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Discussions => Instrument Design, Construction and Repair => Topic started by: Grape Ape on June 02, 2018, 09:01:52 PM

Title: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: Grape Ape on June 02, 2018, 09:01:52 PM
Looking for a pair of Hohner style strap brackets of the vintage nickel plated sort.  Must look like new.  Please help!
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: triskel on June 03, 2018, 04:49:42 AM
Are they for the late 1920's Pokerwork? If so, they're not "accordion strap brackets" as such - but I can point you in the right direction.
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: Grape Ape on June 03, 2018, 05:55:03 PM
Yes!
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: triskel on June 04, 2018, 10:05:39 PM
Sorry to be so long in replying to what, at first sight, might seem such a simple question - but it isn't. And I've a friend in hospital, it's been a Bank Holiday (with a Jazz Festival), and I've spent HOURS searching the interenet for the pesky things - knowing just what I was looking for, but not knowing the right name(s) for them... :-\

In fact I've decided, along the way, that the subject of old-style strap brackets (or the lack of them!) is an interesting one that merits a topic of its own, and I'll start one when I've more time), but here's the quick answer for now:

I started off searching for "strap brackets" - but that produced thousands of hits, only a handful of which were anything vaguely like what you need, but I did discover that the correct terms, for searching, are "strap staples" or "footman/footman's loops", though many of those are larger than you'd be looking for and/or in the wrong materials (for yachting, or military use!)

Now most old 2-row, 2-voice boxes never had any shoulder straps on them, and were played only using the thumb loop, though occasionally you'll find a shoulder strap has been crudely added by putting a woodscrew through it, top and bottom, or somesuch. But sometimes you'll find a much better job has been made of things by using the type of brackets/"loops" that I'm describing.

Here are some Hohner examples, starting with a 1920's 3-row:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/056.jpg)

(To take a strap slightly narrower than 1" wide, and 1 8/10" in overall length)

And then three examples (of different sizes and thicknesses) on 3515s from the 1930s:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/058.jpg)

(To take a strap 3/4" wide, and 1 3/4" in overall length)

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/055.jpg)

(To take a strap 1 4/10" wide, and 2 3/10" in overall length)

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/059.jpg)

(To take a strap slightly narrower than 1" wide, and 1 9/10" in overall length)

On my own two pre-war Hohners (one's pre-WW2, the other's pre-WW1) I've used brass ones I got from an old hardware shop that was close to me in London years ago. They'd (generally) be described as 3/4" size (because that's the maximum width of strap they'll take) and 1 3/4" in overall length (in fact the same dimensions as the nickel-plated one in my first 3515 picture), and this is how they look (without, and with, strap):

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/057.jpg)  (http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/054_1.jpg)

I've found similar 3/4" brass ones to the above, on a Canadian website: http://www.longviewleather.com/3-4-1382-footman-loop-solid-brass/ (http://www.longviewleather.com/3-4-1382-footman-loop-solid-brass/)

Or Safari Straps do 1" nickel-plated ones: https://www.amazon.com/Safari-Straps-48-3500-Nickel-Footman/dp/B00HRIIB40 (https://www.amazon.com/Safari-Straps-48-3500-Nickel-Footman/dp/B00HRIIB40) (and I'd gladly buy the other 8 of them off you, if you didn't want them ;)).

OR, I've some very skinny 1" ones I could sell you, similar to the old ones in my third 3515 photo:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/060.jpg)
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: triskel on June 04, 2018, 11:08:38 PM
Whilst these 1" "Nickel Strap Loops" might be a good option, at 67cents apiece: https://www.hardwareworld.com/pirucg2/Strap-Loop-Nickel-1 (https://www.hardwareworld.com/pirucg2/Strap-Loop-Nickel-1)

Edited to add: Except appearances can be very deceptive when you don't have measurements, and (having now found a technical drawing (http://s7d1.scene7.com/is/content/StanleyNational/n245-191-2055bc-strap-loops_techdrawing)) these are seriously on the hefty side. They're made out of 1/4" steel wire, and 2.64" long! :o
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: vof on June 04, 2018, 11:39:23 PM
Wow Stephen - you are a whizz at turning what looked like a really boring thread into a really interesting one  :o. It seems like it does merit a topic in its own right. I never imagined strap brackets could be such a deep subject. (Seriously!)
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: hickory-wind on June 05, 2018, 03:18:46 AM
I'm actually developing tooling to manufacture the old style brackets as Triskel has shown. Attached is a picture of the work in progress. Not shown, but I also hope to have the 90 degree feet as well as the inline design in the photo.

