accordion vs. concertina reeds

accordion vs. concertina reeds

What precisely is the difference between an "accordion reed" and a "concertina reed." The sound is obviously different, but I’m asking about the physical/metallurgical difference between the two. I know there must be past discussions of this here and on C-net, but I can’t seem to find anything specific. Nor can I find a precise explanation on the Suttner, Wakker etc. web sites. I’ve just purchased my first instrument with "real concertina reeds" and yet I can’t explain to anyone what the term means.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

concertina reeds are enclosed in[ sometimes, tapered ]sound chambers[Wheatstone and some lachenals] , they are often wider and thicker.
it does not cover which woods are preferred in English construction[eg sycamore],arguably quite important.

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

plus wooden ends produce a sound quite different from metal ends.
concertina reeds are normally filed when tuned, accordion reeds by comparison are weedy, and [i think ]are tuned by scraping.

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Concertina reeds are tuned by scraping too. The files only come out if you’ve got to make a big adjustment.

I’ve got to admit that I’ve never been inside an accordian, but the reeds in an ‘accordian reeded’ concertina like the Jackie are quite a lot bigger than those in a ‘proper’ concertina. And they are mounted in sort of tent shaped blocks, which give them a bigger chamber than in a ‘proper’ concertina.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

metallurgical?

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Skreech, I disagree, I always file, but file very gently, I was shown that way by two diferrent repairers one of whom is a maker.

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

You can disagree if you like. But in my experience scraping is the only way to get it accurate - one stroke with a file can take you from two or three cents flat to two or three cents sharp.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

I think the real difference comes from the size of the reeds, and probably the clearances. If you look at the area of the end of the bellows of an accordian and a concertina, the accordian is much bigger than the concertina. So if you push or pull both with the same force, you will produce a higher pressure (more lbs per square inch) in the concertina, with a small flow rate, but a lower pressure and higher flow rate in the accordian. So I guess accordian reeds are designed and gapped to work at lower pressure, which is why they are so loud when you put them on the smaller bellows of a concertina.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

not nearly as loud as jeffries or wheatstone reeds.

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

This is very interesting, I had always thought that the only difference between concertina and accordion reeds was the quantity, with concertinas having one reed per button, and accordions having two or three (or more) reeds. One old timer told me once that in the old days before amplifiers and such, there were guys who played accordions with six to eight reeds per note in the dance clubs, and you could tell the accordion players because they had arms like lumberjacks. Sounded plausible, but he might well have been pulling my leg, because I have never had that story confirmed.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Another difference, besides the obvious physical ones, is that accordion reeds are mass-produced and hence fairly inexpensive. True concertina reeds, to my knowledge, are today only produced by small-scale artisan producers, and that adds significantly to the cost of traditionally-reeded instruments..

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Thanks everyone, it will take me a while to digest all the links. It appears, however, that one major difference is simply size, accordion reeds being larger. Am I getting that right ? My interest, in case it wasn’t clear, was the difference between concertinas fitted with "real concertina reeds" and those with "accordion reeds." Now that I own one of both, I suppose I should just take them apart and look, eh ? I’m assuming the steel alloys used in the reeds are identical, that’s something that wouldn’t be obvious to the naked eye.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Och, I’m sure it was just a wee slip of the tongue {Reed} Al!

".. concertinas having one reed per button …"

All Concertinas of course have TWO Reeds per Button.

e.g. On Anglos they provide two different notes …. one on the pull, ‘tother on the draw.
On English Concertinas bother Reeds are the same note.

Just for the record! 😉

Cheers
Dick

P.S. I’m having nightmares about those …. "accordions with six to eight reeds per note" 🙁

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

"not nearly as loud as jeffries or wheatstone reeds."

Not true. Some hybrids are louder than some Jeffries and some Wheatstones. yz, you tend to generalize based on very limited sampling. Either your test group is too small or you are taking somebody’s word.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

"It appears, however, that one major difference is simply size, accordion reeds being larger. Am I getting that right ?"

Look at the pictures! Single reed unit with the tongue held by a screwed clamp to a tapered and rounded frame with a tapered slot versus double reed unti with two tongues rivetted to a rectangular plate with constant cross section slots. The Concertina Connection link explains some of the acoustic differences that follow from all that.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

page 38 Dave Elliots concertina repair manual, the reeds are tuned by filing no mention of scraping.
In my experience 36 years listening and playing , no accordion reeded box i have met has been louder than my wheatstone aeolas, or some jeffries i have encountered

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

From a maintenance point of view,
If you get a problem with the reed (dust in the gap etc), with a concertina reed, you can pull out the indivdual reed, inspect, blow etc.
With an accordion reed, you usually have to take out a reed block containing all reeds in that rank. From there you can blow down the hole underneath and try and get it working, but the reeds are glued into the block and not as accessible.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

That book should be burnt.
Dave Elliot is a well meaning amateur, writing for other amateurs. That book has probably wrecked more concertinas than any other factor.

Apart from his recommendation to use PVA glue on bellows (and just about everything else).

