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Current source (US) and type for silicone tubing for repairing "rubber sleeve" Italian concertina linkages?


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I and others have written about this process in the past, how older Italian-made concertinas had a clever/cheap system of using rubber linkages to connect the buttons to the lever arms in their concertina mechanism. Over the decades the rubber dries out and cracks and buttons slip down inside the body of the concertina (if you're lucky!) and it's unusable. But broadly speaking most of them can be gotten back up and running by replacing the rubber sleeves. Apparently most folks (including myself back 7yrs or so ago) use silicone tubing that's normally sold to model vehicle enthusiasts for fuel line, since it has the right texture and is available in the right diameters.

 

I looked at some older threads, and it appears the recommended brand (AeroTrend) is defunct. Does anyone have a recommendation as to what is now the preferred brand, and which ID/OD of fuel line tends to be best for Stagi/Bastari/etc concertina to replace the button-lever linkage?

 

I'll say just to repeat it, but at least around 2013 when I did repaired quite a few of these on my kitchen table for kicks, I tried something I hadn't seen many other repairers mentioh, which is I'd cut the linkage a little longer than needed to connect the button and arm, but then cut a small slit partway down it, and in my brief experience that gave it more grip while still allowing it to depress properly, and at least the ones I tried didn't seem to tear any further up the slit. Just an option to try out for anyone else doing kitchen-table repair of cheap Italian concertinas.

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6 hours ago, MatthewVanitas said:

I looked at some older threads, and it appears the recommended brand (AeroTrend) is defunct. Does anyone have a recommendation as to what is now the preferred brand, and which ID/OD of fuel line tends to be best for Stagi/Bastari/etc concertina to replace the button-lever linkage?

Take a look at Du-Bro silicone tubing (221 small - 1/16") or (222 medium - 3/32").  Model shops carry this stuff and maybe Amazon.

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11 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

Take a look at Du-Bro silicone tubing (221 small - 1/16") or (222 medium - 3/32").  Model shops carry this stuff and maybe Amazon.

Yup, a seller on Amazon has it for just over a buck a foot, so I got 4ft of each diameter (models 221 and 222) so I can try them out.

 

Fortunately/unfortunately the old Italian concertina I got in the mail seems to be playing fine despite the old linkages, and I'm reluctant to crack it open and have to deal with little bits if it's not totally necessary. So I'm fixing to just play it a few days, check the tuning on my app, etc. and then flip it for what I paid for it on the Sales section her for a novice wanting a starter 20b. That's basically what I did in the past, just buy cheapies on eBay and then pass them to others either after replacing the rubber linkages with silicone, or if it had less/more problems just listing it here with a clear description so novices could buy it off me for around what I paid for it without having to buy totally blind on eBay and risk being disappointed.

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