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Discussions => Instrument Design, Construction and Repair => Topic started by: mselic on July 28, 2018, 01:56:26 PM

Title: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: mselic on July 28, 2018, 01:56:26 PM
I've taken on a rather ambitious project (for me), of restoring an old Hohner HA114 that is in good cosmetic and functioning condition, but which has rusty reeds that are wildly out of tune.  The valves are plastic and seem in perfect condition, the wax is old but 'ok', so I'm assuming the reason the reeds went so far out of tune is because of the rust?  Does that make sense?  The MM+ reeds are so far out of tune that my tuner begins to register them as nearly a semitone lower than they should be.  The L and H reeds are closer in tune but still off.  The bass side is perfect.  Here is what I'm thinking of doing, in order of operation:

-remove all the reeds from the wax.
-remove all old wax.
-try and remove the rust from the reeds with sandpaper glued to a stick? Or a very fine grit (400) file?  If using sandpaper, what grit would be appropriate for removing rust?  Open to suggestions here...have been reading up on old posts to try and get a consensus on best practice.
-once rust has been removed, should I attempt a rough tuning outside of the box using a set of bellows rigged up to test individual reedplates?  I imagine the removal of rust will have changed the tuning yet further.  As it currently is, most of the reeds are flat and would require raising pitch by filing the reed tip.  This step of tuning is where I'm most unclear; if I will need to sharpen reeds a fair bit, it makes sense to do it outside the box, as I won't be able to have access to reed tips of the smaller, underside reeds.  On a box such as this, with glued-down blocks, it makes it even trickier.  Suggestions, please!
-re-wax reeds back into box. Now, how do people successfully wax between and at the base of the MM reeds that are facing each other on a HA114 with very little room?!  Tips, tricks?
-final tuning inside box.  Again, with smaller, underside reeds, the only way I could see sharpening them is removing the plates to reach the tips each time I wish to tune.  I suppose one could go a little farther than needed and then flatten them once in place?
-play newly fettled box with joy! This one's in A!! 

Thanks :)
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: triskel on July 28, 2018, 02:15:31 PM
... I'm assuming the reason the reeds went so far out of tune is because of the rust?  Does that make sense?

Yes, TOTALLLY! Rust will do that... 

Quote
-try and remove the rust from the reeds with sandpaper glued to a stick? Or a very fine grit (400) file?  If using sandpaper, what grit would be appropriate for removing rust?  Open to suggestions here...have been reading up on old posts to try and get a consensus on best practice.

I'd use small screwdriver blades of the right width to scrape the rust off the blued backs of the reeds, followed by wire wool. On the tops I'd gently use my (tuning) saw file - but that's on concertinas, where the individual reeds are more accessible.

Quote
-once rust has been removed, should I attempt a rough tuning outside of the box using a set of bellows rigged up to test individual reedplates?

Absolutely!
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Lester on July 28, 2018, 04:02:54 PM
To remove rust from the accessible side of the reed I use these Sanding Pens (https://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-detail-sanding-pen-kit-410218), on the inside I find that the tip of a scalpel with remove the rust with a little perseverance. 

For tuning I use external bellows to rough tune with the reeds mounted on a spare Hohner block, this seems to enable the reeds to be tuned reasonably accurately thus only needing minimal fine tuning once rewaxed in the box.

For refitting the reeds my method is to apply a bead of wax to the bottom of the reed outside the box and then quickly fit in in place I the wax the top and sides. This system seems to work OK on the 1 rows I have fixed and I have had no complaints.
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: gettabettabox on July 28, 2018, 05:53:00 PM
I think I’ve mentioned this before on melnet, but the good thing about mastering such work on a HA114 is that, thereafter, you will be able to paint your hallway through your front door letterbox.
 (:)  ;)
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Chris Rayner on July 28, 2018, 08:49:46 PM
I think I’ve mentioned this before on melnet, but the good thing about mastering such work on a HA114 is that, thereafter, you will be able to paint your hallway through your front door letterbox.
 (:)  ;)