Sure he tells you to file reeds (or use emery paper glued to a stick. That’s probably because he knows most amateurs don’t have the skills or equipment to make and use a scraper.

He also tells you you can tune a concertina to an ordinary tuning meter ("one with a needle") that will get you within about 10 cents (which, fair enough, you could do with a file). He also fails to mention the need for a tuning rig - if you do it his way, repeatedly opening and reassembling the instrument you’re going to knacker the case screws long before you’ve got it in tune, and the tuning and start pressures you land up with are all going to be pretty arbitrary anyway - it will all depend on how hard you push/pulled the bellows when you tested each read.

In reality, the only way to get a concertina in tune and starting evenly (as opposed to ‘near enough’) is to use a strobe tuner and a tuning rig, which gives a controllable, constant pressure.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

complete rubbish, people were tuning concertinas using their ears before strobe tuners were invented.
filing is the correct way to tune a concertina, not scraping, pva glue works well for pads and repairing bellows.

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Piano tuners still use their ears.
my information re filing, has been confirmed by two independent repairers one in ireland, and the other a maker from England,
a needle file used gently can get you much closer than ten cents, in my experience, one cent.

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

accordions are however tuned differently from concertinas, ther can be two or even three reEds tuned differently, HERE IS JUST ONE EXAMPLE.
French Modern Musette LMMH 440 (0 cents) 442 (+8cents)
Italian Old Musette LMMH 440 (0 cents) 446 (+24cents)
Rich Full Musette(1) LMMM 434 (-24cents) 440 (0 cents) 442 (+8 cents)
Rich Full Musette (2) LMMM 440 (0 cents) 442 (+8 cents) 448 (+32 cents)

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Errrr, what are you talking about yz? What’s the relevance of multivoice accordion tunings to single voice concertinas?

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

There isnt any Tom he is just trying to muddy the water

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Yes, before strobe tuners came along people tuned concertinas by ear. But they did it on a tuning rig, against a proof set of reeds - you sound the reed you are tuning simultaneously with the proof reed and tune out the beats. I don’t know anyone who does it that way today, and I don’t know any professional who uses anything other than a strobe tuner. The methods Elliot describes are fine if you want to tinker with a £50 Ebay find, but they are not appropriate to working on valuable instruments. Please don’t open your Jeffries, if Elliot is your only reference you’ll halve its value before you get the ends back on.

And don’t use PVA on the bellows - it might fix it this time, but makes future repairs almost impossible. You’ll porbably land up having to replace the bellows if they split again in the same place.

But let’s forget all that, which is a side track. If your chosen method for tuning concertina reeds is a file, why would you the choose to scrape accordian reeds? What ever method you think is appropriate to one is going to be apropriate to the other too.

All that stuff about accordian reed sets is irrelevant. Accordian reeded concertinas only have one set, and believe me, they are loud!

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

fair enough comments, skreech.
I mentioned accordions[ not to muddy waters .but just to provide info on the fact that accordion reeds are tuned with a varying tremolo effect.
the OP asked what is the difference between the reeds, well there is a diiference between the final effects of the tuning[ nothing to do with scraping or filing]= BUT, HOW OUT OF TUNE ACCORDION REEDS, can be to get tremolo effect IN Accordions.

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

which is why the sound is different in an accordion, than it is in a concertina[where the reed is tuned spot on].
in a concertina an accordion reed and a concertina reed are tuned without any tremolo

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Excuse me for interrupting the debate, I just wanted to tell Ptarmagin I bow to his superior knowledge and stand corrected, two reeds per note, with only one reed sounding at a time.
You may return to the bickering in progress… 😉

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

"which is why the sound is different in an accordion, than it is in a concertina[where the reed is tuned spot on].
in a concertina an accordion reed and a concertina reed are tuned without any tremolo"
He was asking about the reeds, not the instruments. And in accordian reeded concertina only one reed sounds at a time.
"Just bought my first instrument with real concertina reeds" makes it quite clear he is talking about the difference between concertina and accordian reeds when fitted to a concertina.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Skreech ,you owe Dave Elliot an apology, his book does not derve to be burned, most of what he says is backed up bySteveDickinson ,who has made more concertinas than either oif us

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

"in a concertina an accordion reed and a concertina reed are tuned without any tremolo"

Whoosh, that’s clever stuff! I bow to such remarkable ingenuity!

(Sadly I’m so hopeless I struggle to get any tremolo at all with single reeds.)

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Keep trying TomB-R, perhaps if you struggle long enough, you will prevail. 🙂

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Cheers Al, I’m a bit worried about my horse though, lazy old thing has been lying on its back for several days no matter what I do!

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Skreech,

I suggest if you are bagging out someone, ie. Dave Elliot, that you have the courage to sign your own name and not some pseudonym. I doubt you would be nearly so brave.

There is a lovely quote, can’t remember if it is GBS or Oscar Wilde, something like "when the mask goes on the true character comes out. "

For the record, and especially for anyone who has read this thread hoping to inform themselves so they can decide on what concertina to buy, this thread contains much misinformation. For example, Dave Elliot’s book is a very sound approach to concertina restoration and maintenance.

