Melodeon.net Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Welcome to the new melodeon.net forum

Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: Bellows Tape Question (updated)  (Read 5081 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Baron Collins-Hill

  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 229
  • Maine, USA
Bellows Tape Question (updated)
« on: January 20, 2015, 12:13:00 AM »

I am wondering the best plan of action for some minor wear to the bellows tape on a box I just bought. The bellows are tight and none of the wear spots are letting in any air, but I want to keep those spots from getting any worse or starting to wear through the card stock. Should I buy some special bellows tape and glue, or would some electrical tape do the trick?

I am attaching some (probably overly magnified) photos I took

Thanks,
Baron
« Last Edit: February 04, 2015, 04:32:51 PM by Baron Collins-Hill »
Logged
D/G/Acc Castagnari Big 18 (full Dutch reversals)
Mandolin & Tenor Guitarist: Velocipede
Free Online Mandolin Lessons: MandoLessons

AirTime

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 979
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2015, 01:41:53 AM »

Any tape will protect the worn areas from further wear, but electrical tape is a particularly bad choice as it leaves a sticky mess behind. Better to get proper bellows tape - it's easy enough to put on.
Logged
1920's BbEb Hohner; 1920's  AD Koch; 1910 (?) One-row Hohner in D,  1910's GCB Maga Ercole; ; AD 1950's Pistelli, CF Sandpiper, CF Preciosa, BbEb Preciosa.

Baron Collins-Hill

  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 229
  • Maine, USA
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2015, 03:02:54 AM »

Thanks for the advice, AirTime. What sort of glue should I use with the bellows tape? Do I need to take off the old tape just where it is worn or the whole strip, or just add another layer on top? Any tips for things I am surely not thinking of?

I don't mind too much about looks, would rather patch it and have it look a little off than pull off the whole strip and mess up putting on the new one, but will look in to it if that's really what I ought to do.

Thanks,
Baron
Logged
D/G/Acc Castagnari Big 18 (full Dutch reversals)
Mandolin & Tenor Guitarist: Velocipede
Free Online Mandolin Lessons: MandoLessons

Kimric Smythe

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 529
    • Smythe's Accordion Center
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2015, 05:58:59 AM »

Hide glue or White glue works well.
 I found folding and putting a crease in the tape length makes it easier to apply. Hitting it with a hair dryer for a few seconds after applying helps get it to stay down.
Logged
Smythe's Accordion Center
Oakland, California
Fixing broken stuff since 1997

AirTime

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 979
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2015, 07:06:03 AM »

Quote
Do I need to take off the old tape just where it is worn or the whole strip, or just add another layer on top? Any tips for things I am surely not thinking of?

As Kimric suggests, I have used white glue. Fold it first, then smooth it on firmly & it should stay in place. Wipe off any excess glue. The tricky part is removing the old tape. Some people believe you should always remove all the old tape. Personally, with your box, I wouldn't bother to remove the old tape, but would just apply a length to the areas that are worn. The rest of the bellows tape will wear very little - the area that is already worn will likely wear again over time, at which point you can remove the layer of tape you added & re-patch it.
Logged
1920's BbEb Hohner; 1920's  AD Koch; 1910 (?) One-row Hohner in D,  1910's GCB Maga Ercole; ; AD 1950's Pistelli, CF Sandpiper, CF Preciosa, BbEb Preciosa.

Nick Collis Bird

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3711
  • Been squeezing melodeons for over 48 years (badly)
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2015, 08:01:50 AM »

All the above answers are correct, but you really should remove the old tape. If you tape over the original, you will create a swell and it will be difficult to close the bellows straps.
Logged
Has anyone heard of the song. “ Broken Alarm-clock Blues” ? It starts   “I woke up this Afternoon”

Steve_freereeder

  • Grumpy old git (sometimes)
  • Content Manager
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6463
  • MAD is inevitable. Keep Calm and Carry On
    • Lizzie Dripping
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2015, 09:12:27 AM »

All the above answers are correct, but you really should remove the old tape. If you tape over the original, you will create a swell and it will be difficult to close the bellows straps.

