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Concertina Care....


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Hi all

 

Just wondering what's the best way to keep my concertina working well.

 

Like how do you stop the reeds rusting? Is it sensible to put some silica gel packs in the case with it?

 

Do the bellows need any special treatment to keep them nice?

 

Anything else i need to know?

 

Thanks for any help!

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Extremes of heat, cold, dampness and dryness should be avoided.

 

Where you live makes a difference. If you are in the desert then leaving the concertina in the trunk of your car for a few hours with the sun beating down is not a great idea. Same thing if the outside temperature is minus many degrees freezing and the relative humidity has fallen drastically. Heat and dampness are the enemies of glue joints; dampness and dryness cause wood to swell and contract and can be hard on leather parts.

 

I've often wondered about living near the sea and its contribution to rust. Personally, I try and give my instruments some time to acclimate to room temperature before playing (In the event condensation might occur on reeds.) Perhaps the scientists of cnet will have an opinion on this.

 

As a concertina repairman I have oberved that rust can change the pitch of reeds but it has been very rare to encounter an instrument with rust so bad the reeds have been compromised. Verdigree on brass reed frames is also a problem and probably created through frequent or prolonged exposure to dampness.

 

Most of these scenarios are extreme. Dirge is correct. Given a little care and consideration concertinas are hardy little beasts.

 

At the end of the day the best way to treat your concertina is the way you or Goldilocks might want to be treated: Stay out of locked trunks, attics and basements and all things too hot or too cold. Look for that... "juuusst right!"

 

Good luck,

 

Greg

Edited by Greg Jowaisas
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I live less than half a mile from the sea in NZ and it hasn't been a problem yet, thankfully. That one I DID worry about for a while.

 

I'm sure salt spray would be a killer so I'm a bit wary of where I take it, especially on wilder days, but if you are going to play it regularly you reach a point where you have to say 'Well, it'll just have to take it' once in a while. Common sense goes a long way.

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Hello free-feet,

 

I´d agree to the other members that you shouldn´t think about it too much, they´re rough little beasts.

You see some dust on the bellows or in the bellows folds? Take a soft cloth or small brush and clean it away - that sort of thing is mainly needed when looking at permanent care.

 

But I´ll use your posting for an additional question.

 

Last week-end I visited Wim Wakker and he gave me the advise to have an eye on the bellows. I looked possibilities up in Dave´s book, googled some but it´s not that easy to find a comparable shoe-creme over here.

Could any one please discribe what you use regarding it´s condition? Here I found a very hard version, that would be rubbed in a cloth and than applied and polished later. There is a sort of creamy thing, like tooth-paste. That usually has an integrated sponge which would help applying. Third thing would be something like liquid, like water.

Two other versions I wouldn´t count, they´re called "leather soap" and "leather fat/oil" - I know that from saddle care and think they wouldn´t do the job at all.

 

Is there any ingredience that souldn´t be in there at all? Maybe that´s the easiest way to find something appropriate...

 

thanks for answering

Christian

 

(edited for correcting)

Edited by Christian Husmann
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Hi all

 

Just wondering what's the best way to keep my concertina working well.

 

Like how do you stop the reeds rusting? Is it sensible to put some silica gel packs in the case with it?

 

Do the bellows need any special treatment to keep them nice?

 

Anything else i need to know?

 

Thanks for any help!

 

 

Concertina + water = kit of parts :o

Concertina + heat = cracked wood, dry leather and warped reed pans = concertina + extremes of humidity :(

Concertina + cold = condensation on reeds :angry:

 

concertina + happy human conditions = happy concertina :P

 

treat it as you would like to be treated yourself, nothing too extreme, lots of gentle & loving squeezing, clean environment, and buttons regularly pressed ;)

 

Dave E

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Christian,

Leather conditioners, shoe polish, creams and bellows have been in frequent discussion on cnet. Here are some links I found. You may find more by doing a search. Make sure you use the 2nd part of the search format, "search forms", to zero in on your search target.

 

http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php...amp;hl=mink+oil

 

http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php...und+for+bellows

 

http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php...pic=329&hl=

 

I believe the current general consensus is to SPARINGLY use a paste (fredelka or shoe polish/creme) that will not migrate from the appication area and effect the glue or paper (card) of the bellows.

 

Greg

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That's a mandolin you're thinking of.

According to Wikipedia the last bellows-driven mandolin was used to start up then fuel a campfire somewhere around Hawke's Bay. A copper plaque was installed to commemorate the event but regional authorities believe it was stolen and sold for scrap.

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So-- I'm in the process of buying a lovely concertina which comes in one of the original leather Wheatstone cases from the 1920's. The instrument is in great shape, but the case seems a bit scuffed, though still quite functional. Does anyone have suggestions on ways to refurbish the case? Or should I just plan to either make do, make a new case, or have one made?

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My 'box has one too and I take the view that it is there to protect the concertina and that's what it has to do; if it gets battered in the process, tough. There doesn't seem any point in having it if you don't use it as it was intended, and they are practical; no bigger than necessary but tough.

 

Having said that, I agree, they are works of art in themselves, so it takes effort to avoid feeling guilty about chucking it about...I'm going to take it to a saddlery shop one day for an overhaul; someone suggested this and it seems a good idea. The hasp's gone on mine and I use a belt to hold it closed.

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Larry, write a PM to Greg Jowaises. He makes some of the best cases you can ever have. He made one for my Bb/F Tedrow concertina. For approximately $200.00 + / - you can have a custom made classy case with thick velvet lining.

 

If the budget does not allow for a new one ask Greg or the Button Box to refurbish your old one. Greg lives in Kentucky.

 

Ben

 

P.S. I have a Wheatstone anglo from 1954 - and several others from that era - the cases are usually poorly constructed and are not "blocked." Your case needs to be blocked to keep the concertina and its bellows stationary.

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That's a mandolin you're thinking of.

According to Wikipedia the last bellows-driven mandolin was used to start up then fuel a campfire somewhere around Hawke's Bay. A copper plaque was installed to commemorate the event but regional authorities believe it was stolen and sold for scrap.

So where can I get a set of strings for this?

B0009HHZ20.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

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Christian,

Leather conditioners, shoe polish, creams and bellows have been in frequent discussion on cnet. Here are some links I found. You may find more by doing a search. Make sure you use the 2nd part of the search format, "search forms", to zero in on your search target.

 

http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php...amp;hl=mink+oil

 

http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php...und+for+bellows

 

http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php...pic=329&hl=

 

I believe the current general consensus is to SPARINGLY use a paste (fredelka or shoe polish/creme) that will not migrate from the appication area and effect the glue or paper (card) of the bellows.

 

Greg

 

Thanks Greg for making the effort! That did the job - I think I found something appropriate.

 

Christian

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That's a mandolin you're thinking of.

According to Wikipedia the last bellows-driven mandolin was used to start up then fuel a campfire somewhere around Hawke's Bay. A copper plaque was installed to commemorate the event but regional authorities believe it was stolen and sold for scrap.

So where can I get a set of strings for this?

B0009HHZ20.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

Makes me want to get back to having a kitchen shop.

 

Alan

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