Jump to content

New bellows of non standard sizes.


Recommended Posts

I have had quotes for standard size bellows from David Robertson Concertinas and Marcus Music. 
Mark Lloyd-Adey at Concertina spares sells them.

I have bought two sets of standard size but custom 7 fold from Peter O’Connor in Ireland who sells them on eBay. 
I make my own these days, which opens up all sort of restoration opportunities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks  for  the  suggestions  Tiposx .

 

I  am  now  just  wondering  why  the  instrument I am  looking  at, which  is  an otherwise  standard  model  from  Wheatstone & co., should  be  listed  in the  ledgers  as  "  Large  Model"... it  being  half  an  inch  wider  than usual.

 

Does this allow  for  the  use of  longer  reeds  ,  bigger  chambers  or  more  air  in the  bellows  ?  Perhaps  there is  a tonal  advantage  ?  

 

Any  thoughts ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I fully endorse the recommendation of Rosalie Dipper's Bellows. Any size, any shape - Hexagonal, extended Hexagonal, Octagonal, Decagonal, or Duo-decagonal.  She specializes in bellows making, and is the most experienced concertina bellows maker in the world.

 

I am lucky to live only about a 20 minute drive from the Dipper workshops. On one occasion when I had to have a small repair to my concertina; I went there for it to be done. We went to the top floor in the mansard loft of a good sized Georgian house where Colin examined my concertina and disappeared with it to another workshop.

 

I sat and watched Rosalie skiving bellows cardboard. She worked amazingly quickly and accurately. We chatted, and I asked her many questions about bellows making; she also held an intermittent conversation with Robin Scard who was working at the far end of the loft workshop, without  pausing for a moment in her work.  From time to time she resharpened a well used knife, with a few strokes on a sharpening stone, and continued her skiving.  I asked her how often she needed to do this; and she said "whenever I feel I need to". 

 

At one point she called out to Robin to ask the time, and said she was just popping down stairs to put the vegetables on for lunch -"you're staying for lunch of course" ! She returned and finished the set of bellows cardboards then put them all in a little press and accurately cut off the sharp corners.

 

We then all went down to a huge kitchen with range cooker, and sat at a large table being joined by two children. While Rosalie was serving up, Colin appeared with my concertina now in fine fettle.

 

You won't get a better concertina bellows anywhere in the world than one made by Rosalie Dipper !

 

Brian Hayden. 

                    

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, James McBee said:

Wouldn't a wider bellows result in lower air pressure?

Yes , but  with  the particular  example  I am  thinking of, which is  a  6 3/4"  Octagon  as opposed  to  a  'standard'  61/4"  version  I  wonder if  the  player would  notice  any pressure  difference.

 

Perhaps  that  extra  half  an  inch  might give  an  air supply  advantage  for  one  who  plays  a lot of  chords ?

Edited by Geoff Wooff
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/28/2020 at 3:05 PM, Geoff Wooff said:

Does this allow  for  the  use of  longer  reeds  ,  bigger  chambers  or  more  air  in the  bellows  ?  Perhaps  there is  a tonal  advantage  ?  

 

Potentially all of the above. Though it may be fairer to say a tonal difference rather than an advantage (which depends on the player's tonal preferences).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't mean to imply that a half inch difference would greatly, or even perceptibly, effect the tone or playability. I guess I just don't see how it could be a beneficial in itself, unless it is to allow for longer scale reeds. I would think that, all other things being equal, a smaller diameter would be desirable. Perhaps someone with more knowledge would care to opine. And if, indeed, the reeds are scaled differently, that seems like something that could be established.

 

Edited by James McBee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My model 22 and my TT seem to have the same scale reeds. I am not sure the reed set and valves etc. are exactly the same but I still think I can make a comparison. 
 

 The TT being significantly larger requires very noticeably more pressure to play at the same volume. On the other hand it seems like there is very little bellows movement necessary with the TT. Simple physics!

