Chief cook and bottle washer.

No. 11: A 32 Button C/G Blackbird Anglo

My eleventh instrument was another C/G Blackbird Anglo, this time a 6″ model with 32 buttons (+ air).

  • 32 button C/G Anglo based on the Jeffries layout with some customisations.
  • Six sides, six inches wide across the flats.
  • Seven fold plain black goatskin bellows with sycamore pattern papers.
  • Flat laminated end plates, dyed-black tulipwood veneer on a solid sycamore core, with traditional-style foliate fretwork pattern and bloodwood border inlay.
  • Wheatstone-style ogee border shape.
  • Sycamore action box walls with black tulipwood veneer.
  • Bloodwood flat hand rails with leather thumb pads and integral brass strap fixings.
  • Dimensions and location of hand rails, and length of strap customised slightly.
  • French polished finish.
  • Brass reed frames with long scale steel reed tongues.
  • Sycamore reed pans with parallel Jeffries-style chambers.
  • Sycamore action boards.
  • Brass sheet riveted action levers.
  • 3/16″ diameter brass capped buttons.
  • Slotted brass end bolts.
  • 3mm button travel (giving 6mm pad lift at 2:1 action lever ratio).
  • Black wool bushings.
  • Tuning: Equal temperament A=440Hz.
  • Weight: 1238g

No. 10: A 45 Button Crane Duet

The tenth instrument I built was another Crane duet. It was for John Thornton of Hampshire, the same client who commissioned No. 4. I am fortunate to have several customers who, after receiving their first Holden concertina, immediately placed an order for a second one. No. 10 is very similar in many ways to No. 4, with one obvious difference (metal instead of wooden ends) and a lot of small differences that I will list later. You might find it interesting to read my article about No. 4 as background to this article.

In this video, John performs five tunes on No. 10 and talks a little about his modifications to the standard Crane duet layout.

No. 8: A Smaller Blackbird

My latest concertina is a new, slightly smaller and lighter version of my Blackbird Anglo. It is a 30 button C/G with a low D drone in a 5 3/4″ (146mm) wide frame.

  • 30 button C/G (Jeffries pattern) + low D drone on left thumb.
  • Six sides, 5 3/4″ wide.
  • Seven fold black goatskin bellows with 1 1/8″ deep cards and fancy custom bellows papers.
  • Amboyna burl laminated end plates with black Ebano borders.
  • Amboyna action boxes with black Ebano decorative stripe.
  • Curved-top Ziricote hand rails.
  • French polished finish.
  • 5.7mm diameter boxwood buttons.
  • Brass thumb levers on both sides (drone on the left, air release on the right).
  • 2mm button travel (giving 4mm pad lift at 2:1 action lever ratio).
  • Traditional concertina reeds in aluminium frames for weight saving.
  • 1/5th comma meantone tuning, with A as the root note.
  • Solid sycamore parallel-chamber reed pans.
  • Experimental modifications to lower the volume of the drone note.
  • Weight: 1138g.