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Lachenal 30 button anglo renovation


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I am embarking on a major renovation of this instrument, which is effectively in pieces due to damp (it would appear, due to the presence of white mould, verdegris and rust). First job is to separate everything, clean it up a label it so I know where it goes.

 

I have just managed to separate the Right front from the rest of its action box. Removing the 2 screws from the front was VERY difficult due to rust, and I did have to damage the woodwork a little to get them out Hopefully I can rescue the lever arms if I can remove the rust, All pads and valves need to be replaced, but the springs appear to be in reasonable condition. I will probably make new one anyway. All the wood is in pieces and needs a rebuild.

 

I do have a question about the front. It is not solid wood, but a laminate of two pieces - rosewood by the look of it. They have separated and warped a little.  (see photos attached)

 

Once I have cleaned them up, do you think they would successfully glue back together, or should I replace them?

 

I assume the Left front will be the same.

 

Best regards

Rod

 

 

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I had the same problem with a 20 button Lachenal rosewood ended concertina. The rosewood had delaminated in part on both ends & I successfully used Evostik wood adhesive to re-glue the laminate. I used some shaped & thick mdf (covered in cling film) & three G clamps to push the parts together. Without the G-clamps, you get a layer of glue & it was obvious the laminate had split.

See pictures below.

Hope this helps. 

Peter

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Edited by Peter Smith
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3 hours ago, Pistachio Dreamer said:

if the casework is in this sort of condition, how are the reeds?

Paul

The reeds are are in reasonable condition, surprisingly!

 

Yes, there is a small amount of rust on most of them, and some of  the inner reeds have verdigris on the frames, but I;m sure they will be OK.

 

11 minutes ago, Peter Smith said:

I had the same problem with a 20 button Lachenal rosewood ended concertina. The rosewood had delaminated in part & I successfully used Evostik wood adhesive to re-glue the laminate. I used some shaped & thick mdf (covered in cling film) & three G clamps to push the parts together. Without the G-clamps, you get a layer of glue & it was obvious the laminate had split.

Hope this helps.

Peter

 

Peter

That is encouraging.

My plan is to do something similar, using either hide glue or PVA, depending on what has been used already. I will attempt to separate the two pieces, then glue and clamp between two boards while the glue goes off.

 

Thanks for your feedback

 

Rod

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Glad it was of some help.

Just a thought. I would suggest not separating the laminate totally as it could be difficult to get it back into the exact position again - especially when clamping it. The glue can cause the parts to slide. I used PVA, as its strong and gives a solid repair. For the valves & pads, I prefer to use hide glue, so its a bit more authentic.

Peter

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13 minutes ago, Rod Pearce said:

Paul

The reeds are are in reasonable condition, surprisingly!

 

Yes, there is a small amount of rust on most of them, and some of  the inner reeds have verdigris on the frames, but I;m sure they will be OK.

 

Glad to hear it. Usually that means the pads/bellows/gaskets have been intact for long enough to protect them, as then the air within the instrument is sealed off to the outside. Good luck with your restoration, you certainly have your work cut out!

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15 minutes ago, Peter Smith said:

Glad it was of some help.

Just a thought. I would suggest not separating the laminate totally as it could be difficult to get it back into the exact position again - especially when clamping it. The glue can cause the parts to slide. I used PVA, as its strong and gives a solid repair. For the valves & pads, I prefer to use hide glue, so its a bit more authentic.

Peter

Peter

Thanks, much appreciated.

I am a bit concerned that if I don't separate the laminates I will not be able to get glue to all surfaces that need it. I do have the end screws and holes that should enable me to line the two layers up before glueing. Second thoughts about using hide glue though - I'm not sure it will stay workable for long enough.

 

Paul

Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated.

 

Rod

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Rod

 

Rather than a PVA wood glue, I'd consider using an aliphatic resin based glue such as Titebond or Chair Doctor.  Chair Doctor is very watery so will creep into all the cracks which may be useful if you dont want to peel all the laminate plies apart.  The advantage of both is that they swell the wood and get into all the tiny crevices so you get a very solid set.

 

The big advantage of hide glue is that it's reversible - but why would you want this to come apart again?

 

Alex West

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Another vote for aliphatic resin wood glue, Titebond II or Titelbond III. Titebond also do a version designed for veneering which I have used successfully to make a laminated material for making new ends.

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Rod, Theo

 

My usage of aliphatic resins is based on advice given by others and practical experience rather than theoretical knowledge of glues.  I started using Chair Doctor as I found it gave the strongest result when I was attaching ebony veneer to the end frames of concertinas.  However...

 

I could be wrong, but relying on memory and based on a quick search, I'm not sure that Titebond III is an aliphatic resin.  Titebond II is a PVA (according to Titebond's website). The main benefits of Titebond II and III over Titebond I is that they are waterproof so is OK for exterior applications.   I've never had a problem with the open time of either Titebond 1 or Chair Doctor.  I would use Chair Doctor in this application since Titebond is more viscous and harder to get into all the tiny cracks.  I've never used it but the blurb says that the Titebond Cold Press is a PVA.

 

None of this means that you should throw your Titebond III away - the ultimate strength may be pefectly acceptable

 

For making laminated new ends, I use Cascamite and I believe Alex Holden uses a Wessex resin system.

 

Horses for courses, your mileage may differ etc.

 

Alex West

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9 hours ago, Alex West said:

For making laminated new ends, I use Cascamite and I believe Alex Holden uses a Wessex resin system.

 

West System epoxy with the slow hardener. I'm not sure I would recommend it for this repair though. I would probably try liquid hide glue (i.e. hide glue with an additive that lowers the gel temperature).

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  • 3 months later...

It has been a few months since I last posted progress on this renovation.

 

The concertina is now back together as a working instrument. I have had to reglue all the frames and action / pad boxes which had all fallen apart due to damp. I have also made a new bellows as the old one was also ruined. OK, it isn't perfect as some of the sides don't quite line up but it all seems to work well enough. The pads, springs, lever arms and valves are all new. I have re-polished in blonde French polish to bring out the grain  I still need to do a fine tune.

 

I am quite pleased with how it has turned out given the wreck I started with.  I won't be selling it as it is the first 30 key instrument I have had, and I intend to learn on it.

 

Thanks to all contributions to this and other related threads, there were several points on the journey where I felt it was a hopeless cause but you helped through them. I will leave you with a picture of how it looks now.

 

Best regards

Rod

☺️

 

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