Scott

BellingersButtonBoxes.com (http://BellingersButtonBoxes.com)
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: Grape Ape on June 06, 2018, 05:40:31 PM
While those ARE sharp strap brackets, I play standing mostly, and use 2 straps. These kind work for that purpose, but I find the “V” shaped ones to be better suited.  Triskel, are you saying this type would be more authentic?

Also, not sure why this was moved from buy and sell, I am still looking to buy some vintage strap brackets in shiny shape, of the “V” or “U” shape, or maybe a pair like Triskel is recommending, if people think they are fine for 2 straps....
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: Theo on June 06, 2018, 05:56:16 PM
[[ADMIN]]

Moved from buy and sell because it’s becoming a discussion of vintage strap brackets.
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: triskel on June 06, 2018, 07:00:01 PM
While those ARE sharp strap brackets, I play standing mostly, and use 2 straps. These kind work for that purpose, but I find the “V” shaped ones to be better suited.  Triskel, are you saying this type would be more authentic?

I'd go further than that and say that very few people in the first half of the 20th century played 2-row, 2-voice Hohners (and similar boxes by other makers) with ANY shoulder strap at all! And if they did use one they would have to have added it to the box themselves, either crudely by simply taking a length of leather strapping, or a belt, and screwing it to the accordion or, more neatly, by attaching a proper strap by means of brackets like the ones I've illustrated/used myself. Whilst they'd usually also still be using the thumb strap/loop, like I do, on one.

Even as late as the last decade of the 20th century I (then a Hohner dealer) had to order sufficient straps and brackets in addition to the accordions, and install them myself as "extras" (assuming the customer wanted them).

Back in the 1920s the only boxes to come with straps and brackets were larger, heavier models, generally with Stradella basses, and even my 1936 4-voice, B/C Ficosecco 2-row (an instrument that almost certainly got used in a marching band) came with a bracket suitable for only one shoulder strap, and a thumb strap, to support it by! :o

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/041.jpg)

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/011_1.jpg)

Quote
... I am still looking to buy some vintage strap brackets in shiny shape, of the “V” or “U” shape, or maybe a pair like Triskel is recommending, if people think they are fine for 2 straps....

I genuinely didn't understand/assume that that was what you wanted (or I wouldn't have bothered going into all this), since the vast majority of the players I know only play sitting down, and use only one strap - and usually a very long one at that!

In that case I'll look into it some more, and make some different suggestions in my next post.
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: Grape Ape on June 06, 2018, 07:09:08 PM
I think people will be grateful that you did go into all that.  This has been very interesting!
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: Rob2Hook on June 11, 2018, 11:47:39 PM
No idea where to find any nicle plated.  All the current products are chrome plated and a good selection available from Charlie Marshall...

http://www.cgmmusical.co.uk/CGM_Musical_Services/Strap_Brackets.html

Rob.
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 12, 2018, 12:14:57 PM
... the vast majority of the players I know only play sitting down, and use only one strap - and usually a very long one at that!

That surprises me. All the players I know (can't think of any exceptions), down this part of the SW play stood up, at least some of the time.

Edit to add, and most use two straps.
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: triskel on June 12, 2018, 02:57:40 PM
... the vast majority of the players I know only play sitting down, and use only one strap - and usually a very long one at that!

That surprises me. All the players I know (can't think of any exceptions), down this part of the SW play stood up, at least some of the time.

Edit to add, and most use two straps.

Well down this part of the SW (only that'd be 300 miles NW of you ;)) they might use two straps on a 3- or 4-voice Paolo Soprani (or similar), but it would be highly unusual on a 2-voice Hohner, whilst I have one friend who'd even play a 1930's 6- or 8-voice Baldoni-Bartoli, or Walters, with a single strap over the LEFT shoulder in the old New York-Irish manner...

But always sitting.
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: GPS on June 12, 2018, 03:49:22 PM
... the vast majority of the players I know only play sitting down, and use only one strap - and usually a very long one at that!

That surprises me. All the players I know (can't think of any exceptions), down this part of the SW play stood up, at least some of the time.

Edit to add, and most use two straps.

