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Need some help with old Scholar concertina repair

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Hello everybody, I bought a 1941 (#1322) Scholar concertina for 70$, it's in fair condition and I would to make it as new again.

There are few problems, the first is that 5 buttons play only one tune instead of two, of some it's in the inhale and some in the exhale of air. It seems that the reeds plate is well placed so I don't know what sould be the problem.

The second problem is that the bellow has a small hole- it's make out of cardboard and I don't know if I can fix it with some regular paper or somthing else.

The last thing is the original strapes that nailed to the wood... do you have a good idea how to replace it and what kind of straps sould fit?


I know that the old time Scholar are considered as a toy but I'm fixing it for my child :)


And i'm not a native english speaker- sorry for my english... here are a few pictures of the concertina


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WhatsApp Image 2021-01-18 at 16.29.25 (2).jpeg

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WhatsApp Image 2021-01-18 at 16.29.25 (4).jpeg

WhatsApp Image 2021-01-18 at 16.29.25.jpeg

WhatsApp Image 2021-01-18 at 16.29.26.jpeg

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Hi Yohan,


It might be something lost in translation, but I suspect you will not be able to make this "as new again". But hopefully playable and enjoyable for some small hands.


First the reeds. Identify the problem reeds by taking the plates off (make sure you are aware of the order they go back, and mark up both the plate and the instrument in pencil if required). Press the button that has the problem note, looking at the reed side and see which pad lifts. Find the corresponding reeds on the plate. The "push" (exhale) reed is on the outside of the plate, the "pull" (inhale) reed is within the chamber.  Look at them closely to see if anything is blocking the movement of the reeds. Gently press them with a wooden tooth pick into the slot by a small amount into the slot to see if they move freely. A small bit of dust or dirt is enough to prevent this. Look to see if the little valve is not in the way.


If the reed snags on the sides of the slot this is another common problem. Get some very thin metal shim and use this between the reed and the slot with the reed depressed, in order to push it ever so slightly to one side or the other. If that's fine, make sure the reed is not too high above or too low in its slot. Compare with other working ones. Gently push the reed with the toothpick to set a new angle, be careful as it doesn't take much with this metal!


Again using your trusty toothpick, you can try and straighten the valves by holding the attached end and running the toothpick underneath the valve with some pressure on top, which helps to bend them back to lie flat. This will help with volume and response.


Secondly the bellows. As this isn't a very valuable instrument, some form of tape or even sticking plaster is okay to use to try and cover the holes, easiest to add on the external side. For a neater repair, small patches of thin leather can be applied on the inside, though getting to it may cause more damage if the material is brittle and you have to stretch the bellows out to do so. Alternatively, a whole new diamond shaped corner piece can be fitted from thin leather.


Good luck with fixing this up, and I hope your kid enjoys playing it!



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