 

A concertina is a high pressure, low air volume instrument. The accordion is a low pressure high air volume instrument. A big concertina is head in the direction of an accordion. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The difference in size in this case is rather small so wouldn't change the pressure/volume ratio significantly compared to a piano accordion.  You could argue that a baritone concertina would have a very different ratio from a piccolo, but again, I'd suggest that the accordion would still be an order of magnitude different.

 

I play Anglo, so I'm not sure about the English, but I prefer a slightly larger concertina, simply to fit my hand size

 

Alex West

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alex, 

You are correct in theory the difference should be much more noticeable with an accordion. But then accordion reeds seem to be designed to work at lower pressures and larger air volumes, so I find it hard to compare them 1:1 with concertinas. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/27/2020 at 5:05 PM, Geoff Wooff said:

I  see  that  Concertina Connection  in the USA  offers  a  replacement  bellows  making  service  but I  live in Europe . Who  offers such a service  in  the  UK  or    Europe ?

Hi Geoff,

Using Bob Tedrow's method, I make bellows of any size using cylindrical jigs - most recently, a big baritone set for Theo Gibb.

Geometry being what it is, you don't actually need a jig with 6 or 8 sides... just a tube of the appropriate size. 

This, of course, applies only to bellows of symmetrical shape. For asymmetric bellows, a custom-made jig would be indispensable, and frankly, it's not worth making one when it would probably never be used again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Thanks  for all the  comments  and suggestions.  The  'slightly  oversized'  Aeola  questions  came  as I  contemplated  the  purchase  of  the  instrument , but now  it  is  in  my  possession   I  can  say  a wee bit  more. 

 

I doubt  if  i'd  notice  any  increase  pressure  needs,  certainly  not  at  present  as  almost  every  gusset  of the  bellows  is  perforated, nay.... ripped .  However,  it  is  still playable, amazingly,  and  moves are in hand  to  replace  the   ruined  bellows.  The most  notable  thing about  a larger  bellows    is  the  speed of  opening  and closing, well that is  what I  notice  perhaps  more  that  any  pressure  changes  as  I  alternate  between my 8" Aeola  and  6 1/4" Hex.

 

As this  new  ,to me,   instrument   comes from the  very  end of  the  golden period  of  Wheatstone production  I  can see  why  they  have  slightly enlarged  the  frame  size.  Being a 56  Extended  Treble  the  extra  room is  well used to  provide    slightly  larger  reed chambers  and  it appears to  be  better  balanced  especially  at  the upper end.  I  usually find    C6   on a treble  EC  can  be  painfully loud  in comparison  to   notes  just  below it   whereas  on this  slightly  larger  instrument  the  balance  throughout  the  upper  two octaves  appears  equal.  Of  course  with  only a sieve  to  test it  I  could  be  wrong.

 

  Buying  a  somewhat  shabby looking 91 year old squeeze  box   ,meeting the vendor,  a clown,  outdoors  in the pouring rain , half way  from  his  house to  mine  due  to  the  need  for both of us  to arrive  home  before  the curfew,  no  hotels, restaurants  or   public toilets  open,   is  perhaps  dangerous  and  a real  pup  could   have  found  a new  keeper... we  shall see.

 

 

  

Edited by Geoff Wooff
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I  have  come to  an obvious  conclusion  regarding this  'larger size'  instrument;

 

A  rough  calculation  shows  that  a 6 1/4"  Hexagon  has a  cross sectional area  of  approximately  32 square inches.

A  6 1/4"  Octagon's  cross  sectional  area is about  25 square inches .  So, increasing the  size of  the octagon  to  6 3/4"  gives  a  cross  section of  about 36 square inches.

 

The effort  to  push and pull  this  slightly  larger   Aeola will be  negligible   and  the  air  capacity  more than  matches  the  six sided  models.

Edited by Geoff Wooff
Link to comment
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.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...