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Discussions => Instrument Design, Construction and Repair => Topic started by: Pete Dunk on February 26, 2014, 08:22:35 PM

Title: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on February 26, 2014, 08:22:35 PM
New acquisition:

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk137/p_m_dunk/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0798_zps2bc23513.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/user/p_m_dunk/media/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0798_zps2bc23513.jpg.html)

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk137/p_m_dunk/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0800_zpsd5da04f1.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/user/p_m_dunk/media/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0800_zpsd5da04f1.jpg.html)

It's throwing up a few questions because I've never seen a Hohner built like this before! Has anyone had any experience dismantling models as old as this and can you tell me how the springs work on the treble mechanism?

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk137/p_m_dunk/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/003_zps8e781bff.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/user/p_m_dunk/media/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/003_zps8e781bff.jpg.html)

Pallets screwed onto the lever arms, brass reeds on 'H' zinc plates screwed onto hardwood reed blocks, old high pitch so it's actually tuned slightly flat of B/E. I haven't had time to look at the bass end mechanism yet, any pitfalls I should know about?


Edit: Changed thread title from Bb/Eb because this was incorrect!
Title: Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
Post by: Rees on February 26, 2014, 10:33:33 PM
The treble springs are under the wooden levers. Pull the axle and they'll all pop out, so number them first.

Otherwise fairly straightforward.
Title: Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
Post by: squeezy on February 26, 2014, 10:56:44 PM
I have nothing useful to add ... but I do think that your box is a splendid example of buttons that are worthy of the name ... some of the ones on that box would match some of my shirts splendidly!
Title: Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
Post by: Theo on February 26, 2014, 11:01:57 PM
The bass mechanism is probable partly wood with iron wire levers and maybe fragile, especially if any of the iron parts have rusted inside small blocks of wood.  The expanding rust can split the wood.  You may find some wood components need to be replaced.
Title: Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
Post by: Pete Dunk on February 26, 2014, 11:54:15 PM
I will proceed with great caution, I'm already very taken with this little box as I was with the Liliput when I first got it. It's a lovely little thing but it's had a hard life. If you look carefully at the third picture, extreme left at the bottom of the fingerboard you can just see the eye on the end of the axle rod. Follow that line to the right and you will see a horizontal crack that follows on for about the first three key widths, worrying that!

I'll be doing anything I feel I can without doing any harm, saving up for a while and then sending it off to a master fettler to sort out the tricky bits and the retuning because brass reeds give me the willies to be honest!
Title: Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
Post by: forrest on February 27, 2014, 01:32:48 AM
Nice little box, Pete, very similar to the model owned by member 'Airtime'. Well worth hearing again. These tend to clack a bit, but have a lovely tone. Are you sure it's a Bb/Eb? It could be a B/E in the old German pitch of A=432. See if it is marked "H/E" somewhere?  (:)
Title: Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
Post by: AirTime on February 27, 2014, 04:42:07 AM
Yes, the treble mechanism looks identical to mine, however, mine is a 12 bass & has steel reeds. There's no question that it has a wonderful tone, & with new felt on the palettes & on the treble & bass buttons, it's pretty quiet.

The interesting thing is, that even compared to the modern boxes I've played - Saltarelle, Beltuna, Castagnari - I really like the feel of the old MOP treble buttons.  There's a fairly long travel to the mechanism (significantly reduced by adding felt to the palettes & buttons) & combined with the wide, flat surface of the buttons I find this gives a very satisfying "feel" to the action.

I hope your Hohner gives you as much playing enjoyment as mine!    :||:
Title: Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
Post by: Kimric Smythe on February 27, 2014, 04:52:50 AM
I have an identical one in the same tuning that I restored about 15 years ago. It has brass reeds with the reeds set against leather with screws.
Title: Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
Post by: Broadland Boy on February 27, 2014, 06:32:28 PM
Pete,

A few years back (4-5 yrs?) I picked a similar one row (a bit older than this with colour lithographed corner protectors with Hr Hohners face depicted, seemed to be a Koch design) where the Bronze reeds had all been bent badly by kiddy plucking - opened a thread with quite a few internal photo's posted which might have helped you on the construction, have had a search on 'Old Hohner' but can't find it so it may have been recycled to maintain disk space.

All the iron rodwork was pretty rusted where it was fixed into the wood and a good warm up with a soldering iron before attacking with pliers was the only way I could remove most, I managed to gently iron the bends out of all but (IIRC) one reed and even now a couple are still normalising as the pitch gently creeps - not brave enough to show them the deep fat frier for a few minutes :-[

HTH
Title: Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
Post by: Pete Dunk on February 27, 2014, 11:01:21 PM
Nice little box, Pete, very similar to the model owned by member 'Airtime'. Well worth hearing again. These tend to clack a bit, but have a lovely tone. Are you sure it's a Bb/Eb? It could be a B/E in the old German pitch of A=432. See if it is marked "H/E" somewhere?  (:)

Yes it is indeed marked H/E under the treble keyboard not B/Es. B/E is a strange choice of keys I have to say, it would go down like a lead parachute in any session.  :o  I presume a retune to Bb/Eb wouldn't be a problem?
Title: Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
Post by: forrest on February 28, 2014, 03:46:14 AM
Yes it is indeed marked H/E under the treble keyboard not B/Es. B/E is a strange choice of keys I have to say, it would go down like a lead parachute in any session.  :o  I presume a retune to Bb/Eb wouldn't be a problem?

Well....given that your Hohner might not be the Belle of the Ball at sessions, you could restore the original tuning to its' quaint archaic self, and use it to play solo.....   ::)
Title: Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
Post by: Christopher K. on February 28, 2014, 04:51:59 AM
Nice little box, Pete, very similar to the model owned by member 'Airtime'. Well worth hearing again. These tend to clack a bit, but have a lovely tone. Are you sure it's a Bb/Eb? It could be a B/E in the old German pitch of A=432. See if it is marked "H/E" somewhere?  (:)

Yes it is indeed marked H/E under the treble keyboard not B/Es. B/E is a strange choice of keys I have to say, it would go down like a lead parachute in any session.  :o  I presume a retune to Bb/Eb wouldn't be a problem?

The keys of B, E and environs are nice keys to sing in.
Title: Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
Post by: Steve_freereeder on February 28, 2014, 09:27:52 AM
Nice little box, Pete, very similar to the model owned by member 'Airtime'. Well worth hearing again. These tend to clack a bit, but have a lovely tone. Are you sure it's a Bb/Eb? It could be a B/E in the old German pitch of A=432. See if it is marked "H/E" somewhere?  (:)

Yes it is indeed marked H/E under the treble keyboard not B/Es. B/E is a strange choice of keys I have to say, it would go down like a lead parachute in any session.  :o  I presume a retune to Bb/Eb wouldn't be a problem?

The tuning in B/E is ideal for playing the diatonic accordion parts in Tchaikovsky's Orchestral Suite No.2 which features two accordions in the third movement.

Here's the accordion part (http://petrucci.mus.auth.gr/imglnks/usimg/2/21/IMSLP50836-PMLP40844-Tchaikovsky-Op53.Accordion.pdf) for the third movement. The accordion plays for 36 bars in total. As you can see, it's not the most imaginative writing; mostly it would appear to consist of bunging lots of fingers down on the E row and E bass/chords and just waggling the bellows.  :|bl

The full score is here (http://javanese.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/3/3b/IMSLP17130-Tchaikovsky_-_Suite_No.2___Op.53.pdf) if you are interested (20 MB file size).

