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Author Topic: Clement Breton box  (Read 1085 times)

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mselic

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Clement Breton box
« on: January 13, 2018, 04:45:16 AM »

I recently had the great fortune to come across a Clement Breton box in D, took the plunge and bought it!  It is truly a fine box, and an absolutely gorgeous piece of work.  The builder, Clement Breton from Quebec, fabricated everything himself (with the exception of the Binci reeds), including leather straps, bellows and all metal hardware.  It has a sweet sound, wet-tuned, can play at a whisper but also has plenty of bite.  Quite possibly my favourite one-row that I've every played.  Feeling lucky indeed!

For the past year+ I have owned and played a Beltuna 4-stop, but I can honestly say that with the Breton box I won't be going back.  The Beltuna may be the stronger box, but I much prefer the Breton; it just feels right in my hands! The Beltuna will be up for sale soon...
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Clement Breton in D, Hohner 4-stop in G

Edward Jennings

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2018, 07:54:48 AM »

It's certainly a thing of beauty, but I'd be worried by those very tall stop knobs. Clumsy beggars like me could cause a lot of damage with all that leverage!
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Edward
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Hohner 114 in G. Hohner 1040 in C. International One Row 2 voice in D.  17 button 8 bass, bandoneon tuned, Squirrel with stops for both treble voices in C/F. Dino Baffetti Organetto in C. Ancient M. Hohner 2 voice 1 row in C. Plus projects and parts of projects.
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RogerT

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2018, 09:20:30 AM »

I agree about those stops. They are are....quite prominent.

Mike-T

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2018, 10:21:01 AM »

Ideal if you get an itchy nose mid set  >:E
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mselic

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2018, 01:29:17 PM »

I agree that the stops look rather industrial in the photos, but in reality they are no bigger than the stops found on the average cajun box.  And actually, they're my favourite part of the box...
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 01:48:30 PM by mselic »
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Clement Breton in D, Hohner 4-stop in G

Stiamh

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2018, 01:39:37 PM »

In Qu├ębec they call the stops sapins - and these ones do look like inverted stylized Christmas trees! As ma blonde would say, ils ont de la gueule...  :D

syale

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2018, 02:55:35 PM »

Envious  :'(

I think it looks great! You will have to treat us to some sounds from it.

Stephen
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melodeon

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 02:57:59 PM »

I ordered a box from Clement Breton many years ago... #31 of his very limited production.
True he makes everything but the reeds. Stops, corner brackets, leather straps, bellows etc

Mine was an orange sunburst over highly flamed maple, and  tuned -5   +5.   Excellent for Quebecois style which I was playing at the time.

I bought mine on the suggestion of phone  calls to Gaston Nolet and Denis Pepin.. both said independently.... The Melodie for general use and beautifully constructed in a modern style and tone. Messervier for dance music and great punch, power and volume, . But, the Clement Breton for character and "soul".... if you can get one as they are scarce.

I called Clement. Between his limited English and my limited French we made a deal.

Sadly in a fit of poverty as I was moving from Calif to Oregon ... I sold mine to Paul Groff who retuned it to remove the -5 tuning as he was using it for Irish Trad. I believe he sold it to a player in the North East. I have a video of it being played compliments of Paul.

I enjoy unusual, high quality accordeons .. Castagnaris are my default box,  but Clement Breton would be my first choice for a Quebec accordion  without question..In my opinion far superior to a Melodie.. and a joy to do business with M. Breton.

It is the only butt jointed box I would care to own.   Perhaps I should buy another : ).

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triskel

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2018, 05:03:42 PM »

It is the only butt jointed box I would care to own.   Perhaps I should buy another : ).

 :o

Now that's saying something - my eyes can't believe what they're hearing!  ???

Wish I could take it for a "test drive"...
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mselic

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2018, 07:52:40 PM »

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that this is the ultimate one-row melodeon.  I can imagine that this particular box may not be to everyone's tastes.  For one thing, I would not describe it as a loud and powerful box, but rather one with a more dynamic sound and tone.  It is more nuanced than the average box of this nature.  I have often found myself in situations playing with others and wishing that my box could be a little more subtle (possibly not the typical mindset of most accordion players.. ::) ) Having said that, I don't think it would struggle to be heard over other instruments.  As far as the wet sound goes (when playing with all four stops open), even musicians that typically wouldn't like that sound have remarked at how much they like it.

If my Beltuna were a brand new, fully-loaded pickup truck with a strong engine and smooth ride, then the Breton would be an '85 Ford pickup in good cosmetic and working order with stick shift and bench seats; opinions may vary but I know I'd have much more fun driving the older one with character, and that's my experience here ;)

Jeff - it does have butted joints, but in this case I would suggest that the maker certainly didn't choose that route for the sake of expediency, given his attention to detail in every other aspect in the construction of the box.  I'm not sure why he made them like that.  Oh, well...Btw, this box was the one I sent you a link about a little while back.
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Clement Breton in D, Hohner 4-stop in G

melodeon

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 11:36:15 PM »

Day late, butt a dollar short : ).

