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Some work on my 48 Keys English Lachenal

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I got it in last january : it's my first one, and I'm a complete beginner both in learning how to play the concertina and in how to do some maintenance work in this instrument.


I found many explanations in famous " (...) Concertina Maintenance Manual" / Dave Elliott *(second edition), and many others here on C.net.

I so decided to go into some "dangerous paths" (*).


First of all : the pads and bushings.






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5 folds bellows.




Work  still in progress... (hopping I won't make irreversible mistakes...).

However : already more playable than just "out of the box".


Once again : many thanks to all contributors.



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Only leather !!! And a very small drop of fish glue.

Looking for the appropriate "weight", or " balance " :

my first test was with kangaroo hide (I already got "for other purposes") :

to stiff valves (likely too thick) ; "muffled sound" .



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Than tried with some others ;

here on the right hand side, you can see 

-  thin but stiff calf , with glossy and "grained" hair side (I wasn't particularly looking for the "glossy" style)

- a thicker one, but soft ("supple") = deer.


On the left hand side : only the deer leather. But using (very) slightly different dimensions than the "old" valves.


Both sides now work rather well (much better than with the old curly valves). I will check if  this "improvement" still remains during the next weeks / months.

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try lamb skin glove grade, the thicknesses vary upon the valve size you are using:


No 1 : 0.5mm

No 2 : 0.7mm

No 3 : 0.8mm

no 4 : 0.8mm

No 5 : 1.0mm

No 6 : 1.5mm,


These are a rough guide, it depends upon the  stiffness of the skin you are using.

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