Posted by .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

in my opinion, Dave Elliots book is quite good.
I have also had the good luck to have lived in the same house as Stephen Chambers[ in the process observing his skill as a repirer and to have played in the same band as Steve Dickinson and to have gathered a lot of information on concertina repairs from these two, both of whom are very knowledgeable about repairs, and in Dickinsons case obviously instrument making as well.
Concertina makers can be quality makers and have differences of opinions about materials etc, but still despite their differences make good concertinas,

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Cag.

I see no reason to use my real identity to critisise Dave Elliot’s book, any more than I see any reason why you or yz should reveal your true identities to critisise what I say here.

Everyone who knows me in real life also knows the name I use in here (and the same name on other boards). So anyone who is in a postion to take it up with me in person is free to do so if they wish. I see no reason to leave myself open to possible real world abuse from every Tom, Dick and Fruitcake on the interweb.

As to Dave Elliot’s book. Read the back cover. He freely admits that he is a technical author, not a concertina mechanic. And that he is self taught, learning by ‘tinkering’ with concertinas. And that his book is not intended as a reference for professionals - it has been written specifically for amateurs who want to ‘tinker’ with concertinas, without investing in the expensive equipment and techniques found in a professional workshop. Following his advice may well let someone do a ‘good enough’ job on their own concertina. But it falls well short of what is required if you are going to work on someone else’s treasured instrument.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

you said the book should be burned. you rubbished his advice which was unfair, his book is useful.
by the way most people on this site know who I am.Iam aprofessional singer /musician with 35 years experierice in folk clubs festivals, and 20 years playing and singing in pubs in ireland, plus I used to be a member of a concertina quartet called New Mexborough English Concertina Quartet.

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

I was arguing with you, not Dave Elliot.

But what you’ve posted in this thread really just reinforces what I said. A little knowledge is a dsangerous thing.

I’m not sure what your credentials as a singer have to do with this thread, but if we ever engage in a thread about singing I’ll probably respect your views.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

I suggested that concertinas reeds are best tuned by filing, and that pva glue is ok for certain repairs, my advice is seconded by steve dickinson and dave elliot.
you said Dave elliots book should be burned.

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

You said that the difference between concertina reeds and accordian reeds is that concertina reeds are tuned by filing, accordian reeds are tuned by scraping. I pointed out that you coarse tune both by filing. You fine tune both by scraping.

I may not be a professional singer, but I am a professional instrument restorer. I was trained at the London College of Furniture, by some of the country’s top experts, and in the past I have worked on lutes in national museum collections, and violins worth tens of thousands of pounds.

In instrument repair and restoration there are two golden rules:

1. Do no harm.
2. Do nothing that is irreversible.

PVA glue is not reversible, so you do not use it on instruments. Full stop.

With regard to Dave Elliot’s book, it’s not all bad, there is some useful information in it, and for the average player who knows his limitations it is a useful resource. If you need to fix a sticky key, or a slow reed, look no further.

But in the wrong hands it is lethal. (Which is why I said it should be burned.) If you go out into the shed thinking you can re-tune a concertina based on what it says in that book, you are going to land up at best with something that is ‘close enough for jazz’, at worst with a box full of knackered reeds.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

I guess it’s the "little knowledge" thing skreech, (and in the poem, of course, Pope goes on to talk about how the more you know, the more you realise how much there is to know!)

A lot of hands are needed….
On the one hand a book like Dave Elliott’s might encourage people to have a go, who shouldn’t,
OTOH they might have had a go with no knowledge anyway
OTOH a book like Dave’s gives appropriate warnings
OTOH it’s got a bit of provenance to it, unlike taking the advice of an anonymous poster on a discussion board who may never have touched an instrument and be repeating hearsay!

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

I have fine tuned concertina reeds SUCCESSFULLY by filing
. PVA glue is fine for pads as is UHU, pva glue also works successfully[ I have used it SEVERAL times] for repairing bellows., It was recommended to me by Steve Dickinson[C Wheatstone]

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Looking back at my last comment I should just say that the last OTOH was not aimed at anyone in particular, just a general caveat on Interforumland.

I don’t see anything wrong with PVA on "service items" such as pads. I guess whether bellows are a long term service item is an issue.

(Anyone else seen the way Micheal O’Raghallaigh cuts off the old bellows of that Jeffries in that Ceird an Cheoil Consairtin clip! He don’t hang about!)

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

I have just opened up a concertina, that was recently retuned by SteveDickinson, it has been filed, there is absolutely no evidence of scraping.
furthemore I remember Stephen Chambers disdain, when he pointed out to me, some reeds that had been scraped, "god he said a bloody accordion tuner has been at these reeds, look how they have been scraped instead of filed", I had a quick look, and could see the vertical srape of some accordion tuner, instead of the file marks, there is no confusing the two.
Iam going with Chambers, Dickinson and Elliot and my own experience, bye.