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boxcall

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2018, 12:35:16 AM »

I don't mean to butt in -- butt it's looks nice!
Congrats on your purchase.

You might want to hang on to the Beltuna? just in case your going for a long ride or the old ford has a break down, hopefully not "butt" you never know.

Really good luck with it!!!   I'd love to hear it sometime.
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melodeon

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2018, 01:53:18 AM »

The term BUTTon box comes to mind.

FYI Clement Breton worked for the railroad in Canada.
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triskel

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2018, 07:21:16 PM »

Butted from old BOXcars then?  ???
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Psuggmog Volbenz

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2018, 05:16:34 AM »

Aren't the butted frame joints preferred if one wishes to stand on their melodeon? Since most modern fabricators cut the wooden pieces on power saws using rigid fences to index the wood relative to the saw blade, rather than free hand cutting the pieces using hand saws, butt joints vs miter joints require the same skill to create.
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melodeon

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2018, 02:13:04 PM »

For a skilled amateur and or professional, caring, woodworker, cutting a miter is easy... cutting a butt joint.?.. it really isn't a "joint".
It requires no additional effort to the previously cut board. No secondary step..
no precise fitting. You don't "cut" a butt joint.
For a butt joint, you glue the four case pieces together then belt sand the protruding boards.
It is an expedient "production" method. Professionals do not use butt joints.
Miters can be cut by hand with a  simple miter box, a dedicated powered miter saw such as my compound sliding machine, or a table saw.

In case of Clement Breton, he is not a "production shop" such as Miller, Savoy and Martin.
His work I would classify as (the much over-used word) "artisan", nay .. folk artisan with great skill.
To include straps, bellows and corner pieces etc which are a one off fabrication.

I "stand" firm that perching one's self on top of a production built accordeon (more specifically a butt jointed accordeon)  is no testament to its quality. It's an excuse.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 02:15:36 PM by melodeon »
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Edward Jennings

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2018, 04:42:46 PM »

How many times are we going to have to suffer this bogus argument?

A mitred joint is almost as easy as a butted joint, but not so difficult as a dovetail, which is immeasurably stronger than both. I cannot understand why a real craftsman would settle for anything less! IMHO, this is similar to the wax verses gasket debate, a real craftsman would make the joints between plate and block, and block and fondo, good enough to be just screwed face to face.

All the different production techniques are developed for expedience, to work to a budget. Why can't we just leave it at that and allow everyone to make their own choices?
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Edward
Windy Nook.
Hohner 114 in G. Hohner 1040 in C. International One Row 2 voice in D.  17 button 8 bass, bandoneon tuned, Squirrel with stops for both treble voices in C/F. Dino Baffetti Organetto in C. Ancient M. Hohner 2 voice 1 row in C. Plus projects and parts of projects.
http://ourluxorflat.blogspot.co.uk/

melodeon

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2018, 04:55:21 PM »


"How many times are we going to have to suffer this bogus argument?

A mitred joint is almost as easy as a butted joint, but not so difficult as a dovetail, which is immeasurably stronger than both. I cannot understand why a real craftsman would settle for anything less! IMHO, this is similar to the wax verses gasket debate, a real craftsman would make the joints between plate and block, and block and fondo, good enough to be just screwed face to face.

All the different production techniques are developed for expedience, to work to a budget. Why can't we just leave it at that and allow everyone to make their own choices?"



Not an "argument" and not "bogus".
And there are other joints that would be even better than the miter or dovetail or ( as with Hohner Ericas) finger/box joints.
I agree with the wax vs screwed on leather or other gasket.

I am all for anyone choosing any box they wish.
I wish that all makers would make just that one slight improvement from expeditious butt joints to a miter or even better.
Anyone can butt a joint.

By the way..it is obvious  MELODIE's joint is not a mitre.. it would be great if there was a spline in there but the cutesy wood corners that are glued on are similar to "end to long grain" just as is a butt joint.  Certainly more work and a step up from a butt.
However, strength will still need to come from an interior corner block.
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mselic

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2018, 05:34:45 PM »

Quote
By the way..it is obvious  MELODIE's joint is not a mitre.. it would be great if there was a spline in there but the cutesy wood corners that are glued on are similar to "end to long grain" just as is a butt joint.  Certainly more work and a step up from a butt.
However, strength will still need to come from an interior corner block.

It looks like it might be, at least according to this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2kqMvqwXdg

I should have said "accordion to this video"....
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Clement Breton in D, Hohner 4-stop in G

folkloristmark

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Re: Clement Breton box
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2018, 05:51:40 PM »

edward I have a gd homewood concertina that is so well made that the plates are just screwed flat on the wood with no issues it can be done and seems in this case very stable.I would note it is a loud concertina. Makes reed reversals a doodle. E.
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