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Sore thumb on handstrap bolts

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I have a 50 key Jeffries with hand-straps partly secured by twin screws on the end of the hand- bars exactly where my thumbs rest, hence sore thumbs! The straps then continue on to the wooden end-frame to be finally held by the familiar knurled brass screw. These interim screws replace the more familiar metal loop usually mounted into the metal fretwork ends or behind wooden hand-bars. I bought a couple of replacement metal loops from David Lees, but one broke as soon as I tried to open it to fit it into the fretwork (unusual for his spares) and I felt with hindsight that probably it was not the best alteration I could make anyway.

I'm sure I can't be the only player with "tender" thumbs and I don't want to glue some tatty homemade bit of leather or suchlike to mess-up access to the screws, so any ideas, please where I can either get a properly made thumb pad to cover the screws or a strongly made steel loop which might not abuse my fretwork?

Many thanks for any and all suggestions that won't lead me into messing-up my precious, but painful instrument!

Tony :(

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This is a strange problem I have an identical Jeffries with the same screws and I have never had any problem with the screws rubbing on my thumbs.

This posting has made me open the box and have a close look.My screws are quite rounded with no sharp edges,if your screws are the same as original yours should also be worn in an equal fashion.I have a little plate under mine, but I have played a number of concertinas without these little plates.

Can I just go through the basics.Your straps should be loose enough for your hand to move through them and if you arch your hand it should hold the concertina without it moving.It should not be tight on your hand so you have no hand movement.I know some players have tiny hands and the hands sliding to reach the notes could cause you to rub the thumb up and down these screws. If this problem persists one solution I can suggest as a last resort would be to cover the screws with a leather strip the same width as the strap,feathered at each end so that it lays flat on the existing strap.I would fix it with evostick impact adhesive (or similar) that would keep it flexible.It would only need to be about 25mm in length.It would also not be a nightmare to remove to adjust the straps if you needed to in the future.


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Thanks for both these posts.

Graham - my screws are at right-angles to the ones shown on the Wakker, but I wish I could get something as flush and well-finished as I'm sure that would do the job.

Alan - thanks for the analysis, I do have my straps loose -ish and in thinking about what I do, the problem seems to be when I perform a kind of left thumb squeeze to tension my hand against the strap ( possibly when using the air-button on the other side ) to shift a bit of extra bellows space. My screws also have a small plate underneath and look pretty original, but are rough edged. I'll try the leather pad idea first. As you may have guessed, this is not the instrument I usually play (30 key is my regular instrument) so I'm experiencing this problem whilst exploring untold musical possibilities and discords from the plethora of buttons!! (and loving every minute).

Many thanks to you both for taking time to respond to my plight.

Tony :rolleyes:

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