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Wheatstone thumb straps


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I have a beautiful Wheatstone 6 sided English treble. It is in wonderful condition for its age. I have just about the same size thumbs as the previous owner must have had because the hole in the leather thumb strap is worn into the hext hole. making the holes rather large. So now I can't tighten the thumb strap to fit my thumb.

 

Is there anywhere you can buy new leather thumb straps? It appears to be a thinner black leather that is folded onto itself. Or has anyone had luck in sewing a repair patch on the underside of the strap and punch a new hole? What do folks do when this happens?

 

 

My next question is... I want to protect the bellows so they don't dry out. Is there something that you rub onto the bellows? I bought this instrument and a few months ago and I am noticing that the black is rubbing off on the bottom of it. I didn't know if thre is a standard something that is used.

 

Thanks in advance.

Pam

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Hi Pam,

Your idea of a thin piece of leather on the bottom of the straps might do the trick at least for a while. Using a leather punch to make a new hole is better than using an awl or nail.

 

Dave Elliott has instructions for making thumb straps in his repair manual. I like mine soft and supple and use deerskin or sheepskin with a linen interior strip to keep stretching to a minimum.

 

David Leese of Concertina Spares and Wim Wakker of The Concertina Connection offer ready made straps. I make them too. $25. a pair with your old strap frames. Turn around time is 3 days.

 

Greg

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Pam,

Concerning your bellows: Normaly an occasional application of shoe polish paste is all a bellows needs (I use Kiwi in the tin can). There are threads in these forums about the damage that can occur when too much of a "greasy" or "oily" conditioner is used. You may want to use the search feature and read those posts. I think the operative words here are to be conservative in application and only when necessary.

 

If the brown of the wear spot on your bellows is bothering you (I'm assuming black bellows) a careful application of Fabig's leather dye will make the color match. Then an application of shoe polish will protect and condition that spot.

 

Always work in an uncluttered area and only use controlled amounts when applying to your concertina to avoid drips, spills and potential disasters.

 

Greg

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Thanks Grey!

 

I check into the sites you told me about for the thumb repair. I just want to keep this instrument in very good shape since it did cost some major money ( worth it though!!! ).

 

Shoe polish...Will ge some next time I am in town!

 

Thanks a bunch!

 

Pam

Brasstown, NC

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I have a beautiful Wheatstone 6 sided English treble. It is in wonderful condition for its age. I have just about the same size thumbs as the previous owner must have had because the hole in the leather thumb strap is worn into the hext hole. making the holes rather large. So now I can't tighten the thumb strap to fit my thumb.

 

Is there anywhere you can buy new leather thumb straps? It appears to be a thinner black leather that is folded onto itself. Or has anyone had luck in sewing a repair patch on the underside of the strap and punch a new hole? What do folks do when this happens?

 

 

My next question is... I want to protect the bellows so they don't dry out. Is there something that you rub onto the bellows? I bought this instrument and a few months ago and I am noticing that the black is rubbing off on the bottom of it. I didn't know if thre is a standard something that is used.

 

Thanks in advance.

Pam

Having a new set of straps made may be the most practical solution in the long run. I have a bag of leather scraps on hand that I bought at a craft store for very little money. I can use these for all sorts of emergency repairs, both concertina and non-concertina related. If I was so inclined to make a new set, there is enough material for dozens of straps, but consider the time involved and other things required like adhesive and linen and a hole punch. $25 seems like a bargain to me to have them made by an experienced hand. Mike

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I have a Wheatstone English treble from 1915, in very similar sounding condition to yours. I bought thumb staps from David Leese, very swift and helpful service and the straps were perfectly matching. After a year they have lost a tiny bit of their obvious "newness and look and feel soft and lovely.

 

I use occasional black shoe polish on the bellows and they look immaculate, I use a soft brush from time to time to get dust out of the folds, I also used simple black leather dye/polish stuff used for reblacking kids shoes. (liquid type with sponge applicator. Dries on and buffs to a shine. As advised above use very sparingly but it is very good for reblacking areas which show loss of black colour.

