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Discussions => Instrument Design, Construction and Repair => Topic started by: Vallenato831 on May 31, 2018, 12:22:13 AM

Title: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on May 31, 2018, 12:22:13 AM
I'm having some air issues on a box I recently acquired.   The bellows are very tight, that is not the problem.  The problem I'm having is when I press certains buttons the notes play along with an annoying air sound.  This is on a Hohner Corona III.  The problem occurs mostly with the inner row, mainly buttons 4 to 10, pressing in and out.  But all rows you can hear it very slightly, but much more noticeable with the inner row.  Any ideas on what it can be?
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Tiposx on May 31, 2018, 06:41:33 AM
Reed block not properly seated/ sealed, or warped.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Winston Smith on May 31, 2018, 06:50:25 AM
Being something of a natural pessimist, I thought of the fondo/soundboard/whatever not being properly flat. Hopefully it is just the block not seated correctly, though.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: GPS on May 31, 2018, 09:25:40 AM
If it's warped reedblocks (as it was on my Club II) it's a fairly easy fix. If it's a gasket it's a breeze. If it's a warped soundboard you're in for some work.....    Best of luck!

Graham
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Theo on May 31, 2018, 09:36:49 AM
If it is a warped fondo I have some suggestions.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: diatonix on May 31, 2018, 01:58:52 PM
Maybe it's just a reed block holder/screw which needs tightening.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on May 31, 2018, 02:26:24 PM
What is a fondo?  And what is a soundboard exactly?  I checked the reedblocks, and they all seem tightly secured, down.  Havent checked if they're warped.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Theo on May 31, 2018, 02:32:12 PM
Two names for the same thing— the board that the reed blocks are attached to,  and on the other side the pallets.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on May 31, 2018, 02:33:42 PM
Two names for the same thing— the board that the reed blocks are attached to,  and on the other side the pallets.

Ok got it.  So first thing to do is remove all reedblocks and lay them on a flat surface to check if they're warped? 
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on May 31, 2018, 02:51:07 PM
This first one that corresponds to the inner row seems to be flat.  (3 missing reeds dude to the type of tuning)



Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Theo on May 31, 2018, 03:00:57 PM
Ouch!  those reeds look as if they have had a hard life!

It's not clear from the photo but I think I can see a gap under that block.  Also a table top may not be a sufficiently accurate flat surface.  If the block is correctly fitted in the instrument you can check for a gap with a strip of paper.   Take a strip of paper 10 to 20mm wide.  Take out all of the treble reed blocks.  Lay the paper across the place where the reed block will fit so it is at right angles to the length of the block.  Put one block in place on top of the paper and fasten the clamping screw.  If you can pull the paper out you have a gap and air will leak.  Do the same thing for each reed block.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on May 31, 2018, 03:23:55 PM
Ouch!  those reeds look as if they have had a hard life!

It's not clear from the photo but I think I can see a gap under that block.  Also a table top may not be a sufficiently accurate flat surface.  If the block is correctly fitted in the instrument you can check for a gap with a strip of paper.   Take a strip of paper 10 to 20mm wide.  Take out all of the treble reed blocks.  Lay the paper across the place where the reed block will fit so it is at right angles to the length of the block.  Put one block in place on top of the paper and fasten the clamping screw.  If you can pull the paper out you have a gap and air will leak.  Do the same thing for each reed block.

I'll try that when I get back from work.  The more I played it, it seems the notes that have missing reed plates is the cause.  The holes underneath those missing plates must have a tiny whole where air gets through? 
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on May 31, 2018, 03:29:53 PM
Whats the fix for a warped reedblock?   That could very well be the issue.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Winston Smith on May 31, 2018, 03:33:05 PM
"The holes underneath those missing plates must have a tiny whole where air gets through? "

But the pallets on the other side of the hole in the fondo should stop that.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Rees on May 31, 2018, 04:21:06 PM
"The holes underneath those missing plates must have a tiny whole where air gets through? "

But the pallets on the other side of the hole in the fondo should stop that.

Not if that particular pallet is being played.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Tiposx on May 31, 2018, 04:24:34 PM
Oh dear that reed block is a real mess! It looks like a rebuild is needed ie missing reeds replaced, re-valve, re-wax, gaps set and blocks repaired as needed.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Winston Smith on May 31, 2018, 04:56:54 PM
Aaaah! That would be supposing that the other blocks still have the reeds in them? I didn't reckon on that, Mr Wesson.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on May 31, 2018, 05:39:47 PM
I'm quite upset at the condition of the reed blocks.  The reeds itself sound beautiful.  The tuning was done great.  But the job on the blocks looks a bit messy  >:(
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: GPS on May 31, 2018, 08:20:27 PM
Whats the fix for a warped reedblock?   That could very well be the issue.