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

The scraper normally leaves an almost polished surface, but never mind. The difference between vertical marks left by inept scraping and horizontal scratches left by a file is????

As far as I can see, the only difference is that, on a reed which is constantly bending, each horizontal scratch is a stress point that might lead to a cracked reed at some point in the future.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

My name is David Elliott, I do not know who any of the correspondents are, but I got a very perturbed phone call from Ireland from someone who I have never met, but who’s work is known internationally and who is respected by many, including me.

Skreetch has raised issues, which he is entitled to do, albeit I would have appreciated an email and direct contact.

Accordion reeds are not shaped as concertina reeds, they are initially tuned by grinding and then by scraping. The only scraping on a concertina reed is on brass reeds and then the very fine top of scale reeds.

Filing or polishing by file is the only sensible way that I know that professional and serious concertina restorers tune concertinas. As advised by a number of the top professional concertina restorers/ builders. I may be an amature, but only because I have a fairly top job as a professional engineer, and I prefer to make my living that way, and enjoy concertinas. However I do bring other skills to the party, like technical authoring. I service/ restore/repair 30 to 40 instruments a year, not bad for an amature? Dare I claim experience and knowledge?

Glues are as recomended by Steve D, although I have developed beyond that, see 2nd edition of the book. PVA is very useful, (thanks Steve) and works better in the correct applications than the old animal glues which ultimately fail. I use PVA on perminant wood working jobs, on discardable items, not valves, and on some bellows repairs (which are supposed to be perminant) but hey, if you burnt the book you may need to buy another to be able look these things up.

So, if you find that scaping reeds works for you, and its your own instrument then so be it. What matters in this operation is control, avoiding stress raisers, a good tuning standard, and above all patient craftsmanship.

Go at it blind, with a hammer and tongues and you will end up with a……………skreetch?

regards

Dave Elliott

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Hi, Dave,
I appreciate your taking the time to reply in person.
With regard to your book, I don’t need to buy a new copy, it is still on my bookshelf, and I do still refer to it occasionally. The only reason it got brought up in this thread is that someone cited it as a reference to ‘prove’ that he was right and I was wrong. The thread was never intended to be a critique of the book, but since it seems to have turned out that way, let me express my full opinion of it. I hope you will take this as it is intended: as an honest critique, I’m not simply trying to slag you off.
The best way I can describe how I feel about your book is to compare it to Haynes manuals for cars: if you look at a Haynes book form the ‘60s or ‘70s, if you look up ‘worn syncho rings’ you’ll find complete instructions for stripping and rebuilding the gearbox. In the ‘80s they realised that they were responsible for a lot of amateur mechanics destroying their cars. So today, if you look up ‘worn syncho rings’ in a Haynes book it simply says ‘You are not capable of doing this job, take it to a dealer.’ or words to that effect.
That is what I feel about your book – it gives enough information to make people think they can tackle the more complicated jobs, but not enough for them to do it right.
I restored my first concertina working exclusively to your instructions, and despite the fact that I am a trained instrument maker and make much of my living restoring violins (the rest as a consultant engineer in the nuclear industry) as soon as the instrument was finished it became quite apparent that, whilst it might be ‘good enough’ in some people’s eyes, it clearly wasn’t ‘right’. So I then spent a lot of time finding out how others do it.
When it comes to fine tuning reeds, the reason I advocate scraping (even on steel reeds) is that it is a much more controlled process. If a reed is flat I can take it up ½ cent at a time until it is right. With a file the system hunts: you take a bit off the tip, now it’s a bit sharp, so you take a bit off the root and it’s flat again… You probably will get it right in the end, but you’ll have taken a lot more ‘meat’ off the reed than was strictly necessary. And there is another good reason for not advising amateurs to file reeds – if you don’t hold the file absolutely flat you don’t remove material evenly across the reed. I’m sure you have seen old reeds that are markedly thicker on one side than the other – effectively one side of the reed is tuned to a different pitch to the other, so instead of bending neatly up and down, the reed goes through a horrible tortional movement, which has a marked effect on the tone. Unfortunately, scraping steel reeds requires a purpose made scraper, which means heat treating metal, which is beyond most amateurs.
Tuning a set of reeds without a tuning rig is a very long and tedious job. Adjusting the start pressures without a tuning rig is impossible, unless you have very finely calibrated biceps.
Going back to your post rather than the book itself, I don’t know where you get the idea that animal glues ‘ultimately fail’ – I’ve worked on lutes 400 years old, where the hide glue (and in one case what appeared to be cheese glue) is still holding perfectly well. But if I patch a bellows, I’d like to be able to replace the patch if it fails. If I use hide glue I can remove the old glue completely. If I use PVA, then no matter how well I clean the surface, old glue will be left blocking the pores and reducing the adhesion of the new glue. There might be a case for using modern, stronger glues (either epoxy or aliphatics) for cracked wood. But not PVA, that gives you the worst of both worlds – it’s not even as strong as hide glue, and it will cause a real headache if the repair subsequently fails. If you haven’t tried working with hide glue I suggest you do – there are a number of jobs (like replacing pads or bushings) where it makes the job much easier because of its short ‘grab time’ and the fact that you can re-soften it with a bit of heat if you need to make final adjustments..
And there are other areas of the book where I feel there is not quite enough information – when you talk about changing springs, you say to bend the spring so that it contacts the lever in the same place as the old one. That might work if the new spring happens to have exactly the same dimensions and metallurgy as the old one, but in the real world you almost always land up with a key that is lighter or heavier than the others. Measuring key weight wouldn’t be beyond the capabilities of an amateur.
I’m sorry that you and your book got dragged into this, you shouldn’t have been. It started with the poster who phoned you taking exception to me correcting his assertion that ‘the difference between concertina reeds and accordion reeds is that you tune concertinas by filing and accordions by scraping’ then citing your book as ‘proof’ that he was right and I was wrong. Perhaps I should have done this via email, but I’m afraid I don’t work that way; the conversation started in public, so that is how it should end. After all, I too have a reputation to defend.
All the best,
Mark