I should leave your Hohner in B/E tuning so that when the call goes up for a melodeon player to take part in a performance of the Orchestral Suite, you will have the instrument available and will be able to step into your place in the orchestra to much acclaim and receive a bountiful fee.  ;)
Title: Re: M Hohner Bb/Eb
Post by: Pete Dunk on February 28, 2014, 11:01:35 PM
The keys of B, E and environs are nice keys to sing in.

Good point and as I'm about to embark on a collaborative trad music project with guitarists that like to play in D capo 2 . . .

I should leave your Hohner in B/E tuning so that when the call goes up for a melodeon player to take part in a performance of the Orchestral Suite, you will have the instrument available and will be able to step into your place in the orchestra to much acclaim and receive a bountiful fee.  ;)

Better still when the shout goes up I'll lend you the box, you get all of the glory and adoration, I get 40% of all fees and royalties. Deal?  ;D  8)
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Christopher K. on February 28, 2014, 11:25:14 PM
Quote
Quote from: Christopher K. on Today at 04:51:59 AM
    The keys of B, E and environs are nice keys to sing in.
Good point and as I'm about to embark on a collaborative trad music project with guitarists that like to play in D capo 2 . . .

Capos are good but it always irritates me how they kill the resonance. I like to tune the guitar down a half-step and play normally with the C shape, or tune up a whole step and play as I would in A. Nice thing about the guitar is how flexible it is with regards to voicing and tuning  :|bl
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Owen Woods on March 01, 2014, 11:58:41 AM
I would love a b/e!
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: pgroff on March 03, 2014, 12:23:40 AM
I actually love the sound of instruments tuned to what I call the  "in-between pitches,"  A 430 - 438 and also A 443 - 458.* They seem very relaxing after decades of listening to 12-tone equal temperament at A 440.

But I don't believe there's anything intrinsically good about any one pitch, as a standard for all instruments.  Some pitches can sound good for one particular instrument.  But to me, the different pitches sound good as a relief, or in contrast, to other pitches.  The "evidence" of resonances obtained at A 432 or any other particular pitch is very sensitive to changes to parameters of the system set up to demonstrate those resonances.

PG

* I call them "in-between" because these tunings employ the frequencies that are not used for fundamentals when music is based on 12-tone equal temperament at A = 440.  At A 440 ET, G# is around 415 Hz and Bb is approximately 466 Hz. 
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 03, 2014, 11:12:05 PM
My apologies if I've taken too long to contribute to the thread again, but I've been sitting back and taking stock of everything I have learned in a relatively short time from the vast pool of knowledge that is melodeon.net. The outcome is that this box will be restored as and when finances allow to B/E at A=332. I can do the mechanical bits myself I reckon but some bits of that require that I call upon the collective knowledge for advice. I can remove the metal corner pieces from the bellows frames easily enough in order to rebind the bellows ends but the frames are very deep and the original material isn't the broad leather I've become used to working with on concertinas, what is it?
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Theo on March 04, 2014, 12:08:44 AM
I can remove the metal corner pieces from the bellows frames easily enough in order to rebind the bellows ends but the frames are very deep and the original material isn't the broad leather I've become used to working with on concertinas, what is it?


It might be a textured paper, or a coated cloth similar to bookbinders buckram, or Rexine.  I've successfully used both on renovation of similar boxes.  Genuine Rexine is no longer made, so a buckram type material might be best .  Nick CB is the best person on the forum to advise on this.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on March 04, 2014, 06:32:08 AM
It's a sad thing that Rexine is no longer made. a "lookalike " material  can be obtained from J. Hewitt and Sons in Scotland, it is not as good but it looks almost identical   :'(
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: malcolmbebb on March 04, 2014, 07:31:25 AM
Nick,
Can you skive the edges of these materials to neaten the corners and joins, as you can with leather?
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on March 04, 2014, 12:54:57 PM
In a word Malcolm. NO. the stuff is very thin anyway. If you try and pare it ,it would be like trying to pare an old bed sheet . Lots of fraying. I have several bits here in Swanage if anyone wants to try some. You could try sanding the edges, that also will allow the glue to take hold because this stuff is particularly glue unfriendly. Us in the Trade hate using it . The Original Rexine was just as bad. (Incidentally, it is the only trademarked " Rexine" name in the OED, Oxford English Dictionary)
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 05, 2014, 12:05:03 AM
I'm quite alarmed to hear that buckram repels glues!. I can buy this material in a 1040mm width by the linear metre from the bookbinding suppliers in Scotland for slightly less than £13 inc VAT but then there's a whopping £6.00 p&p charge! So for £19.00 I get what I need with enough left over to do at least nine similar melodeons.

Thankfully I can buy the same material cut to size elsewhere so I won't have loads left over! Two 1mt lengths 50mm wide will do the job but that will cost £5.99 plus p&p, that's around £60.00 per square metre compared to £18 + with lots left over to share! Dilemma.  :o
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Malcolm Clapp on March 05, 2014, 12:29:12 AM
You could go with leather as an alternative. Not particularly inexpensive, but I've used it on one of my "wide frame" Hohners to good effect. Probably not as hard-wearing as Rexine (or Rexine-substitute) though.
Just a thought....
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Steve_freereeder on March 05, 2014, 01:22:09 AM
I'm quite alarmed to hear that buckram repels glues!. I can buy this material in a 1040mm width by the linear metre from the bookbinding suppliers in Scotland for slightly less than £13 inc VAT but then there's a whopping £6.00 p&p charge! So for £19.00 I get what I need with enough left over to do at least nine similar melodeons.
PM sent...
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: tirpous on March 05, 2014, 03:17:38 AM
Quote
I'm quite alarmed to hear that buckram repels glues!.

Reading back, I think it's the Rexine lookalike that is glue-unfriendly, not buckram.  Maybe Mr. Nick can confirm ?
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on March 05, 2014, 07:43:50 AM
Quote
I'm quite alarmed to hear that buckram repels glues!.

Reading back, I think it's the Rexine lookalike that is glue-unfriendly, not buckram.  Maybe Mr. Nick can confirm ?

Yes it's Rexine. But even modern Buckram on its face side is difficult. It has a waterproof coating.
Rexine is "hairy" on its glue side and takes ages to stick.
Leather, although it takes a little skill to prepare,is perfect and paste should be used not PVA
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: pikey on March 05, 2014, 09:29:49 AM
What kind of paste ? Surely not toothpaste  ;)
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: malcolmbebb on March 05, 2014, 09:38:44 AM
So presumably overlapping Buckram is not the preferred method, and therefore butt joints are used?

I have a German concertina of indeterminate age that appears to use buckram, or a similar material, which appears to have been stretched around the bellows end frames in much the same way as leather. I was wondering how they'd achieved that, since I don't think of buckram as stretching easily. 

Nick - do you use corn paste for buckram also?
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Theo on March 05, 2014, 10:31:10 AM
If you make an overlap join at the back corner it is out of sight and most is hidden by the metal corner pieces.
I've used buckram and Rexine, applied with bookbinders pva and never had a problem with adhesion.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: triskel on March 05, 2014, 01:42:14 PM
... this box will be restored as and when finances allow to B/E at A=332. ...