As I remember (it's several years since I left the UK} the norm in the Midlands was/is a single strap; offhand I can recall only one melodeon player of my acquaintance who uses two straps. And playing standing up is pretty normal too!

Graham
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 12, 2018, 03:50:41 PM
... the vast majority of the players I know only play sitting down, and use only one strap - and usually a very long one at that!

That surprises me. All the players I know (can't think of any exceptions), down this part of the SW play stood up, at least some of the time.

Edit to add, and most use two straps.

Well down this part of the SW (only that'd be NW of you ;)) they might use two straps on a 3- or 4-voice Paolo Soprani (or similar), but it would be highly unusual on a 2-voice Hohner, whilst I have one friend who'd even play a 1930's 6- or 8-voice Baldoni-Bartoli, or Walters, with a single strap over the LEFT shoulder in the old New York-Irish manner...

But always sitting.

One thought I just had is, I tend to meet people playing out for morris (:) and the occasional ceilidh, around South Devon and East Cornwall.  Maybe it's a culture thing?
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: triskel on June 12, 2018, 06:43:07 PM
One thought I just had is, I tend to meet people playing out for morris (:) ...

In Ireland about the only time you might see someone play a button box/melodeon standing would also be in connection with folk rituals, like "Hunting the Wren" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WvhPtiarW4) or "Biddy's Day" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhN52teEF3Y), which involve going from house to house performing, whilst the Wexford Mummers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=218&v=TI47AseCWoA)' (the nearest thing to Morris Dancing, starting at 3.25) box players usually seem to sit to play.

Quote
Maybe it's a culture thing?

You can be sure it is, though a relatively recent one.
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: GPS on June 12, 2018, 07:41:39 PM
One thought I just had is, I tend to meet people playing out for morris (:) and the occasional ceilidh, around South Devon and East Cornwall.  Maybe it's a culture thing?

Maybe more a contextual than a culture thing?  Much of my playing in public has been for morris or ceilidhs/dances/whatever you want to call them, so I've always played standing a lot of the time. I always play seated in a session, and if I'm doing a spot at a folk club (sadly a rare occasion these days) it'll depend on how I feel at the time - probably I'll be inclined to play sitting down because it's a listening audience and I tend to experience fewer musical disasters when seated, but occasionally I'll think "to hell with it", shoulder a one-row and give it some welly standing up.  Still only one strap, though...!!

Graham
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: triskel on June 13, 2018, 05:31:43 AM
I've been busy meanwhile, when time permitted, digging out some more 1920's/30's boxes with early-style strap brackets.

So let's start with a very unusual (12/11/12, 2-row ???) box by the highly innovative Guerrini Company in San Francisco (pioneers of the piano accordion), and a great thing about it is that they (like Ficosecco, and Koestler) actually dated their instruments - so I know this one is "MAY 25 1921", which makes it very early for being covered in celluloid, as well as for having a prominent (and original) strap bracket in the middle of both its top and bottom:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/011_1.jpg)

Which reminds me how such a central location (and even on the bellows frame, if there was one) was not uncommon for attaching straps. This is the original strap bracket on my beautiful Dallapè of Stradella:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/032.jpg)

And this one an early Ant. Hlaváček of Louny:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/017_1.jpg)

So that the placing of this one on a Hohner 3515, fixed at one end by the bellows-strap screw, starts to look not so very strange:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/059.jpg)

Whilst the crude central attachment of a strap by means of a (heavy-duty) bellows-strap screw put through it seems not to have been unusual...
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: triskel on June 13, 2018, 07:29:57 AM
Scottish players started to use "big boxes" with 3-rows and Stradella bass long before the phenomenon that was Jimmy Shand, notably James Brown - and that necessitated the use of a shoulder strap on his large/tall 3-row Paolo Soprani (though I think he may also be using a thumb strap) in this photo (with his son) that's seemingly from before WW1:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/James%20Brown%20%20son.jpg)

Though there's no shoulder strap visible in this later photo (taken, I believe, after he'd been gassed in 1916) with a more-compact 4-row Paolo Soprani:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/James%20Brown%20trio.jpg)

Likewise there's no strap visible in this photo of William Hannah from his 1926 Wilkinson's Accordeon Tutor book:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/w_hannah3edit.jpg)

Nor in this later one of him:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/William%20Hannah%201930s.jpg)

So did they use a shoulder strap, or just the thumb one on them? :-\

Now the Wilkinson's "Excelsior" boxes that Hannah played/endorsed are very relevant to Grape Ape's question, because they were made by Hohner and would be contemporary with his pokerwork - so let's look at the strap hardware on the examples I have.

