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Refurbish/Rebuild for a low quality concertina

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For my first concertina I got a very inexpensive model off Amazon bc I couldn't afford a real one and I was hesitant to spend any significant amount sight unseen. It turns out I kinda love my crappy concertina more than my good one, for a few reasons.


1) it's bigger and I have big hands so it's easier to play

2) it's slower and I like singing slow haunting melodies


So, I want to refurbish it and put some better reeds, including the missing b flat.


This is more of a project for my own self satisfaction and self edification than anything else.


My plan: I want to start by replacing the reed pan bc as you can see in the pic it's laid out rather weirdly. I'm hoping to find some files and alter them so I can cnc the new reed pan.


I have access to basically anything I could need tools-wise: 4 axis CNC, full machine shop, full wood shop, 3d printer up to 3'x3', full jewelry shop, full leather shop, book binding equipment and up to a 4 foot by 6 foot plasma cutter CNC. My ultimate goal is to build a concertina from scratch but I figure the reed pan is a good place to start.


Any advice?


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You might find Bob Tedrow's photo essay useful. Although Bob does everything with paper templates, a drill press, and a scroll saw, it would be simple to make pretty much the same thing with a CNC router. It's also possible to make hybrid reed pans from 3D printed plastic.



Note that if you want to replace the accordion style reed blocks with a hybrid concertina style reed pan, you'll probably also have to replace the action with something that has individual pivots rather than straight rows with a common axle rod.

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Given the goal of this excercise, I would skip it entirely. As Alex wrote, replacing accordion style reedpan for flat mounted one means you have to replace entire interior. With your listed workshop capabilities, I would save only the bellows and made entire new endboxes+innards from scratch. This way you can continue to play this instrument while you’re building the new one. You then switch the bellows and reeds to the new one and start building yet another instrument. This time around entirely from scratch and less bad, since you will now have enough knowledge about concertina building basics, to at least know what you are doing :D An old quote from the first Matrix movie is very adequate here: „Everybody fails the first time” :D 

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