There's more than one way to skin a rabbit, but my fix was as follows:  clean off all traces of old gaskets etc; I then glued a shim of lime (aka linden/basswood) on to the base of the reedblock. When completely dry I  brought the base of the block back to its original thickness using a belt sander. I used a scalpel to open out the holes that had been covered by the wood shim.  A final clean-up with very fine abrasive paper and a soft brush, a new gasket (suitable material available from Charlie Marshall), and Bob's your father's brother.  OK, I have the advantage of some woodworking machinery and a supply of well-seasoned lime, but the job could be done more slowly but equally well with simple hand tools and a piece of reasonably thick glass with abrasive paper stuck on to it to level the shimmed block.  You could use very thin ply (try your local model shops, who will generally stock plywood down to 0.6mm) for the shim.

Hope this helps

Graham
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on May 31, 2018, 09:18:38 PM
Ouch!  those reeds look as if they have had a hard life!

It's not clear from the photo but I think I can see a gap under that block.  Also a table top may not be a sufficiently accurate flat surface.  If the block is correctly fitted in the instrument you can check for a gap with a strip of paper.   Take a strip of paper 10 to 20mm wide.  Take out all of the treble reed blocks.  Lay the paper across the place where the reed block will fit so it is at right angles to the length of the block.  Put one block in place on top of the paper and fasten the clamping screw.  If you can pull the paper out you have a gap and air will leak.  Do the same thing for each reed block.

Just tried this with the most inner block.  The paper was tight, however I was able to slide it out, but took some effort, didnt slide out easy.  Took 2 good tugs. 
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Grape Ape on May 31, 2018, 09:35:25 PM
Please tell is it isn’t the blue corona you had restored??
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on May 31, 2018, 09:39:07 PM
UPDATE: I put those reed blocks in another 70's box I have and am getting the same air issue.  So I'm certain the problem is with the reed blocks, but not sure what.  Could be the reeds? 
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on May 31, 2018, 09:42:09 PM
Please tell is it isn’t the blue corona you had restored??

Sad to say, it is.  Everything else is great about the box, but that air noise is annoying. 
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on May 31, 2018, 10:38:28 PM
Ok, I think I have narrowed it down to 3 issues, but probably all 3 are contributing. 

1.  Warped reed blocks, cant 100% confirm, but possible.
2.  The edge of the last reed block is only half there.  So the clamp cant get a good enough grip to secure it down super tight.  (see photo).
3.  The screw that clamps down the 2nd to last reed block, doesnt tighten all the way.  It goes all the way down, and keeps spinning. While that block is secured, its not absolutely tight.   So the hole where the screw goes in is probably shot? 

How can I fix issue #2?  Would buying a slightly thicker screw work for issue #3?  As for fixing a warped reedblock, thats beyond my talent.  Hoping fixing #2 and #3 can get it done. 



Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Henry Piper on May 31, 2018, 10:41:05 PM
Please tell is it isn’t the blue corona you had restored??

Sad to say, it is.  Everything else is great about the box, but that air noise is annoying.


I'm afraid that if a set of reeds came back from a fettler allegedly after tuning in that state they would be going straight back …..looks like the work of a rank amateur !!! >:( >:(
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: MarioP on May 31, 2018, 10:54:06 PM
Dude they didn’t use enough wax on those reeds man even with that tiny picture you posted.
My advise would be to stop using the same dude for your reed work.

Perhaps he didn’t make it clear reed work is not included or if you see lots of wax in the box perhaps it melted or got cracked?

If I was you I’d try just waxing but the reeds do seem kinda beat from here..
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Theo on May 31, 2018, 11:04:22 PM
Ok, I think I have narrowed it down to 3 issues, but probably all 3 are contributing. 

1.  Warped reed blocks, cant 100% confirm, but possible.
2.  The edge of the last reed block is only half there.  So the clamp cant get a good enough grip to secure it down super tight.  (see photo).
3.  The screw that clamps down the 2nd to last reed block, doesnt tighten all the way.  It goes all the way down, and keeps spinning. While that block is secured, its not absolutely tight.   So the hole where the screw goes in is probably shot? 

How can I fix issue #2?  Would buying a slightly thicker screw work for issue #3?  As for fixing a warped reedblock, thats beyond my talent.  Hoping fixing #2 and #3 can get it done.

