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New Concertina Buttons


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Here's an interesting item on ebay.co .uk 150 available at the moment.

Interesting indeed! I was going to PM David E about changing bone buttons on a Louis Lachenal 48b (unrestored) English I have which has bushed button holes, for metal buttons although reading one of his recent posts and others too, I'd have thought they were going to be wooden buttons with a metal sleeve over.

Are there weight implications here since a wooden core must be lighter? (Thinking about the playing action weight but then adding 48 of these to a 'tina would maybe make the whole thing feel different).

Also what about the bushing (or lack of) in the lever hole - I presume that will have to be added and how about the security of gluing cloth into (onto) metal? What would one use.

 

Just a few initial thoughts.. :huh:

 

Foxy

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Are there weight implications here since a wooden core must be lighter? (Thinking about the playing action weight but then adding 48 of these to a 'tina would maybe make the whole thing feel different).

Also what about the bushing (or lack of) in the lever hole - I presume that will have to be added and how about the security of gluing cloth into (onto) metal? What would one use.

 

Just a few initial thoughts.. :huh:

 

Foxy[/color]

 

They will add a great deal to the overall weight of a concertina of course and yes, most 'metal' keys were caps over a wooden core but I think you might struggle to buy those at a pound each new. Cross bushings are an interference fit so the question of glueing them in place doesn't arise.

 

Please let us know how you get on with the fifty you've bought Jack, I'm sure there will be more from the same source if there's enough interest. I thought about buying an odd few to refurbish an old 'tina that has a few cap ends missing but I think they would stand out too much and I'm reluctant to fit a complete new set because they wouldn't suit the 'tina in question. Good resourse if you were building from scratch though.

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Just bought the first 50 ...so we'll see how they make out...easier than making them !

That's for sure. I made buttons for my Crabb, and one can see a clear difference in skill between the left and right sides as I slowly figured it out.

 

I made buttons from 3/16" delrin rods, bought from McMaster-Carr. The fabrication was pretty simple using a dremel tool etc. Maybe I should put a photo essay up, as an excuse to refab the left-hand side.

 

Caj

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Shame they couldn't make them of alloy; no plating and lighter.

Well do you really want mucky fingers every time you play

You would need to anodize them and this has a poor resistance to wear

These are made from brass and plated

The additional weight gain would be around 120 gr overall

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Beware that not all concertina buttons were created equally, to paraphrase someone or other. Overall length, and the positioning of the lever hole can make fitting new buttons a pleasure or a pain, and may require a lot of lever bending or equally drilling out the lever hole. As ever, buyer beware!

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I've got dural ends and don't have a problem, Nic; admittedly not quite the same, but that was the rumour there too, that I'd get black hands rubbing on them. It hasn't happened.

 

Will I go senile from the repeated doses of aluminium?

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Beware that not all concertina buttons were created equally, to paraphrase someone or other. Overall length, and the positioning of the lever hole can make fitting new buttons a pleasure or a pain, and may require a lot of lever bending or equally drilling out the lever hole. As ever, buyer beware!

 

Well said Bill,

It is much easier and safer to use keys/buttons that fit the instrument than make the instrument fit the buttons.

 

Geoff

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Hi

so it begs the question- how many different sizes are there?

I remember a discussion, many years ago, about standardising car bumper/fender heights and everyone shouted -how can you get a mini and a rolls royce standardised- when it was actually checked -lo and behold there was very little difference. So are there lots of sizes or just an assumption that there are? :ph34r:

chris

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so it begs the question- how many different sizes are there?
Many. Not only overall lengths and leverhole placement but sholder position, diameters (of main shaft and guideboard tangs - or like many modern makers don't shoulder down at all), accommodations for bumpers and bushings, type of materials....
I remember a discussion, many years ago, about standardising car bumper/fender heights and everyone shouted -how can you get a mini and a rolls royce standardised- when it was actually checked -lo and behold there was very little difference.
The reason why cars have similar bumper heights is because bumper heights are restricted to a narrow range by law.

 

-- Rich --

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Hi Richard

There was an argument, pre any form of standardisation of bumper heights in the uk, that said- how can you standardise the bumper heights of a Mini and a Rolls Royce, the point being- the person who argued this point hadn't actually checked the relative heights and hadn't realised how close they were in fact. All I was querying was do we know that there are a lot of different sizes-has anyone checked -or are we assuming that there are more sizes than there actually are. If so what sort of size/type differences are there? Will 'one size' fit more than one concertina?

is it worth a survey?

chris

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I really do despair sometimes. Do you think that I would go to all the trouble of having buttons made without doing the research?

Please dont let us degenerate into a Mudcat style site with a load of Yah Boo! replies.

There is more commonality than you may realise, if they dont fit then send them back, or if you would like a sample ask.

Perhaps they would be better if the next batch were listed at £2.95 each after all Bull.... baffles brains

I am clearing my workshop post divorce, need I say more.

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All I was querying was do we know that there are a lot of different sizes-has anyone checked -or are we assuming that there are more sizes than there actually are. If so what sort of size/type differences are there? Will 'one size' fit more than one concertina?
We've got many drawers full of vintage concertina buttons yet we're always hard-pressed to find a matching replacement button for the repairs we do.

 

Perhaps the reason why they are all slightly to majorly different is that they are from wrecked boxes which tend to be the earlier ones. By the latter 1800's there was probably longer/larger runs of the same models of concertinas which would have identical buttons though it may not be until the 1920's that one could get serious numbers of same ones. And even then were so many models of plated, cored, drawn, capped, nickel, glass, bone, etc. types of buttons.

 

With enough effort one could make some buttons *fit* as the lever arms can be bent, bumpers adjusted, bushings thinned/thickened or the endplate button holes adjusted, etc. Much easier to get the replacement buttons from someone who has a closer fit or make them from scratch (if you have the right tooling).

is it worth a survey?
That would be interesting and insightful! I'm don't think this forum software is up to so many variations though. I can think of 5 types of button material (excluding subtypes like *what* metal or plating), a range of diameters (including tang diameter), overall heights, shoulder heights (and if shouldered) and lever hole heights. Perhaps it would be easier and more realistic to have folks post a photo of one of their buttons with a scale next to it?

 

-- Rich --

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...how can you standardise the bumper heights of a Mini and a Rolls Royce,...

Simple. Rolls standardizes their bumper height, so that accidental collisions between slowly rolling Rollses will involve only the bumpers, and not the pretty painted parts. Then in self defense, the makers of the Mini put theirs at the same height, so that in an accidental meeting of the two makes, the Rolls won't concertina the Mini. (I was going to say "mash the Mini", for the alliteration, but I thought I'd better sneak in some concertina "relevance". ;))

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