That'd be pretty low, your A would be sounding about 14 cents sharp of a "concert pitch" E... (But I guess that's a typo for A=432  ;))

In fact, it can be pretty difficult to establish exactly what pitch an old box like this is meant to be in, because they were tuned to "just intonation" - and that means note values are variable, depending on the key(s) you're dealing with. So if you want to "keep the flavour" of the original tuning, you might need to listen carefully to the tuning and work from what seems to be in tune with itself, only correcting what obviously isn't...  ???
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on March 05, 2014, 02:58:55 PM
OK.  Flour or Rice flour  for paste, when using leather. Soak it well in the stuff and it will remain pliable and mouldable for ages. If you edge pare the leather  and using a strip about an inch wide it's ideal for wrapping around tool handles for a nicer grip.
  For Buckram and other bookcloths we use PVA but we mix it about 50/50 with paste. This gives it a longer "'open time" so you can frab about with the corners before it goes off . We in the workshop call it Jollop!
  For Rexine we use neat PVA  and start sticking down just before it goes off we call this STAB, from the well known saying " sticks like s..t to a blanket"  ;D
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: pikey on March 05, 2014, 04:54:40 PM
Thanks, really useful. Colgate didn't seem to work very well, but it gave a nice odour to the box..... ;)
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: forrest on March 05, 2014, 05:06:02 PM
In fact, it can be pretty difficult to establish exactly what pitch an old box like this is meant to be in, because they were tuned to "just intonation" - and that means note values are variable, depending on the key(s) you're dealing with. So if you want to "keep the flavour" of the original tuning, you might need to listen carefully to the tuning and work from what seems to be in tune with itself, only correcting what obviously isn't...  ???

Paul G. has mentioned the value of recording the tuning settings of vintage instruments (that appear to be original, and not re-tuned), to at least get an archival snapshot of the manner temperaments of older instruments were configured. I think that's a valuable excercise, as many of the old tunings are quite lovely. Then they could be retuned and duplicated at modern pitch, if desired. Many folks have a Dirks' tuning program, and the "Record and Report" feature makes quick work of cataloging the original tuning.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: pikey on March 05, 2014, 05:26:42 PM
Great idea.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: triskel on March 05, 2014, 05:41:53 PM
OK.  Flour or Rice flour  for paste, when using leather. Soak it well in the stuff and it will remain pliable and mouldable for ages.

Which is why it was commonly used in making (leather) concertina bellows...

Oh, and probably because they were originally made by bookbinders too!  ;)
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on March 05, 2014, 06:12:22 PM
OK.  Flour or Rice flour  for paste, when using leather. Soak it well in the stuff and it will remain pliable and mouldable for ages.

Which is why it was commonly used in making (leather) concertina bellows...

Oh, and probably because they were originally made by bookbinders too!  ;)

Ho Ho, yes and no Stephen.
Apart from me I don't know any famous Bookbinders. Apart from Roger Payne 1739 to 1797 ( well worth looking up)
The name that springs to mind is Sir Charles Wheatstone. He was an amazing pioneer in electricity,
But for some unknown reason invented, with others the Concertina  :o. Again he's well worth looking up. ;D
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: forrest on March 05, 2014, 07:59:38 PM
 I am not familiar with "Rexine", but have deduced it's a modern alternative to buckram. Just a cautionary note here.....back when Richard Morse introduced his concertinas, I ordered one, a Trillium C/G anglo #32. The bellows were covered with a synthetic material that was used in the bookbinding profession. The material was not bad looking, and quite flexible...but...after a few months of playing, the product showed cracks and other deterioration from repeated flexing. When I brought the matter to the attention of the Buttonbox, they had me return the instrument, and to their credit, returned it after some weeks with new leather covered bellows. Not sure what the tradename of the synthetic was, but it was a 'bust' as bellows covering. AFAIK, they abandoned the use of that product.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: triskel on March 05, 2014, 10:37:23 PM
OK.  Flour or Rice flour  for paste, when using leather. Soak it well in the stuff and it will remain pliable and mouldable for ages.

Which is why it was commonly used in making (leather) concertina bellows...

Oh, and probably because they were originally made by bookbinders too!  ;)

Ho Ho, yes and no Stephen.

Nick,

I think you may have misunderstood me, but 19th century concertina bellows (especially the earliest ones, which have folded-over "bookbinder corners") often involved the work of bookbinders - indeed, I found (from census records) that the most famous bellows maker of them all, "Mrs. Jeffries," had worked as a bookbinder before her marriage. The materials and techniques are, after all, the same, whilst even when the bellows were made by the concertina maker, they would always be sent out to a bookbinder if gold-tooling was required.

Visit a 19th century bindery and it is likely the only two bookbinding adhesives you would see in use would be animal glue and a paste made from bread flour.

Binders managed very well for many centuries using these two adhesives (http://www.edenworkshops.com/Bookbinding_Adhesives.html), and so too did concertina bellows makers.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: triskel on March 05, 2014, 10:46:12 PM
I am not familiar with "Rexine", but have deduced it's a modern alternative to buckram. Just a cautionary note here.....back when Richard Morse introduced his concertinas, I ordered one, a Trillium C/G anglo #32. The bellows were covered with a synthetic material that was used in the bookbinding profession. The material was not bad looking, and quite flexible...but...after a few months of playing, the product showed cracks and other deterioration from repeated flexing. ... AFAIK, they abandoned the use of that product.

Maybe 40 years ago, Steve Dickinson (C. Wheatstone & Co.) tried using Rexine for a while to make less-expensive concertina bellows (in fact I've a set of his Rexine "butterfly bellows" on the concertina tuning-bellows that his brother Geoff made for me), but found it not successful.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on March 05, 2014, 10:51:41 PM
OK.  Flour or Rice flour  for paste, when using leather. Soak it well in the stuff and it will remain pliable and mouldable for ages.

Which is why it was commonly used in making (leather) concertina bellows...

Oh, and probably because they were originally made by bookbinders too!  ;)

Ho Ho, yes and no Stephen.

Nick,

I think you may have misunderstood me, but 19th century concertina bellows (especially the earliest ones, which have folded-over "bookbinder corners") often involved the work of bookbinders - indeed, I found (from census records) that the most famous bellows maker of them all, "Mrs. Jeffries," had worked as a bookbinder before her marriage. The materials and techniques are, after all, the same, whilst even when the bellows were made by the concertina maker, they would always be sent out to a bookbinder if gold-tooling was required.

Visit a 19th century bindery and it is likely the only two bookbinding adhesives you would see in use would be animal glue and a paste made from bread flour.

Binders managed very well for many centuries using these two adhesives (http://www.edenworkshops.com/Bookbinding_Adhesives.html), and so too did concertina bellows makers.

I stand corrected Sir. Of course you are right
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on March 05, 2014, 11:14:54 PM
Interesting thread this. Yes Triskel is right, starch  flour. Just leave a saucepan which has  had mashed spud in it over night and observe the work you have to do in the morning.
 Sorry for the pile of quotes I'm not that computer literate. BUT. I have two chairs in the shop for students/clients to use  while waiting to be served., or rewriting their dissertation at the last minute .
One is covered in Rexine the other is the replacement material. We have  had to  recover the new chair material  two times because it's worn out. The real Rexine has seen so many student bums over the last thirty years and it's still going. That must say something.
   While I'm at it , don't buy anything off eBay after an alcohol session... Have just bought a Concertina thinking it was an Anglo......no. It's, yes ? An English. I'll have a try. :-\
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 06, 2014, 12:08:33 AM
English concertina is my weapon of choice Nick so you know where to come if you have any questions or need a tutor book!