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

I cited the book and the opinion of Steve Dickinson [CWheatstone] and Stephen Chambers,ONE a maker and repairer of high repute ,the other a repairer of high reputation.
I took exception to you rubbishing Dave Elliots reputation and suggesting his book should be burned .

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

no one has rubbished skreeches work or reputation,
I dont know who skreech is, so consequently I dont know your work, i can only make judgements from my own experience, and on people whose work and reputation I know.
eg Dickinson, Chambers andwhat I have heard of DaveElliots work , of which I have only heard good comments

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

For pity’s sake sunshine. You’ve admitted that your own concertina has reeds that have been scraped. I’ve explained my comments on Dave Elliots book. What more do you want?

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

And just because you (thankfully) don’t know who I am, everyone who knows me (including my customers) knows I post here as ‘skreech’. That is why I have a reputation to protect.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

yz giving you grief there? Would you like some "alpha posters" to gang up on him for you?

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Cheers llig,

But I think I can fight my own battles 🙂

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

he certainly can

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

none of MY concertinas,have had reeds that have been scraped, they have been tuned either by me or by Dickinson both of whom file reeds, re read the posts.

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

😉 🙂 😉

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Mark,

good to talk to you, yes I took certain decisions when I framed the book:

1. I assumed the player not the restorer position, I tuned my first two or three instruments using th instrument, because I had no rig, neither do most players, after all this is about mainteneance and making small adjustments on a running basis. I use a rig for prodyctivity and convenience.

2. All my advice had to be based on the player- owner, so materials & tools had to be available or easily made. My quoted glues are available, and I quote techniques that use tools that are available. I file, but I have a tungsten carbide scraper. I prefer use 400 grit diamod files ‘blunted’ it works for me. The file does need skill, and yes you can introduce harmonics by uneven filing. I do suggest, I think draw filling and caution on the need to file evenly.

I know how the book entered the thread, and we should set that aside, for the benefiit of the forum.

3. I am glad you recognise the Haynes Manual approach, that was my very objective, and model, simple text, proof read by experts and written english critques. Lots of simple pictures and I do give appropriate cautions, it appears it helped you get going.

I could dwell on the purpose of the book, and there are no doubt as many views on its success, or not, as there are readers, but I think it more useful to explore the issues around the comments you make

so,

we disagree about filing, but we agree that scraping it not readily available to the majority. There are two very different skills and the pressure and stresses raised by scraping can be an issue as well. We should be clear here however that we are talking about scraping to adjust weight relative structural rigidity, not the full face motteling that most engineers on age will remember.

Glues, on wood the hide glues stand more chance if not subjected to too much stress and damp/heat etc. but they are organic, and often fail in concertina casing as the woods in the pad boards shrink differently to thesurrounding casing. PVA is the stronger and more perminent repair.

On old bellows the hide glue is brittle and fails, more modern leather glues don’t like the contamination and the player will not have access to glue pots and will not want the fag of making up a batch to repair a single gusset. PVA is flexible, perminent and quick to use, it works well on old hide glue residues. If the bellows are in need of major surgury then the PVA repair will out last the bellows life anyway. Bellows are another discardable and perishable component, consummable like pads and valves, but at a different rate.
I don’t like the epoxies as they seem to sit on the wood rather than polymerising it. and surplus PVA can be washed off a joint (damp cloth not running water!!!)

For imperminent & rapid change situations I use gum arabic. Typically on belllows papers, valves etc.

Springs I agree are a topic and three quarters, my publisher was strict in the number of pages I could use, and the proof readers were strict in the level of advice without over complication. It was about the Haynes approach, simple and illustrated. Most players want to know how to change a spring, maintenance wise, if they follow the book they will get the instrument up and running. If they then feel a difference and feel the need; there are now forums like this or repairers to talk to.

I am not sorry that we get to communicate like this, albeit some of the original language was a little ‘flamboyant’. Its good to air these things, and for the forum to see honest discussion, even dissent and alterative views. I do think the more ‘personal’ elements might have been aired privately, particulaly as I am not a contributor to the forum, and was oblivious to what what going off, but all’s well that ends well.

