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My First Set Of Bellows


Guest HallelujahAl!
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Guest HallelujahAl!

 

 

Hi, I've been working at making my own bellows for some time - after a few false dawns I've now produced a set that I'm happy with. No papers on them yet - a job for tomorrow. But I'm just so pleased with myself that I've got to share this with someone - my wife & kids seem quite unimpressed by the whole thing!

 

 

 

Hey - they're airtight too, and won't need too much playing in I think.

Note that I described this topic as 'first' set of bellows. Now I've 'got it' I'm just going to have to do it all over again to ensure the first set wasn't a fluke!

Blessings Everyone!

AL

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Guest HallelujahAl!

Well done!

 

Maybe the wife & kids will be more impressed when people start buying them off you...

[/quot

 

 

I've no plans to go into production just yet - the day job keeps me busy enough...

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Yes, congratulations. Always good to see someone attempt and complete a concertina project practically. I am sure that you have learned a lot and realise the effort required in bellows making.

 

Perhaps you may consider bringing it along to the Bradfield Traditional Music weekend in August (details elsewhere in these forums). Bellows making, I believe, will be discussed.

 

Geoffrey Crabb

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Hi HallelujahAl!

 

Nice! Did you make them for a particular instrument, (I hope) or did you make them as an exercise to see if it could be done? Either way, nice job!

 

Thanks

Leo

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Did you make them for a particular instrument, (I hope) ...

Well he's built them on the bellows frames of a pre-existing instrument anyway, as you can see an R and a 5-digit serial number (25909 maybe? :wacko: ) in the first of his photos.

 

Well done HallelujahAl!

Edited by Stephen Chambers
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Guest HallelujahAl!
Hi HallelujahAl!

 

Nice! Did you make them for a particular instrument, (I hope) or did you make them as an exercise to see if it could be done? Either way, nice job!

 

Thanks

Leo

 

Fixing up an english treble for a friend (where time permits, I sometimes fix up boxes for friends and Salvation Army colleagues - I must make clear that I am just a hobbyist and NOT interested in anything else) and the original set of bellows was shot so thought (several months of research ago!) that I'd like to be able to not just repair bellows but also make a complete new set from scratch. I have to confess that Bob Tedrow's website came in very useful, and fortunately I'm pretty good at woodwork so was able to make up a couple of makeshift jigs. Neither could I have done it without my trusty bandsaw! By the way, the gummed cambric tape that I use for hinging the cards is a fraction of the price from Talas (US) than it is in the UK. I had to pay about £5.00 (inc post) for about 5 yards in UK - whilst from the US I got 100 yards for less than a tenner!

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Guest HallelujahAl!
Yes, congratulations. Always good to see someone attempt and complete a concertina project practically. I am sure that you have learned a lot and realise the effort required in bellows making.

 

Perhaps you may consider bringing it along to the Bradfield Traditional Music weekend in August (details elsewhere in these forums). Bellows making, I believe, will be discussed.

 

Geoffrey Crabb

 

I'll have to look it up - I shall be at Whitby for my first time proper in August, so long as it doesn't clash with that I may be able to make it! I'd love to meet up with some other folk who are interested in this sort of stuff.

Thanks for your comments Geoffrey, they're much appreciated. I think most of the actual effort in bellows making, for me anyway, was in thinking the whole process through beforehand. I filled half a notebook with ideas for how I would do it - none of which ever came to fruition. The actual process of making didn't take too long - though my garage now stinks of animal hide glue, and I reckon that's going to hang around a while!

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Hi, I've been working at making my own bellows for some time - after a few false dawns I've now produced a set that I'm happy with. No papers on them yet - a job for tomorrow. But I'm just so pleased with myself that I've got to share this with someone - my wife & kids seem quite unimpressed by the whole thing!

 

 

 

Hey - they're airtight too, and won't need too much playing in I think.

Note that I described this topic as 'first' set of bellows. Now I've 'got it' I'm just going to have to do it all over again to ensure the first set wasn't a fluke!

Blessings Everyone!

AL

Allright! Congratulations! They look great - handskived? Would you have a photo of the mould?

/Henrik

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Guest HallelujahAl!

 

Hi, I've been working at making my own bellows for some time - after a few false dawns I've now produced a set that I'm happy with. No papers on them yet - a job for tomorrow. But I'm just so pleased with myself that I've got to share this with someone - my wife & kids seem quite unimpressed by the whole thing!

 

 

 

Hey - they're airtight too, and won't need too much playing in I think.

Note that I described this topic as 'first' set of bellows. Now I've 'got it' I'm just going to have to do it all over again to ensure the first set wasn't a fluke!

Blessings Everyone!

AL

Allright! Congratulations! They look great - handskived? Would you have a photo of the mould?

/Henrik

 

Hi Henrik - how's the kitchen concertina coming on? Yes, all hand skived leather (although I also use a Dremel & attachment to 'fade' down some of the leather sides. Causes a lot of leather dust to kick around but I reckon its worth it - frankly it means less waste than using a knife). I'll try and put a pic of the jig later - answering this in a hurry! God Bless AL

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---Pic1---

---Pic2---

Hi, I've been working at making my own bellows for some time - after a few false dawns I've now produced a set that I'm happy with. No papers on them yet - a job for tomorrow. But I'm just so pleased with myself that I've got to share this with someone - my wife & kids seem quite unimpressed by the whole thing!

