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Pimping out your concertina. (tooling!)


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Hi all,

 

I have two vintage concertinas which would initially have had gold tooling on the right and left of the bellows.

 

They have new black bellows and they do have the papers stuck on the inside of the bellows but no lovely tooling.

 

Is this something that can be done retroactively, or can fresh leather be substituted on top?

 

I have been warned that seeing doubled-over leather on a concertina bellows can suggest a lack of quality or damage over time, but I would see it as different if I got it done to one I already own and play.

 

All the best,

 

Tim

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Hi Tim,

 

I've waited to see if anyone with more knowledge would reply but they haven't, yet. I have no idea how the usual tooling on bellows leather is done, or where they get their patterns or dies from.

 

If you want a 'Jeffries' or similar style print embossed into your bellows leather I have no idea how to do that. Others might decide to throw more light on that.

 

However... I do know that high-end bookbinders apply gold tooling to leather retroactively all the time. Often by hand. With proper care, I don't know any reason the local heat applied would cause any issues.

 

If you want something beautiful and unique embossed in gold to add a bit of flair, there are definitely people who can do it for you.

 

One person that comes straight to mind is Paul Delrue in Ruthin (Wales). I don't even know if you are in the UK. If you are, and are interested, DM me and I will put you in touch with him. He's a bit long in the tooth these days (he won't mind me saying) but is an artistic genius and craftsman. I'd be surprised if he didn't revel in the opportunity to do something a bit different..

 

Cheers

 

 

 

Edited by JimmyG
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I did one using hot foil and found that it's very difficult to get the stamp positioned accurately with no missing or double-printed bits. If one of the sides goes wrong you pretty much have to remove the whole end run and try again. Alternatively you can try stamping all the designs onto the strip of leather using a foil press before you glue it to the bellows, but then you have the problem that if the patterns aren't spaced just right they won't end up centred on the sides.

 

At some point I plan to try again using the traditional gold leaf method, which is a bit more complex but gives you more chances to correct problems.

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5 hours ago, JimmyG said:

Hi Tim,

 

I've waited to see if anyone with more knowledge would reply but they haven't, yet. I have no idea how the usual tooling on bellows leather is done, or where they get their patterns or dies from.

 

If you want a 'Jeffries' or similar style print embossed into your bellows leather I have no idea how to do that. Others might decide to throw more light on that.

 

However... I do know that high-end bookbinders apply gold tooling to leather retroactively all the time. Often by hand. With proper care, I don't know any reason the local heat applied would cause any issues.

 

If you want something beautiful and unique embossed in gold to add a bit of flair, there are definitely people who can do it for you.

 

One person that comes straight to mind is Paul Delrue in Ruthin (Wales). I don't even know if you are in the UK. If you are, and are interested, DM me and I will put you in touch with him. He's a bit long in the tooth these days (he won't mind me saying) but is an artistic genius and craftsman. I'd be surprised if he didn't revel in the opportunity to do something a bit different..

 

Cheers

 

 

 

Jimmy, thanks so much. And Alex too for your valuable information.

 

I am in Ireland unfortunately but when things open up again, I may give you a bell.

 

Tim

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Tim.

   

On eBay there is a man called Sandylaneman of Ardfert Kerry who sells replacement parts for concertinas, including bellows replacement kits and bellows papers. I don't know anything about him, and have never used his services; but I believe other members of "concertina.net" may have, and could tell you more.

Now this may be false memory syndrome, but I am sure that he, at one time also offered to fit these to your bellows frames complete with gold tooling and bellows papers attached. So far as I remember, one of his illustrations showed a Jeffries style gold tooling look-a-like. If I am correct he must have the dies and ability to do this, so might, (I emphasize might), be able and willing to do this on your existing bellows.

 

Inventor.    

 

 

    

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A book binder offered to do one retrospectively for me, in fact he said it would be his preferred method. Only thing was, he wanted a piece of the leather to do a test on, some tanning methods make it difficult to do successfully. I didn’t have one, or the blocking die either so it did not go any further. 
 

There is a fellow in South Australia had a device built with 6 Jeffries style dies on a wheel.  You feed a strip in and turn a handle and the strip comes out with the impressions all in a line. I have seen a few, it works, but getting them to line up in the exact place when fitting must be a struggle. It hasn’t been used in 20 years and could well be for sale. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/20/2021 at 10:08 AM, Clive Thorne said:

Reading this thread it occurs to me that there is a big difference between "Pimping up" and" Pimping out"!

 

Ah, "Phrasal verbs" - the nightmare for foreigners learning English. My wife used to teach English as a foreign language to mature students who came to stay with us, and these combinations were always a problem. Contrast knock down, knock up, knock in, knock out, etc. Get on, get over, get at, etc. Why do we wash up the dishes, but wash down a car?

 

When I saw the thread title I assumed it would be about raising an income stream by renting out concertinas!

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