Nick is correct in some ways. But there is a balance to be found here involving practicality, necessity and aesthetics. We are discussing a modern, working instrument here, not restoring a valuable museum piece or antique.

Removing old tape:
Yes ideally, but it is an absolute pain to remove old bellows tape and replace the lot with new. With the minimal degree and location of wear shown in the photos, I think it is overkill to remove all the bellows tape, even from just the folds affected. Most of it looks perfectly good and therefore not necessary to remove it. With careful matching of new bellows tape colour and texture (it often has a one-way grain), it should be possible to just patch over the worn portions and it would hardly show at all.

'Creating a swell':
This is something to be aware of, but is only really of importance when lots of tape is being replaced. When patching small areas, as in this case, there is sufficient give and flexibility in the bellows folds to accommodate the extra thickness and it is unlikely to cause a problem closing the bellows straps.

If the old tape is a bit loose in the worn sections and seems to be easily removeable, it could be worth carefully lifting a small length of old tape and cutting off squarely with a sharp blade (care needed not to damage the underlying bellows card or leather gussets!). Then replacement tape patches could be applied flush.

Glue:
White PVA glue is the stuff, as others have mentioned. It is possible to obtain PVA glue which has a tackiness, which is useful in this situation. Clear contact adhesive, such as Bostik Clear is also useful for fixing small patches. The bond also remains slightly flexible which is possibly an advantage.

Bellows tape:
Get the proper stuff to match your instrument. Charlie Marshall has a good selection here.

Electrical/insulating/freezer tape? No - never!
Logged
Steve
Sheffield, UK.
www.lizziedripping.org.uk

Theo

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11564
  • Hohner Club Too
    • The Box Place
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2015, 09:31:29 AM »

With the number of worn folds on the lower photo (I count 10) you will definitely have problems fastening the bellows straps if you add new tape on top of the old, unless your bellows straps are loose. The extra thickness is particularly problematic when it is over the metal corners as this is the thickest part.   Its usually not difficult to remove old bellows tape.  The only exception is some Hohner bellows where the tape is paper and the glue is stronger than the tape.  With modern cloth tape like yours it will usually pull off in one piece.
Logged
Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

Proprietor of The Box Place for melodeon and concertina sales and service.
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for stock updates.

Nick Collis Bird

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3711
  • Been squeezing melodeons for over 48 years (badly)
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2015, 09:52:20 AM »

Steve has a very good point about grain direction.
See my website here.
http://www.collisbirdandwithey.co.uk/paper-grain-direction
Logged
Has anyone heard of the song. “ Broken Alarm-clock Blues” ? It starts   “I woke up this Afternoon”

Nick Collis Bird

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3711
  • Been squeezing melodeons for over 48 years (badly)
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2015, 01:10:18 PM »

Good point, but silicone release paper is better. Well worth a google
Logged
Has anyone heard of the song. “ Broken Alarm-clock Blues” ? It starts   “I woke up this Afternoon”

TedK

  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 121
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2015, 01:30:27 PM »

I have to admit I found removing tape to be a real struggle.

I've done it twice (on Hohners- but both older models). Each time I started off with the intention of replacing full strips and doing a neat job, but when I tried to removing the old tape it would not pull off neatly and started tearing off pieces of the surrounding coloured bellows surface. Both times I eventually got scared I would ruin the bellows and ended up doing a patch-up job!

I tried wetting the bellows tape in preparation, but this just seemed to make the bellows tape break up rather than tearing off in long strip, and didn't really help with the tearing issue.

Is there any way to make the process easier, or is this problem just inevitable with Hohners?
Logged

Lester

  • MADman
  • Mods and volunteers
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8113
  • Hohners'R'me
    • Lester's Melodeon Emporium and Tune-a-Rama
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2015, 01:38:10 PM »

I have to admit I found removing tape to be a real struggle.

I've done it twice (on Hohners- but both older models). Each time I started off with the intention of replacing full strips and doing a neat job, but when I tried to removing the old tape it would not pull off neatly and started tearing off pieces of the surrounding coloured bellows surface. Both times I eventually got scared I would ruin the bellows and ended up doing a patch-up job!