The black buckram will be bought now that I have a co-conspirator. The box will be tuned B/E A=440 although I'm sorely tempted to make it Eb/Bb.

... this box will be restored as and when finances allow to B/E at A=332. ...

That'd be pretty low, your A would be sounding about 14 cents sharp of a "concert pitch" E... (But I guess that's a typo for A=432  ;))

In fact, it can be pretty difficult to establish exactly what pitch an old box like this is meant to be in, because they were tuned to "just intonation" - and that means note values are variable, depending on the key(s) you're dealing with. So if you want to "keep the flavour" of the original tuning, you might need to listen carefully to the tuning and work from what seems to be in tune with itself, only correcting what obviously isn't...  ???

I did indeed mean A=432 not 332. Your point regarding 'just intonation' is a good one and something I hadn't considered but it does perhaps explain why some notes are wildly out of tune when the majority are only very slightly flat compared to modern concert pitch B/E tuning and certainly not in keeping with originally being tuned to A=432.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on March 06, 2014, 12:29:31 AM
Pete, Tallship, I know this is thread drift but do you have a 'Tina English instruction book for sale?
Would have sent PM  but couldn't find one :'(
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Ollie on March 06, 2014, 01:19:46 AM
English concertina is my weapon of choice Nick so you know where to come if you have any questions or need a tutor book!

The black buckram will be bought now that I have a co-conspirator. The box will be tuned B/E A=440 although I'm sorely tempted to make it Eb/Bb.

Please don't. It's not difficult to come across a Bb/Eb if you really want one - they are becoming more common. B/E is a gorgeously bright tuning, and quite rare, and it would be such a shame to change this box from its original tuning.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Christopher K. on March 06, 2014, 03:01:36 AM
Ebay sites on the continent have a lot of Bb/Eb boxes in club and standard two-row layouts. It was more widely distributed there, it seems.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 06, 2014, 10:21:08 AM
do you have a 'Tina English instruction book for sale?

I was going to PM a reply but other folk may be interested. Here's a freebie in my Dropbox (https://www.dropbox.com/s/m46nsw5hesdpulu/Simplicity%20Tutor%20for%20the%20English%20Concertina.pdf). Here's the Sally Army Tutor too (https://www.dropbox.com/s/j52oejbytbewtmi/Salvation%20Army%20Tutor%20for%20the%20English%20Concertina.pdf)!
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: malcolmbebb on March 06, 2014, 11:03:23 AM
Nick will look lovely in one of those bonnets they used wear.  >:E How many 'tinas now, Nick?
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on March 06, 2014, 11:20:50 AM
 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: malcolmbebb on March 06, 2014, 11:32:29 AM
I've seen a couple of similar boxes in pressed wood style with red bellows. Somebody has a very nice restored one on ebay.de at present, and there's another needing some work.

I'm very tempted... trying to keep MAD under control at present, but I imagine I will end up with one eventually  ::) ::) But the red looks very bright for leather.

I've been wondering what the material is, hence in part the interest in this thread, and how the restored one came up so bright.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Theo on March 06, 2014, 11:41:10 AM
Here is a later Hohner with wide bellows frames that I re-covered in genuine Rexine a few months back.

Thanks to Nick CB for putting me on to the supplier.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: malcolmbebb on March 06, 2014, 11:47:21 AM
Stop it Theo, I'm trying not to buy one!

Nice job, though.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 06, 2014, 12:20:58 PM
Here is a later Hohner with wide bellows frames that I re-covered in genuine Rexine a few months back.

Did you use the Rexine as bellows tape too or did you get very lucky with the colour match?
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: triskel on March 07, 2014, 12:18:36 AM
Ebay sites on the continent have a lot of Bb/Eb boxes in club and standard two-row layouts. It was more widely distributed there, it seems.

In central Europe they'd have used them a lot to play with brass players, so they could play in the flat keys.

This would not have been so common in the British Isles, but if they did they would more-likely have used an English Chromatic box in G/G# (giving the keys of Bb, Eb and F with the D, G and A cross-fingerings, and Ab on the straight row)
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Theo on March 07, 2014, 08:35:02 AM

Did you use the Rexine as bellows tape too or did you get very lucky with the colour match?

Used the same Rexine for bellows tape.  Its the only way to get a colour (and texture) match.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 12, 2014, 11:20:59 PM
Some progress has been made, the wide bellows frames have had all of the hardware removed and are now stripped back to bare (ugly, soft)wood and the tape over the bellows folds is all gone. I took a few pics today but can't upload them until tomorrow at the earliest.

The buckram has arrived, nice material! Worth noting is the fact that the roll is something like 1040mm wide and it is sold by the metre so I bought a metre, what arrived today was two pieces of 1040 x 510mm with a woven edge that needs to be trimmed off and thrown away (this still leaves 510mm of usable material to be fair). Had I have been a bookbinder seeking to rebind an ancient tome that was 1000mm wide when opened and 550mm deep I think I might well be uttering a high pitched screech by now!!
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on March 13, 2014, 07:09:38 AM
Some progress has been made, the wide bellows frames have had all of the hardware removed and are now stripped back to bare (ugly, soft)wood and the tape over the bellows folds is all gone. I took a few pics today but can't upload them until tomorrow at the earliest.

The buckram has arrived, nice material! Worth noting is the fact that the roll is something like 1040mm wide and it is sold by the metre so I bought a metre, what arrived today was two pieces of 1040 x 510mm with a woven edge that needs to be trimmed off and thrown away (this still leaves 510mm of usable material to be fair). Had I have been a bookbinder seeking to rebind an ancient tome that was 1000mm wide when opened and 550mm deep I think I might well be uttering a high pitched screech by now!!

Pete, slightly off the thread, but I have been there done that etc.  We get away with it by making a half binding eg the spine and some of the side in one colour and and the sides and corners can be added as well.
Anyway that's not the purpose of this post.
The woven edge is called the Selvage and is extra to the width. The Important thing  to know is that all woven cloths have a grain direction, warp and weft etc. The grain on Buckram  runs up the width so it folds easier across the width than it does up the length
If you are cutting strips, say for bellows tape then always cut across the length, you'll find it much easier to work with.
 All the above sounds complex, it isn't. There's a good explanation of grain direction on our website.
Just type Collis Bird into Google and go from there. (:)
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Theo on March 13, 2014, 08:39:30 AM
Some suppliers supply Buckram full width, any length cut from a roll.  Others seem to have it pre-cut on 500mm lengths.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 13, 2014, 01:07:47 PM
The woven edge is called the Selvage and is extra to the width. The Important thing  to know is that all woven cloths have a grain direction, warp and weft etc. The grain on Buckram  runs up the width so it folds easier across the width than it does up the length
If you are cutting strips, say for bellows tape then always cut across the length, you'll find it much easier to work with.
 All the above sounds complex, it isn't. There's a good explanation of grain direction on our website.
Just type Collis Bird into Google and go from there. (:)

Thanks for the info Nick! just to make sure I have this right I've attached a diagram. I intend to cut two pieces of buckram 48mm wide down the full length of the piece, these will rebind the two end frames. If I then cut 28 x 20mm wide strips across the remaining piece each of these pieces will be exactly the right lenghth (to the mm!) to make one long side and one short side of bellows tape for the 14 folds with nothing but the bit of selvage left over!
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Theo on March 13, 2014, 01:12:53 PM
I've used buckram for bellows, and advise that you cut all the strips in the same direction (see Nick's earlier comment about grain).  If you cut the edging strips in a different direction, across the grain, then they will fold less easily, and the texture will appear different between the end frames and the folds.