No 2 to fix this you should cut away the damaged wood and glue a fresh block of wood in place that is slightly larger. Use good quality wood glue.
No 3 to fix the screws they are not gripping you can fill the holes with wood glued in and then drill a new pilot hole of the correct size. The screws in the picture are already larger than the original screws.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: MarioP on May 31, 2018, 11:17:04 PM
Seriously if you get the button of the reeds waxed up better and between the reeds you’d be getting no air sounds. That reed block picture you posted that has the metal barely touching the reedblock I can see that one having air issues if you do it in as low motion or mark the location where the holes are and then lay it on again make sure those are lining up correctly before fighting the screw that holds it down tight. I still I’m working on my own tunning table just to troubleshoot when it’s a reedblock issue or a bellows issue so far it’s helping with that and then I add wax to the ones that gimme airy sound like it’s and it’s back to normal ..
I’m not home now but I got a sample here https://youtu.be/yg4bn0uCHhU

Again stay away from the dude he’s bad news don’t trust him with your box..
I’ll put a vid together on how to wax it yourself with my play doh clay technique no need for burning wax unless you want to...

Update
Just for the giggles and if you want to go the extra mile I put another cheap fix and insulating in case your box still leaks from the gaskets or even strap holders holes etc: https://youtu.be/Bq5GwMAIQaA
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on June 02, 2018, 05:59:27 PM
UPDATE:   I managed to fix the hole, and the chipped away wood part.  Still has an air leak.  100% sure the issue is with the reeds or reed block itself, but having a hard time narrowing it down. 

To confirm my suspicions I put another set of reedblocks in the problem accordion, and 0 air leak.  So for 100% sure that the issue is reeds/reedblock.

Any ideas?  Just warped blocks and light on the wax?  Any other possibilities? 
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: malcolmbebb on June 02, 2018, 06:27:35 PM
For clarity, is the air noise present all the time that the reed is sounding, or until it sounds?

Secondly, from a rather blown up extract of the photo, one reed appears to have a corner missing. Is that just a trick of teh light?
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Theo on June 02, 2018, 06:31:30 PM
My opinion - all the reeds need to be taken off the blocks, all the horrible old wax removed from the reeds and the blocks,  then the reeds can be properly fitted to the blocks. Anything less is a temporary fix.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on June 02, 2018, 06:42:54 PM
For clarity, is the air noise present all the time that the reed is sounding, or until it sounds?

Secondly, from a rather blown up extract of the photo, one reed appears to have a corner missing. Is that just a trick of teh light?

The air sounds while playing the note, almost like background noise.  But very audible.  I'm not sure if the reed is missing a corner, i'll have to open her up again.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on June 02, 2018, 06:45:02 PM
Here is missing reed wax I found.  This is on the first button plate.

Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Lester on June 02, 2018, 06:48:16 PM
Here is missing reed wax I found.  This is on the first button plate.

The valve is shot as well.

I'm with Theo, take the reeds off the blocks, clean up the reeds and blocks, revalve where needed, rewax with more care, and I expect most of the problems will disappear.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Theo on June 02, 2018, 07:03:01 PM
And clean the rust off the reeds too, though that will mean you need to retune as well.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Henry Piper on June 02, 2018, 07:50:58 PM
In a previous post Vallenato said that the box was being "Fine Tuned"  I would think rather than try to fix it himself he should take the matter up with the person who did the "Fine Tuning" the workmanship is clearly not of the standard one would expect of a reliable fettler, and although final sound is something of a personal taste, the sound clip he posted did not sound very attractive (at least to my ears). however good the cabinet work is, the whole job seems to have been let down by unsatisfactory reedwork.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: invadm on June 02, 2018, 07:59:54 PM
if you still cant fix the problem after all, I have 2 full sets of corona II wooden block- empty no reeds- I'll send you set.
I also have a gcf blocks with reeds on them but mostly mixed up- might be a good sours for spare reeds for some one...you see mel net is a good network anything is possible :||:
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: MarioP on June 02, 2018, 11:37:40 PM
Dude I see glue being used also instead of wax on those close ups of the gaps you found which is obvious that’s where the leaks are coming from I agree with the above comments to redo the whole thing BUat if short in time filling the gaps would make those air noises go away as other commented already the craftsmanship isn’t all there but the rush on this job is all there...

*update* heavy on the reeds wax :D

coil technique sample: (If you ain't shareing your technique you can't comment :D)
http://anyitsolution.com/preciosareeds.jpg
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on June 03, 2018, 05:14:14 PM
In a previous post Vallenato said that the box was being "Fine Tuned"  I would think rather than try to fix it himself he should take the matter up with the person who did the "Fine Tuning" the workmanship is clearly not of the standard one would expect of a reliable fettler, and although final sound is something of a personal taste, the sound clip he posted did not sound very attractive (at least to my ears). however good the cabinet work is, the whole job seems to have been let down by unsatisfactory reedwork.

