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Stiff Bellows


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A friend of mine has a Stagi English concertina about a year old. I played it when it was new and the bellows were very very stiff. There were some ideas in the discussion forum in the past but it seemed they center around just breaking it in. I spoke to her recently and she said that she plays regularly and the bellows are still pretty stiff. I would probably experiment with some leather conditioners, but who knows, maybe the glue or non-leather materials would be damaged. Stiff bellows sure can take some of the fun out of playing. Anybody have any opinions? Thanks, Mike

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I have a Stagi 48 key tenor English. When I bought it about 15 years ago the bellows were stiff. I used to wipe them down with a damp cloth with a little glycerin soap which my wife uses on harnesses, bridles and other tack. I then left it out of the case with the bellows expanded for a few hours to make sure there was no residual moisture

 

Now they are very pliable. I have played several other Stagi like mine and none of them were as playable - all having stiff bellows and actions.

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Synchopepper, thanks for the info, my first concertina was Basteri (spelled right?) and it was old when I got it 25 years ago. Those bellows have always been loose. So I was really surprised how stiff they were when I played hers. Well, hopefully some other folks will have some other experience with stiff bellows. Maybe I can get her to sign on with Concertina.net now that she is following this thread and seeing all the great info. Hint Hint

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