Many years ago I was told by a rather saucy midwife that this is the fringe benefit enjoyed by gynaecologists.
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Grumpy on July 28, 2018, 08:53:57 PM
Just a bit OTT but an air eraser (available on ebay) used with an airbrush compressor can remove rust from both sides of the reed without (in the case of concertinas) having to remove the reed blade. Its a bit messy and should only be performed with the reed removed and if possible in the open air. These erasers (a mini sandblaster) are a great bit of kit and can clean jewellery, coins and many small items, can also be used to engrave glass.
Also, after a moment of insperation ( decline to say where!) I found that the concertina type plastic drain cleaner can have a disc of MDF clamped in the mouth with another plate of MDF outside and a mounting made to hold a single reed for tuning (two shamfered strips of brass for English concertina reeds) alongside of a hole covered with an old leather valve to allow the bellows to breath in. A cheap but highly functional tuning bellows.
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Theo on July 28, 2018, 09:25:16 PM
I think the sandblaster would be very likely to damage the softer aluminium of the reed plate, especially at the edges of the reed vent.  For good reed function it is important that there is a clean square edge where the reed tongue and the reed plate are next to each other.  Anyway sandblasting, even on a very small scale, seems to be unnecessary complex and very nessy way of tackling a simple cleaning task. 

A very effective way to clean the top reed surface is to use a abrasive rubber polishing block (https://www.cooksongold.com/Jewellery-Tools/-Range=Polishing_Materials/-Size=0/-Type=Abrasive_Blocks/-Brand=0/-Font=0/&prdsearch=y&show=N). These are cheap, effective, relativly mess free and last for ages.

For cleaning the underside of the reed a small flat blade screwdriver makes a very efficient scraper.  It is handy to have a couple of different sizes for different size reeds.
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Pete Dunk on July 29, 2018, 10:32:30 AM
I keep looking at ultrasonic cleaning baths, would they work for rust removal?
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Lester on July 29, 2018, 10:33:05 AM
I keep looking at ultrasonic cleaning baths, would they work for rust removal?

I have one that doesn't
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: GPS on July 29, 2018, 10:47:23 AM
I keep looking at ultrasonic cleaning baths, would they work for rust removal?

I have one that doesn't

So have I.
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Grumpy on July 29, 2018, 11:09:52 AM
Fully agree with Theo but I'm using 380 abrasive  in a very highly accurate jet, I feel this poses far less risk to the reed (or plate) than attempting to rub the reed  blade with an abrasive rubber. However, as always Theo is the experienced expert, melmeters should, if in any doubt take his advice at all times
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: mselic on July 29, 2018, 02:38:01 PM
Thanks, everyone. So far I’ve used a sanding block which has been removing all the rust in seconds. I will try a small, flat-headed screwdriver for the underside of reeds.
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Theo on July 29, 2018, 03:32:48 PM
I have found that using the abrasive rubber is a very simple and safe and quick process.  The reed tongue has to be supported of course, and it is safest to only rub away from the rivet to avoid getting the rubber caught on the tip of the reed tongue.

Fully agree with Theo but I'm using 380 abrasive  in a very highly accurate jet, I feel this poses far less risk to the reed (or plate) than attempting to rub the reed  blade with an abrasive rubber.

And where does all the abrasive grit end up?  It must get blown around, along with the muck off the reed.   Do you have some sort of booth to work in that collects the used grit?   Do you use a face mask to avoid inhaling the dust?  And in what sense is the blast jet accurate?

However, as always Theo is the experienced expert, melmeters should, if in any doubt take his advice at all times

Experienced yes, but what is an expert? 