For me, to quote your comment: ‘With regard to your book, I don’t need to buy a new copy, it is still on my bookshelf, and I do still refer to it occasionally. ’ this sums every thing up about the book, its a source of reference and an aid.

As you suggest, none of this addresses the first question, what is the difference between concertina reeds and accordion reeds. May be that might make an interesting thread on its own?

As to your own reputation, I confess I have not worked out which Mark you are, so I would not be worried if I were you.

best wishes, and keep it going

Dave E

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

So much nicer to read these posts than the previous ones in this post. Thanks, boys, for bringing this thread back into some measure of civility.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Thanks for that Dave,

I appreciate you taking time to put your point of view.

And I will apologise publicly for the ‘should be burned’ remark. Yes, my language was too strong (or ‘flamboyant’ if you are being polite). At the time I was simply dismissing the book as ‘proof’ that a particular point of view was right. So once again I apologise for my language, but the issues still remain: to me a book like this should show best practice. Or better still show best practice, then give alternative methods and let the reader decide which approach to take. Just as the Haynes books show you how to use the manufacturer’s special tools, then say ‘If you haven’t got the special tool, you could use a hammer and crowbar’.

And I think we will have to agree to differ on glues - in my experience of old bellows, the leather cracks long before the glue fails, and I think without a glue-pot I would probably prefer liquid hide glue to PVA.

As an interesting aside, if you ever do find yourself with a situation where you think hide glue will be too brittle, adding a little urea (you can probably guess how that was done traditionally!) makes the end product more elastic, and for humid conditions, keeping a clove of garlic in the gluepot renders it almost totally fungus-proof.

All the best,

Mark

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

the point about the difference between steel accordion reeds and steel concertina reeds, is;
that steel concertina reeds are filed rather than scraped, [from a purely practical point of view because they are much tougher to scrape],
in fact scraping seems to have nil effect,unless you have a custom built Skreech tool,in my experience[ yes i tried it out of curiosity]
whereas accordion reeds being flimsier and less tough can be scraped easily, and in my[limited] experience should not be filed.
Skreech, I am glad to see you have apologised,
I would prefer it if you didnt refer to me as sunshine, I find it condescending and patronising.

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

🙂 🙂 🙂

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

"As an interesting aside, if you ever do find yourself with a situation where you think hide glue will be too brittle, adding a little urea (you can probably guess how that was done traditionally!) makes the end product more elastic, and for humid conditions, keeping a clove of garlic in the gluepot renders it almost totally fungus-proof."
interesting comment, reminds me of the old plastering trick in plastering chimneys of using cow dung and straw,ordinary mortar isliable tolose its naturewhen subjrected to heatand then crak and flake wawy.Cow dung mortarhas the power of resisting heatof an ordinary coal fire,much the same as cow dungcan be said with regard to hair mortar.
skreech , i assume youwere serious and not taking the p*ss or extracting the urine

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

what proprtion of urea do you use in the glue? an tea spoon/and does it make a difference if the urine is fresh?or is it better to use old urine that is free of ammonia?

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

If you’ve got ammonia in your urine you ought to see a doctor. Your liver is knackered.

Personally, I use powdered urea, but you’re free to use whatever you like.

How much do you use? It depends on how much glue you’re mixing and what you want to do with it. But use as little as possible - it also prolongs the gel time, and if you put too much in the glue never sets.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Urea

As ODD AS it may seem to "civilized" people, a number of older cultures use urine for healing. Urine has been applied topically to heal skin problems and taken orally for internal diseases. Some cultures even promote drinking urine on a regular basis as a preventive measure to maintain good health.

Background

In 1954 a Greek physician, Dr. Evangelos D. Danopoulos, reported discovering that urine had anticancer properties. After years of research, he identified urea as the active anticancer agent in urine. Urea is the end product of protein metabolism and is the main substance excreted in the urine.

In 1974 Dr. Danopoulos published a paper on the use of urea in the treatment of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. (1) Initially he injected 2 to 6 ml of a 10-percent urea solution around the tumor site every other day. After about two years of experimentation he discovered that applying sterilized urea powder directly to the surface of ulcerating tumors, following the injections, increased the beneficial effects.

He also experimented with injecting 2 to 3 ml of a 50-percent urea solution directly into the mass of large, fast-growing tumors, and had encouraging results. However, he reported that injections around the tumor site remained the most effective form of treatment. (1)

Dr. Danopoulos also reported the results of oral administration of urea in the treatment of patients with liver cancer. (4) In this study eighteen patients (eight with primary tumors and ten with metastatic liver tumors) were given 2 to 2.5 gm of urea four to six times daily. Patients with more than 30 percent to 35 percent of their liver involved were not allowed to participate. With this treatment, the patients had an average survival of 26.5 months, five times greater than usually expected.

