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. 1: Brun Addendum

My use of a working title to describe my first instrument in the past few blog posts was causing a little confusion, so I have now chosen an official name for the model: the Holden Concertinas Brun.

The name comes from the River Brun, which most historians believe my home town is named after (Brun Ley over time became Burnley)1. The name of the river may have come from the Old English word Brún, which is an adjective meaning, “brown, dark, dusky; having metallic luster, shining.”2

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No. 1: Brun Part 8: Conclusion

It has been a long and at times bumpy journey with a successful arrival at the end. I have produced a good quality, attractive, playable instrument, where I made every part myself except the reed clamp screws and end bolts. I have learned or improved many skills along the way: CNC, toolmaking, metalwork, woodwork, leatherwork, French polishing, tuning, and so on. Where I made mistakes along the way, I have learned from them, and I am certain #2 is going to be even better. The instrument is currently away being evaluated by an expert and I have already heard some encouraging feedback. Hopefully at some point I will be able to post links to reviews and videos of it being played.

What’s next? I am in the early stages of designing and tooling up to make a pair of new instruments, both of them fairly traditional 6 ¼” hexagonal Anglos, one with wooden ends and one with metal ends. A bit further down the road I have plans for a larger and more ambitious Hayden duet. I am also taking on more repair work: having made a complete instrument from scratch, I am now well-equipped to take on any aspect of fixing a traditional vintage instrument.

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