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Right side thumb strap on English concertina detatched.


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The screws came loose. Threads stripped. Maker no longer in business. Friend suggested Super Glue Gel but I have not taken any action yet. Does anyone have suggestions? (Fortunately I have another instrument to play in the meantime!) Appreciate your consideration.

John C.

Photo attached.

right_side.jpg

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I’m guessing you mean that the threads in the wood are stripped so that the screws will no longer bite. You can fill the holes with a mixture of baking soda and super glue. Then drill pilot holes and re-fit the screws. 

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Don't worry wood is a very forgiving material to drilling, screwing, and takes nearly everything in a lifetime! I have sawn, polished, glued , varnished, filled wooden items many times, and there's nearly always a way round a simple problem such as in this case.

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In my opinion it would be better to fill the holes by drilling them out a bit larger and gluing in wooden plugs before drilling pilot holes in the new wood. That way you aren't trying to drive the screws into hardened glue/filler.

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Seconded,  fill the holes with wood, not with any glue mixture.  Also investigate why the screw pull or out.  Is it too short or too thin?

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8 hours ago, JimR said:

The big question is why did it pull loose? Was it already damaged, or did you rip it out?

I didn't abuse the instrument, but I had adjusted the thumb straps rather tightly. 

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3 hours ago, Theo said:

Seconded,  fill the holes with wood, not with any glue mixture.  Also investigate why the screw pull or out.  Is it too short or too thin?

I'm going to look into that.

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2 hours ago, JohnC_Matthews said:

I'm going to look into that.

 

I'd emphasize to fill with a wooden plug, and not a dowel. The difference is the grain direction. If you use a dowel, you'll be drilling into end grain, and the bit will want to wander. Plug cutters are available at the big home centers, at least in my area.

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2 hours ago, Steve Schulteis said:

 

I'd emphasize to fill with a wooden plug, and not a dowel. The difference is the grain direction. If you use a dowel, you'll be drilling into end grain, and the bit will want to wander. Plug cutters are available at the big home centers, at least in my area.

Thanks, I will keep that in mind.

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Looking again at that loose strap with screws showing makes me wonder whether fine little bolts would work better; you can get very fine ones.  Although then they would need tightening inside/ beneath the wood [the nut part I mean].  Some are very finely made at different lengths and could possibly be used or adapted.

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21 hours ago, SIMON GABRIELOW said:

Looking again at that loose strap with screws showing makes me wonder whether fine little bolts would work better; you can get very fine ones.  Although then they would need tightening inside/ beneath the wood [the nut part I mean].  Some are very finely made at different lengths and could possibly be used or adapted.

 

I agree, I prefer to use machine screws when I can - it makes a much sturdier connection. The only trick in this case might be finding an appropriate way to secure the nuts under the fretwork. I'm not sure if there's room for standard t-nuts.

Edited by Steve Schulteis
Fixed typo
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I usually do what Alex suggests, as does Theo. I also agree that the plug is better than a dowel.  As to tightly adjusted thumb straps, novices/ improvers often do this, it can make them feel more secure in the instrument, but experience will dictate that you need to slide your thumbs easily in the straps, so you can move up and down the keyboard without your thumbs turning blue!

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Am I missing something here?

 

In my experience the screw that holds the thumbstrap in place on an English locates inside a wooden pillar between the end and the action board. So I would have expected that to have failed and either need to be removed / replaced, or plugged.

 

If the pillar is still glued to the action board, I would fashion a thin plug from something like a cocktail stick and glue it into the hole in the pillar.The thumbstrap screw would them fit snugly inside again.

 

If the pillar itself has failed replace it or re-glue it.

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Bob Snope replied that these screws are not threaded into wood but into small leather washers inside the wooden end. Following his instructions I removed the end, found the three washers (loose in there) and put them back on the screws. Then put the end back on and it solved the issue!  I think the problem came from my having had the straps too tight, and also lifting and handling the instrument in a way that put excessive strain on the strap.  

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