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Felt bushings around the buttons


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I'm trying to figure out how to put felt bushings around the buttons. What is the traditional way or just a good way to do it? My big problem is how to get the felt to stick to the wood.

 

Gum Arabic will glue it in, as for the rest it's about time you invested in a copy of Dave Elliott's book and all will be revealed.

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I'm trying to figure out how to put felt bushings around the buttons. What is the traditional way or just a good way to do it? My big problem is how to get the felt to stick to the wood.

 

Gum Arabic will glue it in, as for the rest it's about time you invested in a copy of Dave Elliott's book and all will be revealed.

...or follow the thread "HOW I DID IT" which shows in detailed pictures how the bushings are done.

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I'm trying to figure out how to put felt bushings around the buttons. What is the traditional way or just a good way to do it? My big problem is how to get the felt to stick to the wood.

 

Gum Arabic will glue it in, as for the rest it's about time you invested in a copy of Dave Elliott's book and all will be revealed.

...or follow the thread "HOW I DID IT" which shows in detailed pictures how the bushings are done.

What's not in the book, and which I learned when I had felt bushings retrofitted into my first concertina, is that they sometimes need "ironing", if they are stiff around the buttons. You do this with a metal rod a bit smaller than the hole, which you heat up on the cooker, and then manage with some object that you can hold it securely with, like a mole wrench. I used the "wrong end" of a drill bit, a convenient source of metal rods in variable diameters. It retains its heat long enough to do about 5 or 10 dozen bushings. Probably a soldering iron would be too hot.

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they sometimes need "ironing", if they are stiff around the buttons. You do this with a metal rod a bit smaller than the hole,

 

I haven't had to glue in the felt. I used a knitting needle and it worked perfectly...

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I'm trying to figure out how to put felt bushings around the buttons. What is the traditional way or just a good way to do it? My big problem is how to get the felt to stick to the wood.

 

Gum Arabic will glue it in, as for the rest it's about time you invested in a copy of Dave Elliott's book and all will be revealed.

...or follow the thread "HOW I DID IT" which shows in detailed pictures how the bushings are done.

What's not in the book, and which I learned when I had felt bushings retrofitted into my first concertina, is that they sometimes need "ironing", if they are stiff around the buttons. You do this with a metal rod a bit smaller than the hole, which you heat up on the cooker, and then manage with some object that you can hold it securely with, like a mole wrench. I used the "wrong end" of a drill bit, a convenient source of metal rods in variable diameters. It retains its heat long enough to do about 5 or 10 dozen bushings. Probably a soldering iron would be too hot.

 

 

I describe glueing & burnishing the bushes into their shape and to achieve clearance. I do occaisionally 'iron' the bushes, but only as a last resort. Because with hot ironing it is so easy to ruin the work, I did not include the technique in the book. If the felt strips are sized correctly, and the key hole is properly prepared, ironing should not really be needed.

 

Dave E

Edited by d.elliott
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I'm trying to figure out how to put felt bushings around the buttons. What is the traditional way or just a good way to do it? My big problem is how to get the felt to stick to the wood.

 

Gum Arabic will glue it in, as for the rest it's about time you invested in a copy of Dave Elliott's book and all will be revealed.

...or follow the thread "HOW I DID IT" which shows in detailed pictures how the bushings are done.

What's not in the book, and which I learned when I had felt bushings retrofitted into my first concertina, is that they sometimes need "ironing", if they are stiff around the buttons. You do this with a metal rod a bit smaller than the hole, which you heat up on the cooker, and then manage with some object that you can hold it securely with, like a mole wrench. I used the "wrong end" of a drill bit, a convenient source of metal rods in variable diameters. It retains its heat long enough to do about 5 or 10 dozen bushings. Probably a soldering iron would be too hot.