I'm always looking for better ways to do things.  I didn't always use the abrasive rubber, but its the best I have found so far.  In the past I have scraped with various edged tools which I found slow and not very thorough. I've used a fibreglass scratch pen, but it has the drawback of putting very nasty fibreglass fragments into the air which needs precautions to avoid inhaling.  Very occasionally loose fibres can also get lodged in the gap between reed and plate. So I rarely use that method now.  I've tried ultrasonic bath, but as others have already said its not effective for removing heavy deposits.  It does do a very good job of removing fine debris from the reed gap, especially down near the rivet where such stuff can cause tuning problems.  I have also tried using chelating agents such as Evaporust which are actually surprisingly good at removing heavy deposits of rust but are quite slow.

So the word expert is not very helpful in this context.  Describing me thus seems to suggest that I have the best answers and others are not worth considering.   That's the last thing I want to do.  I've learned a range of skills by experience, trial and error and being critical of myself.  So when an new idea comes up i'm usually keen to give it a try, but at the same time I have a very skeptical view of methods that seem overly complicated when simple methods seem to work well.  Hence my questioning of the merits of sandblasting to clean reeds. 
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Grumpy on July 29, 2018, 05:22:07 PM
Just to clarify Theo, no I do not have a booth for the air eraser, I use the garden and open air, yes I do use a mask. To put the issue in context to de-rust 48 concertina reeds I have used less than a quarter ounce of abrasive (less than a table spoon). The tool was purchased many years back for other uses, it is capable of removing a pencil line from paper without damaging the paper surface, its jet can be restricted to less than 0.5mm. If you Theo ever get to the swamps of Surrey you would be more than welcome to call in and have a play.
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: mselic on July 29, 2018, 05:31:22 PM
After looking at Theo’s photo of the rubber block, I realized that that is exactly the product that I used, only I called it a ‘sanding block’. It works very well.
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Jan Pentz on August 04, 2018, 03:52:08 PM
Old Hohner HA114C conversion......I had the glued down reed blocks converted to the more modern removable reed blocks......one heck of a job but now it's easier to tune and service the reeds.......Why Hohner glued down the reed blocks for so many years is beyond me......it made these wonderful HA-114s throwaways.......Maybe they thought it would mean more sales......idiots. This is one of the best sounding 4-stop there is....now if it gets cranky it can be tuned/serviced.....
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Jan Pentz on August 04, 2018, 04:13:05 PM
Here is another view. Those familiar with the inside of the treble side of an HA-114 will see the difference....
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: tirpous on August 04, 2018, 04:38:53 PM
There is a liquid product called Evapo-Rust that works fairly well for rust removal.
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: GPS on August 04, 2018, 04:50:05 PM
Old Hohner HA114C conversion......I had the glued down reed blocks converted to the more modern removable reed blocks......one heck of a job but now it's easier to tune and service the reeds.......Why Hohner glued down the reed blocks for so many years is beyond me......it made these wonderful HA-114s throwaways.......Maybe they thought it would mean more sales......idiots. This is one of the best sounding 4-stop there is....now if it gets cranky it can be tuned/serviced.....

I'd be interested if anyone has any practical advice on doing this conversion: the HA113 I'm (on and off!) working on has had its glued-in blocks torn out by some vandal in the past, and as I'm faced with a complete block rebuild anyway.......

Graham
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Theo on August 04, 2018, 05:14:06 PM
Waxinv and tuning onto fixed blocks is more difficult than on removable blicks, but it’s not as difficult as taking out glued in blocks!
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Jan Pentz on August 04, 2018, 05:18:47 PM
My Accordion Guru had never worked on one of these....his specialty is piano and Slovenian button boxes. He was appalled at the way the reed blocks were glued right to the sound board....he removed the sound board section and replaced it, first making a template of where the holes were....then he glued in the new section. Then he made a reed block like modern cajun and Ericas have and installed it with keepers so they can be removed for servicing.......He was actually horrified that Hohner would make a high priced accordion in this cheap down and dirty way.......Frankly I've seen many old accordions that though mounted horizontally, you could still remove the reed blocks.....I guess Hohner is the "Gibson" of the accordion world.......they have a leading edge and then shoot themselves in the foot.........
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Winston Smith on August 04, 2018, 05:37:26 PM
"Why Hohner glued down the reed blocks for so many years is beyond me"

