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Accordion Repair - please be kind

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accordian repairs (5)
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How to repair an accordion (14)
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mg 16 Mar 03 - 02:32 AM
selby 16 Mar 03 - 04:53 AM
Little Robyn 16 Mar 03 - 06:39 AM
Deni-C 16 Mar 03 - 06:43 AM
fiddler 16 Mar 03 - 07:17 AM
jets 16 Mar 03 - 07:59 AM
Deni-C 16 Mar 03 - 09:06 AM
fiddler 16 Mar 03 - 12:02 PM
Zany Mouse 16 Mar 03 - 04:18 PM
GUEST,James H. Silver 16 Mar 03 - 07:23 PM
mg 16 Mar 03 - 07:32 PM
vectis 16 Mar 03 - 07:55 PM
Bernard 16 Mar 03 - 08:49 PM
Deni-C 17 Mar 03 - 04:47 AM
fiddler 17 Mar 03 - 07:54 AM
trayton 17 Mar 03 - 08:32 AM
GUEST 17 Mar 03 - 08:36 AM
Doktor Doktor 17 Mar 03 - 08:45 AM
vectis 17 Mar 03 - 07:27 PM
GUEST 17 Mar 03 - 11:31 PM
GUEST,Gord 17 Mar 03 - 11:34 PM
mg 17 Mar 03 - 11:39 PM
Jack the Sailor 17 Mar 03 - 11:50 PM
vectis 18 Mar 03 - 10:00 AM
Bernard 18 Mar 03 - 07:17 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 18 Mar 03 - 10:18 PM
GUEST,Dr. Reed Bellows 22 Mar 05 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,.gargorgyle 22 Mar 05 - 11:02 PM
georgeward 23 Mar 05 - 02:22 AM
GUEST,Paranoid Android 23 Mar 05 - 07:42 AM
Mitch the Bass 24 Mar 05 - 04:28 AM
Gurney 24 Mar 05 - 08:31 PM
GUEST,Bill 03 Aug 15 - 11:28 AM
GUEST,Lester 03 Aug 15 - 01:38 PM
GUEST 03 Aug 15 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Lester 03 Aug 15 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 03 Aug 15 - 10:10 PM
GUEST,Lester 04 Aug 15 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,Ebor Fiddler 04 Aug 15 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,Lester Method 04 Aug 15 - 08:42 PM
The Sandman 05 Aug 15 - 07:33 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Aug 15 - 08:09 AM
GUEST,Bill 05 Aug 15 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Lester 05 Aug 15 - 04:58 PM
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Subject: Tech: Accordian Repair - please be kind
From: mg
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 02:32 AM

I have an accordian that I really love playing and it is not working right now. I have no money to get it repaired, so I thought I would do it myself, actually taking it to a music camp so others could advise perhaps. I have heard that you clamp the keys on the reeds with beeswax, and that is what is wrong. But in reading stuff on the internet, people are saying that is not right, that beeswax is too soft and you need special wax. If I order the special wax, I won't have it in time for the camp, and all of a sudden I must have this accordian working again.

So, experts, will the beeswax work at all? For a while?   A temporary fix would be fine. Would it hurt the accordian? This is of no particular financial worth; I just like it. I think someone fixed it before with beeswax. I know they hate hot weather and I think I left it in a hot car once.

How do you melt the beeswax if it is OK? Someone said sodering iron. I was thinking over a candle in a little dish or something.

mg


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Subject: RE: Tech: Accordian Repair - please be kind
From: selby
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 04:53 AM

My son has moulded the end of his Dig with beeswax and it appears to work OK but we are in the UK so it does not get that hot.
I thought older accordians used Beeswax anyway
Keith


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Subject: RE: Tech: Accordian Repair - please be kind
From: Little Robyn
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 06:39 AM

I have an idea that it is a special wax used by bootmakers. It looks like beeswax but melts at a higher temperature and therefore holds firmer. Find yourself a shoe repair shop and ask.
Good luck. I'd be lost without my 'box' too!
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Tech: Accordian Repair - please be kind
From: Deni-C
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 06:43 AM

Can I but in....while you're at it. I've been putting silica gel in my case to stop dampness, but I still get some notes and bass keys sticking a bit. My accordion's about 2 yrs old. anyone else got any bright ideas for stopping the damp?

