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Wheatstone #55167, South Africa


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11 hours ago, Fanie said:

Theo, I have about 100 pounds invested in it, so I do believe it is worth restoring it into a working piece. 

I have started cleaning the reeds and, thanks to you Theo, they do not look too bad, and they are making a sound again. We will see later how much tuning is needed.

I have also started patching the bellows inside with thin leather patches and PVA glue. I will later invest in new bellows, one day, when I am big. 😉

Some of the buttons have their tails broken off. Can the buttons work without the tail going into the hole, or will it move around? I was thinking of drilling a 2mm hole in the bottom of the button and then glue a piece of wire into the hole?

Thank you for all your help and advice. I appreciate it.

 

Definitely worth some effort.  There is a similar one for sale for £3000 in the UK, fully restored, new bellows, metal buttons

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A complete set of new buttons is an excellent idea.  Crabb used Al buttons on some instruments, so there is a precedent, but aluminium does react against some peoples sweat and skin leading to grey marks on the finger tips.

Edited by Theo
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2 minutes ago, Fanie said:

I have also found a supplier of white 6mm diameter deldrin/acetal rod. Which one will be better, aluminium or deldrin?

 

Acetal is slightly easier to machine. Both will work fine as buttons; it's mostly a matter of personal taste. Personally I dislike the appearance of plastic buttons, particularly on a vintage instrument.

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Thank you Alex, I appreciate your input.

I have ordered aluminium and acetal rods. I think I will practice on the acetal and then make a set of aluminium.

 

Another question:

I need to make some new pads and I see that there is a little "button" going through the shaft that is glued to the cardboard disc. What do you use for that little button?

Thanks

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2 minutes ago, Fanie said:

Another question:

I need to make some new pads and I see that there is a little "button" going through the shaft that is glued to the cardboard disc. What do you use for that little button?

Thanks

 

It's 3mm or so veg tan cowhide leather. I punch out little discs then drill a hole through the middle.

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I have machined buttons from both delrin/ acetal and t6 aluminium successfully. The delrin takes a bit of practice to avoid it bending away from the tool. I use a collet chuck, polished carbide inserts, and a single cut for the peg and the button itself (if a cut is needed). It takes a few test cuts to get the measurements just right.

The aluminium is pretty easy to machine using the same tooling, but lighter cuts can be used as it doesn’t, bend away from the tool excessively. It polishes up very nicely with grey scotchbrite followed by brasso on a cloth.

 I made a jig to make the through holes.

Alex Holden has some really good info on his blog on making buttons on a small lathe - I used his methods.

Edited by Tiposx
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I took a short length of round tool steel, drilled the centre to the diameter of the guide pin on the button, then filed a few cutting edges on the end.  I have it somewhere.  If I can find it I will post a photo.

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On 11/5/2021 at 8:32 PM, Fanie said:

 

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I have another question for you guys:

Look at the end plates of this concertina, normally, on the edge of the end plate the plate slopes down to the edge and then there is a flat edge section where the screws goes through. 

On this concertina the edge of the end plates goes up into a rounded edge and only the small portions where the screws go through are flattened.

I have not seen another Wheatstone with this end plates- was this a single model or what.....?

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If you use a sharp lathe tool (I grind mine from HSS and hone the edges), it isn't difficult to turn to finished diameter in a single pass. That goes for acetal, aluminium, and free turning brass. Something like stainless steel might need multiple passes.

 

turning_acetal_button_pin.jpg.f734134d7b3173451af6d33363d08696.jpg

 

I'm actually using a self-made acetal soft collet in this picture to avoid scratching the button, which isn't ideal because it is less rigid and less grippy than a steel collet. It's hard to see in this picture, but the tool has a slight radius at the tip to leave a strengthening fillet at the junction between the two diameters.

Edited by alex_holden
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