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.

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No. 7: A 47 Button Hayden Duet and Leather Case

Introduction

My latest instrument is a very special custom 47 button Hayden duet. I also made a bespoke hard case to store and transport it.

Here is a demonstration of it being played by its owner, Israel Sánchez. The set has two tunes. The first is a waltz/bourree composed by José Climent. The second is a traditional pasacalles from the Aliste region of Spain.

Specification
  • 47 buttons (+ air lever), based on the standard 46 button Hayden layout with a few small customisations.
  • Six sides, 6 1/4″ wide.
  • Seven fold black goatskin bellows with 1 1/8″ deep cards and custom bellows papers.
  • Traditional concertina reeds in aluminium frames for weight saving, normal scale on the left hand and long scale on the right (the same distribution I previously used successfully on Holden No. 4).
  • 1/5th comma meantone tuning, with A as the root note.
  • Laminated maple radial-chamber tapered reed pans with two inner chambers on each side.
  • Solid purpleheart action box sides with decorative stripes.
  • Quilted maple laminated raised end plates with decorative striped border.
  • Peacock Oil wood finish.
  • 6mm diameter glass buttons.
  • Green button bushings.
  • Custom boxwood hand rests and thumb pads with custom hand and thumb straps.
  • The first instrument to feature my new etched brass maker’s plate.
  • 2mm button travel (giving 4mm pad lift at a 2:1 action lever ratio).
  • Weight: 1440g.
  • Leather covered hexagonal clamshell case with suede covered padded interior and decorative shoulder strap.

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No. 4: A 44 Button Crane Duet

My latest instrument is another Crane duet, this time a traditional-looking 44 button (+ air) with 6 1/4″ hexagonal ends.

Here is its full specification:

  • 44+1 button Crane layout with Butterworth curve and slightly narrowed column spacing.
  • Six sides.
  • Weight: 1170g.
  • Seven fold plain black goatskin bellows.
  • Black walnut burr veneer with black Rocklite Ebano border inlay.
  • Ebonized beech handrails with integral strap fixings.
  • French polished finish.
  • 6082-T6 aluminium reed frames with steel reed tongues.
  • Standard scale reeds on the left hand, long scale on the right hand.
  • Sycamore radial tapered reed pans.
  • Sycamore action boards.
  • Brass sheet riveted action levers.
  • 3/16″ nickel silver capped buttons with acetal cores.
  • 2mm button travel (giving 4mm pad lift at 2:1 action lever ratio).
  • Black wool bushings.
  • Tuning: 1/5 comma meantone with root note A=440Hz.
  • Includes some modifications to standard Crane layout, such as the addition of left hand A2, Bb2, and B2 notes, and right hand B3.

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