The tuning is MMH on this set of reeds, C#F#B.  I opened up a Paypal dispute.  I told the seller that I'd take the box and have an estimate on what it costs to fix it, and he'll have to refund that amount.  But I'm guessing to rewax and fix the valves is going to be pricey?  Any clue on how much, rough estimate?  If its too much, I'm just going to have to send the box back.  Such a PITA, sending it from USA to South America. 
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on June 03, 2018, 05:15:40 PM
Thank you all for your feedback and help!  A great community! 
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on June 03, 2018, 05:30:03 PM
Also, would it be ok to share this thread with Paypal so they can see that the problem is indeed major?  As I'm sure the representatives at Paypal are not experts with accordions. 
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on June 03, 2018, 05:36:10 PM
For clarity, is the air noise present all the time that the reed is sounding, or until it sounds?

Secondly, from a rather blown up extract of the photo, one reed appears to have a corner missing. Is that just a trick of teh light?

I'm playing it now to analyze the issue.  On certain buttons, the sound of air sounds first then the note, air before note maybe a few milliseconds prior. 
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Kimric Smythe on June 03, 2018, 06:04:02 PM
Looking at the pics I would say that a lot of the problem is reed gapping (the space between the plate and the red tip), and also some rough tuning work possibly taking a bit too much off the tips of the reeds leaving places where the air can get by.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Steve_freereeder on June 03, 2018, 07:43:44 PM
coil technique sample: (If you ain't shareing your technique you can't comment :D)
http://anyitsolution.com/preciosareeds.jpg

That's just too much wax, and messily applied - just softened and finger-pushed into place, judging by some of the fingerprints visible.
(a) it doesn't look as if all the wax is air-tight anyway; I can see a few gaps along the long edges of some of the reed plates.
(b) you are creating future problems for yourself, if and when you need to remove individual reed plates e.g. for replacing valves. I can foresee the wax 'ropes' coming loose on neighbouring reed plates.
(c) the excessive wax above the level of the reed plates will make it difficult to use reed tuning tools (e.g. files and reed lifters/steadys) without getting them messed up in the wax.
(d) it looks as if a few of the valves are curled and need replacing anyway.
 :(
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Steve_freereeder on June 03, 2018, 07:55:32 PM
The tuning is MMH on this set of reeds, C#F#B.  I opened up a Paypal dispute.  I told the seller that I'd take the box and have an estimate on what it costs to fix it, and he'll have to refund that amount.  But I'm guessing to rewax and fix the valves is going to be pricey?  Any clue on how much, rough estimate?  If its too much, I'm just going to have to send the box back.  Such a PITA, sending it from USA to South America.

Having seen the state of the reeds and the reed blocks, my feeling would be to cut your losses and abandon them completely. The photos show that quite a few of the existing reeds are in poor or damaged condition.

At the very least, buy new reeds and if you don't feel able to do the work yourself, get someone in the USA to fit and tune them properly. You've made such a splendid job on the casework and action, it seems a real shame to carry on trying to use such bad reeds and reed blocks.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: MarioP on June 03, 2018, 09:17:48 PM
coil technique sample: (If you ain't shareing your technique you can't comment :D)
http://anyitsolution.com/preciosareeds.jpg

That's just too much wax, and messily applied - just softened and finger-pushed into place, judging by some of the fingerprints visible.
(a) it doesn't look as if all the wax is air-tight anyway; I can see a few gaps along the long edges of some of the reed plates.
(b) you are creating future problems for yourself, if and when you need to remove individual reed plates e.g. for replacing valves. I can foresee the wax 'ropes' coming loose on neighbouring reed plates.
(c) the excessive wax above the level of the reed plates will make it difficult to use reed tuning tools (e.g. files and reed lifters/steadys) without getting them messed up in the wax.
(d) it looks as if a few of the valves are curled and need replacing anyway.
 :(

Thanks for the heads up the reeds came in loose so that’s just to hold them while I place them in the right place to hear how bad they were they’re not totally bad for a 30s instrument. I am already looking at some reed valves but didn’t want to take over this post so I’ll stop here ... and I already pm vallenato as well ...
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: Vallenato831 on June 05, 2018, 02:24:33 PM
Update:  I received a partial refund for the box.  Not quite the amount I wanted, but pretty close.  I went for the partial refund instead of returning the whole box.  The shipping from USA to South America would have been a headache,not the price, but ensuring that the box makes its final destination which is a bit rural. 

When time permits I'm going to get the blocks rewaxed and serviced.  Thank you all for the help! 
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: diatonix on June 05, 2018, 02:45:46 PM

coil technique sample: (If you ain't shareing your technique you can't comment :D)
http://anyitsolution.com/preciosareeds.jpg

I wouldn't call it "technique".
"Vandalism" is a better description.
Title: Re: Air Issue
Post by: MarioP on June 06, 2018, 11:09:30 AM
Diatonix  :||: not all of us have been blessed as you my friend  >:E

Vallenato try to enjoy it buddy and consult Juan Carlos “El Aleman” perhaps he feels pity for us way outside of the land that lives and breaths acordeón day and night but still stay true to our roots ..