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Exposing Action on Scarlatti Anglo C/G 30 Key

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Hello everybody,


I am wondering if anyone can help me get access to the action of the left-hand side of my Concertina.


I am a new concertina player, and own a cheap Scarlatti to learn on. I have recently found my left-hand G/A button (button 5 by Gary Clover's tablature) is starting to click/slight-grindy-crunchy-noise, and sometimes becomes hard to press in. Something is not quite right with it, but I am unsure what; the mechanism might just require some lubrication, or something bent back into place. I am hoping the issue will become apparent after I can see the mechanism working up close, and comparing it to the other buttons.


I was following the Repair Techniques section on concertina.info, but got stuck after I removed the endplate when I could not find any method of getting into the action. There is no screw on the inside that I can see that will give me access to the action.


I have attached a photo of what I saw when I took the endplate off. I have since put the concertina back together. Does anyone have experience with this brand of instrument that will know how to gain access to the action?




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Sometimes there are a couple of little wood screws right at the edge of the reed board.  Maybe hiding under the fabric of the seal?  If not, it's probably just a friction fit, and some firm wiggling and tugging should pull it out.

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Cheers for the reply, Bill. I did give it a little pull, incase it would come apart, but being inexperienced I didn't wanna break anything. I'll maybe try give it a firmer pull.


I think I remember the fabric seal was sortof glued on, so removing it to have a look might require more glue to reattach. But hopefully I can just expose a little bit of its to have a look. I expect if it's screwed near the edges that there'll be more than one screw, so I won't need to pull apart the whole edge if I don't find a screw after a certain amount.


I wanna make sure I've got a firm plan before I start taking it apart again. There are no metal inserts in the wood where the external screws go (just straight into the wood), so I wanna take it apart as little as possible so I don't destroy the screw holes.

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If there are any screws (usually only 2) you''d be able to feel them through the fabric.  They're usually just driven into the frame at an angle, so they will definitely be easy to feel.  I've had luck using the perpendicular reed block as a "handle" to gently but firmly rock/wiggle and pull at the same time.


Edited by Bill N
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Posted (edited)

Ok, took it apart again this morning. It was a friction fit, however the seal had been partially glued between both the outer shell and the action, so a scalpel was needed to cleanly separate the two.


Turns out there were 2 issues I could see. Firstly, the button shaft wasn't sitting snuggly in it's little canal; it was able to wiggle back and forth, more so than the other buttons. A few pinches with a long pair of pliers was able to reduce that.


Secondly, I think the scraping was coming from some gunk buildup underneath where the button connected to the shaft. It's probably a buildup of metal shavings, due to the button wiggling on the shaft. I took the button off and removed the gunk.


Putting the whole thing back together was a bit of a pain, due to the left-hand side being in 2 parts that no longer stuck together. There are times I regret getting such a cheap concertina - especially due to the bellows - however this is one of those times where I'm glad, as fixing this has been a learning experience. I don't think I'd be too happy taking apart a £1000+ concertina, however I don't feel too bad if I were to break something in this particular concertina.


I've attached pictures of the problem areas.





Edited by TehRazorBack
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Those are typical issues for that style of action.  The other typical failure (which might be related to the grinding and metal shavings):  The brown rubber sleeves in your 3rd photo dry out and lose their "spring" and no longer do a good job keeping the buttons tightly in place.  The buttons can wobble around, and the slotted shaft can move too much on the lever arm, thereby causing undo wear.  An easy upgrade is to replace them with short lengths of silicone tubing (I've used model aircraft fuel line).  There are some good threads on that topic here.  

Edited by Bill N
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