Not that I pretend to any particular expertise, but I would have thought that introducing a "soft" joint of any sort between the blocks and the fondo would change the solidness of the reed mounting and therefore the sound that the reed makes. By "soft" I mean a gasket or any other type of seal which is not as rigid as a hard glue.
I should think that the only gasket which would be suitable (to retain, and possibly even improve upon, the rigidity afforded by a hard glue) would be something like a sunken neoprene "O" ring around every hole, but that might require more evenly spaced clamping, and the extra cost of machining etc would probably end up making it prohibitive.
Mind you; the possibility of air loss via the register slides verses air loss at the block mounting face, might obviate the need for gaskets, as long as the two surfaces are reasonably flat and well clamped?
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: triskel on August 04, 2018, 06:21:04 PM
My Accordion Guru had never worked on one of these....his specialty is piano and Slovenian button boxes. He was appalled at the way the reed blocks were glued right to the sound board....he removed the sound board section and replaced it, first making a template of where the holes were....then he glued in the new section. Then he made a reed block like modern cajun and Ericas have and installed it with keepers so they can be removed for servicing.......He was actually horrified that Hohner would make a high priced accordion in this cheap down and dirty way.......Frankly I've seen many old accordions that though mounted horizontally, you could still remove the reed blocks.....I guess Hohner is the "Gibson" of the accordion world.......they have a leading edge and then shoot themselves in the foot.........

Then I'm sorry to say that I'm appalled at your accordion guru's lack of knowledge about traditional German accordion/Deutsche Harmonika/melodeon construction.

I'd think Hohner's big mistake in the design of the 114 was to change to building the instrument with two upright blocks, instead of using the traditional glued-in flat ones either side of a glued-in central upright one, and THAT is how Cajun accordions are still made, including the very best of them like the Marc Savoy "Acadian" in my photo:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/002_1.jpg)

Indeed if I was going to modify the blocks in a 114, it would be to that configuration, and glue them in.

You get much the best response and volume with reedblocks that are glued to the soundboard/fondo, as they are also in my single-row, 2-voice, "pepperpot-grille" Paolo Soprani:

1953-54 Paolo Soprani 10-key "pepperpot" (https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152705858048155)
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: malcolmbebb on August 04, 2018, 06:47:35 PM
It's a recurring question, and I don't know where the original design came from. But I think Hohner were very commercially minded.

1) Hohner didn't have a service organisation AFAIK. So the difficulty of repair didn't hurt them.
2) How long before the average box needed rework? Ten years? More? So again, it didn't hurt the factory.
3) Many of the competitors' boxes were throwaway - so if Hohners lasted a bit longer, that was a plus.
4) Hohner could probably sell all the boxes they could make for many years. Why reduce profit/increase cost on a (probably) fairly low volume box when customers didn't seem to care?
5) Maybe they knew that 80% of their production would end up in an attic within 5 years?  ;D ;D

To Hohner, these were just a commodity they were selling. No misty eyes over their products. Mass production. Cheapest materials to do the job. Avoid costly design changes unless sales made it necessary. Buy up your competitors. If the customer doesn't care, don't change it. 

I work for a big multinational company. Hohner were doing then what we are trained to do now.

