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Author Topic: Serafini Box Project  (Read 463 times)

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ChrisLDD

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Serafini Box Project
« on: September 06, 2017, 11:20:27 AM »

I bought an odd-ball Serafini box off ebay a couple of weeks back that I thought might make an interesting project. It is totally uni-sonoric, the treble end fashioned like a piano keyboard, but with buttons; the bass end (24 buttons) a mixture off bass notes and third-less chords (some notes repeated).

Does anyone have information on Marc Serafini’s Darwin layout, as links to his site no longer appear to be active?

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Jackhumphreys

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Re: Serafini Box Project
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2017, 06:25:55 PM »

Google has this about the DARWIN
http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php?topic=6649.0
and
http://lediato.free.fr/fichiers/darwinflailleur_flailleurA5.pdf

As far as I remember,  the treble side is normal  push-pull bisonoric e.g. GC Acc;  but the basses are unisonoric but not stradella, more reminiscent of Haydon concertina.  Serafini wrote about ending the war of the buttons - i.e. between treble and bass.
Aurelian Claranbaux plays a Darwin very beautifully, but I've not seen many others.
In the pyrennees last year I briefly met a young maker (ex Serafini) who was displaying his own made Darwin, so they are available from him while Serafini himself is no long making.

The seller did offer that box on Melnet and described it here, so maybe he said whether the bass side was like Darwin's or some other design.
Good luck with your project!

« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 06:45:36 PM by Jackhumphreys »
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playandteach

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Re: Serafini Box Project
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2017, 06:50:30 PM »

I nearly tried this out on a trip to Brighton, but the seller was busy that day. I did contact Marc Serafini about possibly reconverting it. I would imagine the left hand will go back to the Darwin format easily, as that is the way it was originally built and the guy in Brighton had it converted by Serafini again to his own choice of system. The right hand is the one that made me hesitate - though I would quite have liked to try it as it is.
I'll be interested to see whether you need a whole new right end - or are you leaving it as a piano keyboard set up?
It's a lot of box for the money if you can make it work.
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ChrisLDD

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Re: Serafini Box Project
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2017, 10:53:02 PM »

Google has this about the DARWIN
http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php?topic=6649.0
and
http://lediato.free.fr/fichiers/darwinflailleur_flailleurA5.pdf


Hi Jack,

Unfortunately, the links to Serafini in the previous threads are no longer active, but your second link is exactly what I was looking for - many thanks.
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ChrisLDD

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Re: Serafini Box Project
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2017, 11:27:30 PM »

I nearly tried this out on a trip to Brighton, but the seller was busy that day. I did contact Marc Serafini about possibly reconverting it. I would imagine the left hand will go back to the Darwin format easily, as that is the way it was originally built and the guy in Brighton had it converted by Serafini again to his own choice of system. The right hand is the one that made me hesitate - though I would quite have liked to try it as it is.
I'll be interested to see whether you need a whole new right end - or are you leaving it as a piano keyboard set up?
It's a lot of box for the money if you can make it work.

I too was hoping that the conversion of the bass end back to Darwin would be relatively straight forward, but alas it is not going to be. First surprise is that three pallets on either end of both bass and chords are not connected at all, and some of the push-rods are doubled up onto certain levers - the layout explains why.

I guess I’ll just take it one step at a time. I’ve already removed all the push-rods ready for a weekend of re-wiring.

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ChrisLDD

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Re: Serafini Box Project
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2017, 09:16:16 AM »

I've now straightened and re-used as many of the push-rods as possible - new push-rods made from 2.5mm aluminium welding rods.
Plastic push-clips and small nylon washers were bought from Amazon (the new white push-clips seem more secure than the originals, so I've replaced them all).

Pleased with how its turned out ... nothing touching internally ... really smooth:)
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playandteach

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Re: Serafini Box Project
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2017, 10:30:38 AM »

Good job. What are your plans with the right hand?
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ChrisLDD

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Re: Serafini Box Project
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2017, 05:34:44 PM »

Good job. What are your plans with the right hand?

Haven't looked at the right-hand yet, because there's so much still to do on the bass end. I'm hoping that converting to a normal 2-row might not be too difficult.
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ChrisLDD

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Re: Serafini Box Project
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2017, 06:04:57 PM »

This both surprised and disappointed me - the bass and the chord reed-blocks have had the unused end-chambers sawn off!
At first, I was at a complete loss as to why this would have been done ... surely not a weight consideration?

I now believe, for the following reasons, that the reed-blocks currently installed were not originally intended for the Darwin:
1). The current reed-blocks, if repaired, would be too long and would touch the internal sides of the bellows.
2). Additional mounting holes have been drilled in the reed-block base.
3). The spacing of the air holes does not exactly match the reed chambers.

I would imagine that this whole modification was done when the bass side of the box was converted from Darwin to its current layout, but in my opinion, it is a horrible kludge, and not befitting a box of this calibre. I’ve now started work on new reed-blocks.


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Lester

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Re: Serafini Box Project
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2017, 06:12:46 PM »

Quote
The current reed-blocks, if repaired, would be too long and would touch the internal sides of the bellows.

First visit to this tread.

You are correct about the reed blocks eating the bellows I saw this when I had the box in my workshop a fair bit back. This was before it went back to Marc for modding.
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ChrisLDD

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Re: Serafini Box Project
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2017, 06:53:40 PM »

Quote
The current reed-blocks, if repaired, would be too long and would touch the internal sides of the bellows.

First visit to this tread.

You are correct about the reed blocks eating the bellows I saw this when I had the box in my workshop a fair bit back. This was before it went back to Marc for modding.

I've just checked the internals of the bellows - definitely some rubbing from the original bass reed-block. I will bear this in mind - thank you.
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