Thanks
D


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Subject: RE: Tech: Accordian Repair - please be kind
From: fiddler
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 07:17 AM

Teh beeswax should work, I've done emergency jobs on melodeons with the wax on the outside of Edam cheese.

There may be a melting point problem as you suggest but I wouldn't hink if carefully used and once inside an instrument most amateur luthiers are more careful than professionals I suspect itwill not do any harm.

Personally i woudl try it.

As for damp - wher eis it coming from - if damp climate then nothing you can do other wise storage - silica packets in the case and refresh them in a hot dry oven frequently!

I get worried in summer with fidles sat int eh abck of an estate wagon and wrap them in extra thermal sleeping bags!!!! Neccesity is the mother of invention. I wish I had a 2 year old accorsion mines about 50 but it still does the job I suppose.

A
A


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Subject: RE: Tech: Accordian Repair - please be kind
From: jets
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 07:59 AM

The wax used in accordion repair is a combination of bees wax and rosin.I believe it is 50/1/4 mix.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Accordian Repair - please be kind
From: Deni-C
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 09:06 AM

Fiddler....the thermal sleeping bags for instruments....good idea!

Of course I never thought of refreshing the silica gel....

Thanks
deni


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Subject: RE: Tech: Accordian Repair - please be kind
From: fiddler
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 12:02 PM

I love this knowledge pooling!

Works!!!


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 04:18 PM

Having lived on a very damp boat for a number of years I have found that cotton bags filled with rice work better than sil-gel. Cheap too.

ZM


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: GUEST,James H. Silver
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 07:23 PM

Bees Wax was used on older accordions for years. Especially Hohner.   It is used to hold the Reeds into the blocks. Reed is pressed in Place and melted into the wax with a pencil soldering iron
or piece of metal warmed up to the point where it will soften the wax.
This is so the reed can be remove easily for replacement. I have set reeds on occasion with clear silcone. Makes for a lasting job but is hard to remove in case of repair. be very careful not to get the silcone on the reed. hope this helps some .


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: mg
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 07:32 PM

could you describe this a bit more? And what is a pencil soldering iron? Like a regular soldering iron? Can you use a regular soldering iron?


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: vectis
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 07:55 PM

soldering irons come in various shapes. You want the one with the hot end shaped a bit like a pen or pencil. long and thin. Thick ones with a wedged or pointy bit just at the tip are nowhere near as good. I think they get too hot.
My hubby says that the electric ones should be low wattage (15w, that's what he uses on my accordions.


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: Bernard
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 08:49 PM

The best type of soldering iron is an adjustable thermostatically controlled one. Solder melting temperature boils the wax too easily, leaving a nasty black sticky residue.

A company called 'Skytronics' up here in Manchester (England) does an excellent, fairly cheap one for around thirty quid, but they are trade only.

You should be able to get the right wax from Allodi in London - Emilio is very helpful.

Older accordions with leather reed valves will also benefit greatly from having plastic valves installed, as they seal much better and aren't prone to curling. If you are already having to replace the wax, it's a good opportunity to do it, and the instrument will take much less effort to play!

E-mail me if you need more information...


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: Deni-C
Date: 17 Mar 03 - 04:47 AM

Cotton bags filled with rice...a good idea. zany mouse.


another thing. I have a 5 year old Bandmaster 120 bass accordion. Can't understand why but on the keyboard, one of the keys are raised up. It doesn't affect the sound.

Can I get this repaired (and is there any point) and what causes it, does anyone know?

Also, I'm thinking of selling it after its mOT. Will this affect the value.?

Cheers
Deni


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: fiddler
Date: 17 Mar 03 - 07:54 AM

Keys on Accorions are attached via metal which oves and bends with use - heat age allsorts of things.

I have straightened a few out on mine b4 now but only worth it if it is bad.

A


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: trayton
Date: 17 Mar 03 - 08:32 AM

WRT plastic valves

Any information about the type of plastic and the adhesive to use?
Also what difference it makes to the sound, my old hohner melodeon with leather valves sound much more mellow than my new (12 year old) one.