Maybe the real question is why they bothered to keep removeable reed blocks in this range?
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Jan Pentz on August 04, 2018, 07:05:15 PM
I don't mean to offend anyone......but for those of us who have trouble finding HA-114's in any condition, having them impossible to fix/tune is frustrating.....What he did was mount the reed blocks as they would be in a 4 voice Piano Accordion. Piano Accordions are made to be serviced.......That's all......I guess I wonder why the two worlds are so far apart. BTW, he placed leather under the wooden reed blocks like they did years ago.......the sound is fantastic.....
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Jan Pentz on August 04, 2018, 07:21:45 PM
BTW.....this is how the reed blocks are mounted in the newer Hohner Cajun VI and, I would imagine the same, in the Hohner Ariette ......
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Winston Smith on August 04, 2018, 07:28:46 PM
"the sound is fantastic"

I'm sure it is! (And whether any of us could tell the difference, I don't know. But I'm sure there must be one.)
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: GPS on August 04, 2018, 08:25:07 PM
H'mm......  I don't really want to have to make a whole new soundfondobasethingyboard (we really should have a generally accepted term for this bit of a box!), but on the other hand reconstructing the old glued-in blocks is going to be a challenge as it seems all the timber is present, but while most of it's intact but unattached to the instrument, some's still glued into the box and a few bits are knocking around loose. And of course some bits may turn out to be totally absent!  Clearly the proper thing to do is to attempt to rebuild it as Hohner intended, but it'll be a pig of a job. Still, it'll keep me off the streets.......

Graham
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: triskel on August 04, 2018, 08:50:47 PM
1) Hohner didn't have a service organisation AFAIK. So the difficulty of repair didn't hurt them.

On the contrary, in London (at least) they are said to have survived WW2 with a only a Managing Director and a Repairman, carrying out repairs and selling refurbished instruments, whilst in later years Willi Dannecker was Service Manager at Coldharbour Lane (where I visited him a few times in the '70s) and they had an accordion Service Dept. at Aycliffe Trading Estate, Co. Durham.
 
Quote
To Hohner, these were just a commodity they were selling. ... Avoid costly design changes unless sales made it necessary. ... If the customer doesn't care, don't change it.

Though changing to two upright blocks was itself a design change. 

Quote
Maybe the real question is why they bothered to keep removeable reed blocks in this range?

Perhaps because it was traditional in 2-row Vienna accordions, though flat glued-in blocks were often used in single-row Vienna ones, and produce a more "fiery" sound...
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: triskel on August 04, 2018, 09:07:50 PM
BTW.....this is how the reed blocks are mounted in the newer Hohner Cajun VI and, I would imagine the same, in the Hohner Ariette ......

Yes, but just because Hohner choose (for the sake of expediency, and sales) to describe those instruments as "Cajun" doesn't make them so - ask a Cajun...

Genuine Cajun accordions, made by hand in Louisiana, are copied from the best old German designs of a century and more ago, not simplified more-recent models.
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: triskel on August 04, 2018, 09:18:07 PM
... for those of us who have trouble finding HA-114's in any condition, having them impossible to fix/tune is frustrating ...

There are lots of tuners/repairers/fettlers (call them what you will) who have learnt techniques to fix/tune Hohner 114s, many of them being users of this forum. It's not impossible.

Though it would certainly be easier for them if Hohner had stuck to the old, traditional design that they used to use - similar to the "Acadian" in my photo.

This is how they used to do it, in my (large size) "Grand Prix Philadelphia 1926" Hohner 4-stop D melodeon:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/007_3.jpg)

Edited to add photo
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Theo on August 04, 2018, 09:46:46 PM

There are lots of tuners/repairers/fettlers (call them what you will) who have learnt techniques to fix/tune Hohner 114s, many of them being users of this forum. It's not impossible.

I’m one of those.  As I said earlier in this topic, it’s not impossible, just a little more difficult.  I’ve successfully overhauled many of them without taking out the reed blocks.
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Nick Collis Bird on August 05, 2018, 07:49:46 AM
Triskel. Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought it was Bell Accordions at Aycliffe trading estate in Co Durham.
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: GPS on August 05, 2018, 09:39:15 AM
Triskel. Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought it was Bell Accordions at Aycliffe trading estate in Co Durham.

