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Help: Making Concertina Bellows

stubblejumper 29 Aug 00 - 01:35 PM
Margo 29 Aug 00 - 02:17 PM
Bob Bolton 29 Aug 00 - 10:49 PM
Bob Bolton 29 Aug 00 - 11:02 PM
Bob Bolton 30 Aug 00 - 07:15 PM
GUEST,Riaan 11 Sep 12 - 02:39 AM
GUEST,chris 11 Sep 12 - 02:58 AM
GUEST,OldNicKilby 11 Sep 12 - 05:31 AM
Ross Campbell 11 Sep 12 - 04:51 PM
Myrtle's cook 12 Sep 12 - 09:05 AM
Ross Campbell 12 Sep 12 - 10:00 AM
Bill D 12 Sep 12 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Perci 25 Jul 14 - 09:09 AM
The Sandman 25 Jul 14 - 11:00 AM
Alan Day 25 Jul 14 - 03:26 PM
GeoffLawes 25 Jul 14 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 25 Jul 14 - 10:49 PM
GeoffLawes 29 Jun 16 - 03:55 AM
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Subject: Making Concertina Bellows
From: stubblejumper
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 01:35 PM

Can anyone tell me where I can get instructions for making concertina bellows. Ihave the expertise having made many very intricate models over the years. I also have the tools. But I don't haver the know how. HELP!


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Subject: RE: Help: Making Concertina Bellows
From: Margo
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 02:17 PM

Hmmmm, I wonder if you might just get an old beater concertina and take it apart, noting how it was made. There are some makers that used paper for the bellows instead of leather. I would of course use leather if I was to do it myself. I don't know if the paper construction is any different from the leather.... just a suggestion, if you fail to find anyone to help! Margo


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Subject: RE: Help: Making Concertina Bellows
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 10:49 PM

G'day Stubblejumper,

In the 1970s two friends of mine, Richard Evans and John Ramshaw - both then living in Sydney, brought out about 24 issues of Concertina Magazine. These were aimed at the enthusiasts of the concertina revival and wrote about interesting instruments (both new and old), intriguing variants and good solid cover of repair tips and techniques.

I know that building a new bellows up from scratch was covered quite early (probably by Frank O'Gallagher). I understand that the series has been reprinted in fascimile by Carrawobbity Press/Wongawilli Band down in Wollongong and should be available from them via their website @ Australian Bush Music Wongawilli Style.

It is no mean task to make a concertina bellows from scratch. An English style (high quality) bellows contains hundreds of carefully made parts and assembles of high quality card (crucial), fine pneumatic leather to seal all the joints and gussets and decorative papers taht are basically that - decorative. The whole assembly is best done on a precision jig built for the job.

Richard still repairs (and occasionally makes) Anglo concertinas and he gets the bellows work done by s local craftsperson in the Blue Mts, if he hasn't time to do it himself. The assembly costs, typically, $200 ... just for the naked bellows. It is astonishing to realise that the good old concertina bellows we have on turn of the century instruments were assembled by a young girls in London's slums ... for ~ ninepence - if she wasn't cheated, or beaten down in price!

Be warned that, despite old references to "all-leather" bellows, the only way to make a solid, lasting, free-playing bellows is to use quality card for all the structural work, make all inside (and outside, if you go for the full 'Jeffreys' pattern) hinges from good strong linen - and seal all joins and folds with fine flexible leather. Whether you have paper - or leather - (or often, leather-patterned paper) on the sides of the folds won't do a thing for the seal and playing - it will affect what the final job looks like.

BTW: The finest leather I have used in repairing and restoring concertina bellows is some superfine skived kangaroo I obtained from John Ramshaw, who is, these days, the head guru of the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial research Organisation's (CSIRO) flexible collagens (leather, &c) section. There were pieces of this kangaroo hide that were only 0.14mm thick - but could be cut into 6mm wide strips and FIRMLY drawn around ailing bellows. Once glued in place, the old leaky, wobbly bellows looked and played like new!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Help: Making Concertina Bellows
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 11:02 PM

G'day again,

OK ... I know I didn't trim out one redundant httm://!

The blue clicky should be Wongawillis. There is a lot of interesting material on the site (including, cough, cough, my publication on Australian Bush Instruments ... which seems to have covered concertinas somewhat disproportionately).

Regard(les)s,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Help: Making Concertina Bellows
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 07:15 PM

G'day again,

I noticed that it was not immediately obvious where on the site the magazines were listed. They are at Publications.

I seem to remeber that they go fairly well into bellows construction.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Help: Making Concertina Bellows
From: GUEST,Riaan
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 02:39 AM

Good day!!

Can any one tell me how I can come across reeds and the valves, springs ext. For an english concertina except for making them myself?


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Subject: RE: Help: Making Concertina Bellows
From: GUEST,chris
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 02:58 AM

visit concertina.net
there are a lot of people with a lot of expertise
chris


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Subject: RE: Help: Making Concertina Bellows
From: GUEST,OldNicKilby
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 05:31 AM

Buy "The Concertina Repair Manual" by Dave Elliott.
All the bits and bobs to repair Concertinas are available from Dave Leese or the new guy. There is a list of recommended suppliers in the back of the book.Last but not least why bother when you can get a new set of 6 fold hexagonal bellows for a little over £200.