Don't worry too much about getting the length exactly right because the material can stretch very slightly with the moisture from the glue and with handling.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 13, 2014, 06:56:24 PM
If you cut the edging strips in a different direction, across the grain, then they will fold less easily, and the texture will appear different between the end frames and the folds.

This is quite disturbing news. Yes I do realise that if I cut the broad strips along the length they will fold less easily but all they have to do is bend at 90 degrees round the box corners whereas bellows tape doubles back on itself. If as you say they will look different if fitted at right angles to each other then I will now have to cut the 48mm wide strips from the 510mm width which means I will have two joints on the end frames instead of one. One of those joints has to be at a front corner albeit underneath, so I'm not a happy bunny!
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 13, 2014, 07:49:36 PM
More pictures, the bellows stripped ready to clean up and recover.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk137/p_m_dunk/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0806_zps59e065b9.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/user/p_m_dunk/media/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0806_zps59e065b9.jpg.html)

Bass reeds.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk137/p_m_dunk/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0807_zps228b0417.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/user/p_m_dunk/media/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0807_zps228b0417.jpg.html)

Bass and chords.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk137/p_m_dunk/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0808_zps67613f30.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/user/p_m_dunk/media/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0808_zps67613f30.jpg.html)
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 13, 2014, 07:51:47 PM
Treble reeds.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk137/p_m_dunk/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0809_zpsf6491ff2.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/user/p_m_dunk/media/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0809_zpsf6491ff2.jpg.html)

Other side.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk137/p_m_dunk/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0811_zps20a19768.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/user/p_m_dunk/media/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0811_zps20a19768.jpg.html)
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on March 13, 2014, 07:53:08 PM
OK , you can get away with it, it's just that the material doesn't like it . :'(
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 13, 2014, 07:54:34 PM
Bass action.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk137/p_m_dunk/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0812_zps384c0386.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/user/p_m_dunk/media/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0812_zps384c0386.jpg.html)

T'other way up.
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk137/p_m_dunk/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0813_zps3ef507f9.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/user/p_m_dunk/media/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0813_zps3ef507f9.jpg.html)

Butterfingers!
(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk137/p_m_dunk/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0814_zpsd362a9c4.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/user/p_m_dunk/media/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/DSCN0814_zpsd362a9c4.jpg.html)
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 13, 2014, 07:56:10 PM
OK , you can get away with it, it's just that the material doesn't like it . :'(

But will it look odd Nick?
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 13, 2014, 08:35:49 PM
If you cut the edging strips in a different direction, across the grain, then they will fold less easily, and the texture will appear different between the end frames and the folds.

I've suddenly realised that this is wrong! The folds on the bellows frames are at right angles to the folds on the bellows so it follows that if I cut the broads strips at right angles to the bellows tape strips all of the folds will be along the same axis of the material, only the grain is at right angles. You can't have it both ways!
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 17, 2014, 07:34:07 PM
I borrowed the Art Dept's precision rotary cutter (http://rotatrim.com/shop/mastercut-mc-series/mastercut-mca2) today and cut four broad strips and twenty eight narrow strips of buckram ready to recover the bellows frames and replace the bellows tape. The rotary cutter was quick use, very accurate and it made a potentially tedious and difficult task simplicity itself. I cut a few extra bits so I can experiment with gluing some to pieces of scrap wood and practice mitering on the fly before tackling the real thing over the next few days.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on March 18, 2014, 07:39:36 AM
OK , you can get away with it, it's just that the material doesn't like it . :'(

But will it look odd Nick?

No it won't, it's not like Corderoy, if that's how you spell it  :D
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on March 18, 2014, 07:40:39 AM
If you cut the edging strips in a different direction, across the grain, then they will fold less easily, and the texture will appear different between the end frames and the folds.

I've suddenly realised that this is wrong! The folds on the bellows frames are at right angles to the folds on the bellows so it follows that if I cut the broads strips at right angles to the bellows tape strips all of the folds will be along the same axis of the material, only the grain is at right angles. You can't have it both ways!

Correct Pete.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Theo on March 18, 2014, 08:21:50 AM
If you cut the edging strips in a different direction, across the grain, then they will fold less easily, and the texture will appear different between the end frames and the folds.

I've suddenly realised that this is wrong! The folds on the bellows frames are at right angles to the folds on the bellows so it follows that if I cut the broads strips at right angles to the bellows tape strips all of the folds will be along the same axis of the material, only the grain is at right angles. You can't have it both ways!

There are two sets of folds on the bellows frame covering:  at the corners of the frame, and where the covering goes over onto the the first valley of the bellows. So whichever way you cut the buckram the grain will be parallel to one fold and at right angles to the other!
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on March 18, 2014, 11:02:16 AM
Can't disagree with that, it's a total nightmare. Compare grain direction  to corrugated cardboard. That should make it simpler to understand. I had real trouble at the London College of Printing, trying to get this grain thing  into my head. ( mind you, that's not difficult)  ;D
Well difficult when it comes my head that is.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 18, 2014, 05:44:25 PM
There are two sets of folds on the bellows frame covering:  at the corners of the frame, and where the covering goes over onto the the first valley of the bellows. So whichever way you cut the buckram the grain will be parallel to one fold and at right angles to the other!

You are quite right of course but at least cutting everything across the width as you originally said means that the long folded edges of the frames are folded in the same way as the strips of bellows tape.

Pictures tomorrow if I think on but the two end frames are now half bound and left in cramps overnight. I've done the back and bottom runs first and these will be trimmed off flush with the corners. The front and top runs will then overlap slightly underneath and down the back where they are unlikely to be noticed after the metal corners are refitted.

Rightly or wrongly I elected to stick the buckram to the face of the frame only leaving the edge bellows run and the small tuck around the end of the frame until later. Time will tell if this was a good idea!
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 22, 2014, 04:53:38 PM
The end frames of the bellows are finally recovered and I've done a trial strip of bellows tape to see if the paste sticks to the metal corners. The buckram overlaps wouldn't stick down with paste so they were finished with a bit of PVA which worked like a charm. On with the bellows tape next but if the metal corners give me grief then the lot will go on with PVA.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk137/p_m_dunk/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/035_zps71709ed9.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/user/p_m_dunk/media/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/035_zps71709ed9.jpg.html)
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 25, 2014, 06:20:06 PM
Pegs!

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk137/p_m_dunk/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/004_zpsd4af2be4.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/user/p_m_dunk/media/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/004_zpsd4af2be4.jpg.html)

Just the hardware to go back on.