You're quite right, Nick. Is it possible Bell's undertook work for Hohner?
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: triskel on August 05, 2018, 01:48:16 PM
Triskel. Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought it was Bell Accordions at Aycliffe trading estate in Co Durham.

You're quite right, Nick. Is it possible Bell's undertook work for Hohner?

Like we've said before:

Interesting,  there is more than I knew to the history of accordion repair in Darlington!

There's an intriguing history to be researched and written up there, going back to the old Hagstrom factory that was set up in Darlington after WW2, and involving Bell's, Hohner, [Rolston Accordions, Geoff Holter,] and the only accordion bellows making facility in the UK...

Whilst the full address given by Hohner was:
Hohner Service Dept.,
c/o Bell Musical Instruments Ltd.,
Leaside North,
Aycliffe Trading Estate,
Nr. Darlington,
Co. Durham
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: GPS on August 05, 2018, 03:14:21 PM
Ah, all is revealed!  Thanks for that clarification.
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: triskel on August 06, 2018, 01:41:11 PM
Triskel. Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought it was Bell Accordions at Aycliffe trading estate in Co Durham.

You're quite right, Nick. Is it possible Bell's undertook work for Hohner?

Except that the shoe was really on the other foot - Bell's was actually OWNED by Hohner by then (1970s):

Quote from: https://www.broadwayguitars.co.uk/bell-musical-instruments
... after Arthur Bell’s death in 1961, the company were taken over by the German company, Hohner. Hohner took over the production of accordians but continued to sell under the Bell label, which was well-respected and well-established.
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: pgroff on August 06, 2018, 03:16:43 PM


I'd think Hohner's big mistake in the design of the 114 was to change to building the instrument with two upright blocks, instead of using the traditional glued-in flat ones either side of a glued-in central upright one, and THAT is how Cajun accordions are still made, including the very best of them like the Marc Savoy "Acadian" in my photo:

(http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/StephenChambers/Accordions/002_1.jpg)

Indeed if I was going to modify the blocks in a 114, it would be to that configuration, and glue them in.

You get much the best response and volume with reedblocks that are glued to the soundboard/fondo, as they are also in my single-row, 2-voice, "pepperpot-grille" Paolo Soprani:

1953-54 Paolo Soprani 10-key "pepperpot" (https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152705858048155)

A compromise would be to have 2 A-frame reedblocks, each accommodating 2 voices, and glue in one of them, but with the other block removable and clamped in.

That approach is found in some MM 2 row boxes (but would also work for a 1 row, 4 voice box). It allows one reedblock (2 sets of reeds) to be tuned on the tuning bellows, and also allows good access to the other 2 sets of reeds mounted on the block that's glued in (when the other block is removed).  The glued-in block will often have a more powerful sound (depending on where its pallets open), which might be good for the piccolo reeds.

I agree that having all blocks glued in is a great idea for tone!  Having said that, I'm sure triskel will agree that the Baldoni & Walters 1-row boxes can also sound great with easily-removable (and easily-serviced) melody reedblocks.

PG
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: gettabettabox on August 06, 2018, 10:40:52 PM
HA113 in D with one removeable block only, the low octave set. The reedblock with two middle reedsets remains glued in place, but is easily accessible with the neighbouring block removed.
This would work with a HA114 as well.
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: mselic on August 06, 2018, 11:18:05 PM
HA113 in D with one removeable block only, the low octave set. The reedblock with two middle reedsets remains glued in place, but is easily accessible with the neighbouring block removed.
This would work with a HA114 as well.

