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Successful Repair

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No questions to ask but I wanted to share a small success! My s.o. received a Scholer Eb/Bb anglo as a gift from his mom some time ago and has recently picked it up in hopes of the two of us playing together. The old girl was in rough shape: quite out of tune, missing most of its valves on the one side and the hand straps were ~2-3x larger than his hands, making playing awkward and uncomfortable. I did a lot of reading on these forums (squeezeboxes of any kind were quite unfamiliar to both us), which gave me the confidence to open her up.


Replacement valves finally arrived and I finished replacing the visible valves and the hand straps with much success! The zinc (I believe) reed plates are glued down so I wasn't able to replace all the valves as I don't want to risk the instrument while it's his only concertina. Similarly, not much an amateur can do about the tuning - especially since I can see evidence that the reeds have been tuned quite a bit before. Most likely they would need total replacement, but we've already started some research into better concertinas (and probably not Eb/Bb either).


I just wanted to share my little success story and how much fun I had learning about and repairing this concertina. Once it's not his only one, I am itching a bit to see if I can take the whole thing apart and put it back together, but we'll see...





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I have a similar story. My mother bought me a Scholer concertina 40+ years ago after I decided to give piping a rest. In those days there was no internet or books on the subject or anyone that I knew of who played concertina. While I was looking for a better instrument I went to an estate auction and bid on an old Lachenal. I worked on it for months and got it playing, only to discover that it was a duet, which I had no idea how to play. I used what I had learned from the experience and started repairing and tuning for Elderly Instruments, in Lansing Michigan. People then started sending me concertinas from around the US and Canada, as there were very few others who would do the work. That was 40 years ago. I repaired concertinas exclusively for 20+ years until I started, with the help and encouragement of Harold Herrington (of Dallas Texas) to make them. Again there was a learning curve, and my first few, although they were much better than the Scholer left room for improvement. I am now very proud of the 570 or 580 instruments I have made, as my goal has always been to make the very best instruments possible. So keep on learning, and repairing. There is always room for people who know what they are dong with concertinas,.... the World's best-kepy musical secret.

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