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk137/p_m_dunk/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/007_zps7829a0bf.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/user/p_m_dunk/media/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/007_zps7829a0bf.jpg.html)

It's starting to look a lot smarter!
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: forrest on March 25, 2014, 08:49:55 PM
Stunning job, Pete!  (:)
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 26, 2014, 12:35:06 AM
Stunning job, Pete!  (:)

Well the most noticeable thing was that the old bellows papers took on a new lease of life as I used a barely damp microfibre cloth to wash away excess paste when fitting new bellows tape. I had thought the black streaks on the cloth came from the new buckram, as soon as I discovered it was rejuvenating the old printed bellows papers I became a little bit more liberal with my attentions. I hope that the result is that the papers are now as vibrant and striking as they were when they left the Hohner Factory.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Owen Woods on March 26, 2014, 09:19:26 AM
That looks amazing!
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 26, 2014, 10:56:51 PM
To be honest the bellows won't bear a close inspection for very long, too many errors! Nothing that affects the instrument in any way but several cosmetic niggles arising from my lack of experience working with buckram. The material stretches fairly easily when wet but tends to shrink back as it dries. This wasn't much of a problem when covering the wooden frames as I cut the pieces long when I stuck them on and only trimmed them to length after the glue had dried. Taping the bellows folds was a different matter however and I have a number things I will either have to learn to live with, figure out a workaround or rip off and start again. Being a lazy sod I will probably acknowledge that the box is for me and I'll learn to live with the imperfections.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Christopher K. on March 27, 2014, 04:13:20 AM
Pete, that looks quite nice. I have a few questions that may be answered but I could have missed in the thread. How many strips did you use for the frames, and where was the overlap or seam located? The excess you mentioning trimming off, was that along the outer edges of the frames? And which paste was used? Thanks, Chris.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 27, 2014, 08:19:14 PM
You may have missed this earlier in the thread Christopher but then again it may not be the clearest explanation in the world!

I've done the back and bottom runs first and these will be trimmed off flush with the corners. The front and top runs will then overlap slightly underneath and down the back where they are unlikely to be noticed after the metal corners are refitted.

Rightly or wrongly I elected to stick the buckram to the face of the frame only leaving the edge bellows run and the small tuck around the end of the frame until later. Time will tell if this was a good idea!

So here's the story from the top. I measured the width of the wooden bellows frame at 36mm and I wanted a 10mm overlap onto the bellows where they meet the frame and 4mm to tuck around the end edge of the frame which faces the action box. So four 50mm strips were cut across the 510mm width of the buckram as it would need two pieces to cover each end frame. At this point I decided not to attempt to stick the 50mm to three different faces at the same time, so starting at the chin end of the back of the bellows I pasted the back of the frame only. With assistance I then held a strip of 4mm ply against the edge of the frame and aligned the edge of the strip with that (this gave me the required 4mm wrap around the end of the frame). A pre-cut piece of scrap wood went onto the face of the tape and three spring clamps were applied. Turn the bellows through 90 degrees, paste the bottom run, align with ply again add scrap wood strip and two spring clamps. Repeat on the other bellows frame and leave overnight.

Next day trim off the excess buckram across the full 50mm width, flush with the corners of the wooden frame. Repeat the whole process on the top and front of the frames but this time when you trim off the excess leave a few millimeters to go around the corner and overlap the first piece to avoid any obvious cut edges on the corners. I used an 8mm overlap, most of the width of which is covered by the decorative metal corner pieces.

Last job was to cut the front and back corners and do the neat little tucks and miters where frame met bellows or end box. It was at this point that I noticed something rather odd and alarming, the turn down from the frame onto the bellows was noticeably narrower on one end and was nowhere near 10mm. I immediately cursed my lump-headed stupidity in obviously picking up the wrong piece of plywood to gauge the second frame overlap only to realise that there was only one thickness of scrap ply kicking about on the bench.  ??? Silly me, I should have measured the width of both frames then I would have known that the other frame was 37.5 mm wide not 36mm.  :o  There followed a short interlude when I completely lost touch with reality to be honest. The lineage and marital status of M.Hohner's forebear's was called into question and his skilled workforce were likened unto the less savoury parts of the human anatomy. Even now a small vein pulses in my left temple whenever I think about it.

Which paste did I use? Okay it's time to come clean, I didn't use bookbinder's paste because I wasn't about to spend several pounds to buy a tub of something I'm never going to use up. I used about a tablespoon full of ready mixed wallpaper paste for the whole job. The ready mixed stuff is starch based unlike the cellulose based stuff you buy in packets (with the notable exception of LAP, now owned and made by Polycell). Yes, wallpaper paste contains mould inhibitors and isn't archival quality but I have to express my doubts that Hohner ever used acid free card and paper to make bellows. The paste didn't work at all when I tried to stick the buckram overlaps down at the corners but a quick smear of PVA sorted that out in no time.

I hope that has answered your questions Christopher but do please ask again if my explanation isn't clear.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on March 27, 2014, 10:34:14 PM
Ah! Yes. But Polycell is cellulose based and will rot at about the same time you need to change your wallpaper  :'(
 Sellotape will do it in three months.
Copydex in two.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Christopher K. on March 28, 2014, 06:33:42 AM
Like crystal, thanks! The bit about measuring both sides will not be forgotten. Likewise the shim to square the edge.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 28, 2014, 08:47:25 AM
Ah! Yes. But Polycell is cellulose based and will rot at about the same time you need to change your wallpaper  :'(

Pay attention Nick! I said LAP which is old fashioned starch paste and the company is now owned by Polycell so it says Polycell LAP on the packet. That isn't what a used anyway, I used ready mixed starch paste from Brewers (a painting and decorating wholesalers) because I happened to have some.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on March 28, 2014, 10:06:00 AM
Doh!  :|bl
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 29, 2014, 07:47:30 PM
I'm now looking at the badly discoloured bits of metal work from the casing as I could now in theory refit the metal corners and the screws for the bellows clips. I've cleaned the corners up with a rotary brass wire brush (in a speed controlled hobby drill not a Dremel stye multi tool ta very much), years of grime have been removed but they are not the bright shiny things I'd like to see and the hooks that hold the bellows closed seem impervious to any form of cleaning.

So does anyone know anything about electro-plating in it's various forms (including the exciting sounding bronze or black plating), the likely cost of plating a couple of dozen small parts and do they really mean 'No Job Too Small'?

I took my wishlist of new fittings (nice shoulder straps, strap brackets, costalotti style bass strap with nice fixing plates to cover the ends, nice bellows straps, felt washers to fit under the buttons, new facing material for the pallets etc) to Charlie Marshall's online emporium. £85 for bits and I haven't even looked at the reed work yet, eek!