The challenge to this approach is usually the initial removal of the glued-down reedblock. I got lucky once and the glue on one of the blocks had already given away and the block came free without any tearing of wood. The components that house the sliders are made from very thin plywood  and would be very easy to damage. Even with removable blocks on a HA114, getting the slider assembly back into the reedblock could be tricky.
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: mselic on August 06, 2018, 11:20:31 PM
Also, in regards to my original query, I can report back that I used both a rubber sanding block and small, flat screwdriver with excellent results.
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: triskel on August 12, 2018, 11:23:17 PM
I agree that having all blocks glued in is a great idea for tone!  Having said that, I'm sure triskel will agree that the Baldoni & Walters 1-row boxes can also sound great with easily-removable (and easily-serviced) melody reedblocks.

Indeed so, but they're not made in the German tradition, and have six or eight sets of reeds that give them a richer sound, especially on the (typically four) middle reeds - my old Baldoni had those tuned + & - 15, and +23 cents!

The old ones were also made with aluminium soundboards, and there's a thought - if you're going to move away from Hohner construction and modify a 114 to make the reedblocks clamped-in instead of glued, and need to make a new sounboard to achieve that, why not make it an aluminium one? >:E
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: pgroff on August 13, 2018, 12:45:47 AM
I agree that having all blocks glued in is a great idea for tone!  Having said that, I'm sure triskel will agree that the Baldoni & Walters 1-row boxes can also sound great with easily-removable (and easily-serviced) melody reedblocks.

Indeed so, but they're not made in the German tradition, and have six or eight sets of reeds that give them a richer sound, especially on the (typically four) middle reeds - my old Baldoni had those tuned + & - 15, and +23 cents!

The old ones were also made with aluminium soundboards, and there's a thought - if you're going to move away from Hohner construction and modify a 114 to make the reedblocks clamped-in instead of glued, and need to make a new sounboard to achieve that, why not make it an aluminium one? >:E

I've thought of doing something like that with a Hohner Terzett, which is built into a box similar to a 1040 Vienna-style 1-row, but has 2 A-frame reedblocks on the melody side for 4 voices per button, (although the stock layout is that these 4 voices are harmonizing, making up chords, rather than double octave  + tremelo tuned as with a LMMH HA114) and has 1 stop.

PG
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: mselic on August 17, 2018, 05:40:58 AM
Reeds are all cleaned, valved, tuned and waxed back into place - the box sounds great!  Just a couple of questions...

1) I've adjusted the gap how I like it (as low as possible without choking), but what I've noticed is the odd Low/Bassoon note that chokes when played hard.  Would this suggest the gap is set too low? Right now, they speak without hesitation under normal pressure. Some of the lower notes have a weighted tip, and I'm really not sure how to properly set those.

2) I'm assuming this box hadn't been opened in a very long time; it took all my might and some persuading to get the bellows pins out as they were quite rusty and wouldn't budge.  I went to remove the plastic keyboard, but one of the screws holding the keyboard on would only turn about half a turn and then there was resistance.  The head also rotated a bit funny in place.The last time I forced a keyboard screw in one of these, the darn thing snapped off in place and it took many hours of work to get it out and a new thread tapped.  I want to avoid this at all costs!  Right now, I can leave the keyboard on, but I'd like to be able to get it off so that I can drill out the thumbstrap rivets and replace it with something better.  Any suggestions on how to approach this difficult screw and still be able to get the keyboard back on afterwards?

3) In the past, I've removed the pallets from the lever arms in order to replace the felt/leather, but the old glue would occasionally pull some of the pallet wood with it.  Any suggestions on how to do this a little more cleanly?
Title: Re: refurbishing 4-stop with rusty reeds
Post by: Theo on August 17, 2018, 06:48:01 AM
1)   the weighted reeds need a much larger gap.  Just increase the gap until the reed no longer chokes at your highest playing pressure.

2) Heat will sometimes help.  Use a hot soldering iron applied to the head of the screw for a minute or two.  Try the screw in both directions over the half turn that it moves. That can help to loosen things.

3) Hot soldering iron can help here too, to soften the glue.  Also run a sharp knife down each side of the lever to partially cut through the glue.  Then the pallet should come away without damage.