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Mar 03 - 08:36 AM

Mary

My accordian began playing up a few weeks ago. No mater how hard I squezzed it, I could get no response. I tried wax and that didn't work - I probably wasn't rubbing hard enough


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: Doktor Doktor
Date: 17 Mar 03 - 08:45 AM

If you use silicon sealant, try to get "Low Modulus" - takes longer to set, but comes off easier and is less chemically active.


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: vectis
Date: 17 Mar 03 - 07:27 PM

Old floppy discs make really good valves to replace leather. The trouble is that it alteres the timbre of the box so you end up doing all the reeds.
You glue them on with a dob of wax as far as I know.


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Mar 03 - 11:31 PM


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: GUEST,Gord
Date: 17 Mar 03 - 11:34 PM

All these repairs so far have dealt with the valves and attaching reeds. How does one go about replacing a reed, where can they be bought (I'm in Nfld, Canada) or can they be made?.. I have a 35 yr old box that has a couple of strained reeds..would love for it to sound better again.


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: mg
Date: 17 Mar 03 - 11:39 PM

have you tried o'brien's music in St. John's? I bet someone there would know.

mg


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 17 Mar 03 - 11:50 PM

Gord you may find interesting reeding here.


http://www.accordions.com/vociarmoniche/en_reed1.htm

http://1accordion.net/tuning.html


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: vectis
Date: 18 Mar 03 - 10:00 AM

Brilliant site. Bookmarked 8-D


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: Bernard
Date: 18 Mar 03 - 07:17 PM

Leather valves are fine when they are new, but they harden and curl with age, causing those silly farting noises when you change bellows direction.

As they don't do anything other than stop unwanted air flow, they certainly don't 'alter the timbre' - that would be caused by something else changing during the process of removing and replacing the reedplates, typically not seating the plates properly on the wood. The wax is only there, again, to stop unwanted air flow, and the reed plays best when it is entirely in contact with the wood of the reed block. If there is wax between the wood and the reedplate, it dulls the sound.

The only change to the sound, perhaps, is the ability of the reed to sound more precisely as it would have when its leather valves were new...

My main instrument is a Swiss Hohner Musette IV 120 bass, which has an unusually mellow sound for such a big box. Interestingly, the inside is as well finished as the outside - all the woodwork is polished (yes, inside! Where you don't normally see it!), and I'm sure that it must help the air flow. Even though it's such a large instrument, it is very easy to play, and the reeds are very well regulated even after over thirty years of me playing it.

The best test of a secondhand instrument is to hold down a chord without moving the bellows, then gradually start to move the bellows and listen to see if all the reeds of the chord start to speak at the same time.

What causes reeds to speak differently is the amount of air gap at the tip - the opposite end to where it is fixed to the plate. The size of the gap differs according to the size of the reed and the note that it sounds, but if the gap is too small or too great, the reed won't speak at all, or will be very 'lazy'.

Giving the tip a very slight curl upwards helps to take some of the 'edge' off the note, too, making it a little more 'mellow'. This is one of the techniques used to voice harmonium reeds to give the different 'timbres' for the various stops.

Before this turns completely into a thesis, I'm going!

BTW, those soldering irons are also available from Electrovision for around 23 quid... I've just ordered a spare!

TTFN

B

Nature has given men one tongue and two ears,
that we may hear twice as much as we speak.
--Epictetus


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 18 Mar 03 - 10:18 PM

Your post is somewhat ambiguous

When I did advertising lay-out for a newspaper - we used a stickly wax in the "paste-up."

Not only was it grand for an accordian reed - it was the best wax for your surf-board....in cold waters.

Personally, I now use super-glue.

If - the pressure-pad-key is "sprung" - simply pop the cover - and bend the metal attachment to the correct allignment.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: GUEST,Dr. Reed Bellows
Date: 22 Mar 05 - 09:36 AM


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: GUEST,.gargorgyle
Date: 22 Mar 05 - 11:02 PM

Accordians are VERY simple instruments: Think of a harmonica with bellows and a keyboard.

1. Bellow repair - premium quality "duct tape." 2. Sticky reeds - salt/vinegar with tooth brush and WD40 3. The wax you seek is more flexable/less rigid under all temperatures than Bee's it is used in journalism (Mag/News> pasteup. Locate a local publishing house.

