!

Here is a video of the state of the bellows:

 

IMG_7834.JPG

IMG_7836.JPG

IMG_7837.JPG

IMG_7839.JPG

IMG_7840.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get Dave Elliot's Concertina Maintenance manual as a starter! :)

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

squeezebox, where about's do you live? I might be worth tracking down some one experience for advice before you dive in.

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, d.elliott said:

squeezebox, where about's do you live? I might be worth tracking down some one experience for advice before you dive in.

Hi Dave, I'm in Lincolnshire. My family and I have been talking about trying to get into contact with an experienced musical instrument restorer-fixer-doer-upper for a while, to talk about concertinas, accordions, player pianos, harmoniums and the like, but we haven't got round to the actual contacting bit yet. My grandad introduced me to a friend of his who does fixing string instruments, but that's not much good if your main interest is free-reed. But yeah, I will try and find someone local-ish. It'd probably be a big help. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Things to find out..... (1) how badly are the reedpans warped? ...(2) Are the action boards warped as well or do the have cracks in them? ...(3) In what shape are the bellows gaskets. If the reedpans fit into the bellows frames, they will certainly nned shimming, but if the tops of the gaskets are worn out, allowing leaks between the body and bellows they should also be replaced. At least, thewooden grills are intact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Frank, 

I meant to upload some pictures of the inside but didn't get round to it. I agree about the bellows, they look like they need almost completely rebuilding to make it a useable instrument again. The reedpans don't seem warped to me, the action boards may be a little warped depending on whether what I think you mean by action boards is correct ( the thin bits of wood with the hinges and springs on); and I am fairly certain the chamois on the gaskets needs replacing. It had become so hard that it had stuck itself to the reedpan and required about 15mins worth it gentle wiggling to remove it. The fretwork at the ends is intact, but a bit messy and could do with a polish and some nice fabric behind it.

Thanks,

Oskar

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where abouts in Lincolnshire do you live? 

l'm about as far South as you can get, without falling off.

The best l can offer at present,  without knowing any more of your situation, is that l have been through much of what you are contemplating,  and also the suggestion that you might care to attend SqueezEast in June at Stamford Arts Centre, where you will find a friendly welcome and much good advice.

Just Google SqueezEast for the website, plus all the details of the June get-together.

Finally, when you get that far, and if you need it, l can offer the loan of my tuning bellows.

You only have to ask.

All the best,

Steve T

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/20/2020 at 11:01 AM, steve taggart said:

Where abouts in Lincolnshire do you live? 

l'm about as far South as you can get, without falling off.

The best l can offer at present,  without knowing any more of your situation, is that l have been through much of what you are contemplating,  and also the suggestion that you might care to attend SqueezEast in June at Stamford Arts Centre, where you will find a friendly welcome and much good advice.

Just Google SqueezEast for the website, plus all the details of the June get-together.

Finally, when you get that far, and if you need it, l can offer the loan of my tuning bellows.

You only have to ask.

All the best,

Steve T

Hi Steve, 

I am in Lincoln itself, so a bit of a drive, but we have relatives in long bennington, so are down further south fairly often. The squeezeast thing looks very interesting, and I will definitely try to go. For now I am going to focus on the cleaning and polishing side of things, as opposed to the tuning and patching and stuff, at least until I am more experienced in that field (I have several broken accordions to practice on!). 

More pictures coming soon!

Thanks,

Oskar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Oskar,

You will be very welcome to come along to SqueezEast Band day on Sunday 14th June 2020 in Stamford. Our Secretary has just added to booking pages for this year to our website and put the date somewhere here on Concertina.net. We often get 30+ players of all types of instruments, EC Anglo, Duet and a range of sound from Bass to Piccolo in one big band, great fun especially if you have some ability to read music.

Even if you don't want to play you can still turn up and meet us (as Steve says, many of us have been in your situation before) and if you do want to play but your Anglo is not ready, let us know and someone will volunteer to lend you an Anglo or another other type of instrument for the day.

If you are looking for a professional restorer you can't do better than Dave Elliott who has already responded elsewhere to your initial listing and he's not too far away from you in Sheffield.

Mike (Treasurer, SqueezEast Concertinas)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mike, 

I’d love to join in (as long as we are free on the day). I already play piano accordion at the Lindum Accordion club, so I am used to playing as a group, but I play almost completely by ear. My Lachenal is currently beyond playability, but luckily I have a Mcneela Wren 2 which I got back in September, and it is in perfect working order. I will bring both on the day, in case I can get any useful advice. 
Thanks,

Oskar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i am in Sheffield, not too far for a meet up

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Oskar, I have two old Lachenal anglos 20key and 28key which Dave Elliot restored for me a few years ago (Hi Dave!).

I can attest to Dave's skills in fixing concertinas and as suggested earlier you should buy his book!

My 20 key anglo was shown in Concertina.net years ago when Paul Schwarz was running it.

Dave - sorry but not been playing. Our choir is doing Bold Riley this term so might get to perform, after a LOT of practising!!

Oskar, good luck and hope you get the old Lachenal working again. Cheers,  Phil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Squeezebox Of Delights said:

...I am going to order the book into my local Waterstones as soon as possible...

Good move! The book is full of clear explanations, advice and photographs/diagrams explaining and illustrating how

concertinas are put together and how to fix them. Well worth it, even if (like me!) you don't intend to do anything more

than very basic maintenance. Cheap at twice the price!

Edited by lachenal74693

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...