< Repair >

Setting the Reed and Patching the Gusset Leak

I repaired our Ab/Eb Jeffries concertina last weekend.

1 Settin the Reed

The low F reed on the left-hand side sometimes had stalled on initial button press. So, I increased the gab between the reed tongue tip and the reed frame slightly. Now, it never stalls!


This is the reed pan of the left-hand side. Reeds of low notes are much more difficult for me to set than ones of the high notes.



2 Patching the Gusset Leak

Our Ab/Eb Jeffries has old bellows. I patched a gusset leak using a piece of leather.


First, I patched it from inside the bellows.


Then, I patched it from outside to make sure...



It took a few hours to repair it. Now, it's easier for me to play than before.

Adjusting the Key Travel

Yesterday, I adjusted the key travel of our Bb/F Jeffries concertina.

According to "The Concertina Maintenance Manual," the key vertical travel should be around 3.0 to 3.5 mm. But, its key travel of the right-hand side was more than 5 mm.


I added one more felt washer (button damper) to every key.




It took about half an hour for me to add twenty felt washers. Now, it's easier for me to play than before.

Setting the Reed

When I played a Ab/Eb Jeffries concertina, I noticed that the Low F tone in the Eb row on the left hand side wasn't responsive. So, I tried to reset the F reed.


I dismantled the concertina and removed the F reed from the reed pan.



The gap under the reed tongue was too wide.


I reset the reed like this.


Now, the F reed is more responsive.

It took about forty minuetes for me to reset the reed.

Low notes are more difficult to adjust than high notes because reed tongues of low notes are thick and slow to speak!

Setting the Reed

When I played Satomi's Suttner concertina, I noticed that the F tone in the middle row on the right hand was slow to speak. So, I tried to reset the F reed.

I dismantled the concertina and removed the F reed from the reed pan.


The gap under the reed tongue was too wide for F as I had expected.

I reset the reed like this.


As you see, there is only little gap under the reed tongue.

Now, the F reed is responsive. It took about twenty minuetes for me to reset the reed.

Repairing my H. Crabb & Son concertina

I bought a H. Crabb & Son anglo concertina through eBay last month. It seems to be made circa 1951.

It has traditional concertina reeds. I don't know any other concertina makers that used traditional concertina reeds in 1950s or 1960s.

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I think there were high-end Crabb concertinas that were as good as Jeffries around 1900. But this Crabb isn't so responsive though it's worth the price. I guess it's as good as a Lachenal that I had before.

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Because it had some flaws, I fixed them.

First, I attached felt to the reed pan and the bellows frame so that air doesn't leak from gaps in the reed chambers.

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Second, I adjusted gaps between the reed tongues and the reed frames using Tuning Bellows.

Third, I tuned the fourteen reeds that weren't in tune, using Tuning Bellows and files. It took about half a day.


Fourth, I replaced the old pads.

Pad1 Pad2

Fifth, I replaced old and worn-out hand straps.

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It took about two days for me to repair this Crabb. I enjoyed repairing it very much as usual.

I played a set dance using this Crabb. I like its tone.

Tuning the Reed

I tuned the reed of my wife's Suttner concertina today. I used my Concertina Tuning Bellows.

It took about 30 minutes. I enjoyed it!

Bushing the Keys

I repaired satomi's Crabb concertina a little.

I removed the old bushings from the bushing boards. Then, I inserted the new ones into the key holes.

It took a whole day for me to replace all bushings because I'd never done it before.

Bush11 Bush12 Bush13

Bush21 Bush22 Bush23

Bush31 Bush32 Bush42





I'm glad that it plays better than before.

Concertina spare parts

I bought concertina spare parts from Mark Adey. He took over "Concertina Spares" from David J. Leese in January 2012.


Valves, pads, felt washers and lever arm grommets.

Parts2 Parts3 Parts4

I'm going to change some valves of our Jeffries' next year.

Have a happy new year!

One reed suddenly stopped speaking!

When I was playing my Wakker concertina the other day, one reed, which is F# on the left-hand side, suddenly stopped speaking.


I dismantled the end to fix it. I was surprised to see this...

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A hair had been sucked under the reed tongue! I've never thought that a hair can prevent reeds from speaking.

I could remove the hair easily, so it took only fifteen minutes to fix it.

Rattling Reed - Concertina

One reed of my Wakker concertina began to rattle a few months ago. Because I seldom use the reed, I hadn't fixed it until yesterday.

The reed makes a sound when you push the bellows. So, the reed is located inside the reed pan.


I thought I had to clean the reed. But...

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The reed frame had got out of position. So, I put it in place. The reed sounds well now.

This time, it took only 30 minutes to fix it. I enjoyed it very much!