The reed work for this will go to Theo methinks, I don't fancy messing with the brass reeds and he did such a good job of tuning a brass reeded concertina for me a few years ago that I have great faith in the results. I could replace the valves myself I suppose but that might as well be done with the tuning as it will probably save Theo a lot of grief.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on March 29, 2014, 09:06:01 PM
Look on the net Pete,  there are several small firms who specialise in electro-plating. There main business comes from vehicle restorers. In the past I've had several bits of Phonograph pieces plated.
They will ask for a photo and size and give you a quote . Shouldn't be too expensive.
Sorry but I can't find any paperwork or info of the firm I used. They are usually, underneath the arches type outfits. And the stuff comes back as good as new. (:)
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Theo on March 29, 2014, 09:24:45 PM
Please please save yourself some case and don't plate the metalwork.  It is almost certainly mostly zinc, and would have been a Matt grey finish all it's life.  Bright new plate would be out of character.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Broadland Boy on March 29, 2014, 09:59:05 PM
Pete,

My single row of this pattern (other than it arrived with overtwanged curly brass reeds which yours seems to have escaped) had traces of Nickel plating over the rusty pressed steel hooks (probably tinplate considering the lithographed corners), having cleaned the hooks I bought some Nickel Plating solution on ebay, aimed at 'pen plating' the kits come with a power supply and a pen with sponge / cloth tip which holds the solution with a voltage applied between this and the job, have not yet done it but I had previously seen some small German toy steam engine bits replated by a friend using this method and they look good and seem to hold their plating even when subject to hot meths fumes.
I can't decide how to improve the Silver Medal Award writing which has faded and worn off badly, my penmanship is not good enough to redo but have been wondering if using some silver paint / ink in a draughting pen and adding numerous dots where the silver was would look OK if not closely inspected - some of the restored boxes in the Hohner book look 'over tarted' where this has been simply rewritten anew, I'd like to make it readable, not new.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 29, 2014, 11:33:10 PM
I wouldn't attempt to recreate anything that was so badly worn it was barely legible, I don't have the skill and we all have to draw the line somewhere! The corners on my bellows frames weren't lithographed nor do they extend to the full width of the wooden bellows frames. I really don't see myself going down the route of DIY plating kits so perhaps I'll just clean everything up as best I can and let it go at that.

Replacing the microscopic 'screws' that fixed the decorative plates on the treble grille in place will be problematic. These were really tiny and I spent ages with a  magnifying glass and a scalpel blade trying to clean out the slot to get the finest of my jeweller's screwdrivers in to remove them. Utterly defeated I gritted my teeth and dragged them out with sub-miniature end-nippers, I bit the head off one and the rest were bent beyond use. They were cheap, cropped off miniature nails with a slot painted on the top.  :o
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Broadland Boy on March 31, 2014, 12:29:12 AM
They were cheap, cropped off miniature nails with a slot painted on the top.  :o

ROFL  - Not encountered that one Pete but I'll own to similar breakage in a couple of watches when annoyance / impatience short circuited the 'check if left hand thread' subroutine   :-[
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on March 31, 2014, 10:41:28 PM
If the rain holds off tomorrow I'll take the bellows outdoors for a photo shoot. The cleaned up metal corners have been refitted to the bellows frames and look pleasantly agricultural without benefit of electro-plating.

I've been hiding the results of my labours for some time now haven't I? You might well ask why, so gather around quietly and I'll let you into a secret. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin . . .

It is an undeniable fact that if you cut a strip of MDF to just the right width and then pass it through an extended set of bellows it will prevent the bellows from closing. It is also an undeniable fact that a set of bellows thus extended makes the fitting of new bellows tape an absolute breeze! So far so good. When however it takes numerous lunchtimes to complete the task, and then you decide to leave them for a few days to dry out, well then a subtle change occurs and it isn't for the better! Remove the stretcher plank and the bellows shrink to a natural width of about 300mm or a foot for the metrically challenged; press them together and they will resist and spring straight back out again. Drop them on the floor and you will spend a few minutes chasing them around the workshop as they bounce Zebedee like around the room!

So the bellows have been under moderately heavy compression between two boards in a woodworker's vice for some days now. They whimper now and again, today the expansion was only about 30mm.  :|glug
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on April 02, 2014, 05:24:09 PM
That's better!

(http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk137/p_m_dunk/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/013_zps675afb15.jpg) (http://s279.photobucket.com/user/p_m_dunk/media/M%20Hohner%20B%20E/013_zps675afb15.jpg.html)
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on April 09, 2014, 07:39:50 PM
I'm now saving up a bit of cash to send the box off for tuning and to buy a full set of straps and other bits and bobs to finish the job off. I would have been happy to live with the existing finish on the casework if it only had the dings and scrapes found on older boxes but at some time it's come into contact with something that has left patches where the varnish is wrinkled and crazed which rather spoils it.

I'm struggling to find anything that gets close to the colour, I can find red mahogany but it's pretty dark compared to the present colour, does anyone have any ideas?
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: forrest on April 12, 2014, 08:18:57 PM
I'm now saving up a bit of cash to send the box off for tuning and to buy a full set of straps and other bits and bobs to finish the job off. I would have been happy to live with the existing finish on the casework if it only had the dings and scrapes found on older boxes but at some time it's come into contact with something that has left patches where the varnish is wrinkled and crazed which rather spoils it.

I'm struggling to find anything that gets close to the colour, I can find red mahogany but it's pretty dark compared to the present colour, does anyone have any ideas?

The box looks great, Pete! One trick worth trying as an experiment; get some 'burnishing cream', a type of very fine rubbing compound used by antique finishers to remove scratches and restore old finishes to a pleasant appearance. Try a small area that is rather inconspicuous, and see if you like the results. (Works well on metal and celluloid too!) Of course you will not be able to make it look as new as the bellows, but it can restore a bit of sheen to the finish and subdue the more problematic areas.
   I just returned from New York City where I was taken by my host to a highly esteemed vintage guitar shop. Many of the instruments were 50 yrs. and older, and many had finishes that would make your Hohner seem quite clean. They had price tags in the thousands of $'s. For what it's worth, even the makers of new instruments are offering models featuring finishes that are distressed, or "road-worn", so you would be right in fashion! Think Patina!  ;)
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Theo on April 12, 2014, 11:16:09 PM
Agreed, its all too easy to over-restore.
Another tip for restoring minor blemishes is to rub over with almond oil. That's a tip I was given by a violin repairer.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Kimric Smythe on April 13, 2014, 06:27:59 PM
I restored a similar instrument years ago. The finish on these seems to be shellac , and seems to polish nicely with automotive  "fine scratch remover"polish. The finish was worn off on one area and I used a watercolor marker that I bought at a art store to match the color, and then painted shellac over that.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: CSalyer on May 05, 2014, 07:16:03 PM
Please excuse a neophyte for an off topic interlude. I'll be brief.
I am a new owner of a lovely patina'd early Hohner honey pokerwork melodeon.
It is well used and needs tuning, so I'm looking for a good resource here in the buckle of the bible belt over here in the colonies.
I am trying to determine its tuning and via search, ended up on this thread. The side of the key/button board is marked B/Es.
It has the prominent B followed by the slash, then a prominent E, followed by a quite diminutive 's'.
I know it's a quite rare tuning...
Please advise,
Chris
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Theo on May 05, 2014, 07:23:49 PM
It is Bflat/Eflat.  A less common tuning for sure, but not rare.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: CSalyer on May 05, 2014, 09:30:38 PM
Thank you, Theo.
I've just become your 300th like on FB Box Place! I know, I know, that and a tuppence will get me...
Nevertheless, I appreciate such a timely reply.
Seems the best thing for me now is to get a nice D/G to start with and let this B/E remain a statically beautiful ornament for the time being.
Let me know if you do not concur,
Cheers,
Chris
P.S. I'm coming over to Blighty on the 23rd of May for a week or so. I know most will be away on bank holiday, but I'll be around London for the weekend before heading south to Poole, for the remainder of my stay.
If I were to send you some pics could you ball park a resto to playing condition? If so, what pics are the most relevant in your being able to make such a determination?
I just might bring it over in my hand luggage, and drop it straight away into the Royal Mail to you, depending of course upon your demands, bookings and schedule.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: malcolmbebb on May 05, 2014, 09:42:12 PM
When are you arriving at/leaving Poole? Sounds like you'll be arriving just as I leave for a couple of weeks?
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Theo on May 05, 2014, 10:01:05 PM
Bb/Eb is a great sounding pitch for a box.  You can play anything on it that you would play on a DG, it will just come out at a lower pitch and sound richer and more sonorous.

