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Lachenal end Plates

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One of the few positives of this Covid episode is that I have had the time to essentially clear my backlog of restorations and customer repairs (lots of broken customers...).  I am now on to the ones I have been avoiding.


I am looking at two 32-button Lachenal rosewood instruments for restoration,   Instrument one has one badly broken end and the other end is a crude home-made end plate.  The other instrument has one good end and the other end is damaged but also of a much finer fretwork.  I have been waiting in hope of replacement ends turning up on otherwise scrap instruments but I am moving towards the idea of having new ends cut. 


Is there anyone out there who already has a digital drawing for Lachenal end plates who would be ready to sell the program as I am in touch someone who is equipped to do the work but it seems a shame to go through the process again if the work is already done.


Finally, I have a beautiful 30-button instrument that is completely missing one end (one end, bellows and reed pans are present).  Does anyone have a full Lachenal end only,  to sell?


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Paul, I'll be interested to hear the responses here.   I also have a 32 button rosewood Lachenal that needs a new end fret.   One end is good the other has been replaced with a fretted end plate made from bright blue acrylic!

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Hello Paul,


I am curious what the person you have lined up will be using, i.e. CNC or laser? What file format would they require?


I have not done this, but I have pondered it some. I imagine that a good photo (would need to take care to correct for distortion or possibly use a flatbed scanner) could be processed with thresh-holding to get the pattern as a jpg/png/bmp format. It might then be possible to convert this to paths or SVG and eventually to a CAD format required. I would be moderately concerned that depending on the way this is done (image processing and physical cutting tolerances), the fretwork would be thicker or thinner than the original. Though probably better than "missing" or made from blue acrylic. ?

I would imagine one could try a few test runs on cheap material and tweak it to get it right.


Also, there are a number of different lachenal fret designs. Which do you have?


It might be interesting to set up a process or workflow for this.


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I've been making and fitting new wood and metal ends to concertinas for the last ten years, and have drawings for lots of different ends. This is part of my repairing business, so while I'm happy to undertake work, I'd be reluctant, for obvious reasons, to give away drawings/expertise...... 


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I'm the guy who'd do this work. I could indeed create a file from a photo, and it would be pretty accurate. But it would be tedious work on a screen with a mouse, and I'd have to charge for it. If someone who'd already done the work would be willing to sell one to me for a reasonable fee it would save me  tedious work , and  Paul a little bit of money. We're not looking for a hand-out. I'm familiar with  dxf or .ai files, but others would likely work as well. I  use Vectric Aspire for the cutting file creation for a CNC router. 


I understand how someone who possessed this might be hesitant to provide a tool to a competitor, and I've encouraged Paul to seek another who might already have these capabilities  (like  Bill above?) who might make his ends for less, but I'm definitely capable of creating them myself from a photo, so if you want to prevent a competitor from emerging you'd best offer to make them for Paul at a reasonable price.


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Al, thanks for posting.  What is the smallest cutter diameter you can use?   I ask because the originals were hand cut with a piercing saw, and the cutter would have to be very fine to get the internal corners looking as sharp as the originals.  Would a laser cut  get a finer detail?

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Theo, a laser will get finer detail. I'll have to consider this. Typically I would use .06" cutter for .125" depth, but that will not look  very good. A .031" cutter might do, but best will be to follow up with a V cutter backing out of the fine points. Not quite as nice as sawn, (or laser) but pretty sharp. Example shown is a shape .6" x .4", one of the larger shapes in the fretwork. See examples.

preview .062.jpg

preview .031.jpg

preview vcarve w .06.jpg

preview vcarve w .031.jpg

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