---Pic3---

Hey - they're airtight too, and won't need too much playing in I think.

Note that I described this topic as 'first' set of bellows. Now I've 'got it' I'm just going to have to do it all over again to ensure the first set wasn't a fluke!

Blessings Everyone!

AL

Allright! Congratulations! They look great - handskived? Would you have a photo of the mould?

/Henrik

Hi Henrik - how's the kitchen concertina coming on? Yes, all hand skived leather (although I also use a Dremel & attachment to 'fade' down some of the leather sides. Causes a lot of leather dust to kick around but I reckon its worth it - frankly it means less waste than using a knife). I'll try and put a pic of the jig later - answering this in a hurry! God Bless AL

Hi, Al -

There has been a lot of silence around the kitchen concertina for a long time, but that is because I am busy playing it (that was a lame attempt of a pun). I am making a radical change to it - to be thrust upon the unexpecting folks at the Bradfield Trad Music Weekend in August.

 

I actually made three bellows, about 32 ( -_- ) years ago. One is still sitting one a 56 key EC that needs repadding, a new set of bellows :lol: and selling. The other was for an Aeola I played for a number of years (and eventually had John Holman make "real bellows" for). I'll put up some photos over the weekend. The main outcome was - not unexpectedly: there's more to bellows than meets the eye. I hope my eyes will meet some more in Bradfield!

/Henrik

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Guest HallelujahAl!

I'd love a 56 EC :rolleyes: - but sadly finances will not permit such a thing. I do however have two Wheatstone's: a beautiful 36 key tenor in Eb (it came from a Salvation Army Concertina Band, and traditionally would have the tenor horn part in brass band music); and a metal ended 48 key treble (fortunately in C!) with top period brass reeds. Strangely enough they were both made within 6 months of each other according to Horniman archives.

Hopefully we will be able to meet up at Bradfield?

AL

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Guest HallelujahAl!

]The finished article!

Bellows papers now added - I think I'm in love! Hope you like.

 

 

 

 

Homemade papers too, just for info.

AL

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]The finished article!

Bellows papers now added - I think I'm in love! Hope you like.

...pers_001.jpg...

...pers_002.jpg...

...pers_003.jpg...

Homemade papers too, just for info.

AL

Homemade papers - very neat! How's the pattern made?

***

As promised - here are a couple of photos of the Aeola-bellows (from 1976):

 

post-448-1216030575_thumb.jpg - after use: post-448-1216032670_thumb.jpg

 

From a distance, they looked alright (OK in a museum, if never played :rolleyes: ), but in my eagerness to make them soft and pliable, I used very thin leather - ("split"?), almost like paper. Not good (as "after use" shows).

 

The parts were hand-skived: sharp knife and a glass plate, lots of time, lots of leather and lots of "Blast - have to do it again...". The "bellows"-paper isn't paper - it's the thin leather.

 

Surface: I was fascinated by the shiny surface of the original bellows but couldn't find the varnish (shiny, elastic and definitely non-sticky). The otherwise knowledgeable leather folks at the institute where I worked at the time, shook they heads when I described it - "doesn't exist".

 

A phonecall to Colin Dipper proved otherwise, and he was kind enough to send me a small bottle of elastic, spirit-based leather varnish (still have it - thanks, Colin). Amazing stuff - still don't know what it is.

 

/Henrik

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Guest HallelujahAl!

"Homemade papers - very neat! How's the pattern made?"

Its all done on the computer. I did a certain amount of graphic art and printing when I was younger - never thought that period of my life would bear any fruit! I'm now working on fancy lachenal type papers. Beats trying to buy 'em. Printed off on sheets of ivory matt or silk coated paper (depending what's to hand) approx 135gsm and then cut out individually by hand.

 

"The parts were hand-skived: sharp knife and a glass plate, lots of time, lots of leather and lots of "Blast - have to do it again...". The "bellows"-paper isn't paper - it's the thin leather"

 

Yes, I thought about doing that as well. Im going to do it when I re-leather my eight-fold bellows which are attched to my 48 treble Wheastone. All black leather bellows were always very much de-rigeur in the SA. In case I don't have any success I've also bought a load of black leather bellows papers from WM Wakker. BTW I cut and skived my leather on a large marble block. One of my best investments so far!

 

"Surface: I was fascinated by the shiny surface of the original bellows but couldn't find the varnish (shiny, elastic and definitely non-sticky). The otherwise knowledgeable leather folks at the institute where I worked at the time, shook they heads when I described it - "doesn't exist"."

 

Yes, again another thought that has crossed my mind recently. I've come across a matt varnish spray (primary use for artwork) and thought about using that. Bob Tedrow uses the spray according to his website. I just haven't plucked up enough courage yet!

 

"A phonecall to Colin Dipper proved otherwise, and he was kind enough to send me a small bottle of elastic, spirit-based leather varnish (still have it - thanks, Colin). Amazing stuff - still don't know what it is."

 

Oooh, I want some! Could you pm me any details you may have on it? Make, manufacture etc?

 

Thanks for your interest Henrik.

God Bless, AL

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All black leather bellows were always very much de-rigeur in the SA.

 

I have all black bellows on my Lach. treble so I assume it was SA.

But if I look closely it appears that the papers WERE patterned and have been inked over,

with side lighting you can just see the texture of a pattern and the occasional glimpse of green.

So retro-SA perhaps!

 

Chris

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