 

 

I describe glueing & burnishing the bushes into their shape and to achieve clearance. I do occaisionally 'iron' the bushes, but only as a last resort. Because with hot ironing it is so easy to ruin the work, I did not include the technique in the book. If the felt strips are sized correctly, and the key hole is properly prepared, ironing should not really be needed.

 

Dave E

 

Does this mean that you don't even glue them in?

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I put just a drop of glue on the tapered hole. Just a trace of glue.

 

You aren't lining or busing the button - you are lining the hole. You could probably press it into place with a sharpened pencil.

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I saw Bob doing the ironing with his bushings in his "How I Did It" What I don't understand is do you also need to glue the felt in and iron it or will ironing hold it in?

 

There's a very good reason why Messsrs. Wheatstone, Lachenal, Jones, Jeffries, and Uncle Tom Cobbley and all used to glue their bushes in place: if you don't, your bushes will fall out. Dab a little glue all round the inside of the hole, roll up your bit of felt, insert in hole, and use a suitable implement to unroll it and persuade the ends to meet - I use the blunt side of a scalpel. If you have to resort to ironing, test your heated rod on newspaper, and don't use it until it stops leaving a burn mark. Get it too hot, and it will not only burn the felt, but on a wooden-ended instrument it will also melt the French polish around the hole.

Happy bushing!

David

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Hi David

Hope you are well. The fully chromatic Jones Anglo is still going strong and replacing my Maccann duet in my affections for other than trad tunes.

 

This is about button bushes -

I am beginning to be aware that the well used buttons on both sides of my 26 button Jeffries Anglo rattle. As a melodeon player I quite like the 'authentic' sound but it is a bit of a distraction.

 

Could it be that the 'felt' bushes are getting compacted by lots of playing? The bone buttons are obviously catching on the metal end plate sides of the button holes So how often do you recommend a retread? Also in connection with the discussion in another thread on button length, do longer buttons allow for more lateral movement and hence more compaction and rattle?

 

Sounds like an 'Agony Uncle' question doesn't it '' Dear David,- 'As I and my box get older my bushes get flattened and my buttons are prone to rattle....can you advise me....!' I'd love that old smooth action.

 

Yours

Mike

Edited by michael sam wild
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I am beginning to be aware that the well used buttons on both sides of my 26 button Jeffries Anglo rattle. As a melodeon player I quite like the 'authentic' sound but it is a bit of a distraction.

 

Could it be that the 'felt' bushes are getting compacted by lots of playing? The bone buttons are obviously catching on the metal end plate sides of the button holes

 

Yours

Mike

 

Hi Mike,

 

The sad fact is that, just like us, as concertinas get older, parts start to wear out. Bone buttons rubbing on metal edges is clearly not a healthy situation. Unless you replace the bushes, you will end up with grooves round the buttons - this is, as they used to say in "1066 and all that", a BAD THING! Do it now, or cause it to be done, unless you actually want to sound like Tony Hall. (A great melodeon player, but one whose instruments all come with their own percussion section.)

 

Glad you're still enjoying the big Jones. Curiously enough, my old mate Colin Andrews has just bought a wooden-ended one from Chris Algar, and it should be with me for a spot of fettling next week.

 

All the best,

David

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Another snippet of trivia.......Way back in the in the late 1970's when John Tympany was constructing my Shire Anglo I understood him to say that for the red felt bushing he was using the self-same material that is, or was then, used for British military guardsmens No 1 dress uniforms. Have all the top concertina manufacturers always chosen red ?

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Another snippet of trivia.......Way back in the in the late 1970's when John Tympany was constructing my Shire Anglo I understood him to say that for the red felt bushing he was using the self-same material that is, or was then, used for British military guardsmens No 1 dress uniforms. Have all the top concertina manufacturers always chosen red ?

 

i think red just makes a nice contrast and sticks out. i remember the first time i saw a concertina with bushing, it really popped out. i have seen concertinas made with green bushings, and black. i am sure there are other colors. mine has black bushings.

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