In a follow-up study, eleven patients with primary liver cancer and seventeen with metastasized liver cancer were treated with 10 to 15 gm of urea daily. Again, excellent results (25.6 months of average survival) were obtained. (2)

Further Research

The use of urea as a treatment for certain types of cancer is of interest because it is inexpensive, nontoxic, and virtually without side effects. Other researchers have begun to test urea and have found that it has cytokinetic and cytotoxic effects when tested in cell culture studies with a line of human cancer cells. (7)

A study in India reported up to a 75-percent reduction of inoperable cancer of the uterine cervix with the use of injections of 40-percent urea solution directly into the tumor along with a localized application of a 50-percent urea ointment. Sixty percent of these patients responded well, while only twenty-five percent had a minimal response. In the same study patients who had multiple secondary metastasis to the liver experienced significant symptomatic relief with orally administered urea. (6)

Mechanism of Action

The cellular surfaces of malignant tumor cells are known to contain large amounts ofglycoproteins and other large molecular surface-active agents. These surfactants on cancer cells have hy-drophobic (water-repelling) properties at nonpolar sites and hy-drophilic (water-attracting) properties at polar sites. This produces a structured water matrix surrounding cancer cells that is substantially different from that surrounding normal cells. Some researchers have theorized that this difference can account for some of the characteristics of malignant tumor growth. Apparently the structured water matrix produces a loss of the cellular contact inhibition that is associated with cancer. This means that cancer cells don’t mind crowding together. It also enables cancer cells to excrete and absorb nutrients and other chemicals in an abnormal way. (5)

In 1977 researchers at the University of Illinois Medical Center showed that substances that are capable of disrupting the water matrix of malignant cells will exert anticancer effects. Their investigations of the activity of urea indicated that when urea is administered under proper conditions and in the appropriate concentrations, it disrupts the cellular water matrix and interferes with the processes necessary for continued uncontrolled cellular growth. (5)

The same group of researchers reported that daily injections of a 40-percent urea solution directly into tumor masses and into the area surrounding the growth were successful in regressing and eradicating well-established malignant melanomas in laboratory animals. It has also been shown that additive synergistic effects can be achieved against malignant tumors when urea is used concurrently with localized hyperthermia treatments. (5)

Oral Urea

Orally administered urea seems to be useful in the treatment of liver cancer, both for the primary liver malignancy and the me-tastases. When urea is taken orally, it reaches the liver directly from the intestines via the portal vein in a high enough concentration to have a significant therapeutic effect on the liver.

After passing through the liver, urea enters the bloodstream, and is quickly excreted by the kidneys into the urine. Dr. Danopoulos discovered that intravenously administered urea is ineffective, because it is diluted in the blood and excreted. Also, after an oral dose of urea passes through the liver, it reaches other organs in too low a concentration to have an anticancer effect. (3)

Clinical Studies

Dr. Danopoulos stresses that for urea to be effective in the treatment of liver cancer, no more than approximately one third of the liver can be affected by the cancer. Because urea exerts its influence in part through the healthy tissue surrounding the tumor, if there isn’t enough healthy tissue left, the treatment will be much less effective. In more extensive liver tumors, urea treatment may prolong the life of the patient without reducing the tumor. Danopoulos also reports that small cancerous lesions of the liver can be cured within one to two years. With more extensive tumors, the treatment has to be continued for longer periods, even for life. (3)

According to Dr. Danopoulos, urea travels to the lungs after passing through the liver, so that small metastatic lesions of the lung (not larger than 10 mm) can also be effectively treated with oral urea. Urea can easily be injected or applied in powder form to external malignancies, and has been used in this way by Dr. Danopoulos to successfully treat skin and lip carcinomas.

Initially he injected a 10-percent urea solution around the tumor after local anesthesia. He now uses only powdered urea covered by an impermeable dressing after curettage (scraping) of the cancerous tissue. With this modification, he reports, "Our cure rate is as high as 96 percent, and we have treated some very advanced cases with excellent cosmetic results, since urea has also a healing promoting action." (1)

Dr. Danopoulos’s medical specialty is cancer of the eye, and he reports using urea very effectively to treat malignancies of the eye. He has even cured extensive malignant melanomas of the face, and in several cases the eye of the patient was saved.

He has also had success treating malignant pleural effusions, by injecting a 10-percent sterile solution of urea directly into the pleural cavity. In cases of massive effusions, he reports injecting a concentrated 50-percent urea solution after evacuating a part of the fluid.

In localized, advanced tumors of the breast, he reports excellent results from injecting a 50-percent urea solution into the mass of the tumor every two to four days. Pain may necessitate the use of analgesics in this procedure. When these advanced cases already involve metastasis, treatment alleviates only the local discomfort.

He reports that urea is very useful in inoperable colon cancer;

20 ml of a 15-percent urea solution in water is applied six times daily through the colostomy with a syringe attached to a urethral catheter. He reports having achieved cures for primary colon cancer and also metastases in the small pelvis.