 

Simon

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Thanks to all of you who replied to my Thumb strap problem. I checked out the Concertinia Connection and they have not only thumb straps but lots of other parts as well. ( Not that mine needs those) It is also in the US so I can give them a call tomorrow and order by phone. Since my Wheatstone was made in 1936, I just want to keep in in the best condition I can.

 

Thanks!

 

Pam

 

Beautiful Brasstown, NC

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Thanks to all of you who replied to my Thumb strap problem. I checked out the Concertinia Connection and they have not only thumb straps but lots of other parts as well. ( Not that mine needs those) It is also in the US so I can give them a call tomorrow and order by phone. Since my Wheatstone was made in 1936, I just want to keep in in the best condition I can.

 

Thanks!

 

Pam

 

Beautiful Brasstown, NC

 

These instruments deserve such care Pam. After all, we are but guarding them for the next generation of players, as others better qualified than I have stated elsewhere here before.

 

Ian

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These instruments deserve such care Pam. After all, we are but guarding them for the next generation of players, as others better qualified than I have stated elsewhere here before.

 

Ian

I'm taking mine with me, providing it'll fit. ;)

 

That would really put the prices up if people started doing this.

 

I have always been doubtful that one could trust those responsible to actually leave something in place and not nick it before nailing it shut. (Just another of my morbid thoughts.)

 

Ian

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the only thing you should rub in to the bellows is boot polish[as advised by Steve Dickinson aka C Wheatstone]

C Wheatstone and co, still make thumb straps,I find the qualty of their parts excellent .

 

For routine maintenance, maybe, but when you acquire an elderly instrument with crispy gussets, I find a sparing application of Connolly Hide Care cream works miracles - just work it in gently with a fingertip and listen to the leather slurp it up gratefully! By the way, the best way to avoid wear on the underside of the bellows is not to rest them on your knee. This also avoids blackening your nether garments with remnants of the aforesaid boot polish.

David

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<snip> .... an elderly instrument with crispy gussets, I find a sparing application of Connolly Hide Care cream works miracles - just work it in gently with a fingertip....<snip>

 

For one moment there, I thought Samantha had cross posted explaining why she couldn't be there for Mornington Crescent!

 

Pete

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I have always been doubtful that one could trust those responsible to actually leave something in place and not nick it before nailing it shut. (Just another of my morbid thoughts.)

 

Ian

 

 

Thanks all of you for the valuable information. I sent my thumb straps out on Monday an dI expect them back next. It has been really hard not havingit to play. But I do want to keep it in the best condition I can.

 

I do realize that I am resting the instrument on my need....can't do that anymore!!! It is not bad, but I need to get into the habbit of holding my arms up off the knees. I have only been playing for less that a year so I am having to build strength in my arms. My first concertinia was a Stagi tennor and it is much heavier that my Wheatstone treble. The Stagi I bought new so the leather is a bit tougher to play. I like the hand straps with my Wheatstone because it help me take presaure off my little fingers.

 

So now I wait till the thumbstraps come back. In the meantime - does the Wheatstone company have a website??? How would I get in touch with them?

Thanks and Happy Playing!

 

Pam

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Thanks, I will bookmark the Wheatstone site for future use.

 

I did get my new thumb straps and they are back onto my little concertinia. SO MUCH BETTER! I am really glad I

took the time and had them replaced. Thanks to all who replied to my inquiry. Now back to practicing!

 

Pam

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

 

Thanks, I will bookmark the Wheatstone site for future use.

 

I did get my new thumb straps and they are back onto my little concertinia. SO MUCH BETTER! I am really glad I

took the time and had them replaced. Thanks to all who replied to my inquiry. Now back to practicing!

 

Pam

 

Straps and ergoGnomics

is there perhaps something useful here?

http://www.concertina.net/learning.html

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