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Square-end reed shoes and valves

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The rounded shoes are because all but the very early instruments had the reed pan slots machined with a rotary tool that can't cut sharp internal corners.


Rounded valves look a bit neater, and my understanding of how steel rule die cutters are made is that isn't difficult to bend the strip of knife steel around a former to make it produce a rounded cut, whereas to make it cut a sharp corner you have to cut the knife steel into two pieces, bevel the ends, and weld them back together. Once you have made the die, it's just as easy to punch out a valve with it regardless of the shape of the cutting edge.

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Square cut valves are quite common.  All of the vintage Jeffries, a George Jones and a pre 1900 Crabb I've received in unrestored condition had square cut valves.  Lachenal and Wheatsone seemed to have rounded valves from early on - although the photos from the Concertina Museum show square cut valves on very early instruments


Alex West

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2 hours ago, Stephen Selby said:

In another current discussion, I just noticed this...


It seems to say that the square shoes ended with Lachenal's improvements in 1848. Can anyone throw further light on that?


I believe one of Lachenal's improvements was the invention of the reed pan router machine that cut the slots with a rotary tool.

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