Finally, he reports successfully treating inoperable bladder cancer by introducing 100 to 150 ml of a 20-percent urea solution into the bladder via a urethral catheter up to eight times daily. The solution is left in the bladder for about thirty minutes by closing off the catheter with forceps.

Inoperable malignancies of other inner organs have been treated with urea only by introducing a catheter in the artery supplying blood to the diseased organ and by infusing continuously a 10-percent or 20-percent urea solution to the diseased organ.

In closing, Dr. Danopoulos states that perhaps the greatest value of urea in the treatment of malignancies is its prophylactic use after removal of the primary tumor. This prevents the development of metastases in the liver and the lungs, which might be invisible at the time of the surgery.

Side Effects and Toxicity

Treatment with urea is remarkably free of any serious side effects and toxicity. Patients taking urea solutions orally occasionally complain of minor gastric irritation and of a lingering bad taste in the mouth. Also, site injections of urea and topically applied powder occasionally cause a burning sensation.

In general, urea is a cheap, easily obtained compound that can be used in combination with most other types of cancer therapy, either traditional or alternative.

Dosage

The dosage of urea varies according to the route of administration. The usual oral dose is 12 to 15 gm daily, administered in divided doses. Sometimes this is administered in capsule form,

and sometimes it is dissolved in a flavored liquid and drunk. Danopoulos reports using dosage levels of up to 30 gm daily in several cases of very large liver tumors without side effects.

When urea is administered by injection, solutions of between 10-percent and 50-percent urea are normally used. Urea injections can produce a burning sensation, but injections of a local anesthetic can prevent this problem.

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

And that has exactly WHAT to do with concertina reeds?

Or did you just want to prove that you do at least know about SOMETHING?

(Although it looks like a c&p job to me.)

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

I suspect that he now realises what a fool he has made of himself, and is trying to get the thread deleted.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

No, no, please, please, don’t delete the thread - am now ROTFLOL

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Dick is turning this into a p*ss-fest.

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

on the contrary , I have not made a fool of myself or anyone else, I happened to be looking up urea powder, and found some info ,which although not relevant to the thread ,is interesting.
what exactly is the problem Skreech, you attacked Dave Elliots book and eventually apologised.
you eventually agreed that filing the reeds was the method used by the majority of professional repairers, and now you seem to take objection to some additional info about urea powder.
I agree the use of urea powder in the treatmenbt of cancer is not relevant to the thread, but it is interesting
why on earth would I wish to delete anything?

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

"I have not made a fool of myself or anyone else, I happened to be looking up urea powder"

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

This is priceless.

Is your screen name meant to be pronounced "whiz" by any chance?

Maybe this is a duplicate account after all - this must be the same character as "widdle_chup"!

Here’s a riddle for you: what’s yz’s favorite book?
The Yellow River, by I. P. Daily….

Okay, I’ll stop now.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Jon, that is a bit childish.
ok some facts, Skreech has had to eventually apologise, for rubbishing Dave Elliots book.
concertina reeds are filed not scraped by the vast majority of professional concertina makers and repairers, accordion reeds are generally scraped.

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

‘I happened to be looking up urea powder, and found some info ,which although not relevant to the thread ,is interesting.’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taking_the_p*ss

Posted by .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Note that you’ll have to substitute an ‘i’ in the last word of the above link - Jeremy’s filters (an apposite term in this context) are a real killjoy.

Posted by .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

yz, I will happily concede that that was childish. No question in my mind of that.

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

"You call me childish like that’s a bad thing…."
😎

Posted .

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Actually urine has a direct link to metallurgy and the reed issue, tenuously.

It was descovered that quenching steel to toughen it worked better in urine than water, this later developed into the use of whale oil etc. In Sheffield the specialist cutlers and spring makers particulalrly prized the urine of red headed boys. Free beer etc. or so my professor of metallugy, who was very interested in technical history, told us one lecture.

My father who was a renown steelmaker, & vice president of the steel maker’s guild later confirmed this as a result of his own readings as a young man.

I think the expected metallurgical differences in accordion reeds and concertina reeds are a red herring.

Concertina reeds are brass, nickle silver, bronze, spring steel, steel tempered to straw, so hard its difficult to file, polish and I guess scrape them. Often the reeds were tempered to blue, softer and easier to work, Lachenals later used steel so soft it is a real pain to tune as they bend like hell and flatten at each adjustment. there is little consistency here to compare to an accodion reed

The main differences are in shape, in profile, in weight, and very much in the design of the reed shoe (or frame) including clearances and vent draw. These unique features determine the nature of sound emmitted. Oscilloscopes out chaps.

Dave

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

The recent turn of this discussion gives a whole new meaning to the term "wet tuning!" 😉

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

Oscilliscopes for two, coffee for one, it’s the only fair way….

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

accordions sometimes have 3 reeds, sometimes 2.. concertinas have clearer reeds.. accordion reeds tend to be less clear so concertinas are mainly used for tuning fiddles, flutes ect. in our music group (don’t ask.. my music teachers idea :P)

Re: accordion vs. concertina reeds

A wonderful read from the abyssmally (sp) ignorant.