This was the regular 2-row (4-bass) melodeon version:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/003_2.jpg)

And this their 24-bass "Professional Accordeon" model "As played by William Hannah", but the diagonal alignment of the brackets is really only suitable for use with one strap (which is how it came to me, and how the model is illustrated being used in the Wilkinson's Tutor):

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/022_1.jpg)  (http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/023_1.jpg)

However, this next example has been heavily repaired and modified, and the (Italian-style) brackets are more parallel with the sides of the instrument, making them better-suited for use with two straps (which is how I got it):

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/019_1.jpg)  (http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/020_1.jpg)

Finally, here's a similar Italian box by Ditta Salas of Stradella, made for the Scottish market:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/013_2.jpg)  (http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/016_3.jpg)
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: triskel on June 13, 2018, 07:32:41 AM
I'm actually developing tooling to manufacture the old style brackets as Triskel has shown. Attached is a picture of the work in progress. Not shown, but I also hope to have the 90 degree feet as well as the inline design in the photo.

That sounds very interesting, and especially so about the Italian-style ones with the feet bent at 90 degrees to the bar - because I'd feel they're more-securely attached and can be fitted into a much narrower space... :D

Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: triskel on June 13, 2018, 07:44:34 AM
While those ARE sharp strap brackets, I play standing mostly, and use 2 straps. These kind work for that purpose, but I find the “V” shaped ones to be better suited.  Triskel, are you saying this type would be more authentic?

The earliest V-shaped ones I can show you are on an early La Tosca piano accordion, made around the time of WW1:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/012_2.jpg)

But I've never seen anything of the sort on a button accordion from the period.
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: Grape Ape on June 13, 2018, 10:19:31 PM
Sorry to have gone silent- it’s been a busy week.  Triskel, this has all been very interesting.  The last photo is the most like what I was looking for- found a pair on german ebay, though not as shiny as I would like.  I have to admit that the only ones that came (to me) with strap brackets are of the sort in the earlier photos. That and a leather belt crudely screwed into my presswood.  Thing is, the v shape models work better for two straps, and I play with two straps.  Even sitting down- though I prefer to play standing.  Maybe I am uptight, maybe I just find the thumbstrap too restrictive (I use my thumb for the accidentals sometimes), maybe it is because I play cross row and often play long phrases on the pull- thumbstrap is out, and I feel best with 2 straps.  I do admit it looks cool to play with just one, but I don’t feel like I have full control of the instrument when I try.....
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: triskel on June 19, 2018, 08:20:56 AM
... a central location (and even on the bellows frame, if there was one) was not uncommon for attaching straps.it seems not to have been unusual...

And then I remembered I had a proper, antique, "Vienna accordion" that was actually made in Vienna (in the workshop of Josef Kiendl, 1850-1900) that has such a shoulder strap (made of wide webbing that's actually SEWN to the brass staple), and has NEVER had a thumbstrap. So perhaps the practice of fitting a strap/playing that way started in Vienna?

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/003_4.jpg)

I also have an 1870's 2-row melodeon/German accordion that (MOST unusually) has been fitted (long ago) with a leather shoulder strap, attached by means of small brass picture-frame rings, and beautifully-wrought antique brass "dog-lead" clips:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/006_2.jpg)
Title: Re: WTB Vintage Strap Brackets
Post by: triskel on June 19, 2018, 08:57:06 AM
... Thing is, the v shape models work better for two straps, and I play with two straps.

Then you might find these two, both made by Gebr. Ludwig in Zwota, interesting.

The small piano accordion, branded Antoria, is typical of cheap Klingenthal models from the late 1920s and the 1930s, but the style of strap brackets on it (which are still available) seem to go back at least to 1928 because I've a catalogue illustration of a Ludwig PA from that year that looks like it's fitted with them - so they were available around the time your Hohner was made:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/005_3.jpg)  (http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/001_4.jpg)

Whilst this very similar, but "faux" piano keyboard, C/C# has never had shoulder straps, only a thumb strap:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/002_3.jpg)

(The C/C# is also interesting as one of the instruments that were played by the late Suffolk traditional player Cyril Stannard.)