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Subject: RE: Help: Making Concertina Bellows
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 04:51 PM

I would also recommend Dave Elliott's book.

At Whitby a couple of weeks ago I attended a couple of concertina clinic workshops where Dave Elliott offered quick fixes for simple complaints such as stuck reeds or wheezing valves, and more detailed analysis for more serious problems.

On first examination the leaky bellows on my G/D Salvation Army Lachenal Anglo seemed to be amenable to re-binding with new leather and replacement gussets, and Dave was confident that this was work I could carry out myself. But a closer look revealed the leaks were substantial, and any such work undertaken would begin to fail as the underlying structure continued to deteriorate. His recommendation was a new set of bellows from http://www.concertina-spares.com/spareslist.htm . David Leese's old business is now run by Mark Adey in Wales, and offers a comprehensive range of bits and pieces to bring almost any concertina back to full working order.

Appropriate embossing is available for the leather on the bellows end-frames, and appropriate papers can be supplied to replicate the originals. By arrangement seven-fold bellows can be ordered, and the new bellows can be affixed to the original end-frames to give a perfect fit to the original parts.

When I can a) afford a couple of hundred pounds and b) can afford to let my G/D go away for a couple of weeks, I shall be looking to follow the replacement path. Meantime exercising extreme bellows control!

Ross


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Subject: RE: Help: Making Concertina Bellows
From: Myrtle's cook
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 09:05 AM

If anyone is still tempted to make their own bellows, or just appreciate all the work that goes into them, check out this expansive photo essay on Bob Tedrow's site:

http://hmi.homewood.net/bellows/

I haven't heard one of his instruments played, but they look stunning.


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Subject: RE: Help: Making Concertina Bellows
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 10:00 AM

What a clear exposition of the process! Wow! Thanks, Mc. I'm almost convinced to have a go.

http://hmi.homewood.net/bellows/

Ross


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Subject: RE: Help: Making Concertina Bellows
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Sep 12 - 11:50 AM

many sources of informtion

(Don does turning & repair, but not bellows, but there might be a useful link there)


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Subject: RE: Help: Making Concertina Bellows
From: GUEST,Perci
Date: 25 Jul 14 - 09:09 AM

You provide a great information about how to make concertina bellows by own. But I have a question, how long will it work? http://www.avbellows.com/bellows-elastic.php


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Subject: RE: Help: Making Concertina Bellows
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Jul 14 - 11:00 AM

"visit concertina.net
there are a lot of people with a lot of expertise
chris"
not on this subject there are not, maybe a couple only on that forum that know about making bellows.


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Subject: RE: Help: Making Concertina Bellows
From: Alan Day
Date: 25 Jul 14 - 03:26 PM

I know all about making bellows and my advice is to go to someone who makes them.The main component is a collapsible wooden jig to make them on.I have had a go and Geoff Crabb was there when I took them in.It caused great amusement and discussion.I have a nice duet that requires a set of bellows and I shall farm it out to probably Dave Prebble a member of C.net who will make something that will last a lifetime.
Al


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Subject: RE: Help: Making Concertina Bellows
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 25 Jul 14 - 08:35 PM

I would strongly second the wise words offered above by Bob Bolton " Be warned"... " to use quality card" This constituted the area of my big mistake when I long ago made new bellows for my Lachenal Anglo. It is the card which gives the bellows its structure and the card used needs to be able to take a lot of stress. When I made my bellows I used card left over from making some school work cards and over the years it has not completely stood up to the job, although it has done quite well for a long time. My bellows is now over twenty years old and still doing quite a good job, but it can get 'dimples in its cheeks' on a big pull of air because the card may buckle a bit under the strain. If anyone can here describe exactly the type of card most suitable for the job then I would also be grateful because I would like to build a new set of bellows sometime. I have toyed with the idea of trying to replace the card with thin sheet plastic- in fact I did cut out a complete set of plastic trapezoid blanks to do the job but I have had lingering doubts about whether the plastic would prove to be too hard and sharp and so might cut through the leather covering it as the concertina is played.
On the question of the leather - I cut all of the many pieces needed from an old leather coat which I bought for a few quid in a charity shop. I had to skive, or thin down, the narrow strips which are used to join the folds but otherwise it was no problem and it has given good service.
Alan Day refers to a "collapsible wooden jig" which is the concertina shape around which most bellows makers construct their bellows. perhaps like this HERE
I did not find out about this device until after I had finished building my bellows by just measuring carefully and sticking all the bits together so that they looked right. That worked for me. The glue I used was an impact adhesive which is clearly not what the Victorian builders would have used but again it worked for me.

Good luck with the project.
Regards, Geoff


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Subject: RE: Help: Making Concertina Bellows
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 25 Jul 14 - 10:49 PM

Brillant depiction of making bellows.

True craftsmanship. Well Done. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Four decades ago I used military quality "duct tape" for crease holes on a large, foot pedal bellows organ. It holds to this day. The current evolution of "Gorilla Tape" appears to be superior to anything before.


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Subject: RE: Help: Making Concertina Bellows
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 29 Jun 16 - 03:55 AM

Worth a Look


Youtube:Making a Concertina -Gordon Burns


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