About Me

Chris Ball

I am the current web manager of the Craneconcertina.com site. The bulk of the material was gathered, organized, and presented by Steve Philips at PC Sense. I took over the site in 2016.

I studied the key layouts a long time before getting a box of any style, and right off concluded the Crane was for me, but I was not able to obtain one for several years so I started with the easy to find Anglo in 2005 which was recommended for Irish music.

I currently have 2 Crane style concertinas, a very nicely restored 48Key Lachenal, and a scruffy 35key Wheatstone SA box.

I had stopped playing concertina for many years, then I was severly injured in 2015 and did not have the strength to play my other instruments (I became very ill while attending a college class). Fortunately for me I am not in a wheel chair or blinded. While recovering I learned how to read music for my 35key concertina. In 2017 I regained alot of finger and arm strength, though I have still not fully recovered.

I built a Kantele from a kit in 2016, later I acquired a "Lap Harp"/Kantele built by Gary Upton and I plan to build a larger one with MIDI triggers.

Currently I am learning how to use a CNC router, building musical instrument parts, forms, and studying technical drafting. I built my first instrument in 1997 but mostly I have worked on fixing and customizing instruments, but not concertinas - Nope, not even going to attempt tuning those reeds.

I also play a few other instruments: My main instrument is the the short scale Octave Mandolin, or sometimes called a "Cittern" or Mandola. I also play Guitar, some Piano, and the Tzouras (that's a Greek instrument - its like a shrunken Bouzouki) Speaking of Shrunken Bouzoukis, I got a great deal on an real Greek Baglama, its cute and loud.

However in the last few years I have been forced to sell a lot of my equipment due to being unemployed for so long and the medical problems. I plan to hand this site over to someone in better health in the next few years.

I may try to tackle building a Bent-Side Spinet, but so many things to try to do.