4. The metal connectors are VERY and may be molded (up/down) to level out the keyboard.

DO NOT BE AFRAID!!!!!

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: georgeward
Date: 23 Mar 05 - 02:22 AM

'way back up this thread, Jets notes that what is used in accordian repair is a mix of beeswax and rosin. That is what I was also taught by an elderly master-repairman (and player). That works. I've a hunch beeswax alone will prove too soft.

- George


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: GUEST,Paranoid Android
Date: 23 Mar 05 - 07:42 AM

Just to give you a laugh---On St Patricks day I was doing a one man gig with my guitar but I brought my accordion along "just in case".
At the end of my gig a group of children came on to do their Irish dancing and I was asked to play the accordion(Piano). As I was strapping it on one of the straps broke and it dropped, narrowly missing one of the children. There was no time to do repairs so I had to play it with one strap and my chin pressed on the the top of the accordion for stability while my bald head faced the audience. NEVER AGAIN !!!!


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: Mitch the Bass
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 04:28 AM

See http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=16218&item=7308585223&rd=1
on ebay in the UK but just what you're looking for I believe.

Mitch


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: Gurney
Date: 24 Mar 05 - 08:31 PM

On the humidity problem; a respected performer told me that he NEVER plays 'straight from the case' but always allows thr box to acclimatise in the room first, to minimise condensation.

You can't do much about the other end of the gig, though.


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: GUEST,Bill
Date: 03 Aug 15 - 11:28 AM

I have 2 questions: What kind of glue was used to bond the wood on reed blocks? Was the reed block sealed? OK maybe 3, Did they used shellac?


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: GUEST,Lester
Date: 03 Aug 15 - 01:38 PM

Never have I read so much shit advice in one place.


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Aug 15 - 01:49 PM

Well, I'll be. If it isn't Lester Lovis. As I live and breathe.


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: GUEST,Lester
Date: 03 Aug 15 - 04:22 PM

You may live and breathe but you are mistaken.

www.lesterbailey.org


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 03 Aug 15 - 10:10 PM

Lester...

What is YOUR suggestion?



Sincerly,
Gargoyle

I will try the bee's wax and rosin in a radically different application than music...


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: GUEST,Lester
Date: 04 Aug 15 - 12:43 PM

For reed waxing I use reed wax (I get mine from Charlie Marshall Google is your friend) applied using a temperature controlled soldering iron. Any one spotted using silicone will be beaten to death with a haddock. Also for the death squad should be applied to any one using WD40 anywhere near any musical instrument it is rubbish lubricant and attracts dust thus gumming up the works.


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: GUEST,Ebor Fiddler
Date: 04 Aug 15 - 06:37 PM

As a professional in the field, Lester knows what he is talking about, so take heed! By the way, you CAN make your own reed wax - I have done it successfully, but it's so much easier to get it already made from Charlie Marshall, who also stocks lots of other stuff, including plastic reed valves.

Chris B.


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: GUEST,Lester Method
Date: 04 Aug 15 - 08:42 PM

Reed Waxing

The Lester Method


Lester Method You Tube


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Aug 15 - 07:33 AM

Mudcat at its best


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Aug 15 - 08:09 AM

any one using WD40 anywhere near any musical instrument it is rubbish lubricant and attracts dust thus gumming up the works.

That is the mistake people make - WD40 ISN'T a "lubricant." It is a cleaner, and in many applications removes the existing lubricant. The can says it lubricates some things (like hinges) because it in fact removes water and displaces gunk, allowing objects to move freely again, but it isn't a lubricant. To use it properly you should reapply a true lubricant after using WD40 to clean. (I use a can of 3-in-1 oil).

Back to the music.


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: GUEST,Bill
Date: 05 Aug 15 - 12:25 PM

Back to my original question; what kind of wood glue do the use to bond the wooden reed block together? Is it sealed?


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Subject: RE: Accordion Repair - please be kind
From: GUEST,Lester
Date: 05 Aug 15 - 04:58 PM

I use ordinary PVA wood glue to stick wooden bits together. My personal favourite being this:

http://www.axminster.co.uk/polyten-pva-glue


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