Arriving 23rd of May you might just catch the last couple of days of the melodeon building course in Yeovil - about an hours drive from Poole.  It is run by Emmanuel Pariselle, and I will be there doing the tuning.

Feel free to email me some photos.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on July 09, 2018, 07:27:46 PM
Having lain dormant for over four years, I dragged this old box back out of the store cupboard today. A new set of oversized bellows gaskets (3mm thick!) has made a vast improvement to the air tightness and I reckon it is time to bite the bullet, reface the pallets, replace the valves and go in search of leaks before the tricky tuning (BRASS REEDS!!) process. Wish me luck chaps, I'm going in.  8)
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: John MacKenzie (Cugiok) on July 09, 2018, 08:14:40 PM
I too have a B/E, and as has been said, good keys for those of us who try to sing while playing.

Sir John
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Theo on July 11, 2018, 07:05:08 AM
[[ADMIN]]

Off topic posts removed. Please carry on with the original topic.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on July 11, 2018, 04:05:55 PM
Pallets off and a trial fit to make sure I have enough material to reface them, plenty! Now to clean them up and stick them to the felt/leather sandwich.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: John MacKenzie (Cugiok) on July 11, 2018, 04:07:59 PM
Glue on the felt side ;)  >:E >:E

SJ
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on July 11, 2018, 04:16:38 PM
I will glue on the felt side. The box look a little odd with no pallets in.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: tom f on July 11, 2018, 09:54:10 PM
Did you have any trouble getting the screws out of the pallets?
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on July 11, 2018, 10:45:40 PM
No, not at all. They are tiny and in some cases I needed snipe-nosed pliers to recover them from the bass end where the rods get in your way and meaty fingers won't fit but the screws moved easily enough despite the rusty appearance.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on July 13, 2018, 07:34:29 PM
Refacing the pallets went well, the original facings were leather, possibly chamoise although they were a darkish milk chocolate brown. I think they must have been original because they more or less disintegrated when I tried to peal them off and a light rub on 80 grit paper finished the job off very quickly.

I don't think I've really considered how old this box actually is, do we know when the M.Hohner name was dropped in favour of just Hohner? The Club 1 had deep bellows frames like this one has, was that the last Hohner model with this feature?

After removing the single screw from the pallets they had to be twisted slightly to free them from the lever arm, there were remnants of a substance that had been used to stick the pallet to the tip of the arm which may have been hide glue but I rather suspect it was a bit of shellac as it crumbled away easily. When I refitted them the central screw proved to be insufficient on its own to keep the pallet steady and prevent it from twisting around. A dab of hot melt glue on the tip of the arm will do the trick although getting in to the bass pallets may be a bit of a challenge.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: John MacKenzie (Cugiok) on July 13, 2018, 07:40:17 PM
I'd be tempted to use wax rather than glue, but that's just a thought, not a suggestion.

SJ
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on July 13, 2018, 08:44:24 PM
Yes, wax is also an option and my paintbrush style waxing spoon can get into pretty tight places. That's probably the best idea, ta!
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Steve_freereeder on July 14, 2018, 12:15:52 AM
...A dab of hot melt glue on the tip of the arm will do the trick although getting in to the bass pallets may be a bit of a challenge.
I've always found it's been possible to manoeuvre the tip of the hot-melt glue through the bass-end action rods to fix the pallets on to the arms. The rods are flexible enough to get out of the way.

Alternatively you could use the old-style linen or leather disk method which is glued on to the pallet over the end of the pallet arm. (Use hide glue or gum arabic, or dilute PVA)
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on July 16, 2018, 09:58:51 PM
I managed to guide the tip of the hot melt glue gun through the gauntlet of bass end rods as you suggested Steve. I also learned to limit the amount of hot melt glue dispensed by dragging the glue stick back from the gun and using the hot tip to distribute the glue evenly. Onward and upward a little at a time, thanks for the tip!
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: John MacKenzie (Cugiok) on July 17, 2018, 09:23:46 AM
Glueing pallets like that seems awfully final. How on earth do you refurbish them another time, should the need arise?

SJ
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Steve_freereeder on July 17, 2018, 10:01:42 AM
Glueing pallets like that seems awfully final. How on earth do you refurbish them another time, should the need arise?

Pallets secured with hot melt glue are relatively easy to remove should the need arise. A narrow steel scraper (an old screw-driver blade will do) warmed briefly in a gas flame will soften the glue, and with the aid of a blunt knife and/or tweezers, the glue can be peeled off.

It helps if not too much hot melt glue has been used in the first place.  ;)
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Theo on July 17, 2018, 10:46:28 AM
It’s even simpler than that Steve.  Hot melt glue peels off easily. Just make sure you only apply it *after* placing the lever in the slot on top of the pallet.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Steve_freereeder on July 17, 2018, 02:37:10 PM
It’s even simpler than that Steve.  Hot melt glue peels off easily. Just make sure you only apply it *after* placing the lever in the slot on top of the pallet.
Indeed, especially if the hot melt glue is relatively fresh. Heating with a warm scraper or old screw driver blade is useful if the glue is old and somewhat hardened which seems to happen after a few years.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on July 17, 2018, 08:22:49 PM
Glueing pallets like that seems awfully final. How on earth do you refurbish them another time, should the need arise?

SJ

John, you need to experiment with a hot glue gun, this is a substance like no other you have encountered before. First of all you should realise there are lots of different glue sticks available and I have experience of just the one, the general purpose hot melt glue stick. This is a non-aggressive adhesive that relies on flowing into every nook and cranny of the material it is applied to and it works more by suction than actually sticking to anything, so first and foremost it is a forgiving and flexible joint that will allow movement, secondly it will relinquish its' grip easily and without damage with the application of a little heat or a small amount of force.
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: John MacKenzie (Cugiok) on July 17, 2018, 09:26:22 PM
Thanks Pete. Yes I have one, but never found a way of delivery a small measured amount exactly where it's required. I use scrim, good quality stiffened scrim, that i cut into little oblongs, and use that to glue pallets to arms. I did try punching out 10 mm discs, so it would be like the original linen discs, but it's too fiddly, and my way works just as well. I thought to try using wax, but my wax pot doesn't heat the wax up enough for it to penetrate into the slot on the pallet. For that I think the wax needs to be smoking hot (Just)

SJ
Title: Re: M Hohner B/E
Post by: Pete Dunk on July 18, 2018, 10:02:15 PM
I use a small egg poaching pan to melt wax, there is no thermostatic control, it's wild and woolly and you just have to pull the pan off the heat when everything gets too hot. No science here, just rule of thumb and the devil takes the hindmost!