Chief cook and bottle washer.

No. 13: A 40 Button Müller English

My thirteenth concertina was a beautiful English concertina with Müller-style keyboard and hand rests/straps, plus some additional thumb-operated bass drone buttons.

  • 40 buttons: 18 treble + two bass buttons on the left, and 19 treble + 1 bass button on the right. Also has an air button on the left.
  • Six sides, 6 1/3″ (161mm) wide.
  • 5.7mm diameter nickel-silver capped buttons with domed profile.
  • 3mm button height and 3mm button travel (buttons stop flush with end plate).
  • 2:1 action lever ratio giving 6mm pad lift.
  • Three bass drones operated by 10.6mm diameter flat topped nickel-silver capped thumb buttons.
  • Brass reed frames with long scale steel tongues, except for the bass reeds which are extra-long and have phosphor-bronze tongues.
  • Brass sheet riveted action levers.
  • Full-width flat nickel silver end plates with crimped edges.
  • Extra-fine hand cut fretwork with custom decorative elements and hand engraving.
  • Dark red button bushing cloth.
  • Black bog-oak thick-veneered action box sides.
  • Solid bog-oak hand and thumb rests.
  • Seven fold black goatskin leather bellows, fully leather covered.
  • Real gold tooling on the bellows ends.
  • French polished external woodwork.
  • Hand engraved silver decorative inlays on the hand rests.
  • Sycamore reed pans with parallel chambers and multiple chamber depths.
  • Tuned Equal Temperament, A=440Hz.
  • Weight: 1600g
  • Special hand made brown leather hexagonal hard case.

No. 13: A 40 Button Müller English Read More »

No. 12

No. 12: A 40 Button Maccann Duet

My twelfth concertina was a special 40 button Maccann Duet with some custom ergonomic features.

  • 40 buttons (+ air): 20 notes per side, one octave apart
  • Lowest note on left hand is G3
  • Six sides, 6 3/8″ wide
  • 3/16″ diameter brass capped buttons
  • 2mm button height and travel (buttons stop flush with end plate)
  • Air button in right thumb position, 8mm high
  • Black button bushing cloth
  • Amboyna veneered end plates and walls
  • Thuya burr, ogee profile borders
  • Thuya burr handrails, extra tall with curved top and adjustable position
  • All external woodwork stained dark red and French polished
  • Flat ends with fancy fretwork
  • Seven fold plain black goatskin bellows
  • Black imitation leather bellows papers
  • Aluminium alloy reed frames
  • Aluminium alloy action levers
  • Long scale steel reeds on both sides
  • Radial sloped sycamore reed pans with no inner reed chambers
  • Bach/Lehman tuning, A=440Hz
  • Weight: 1305g

No. 12: A 40 Button Maccann Duet Read More »

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. 11: A 32 Button C/G Blackbird Anglo Read More »

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. 10: A 45 Button Crane Duet Read More »