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.
My latest project was to make a pair of new replacement action boxes for a Wheatstone model 21 English concertina, to give it a keyboard and handrails/straps to the specification developed by Henrik Müller. The conversion was done in a manner that allows the instrument to be easily returned to its original form if desired. As I write this post, Henrik is working on an article for the Concertina Journal that should answer the question of why one might wish to
mess with improve upon Charles Wheatstone’s nearly two-hundred-year-old design.