Joe, I just posted about the flutina I bought, but am going to return, The shop is Liberty Bellows, 18th and Samson in Philadelphia (they have website). I met with Mike there. I don't think had ever worked on a flutina, most of his experience was with accordeons and concertinas from about 1900 and on. He did seem willing to work on anything that was brought it in but does not have specific experience with flutinas.
Stu Vogt here. I will be giving the short presentation at the dedication of the Sam Sweeney memorial tombstone in the Graham Cemetery. I look forward to seeing you there. Incidentally, when the Orange Artillery was posted at Ft. Clifton on the Appomattox River in the last winter of the War, two members of the battery entertained everyone on the fiddle and the banjo. I tried to ID these chaps, but I was never able to find out.
I will let you know how I'm doing on my banjo. It's been an adventure so far. But since I'm making it, in the future I'll have no problem "upgrading" parts of it. I made the tensioner brackets out of an old 105mm shell casing that I had been saving for years. I n the future I'm going to make a hand die stamp with a cover that's got drill bushings in it so that I can stamp out uniform tensioner brackets with the holes accurately drilled. I should have done that in the beginning, but....
Despite the fact I have the pegs, the flesh hoop, and the head to deal with, I'm elated that the thing is visibly coming together. I used to build muzzleloading rifles from scratch...built my own hand rifling machine, made my own locks..forged all the furniture. But now I see why so many old time gunsmiths also made musical instruments. A piece of furniture, for example, just sits there looking pretty.But there's something about that instrument or rifle, made of wood and metal, that DOES something. You can grab it in your hands and make it bark or make it twang.
Am I correct that you chaps played up at Bradley International Airport? That's where I'm flying into today. I live in Westfield MA, which about 25 min. driving time north of there. I'd love to hear your music in person up here in the land of codfish & potatoes.