chris salty-dog vonderborch Posted July 6, 2007 Share Posted July 6, 2007 I have made 4 concertinas over the past 8 years for my sins, in part as a colleague of that talented maker, now sadly deceased, Pierre Hoofte, and partly under the watchful eyes of Peter Hyde. The last 3 years has seen a harp, 2 classical guitars and 3 ukuleles emerge from my cosy workshop in the far south of Tasmania. So now I have committed myself to a 48-key baritone English concertina. I plan to share with you the ups and downs, as the project proceeds. It will take time, however, as I am not doing it commercially, but am enjoying the process. I call it "slow-food" concertina-making! I initially assembled a fat folder of plans for the instrument, all on stable-base tracing paper. No, I am not "CAD" literate, so all has been drafted by hand. I decided to make the wooden ends from one of our famous local rain-forest trees, Tasmanian Myrtle, so I located a lovely piece of figured deep-red myrtle for the job. I turned the ends on my wood lathe, as they are of the raised type. Then I contact-glued a photocopy of the fretwork on to each, and spent 2 neck-stretching days at my jigsaw. The end-plates were then "framed" in dark, spicy-smelling Brazilian Walnut, and fitted to the actual frames of another local wood, Sassafras. I also selected quarter-sawn Sassafras for the "action-board" and (in the absence of maple) the reed-pans. I used quarter-sawn for stability, and the pans are as flat as the day they were first cut. My other concertina friend, Chris Ghent in Sydney, is, indeed, CAD-literate, and he kindly milled me a lovely set of brass reed shoes, 96 in all. I have just routed the dovetailed slots in the pans, and have now ground and fitted each shoe into its final resting place. They look good, all shiny and golden against the blacks and greys of the Sassafras. Well, I did make a few mistakes, which ended up with the smaller shoes being too narrow at the screw ends, so Chris has kindly consented to make these again, and I will grind them a bit wider and hand-chisel to widen the slots. So to date, probably 100 hours into the project, I have the end-frames completed, the pans fitted but not partitioned, most of the shoes fitted and tapped, and the brass buttond turned and drilled. A long road beckons ahead, but I am in no haste. I want this to be a top-class hand-made instrument. Time will tell!! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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