I tried wetting the bellows tape in preparation, but this just seemed to make the bellows tape break up rather than tearing off in long strip, and didn't really help with the tearing issue.

Is there any way to make the process easier, or is this problem just inevitable with Hohners?

It is a job I hate, loath and despise but also one that comes through the door of the workshop regularly (Just finished stripping a set of pokerwork bellows yesterday). I do it this way, I use a scalpel to remove the gold part of the tape, you can usually pick at the ends near the metal bellows corners and then peel off the gold stuff. Then I give the remaining paper/glue a good dampening and leave for ~15 mins after which it can usually be easily removed  by rubbing with a finger tip. 

Lars

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 639
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2015, 01:45:13 PM »

I think wetting the bellows tape (or any other part of the bellows) is a bad idea - moisture is hard to control, and you don't want the wrong parts of the bellows soggy or prone to developing mold of any sort. I know some folks do it (like Lester here just said a minute ago), but I would not risk it to my own bellows - I'd rather use a little more patience.

Hohner bellows are made in many different combinations of paper-tape, cloth-tape, different glues etc. A certain vintage were made with glue that breaks free with time, and sometimes just falls off. Others need patience, and lots of it.

I find that having a small tool (such as a knife with only a very small sharp edge) is good for prying off the ends, to allow for a bit long enough for my fingers to hold on to. I would not use a regular knife, as you need to have absolute control over the blade so you won't risk tearing the wrong part of the bellows. I don't cut with the knife, I don't scrape with the knife, I just pry it under the tape, and use it to help lift up the ends.

On some italian made accordions from the 30's I have found that the tape is almost impossible to get off in the middle. In that case, I have sometimes had to use 80-grit sandpaper to take off a small bit of the old tape, and roughen up the surface to accept new tape. This will however require a good wipe-down with a cloth (or some compressed air from a proper distance) to remove any dust or old bits before attempting to apply new strips.
Logged

Nick Collis Bird

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3711
  • Been squeezing melodeons for over 48 years (badly)
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2015, 02:29:37 PM »

Dampening can be controlled as Lester says. Just don't chuck buckets of water at it. A little dampening and PATIENCE is the key. I used this method for removing ex-Libris stickers from books. The main thing is just waiting.
  I really do despair for restorers in the future who will have to contend with a range of non soluble glues !
By the way, if you are dampening something, damp the whole area. This will stop any local staining.
Logged
Has anyone heard of the song. “ Broken Alarm-clock Blues” ? It starts   “I woke up this Afternoon”

diatonix

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 471
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2015, 02:34:16 PM »

I always use a suitable tuning wedge to remove old bellows tape.
There is absolutely no point in glueing new tape on top of the old one, and not only for aesthetic reasons: The glue will simply not stick well to the coated side of the tape.
Erica bellows are by far and away the worst to de-tape. It's some sort of coated paper, and my advice would be to try and scrape away most of the (glue un-friendly) coating before glueing new tape on top of it.
Logged

Theo

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11564
  • Hohner Club Too
    • The Box Place
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2015, 02:39:59 PM »

I think we can all agree on one thing.  Replacing bellows tape is the most unpopular job in accordion/melodeon repairing! :(
Logged
Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

Proprietor of The Box Place for melodeon and concertina sales and service.
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for stock updates.

GPS

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3149
  • MAD as a wet Hohner........
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2015, 03:19:00 PM »

I think we can all agree on one thing.  Replacing bellows tape is the most unpopular job in accordion/melodeon repairing! :(

Indeed - but also one of the earliest most of us have a go at when we first dip a toe into the deep waters of melodeon repair, refurbishment and restoration, because it looks so straightforward and the need for it is generally pretty obvious. It also provides great satisfaction and high returns in terms of improvement to the instrument against financial investment. Investment in time, stress and frustration is another matter! I now usually use a very carefully wielded scalpel with a 10A blade for most of the removal; quite often the old tape will strip off quite happily in one or two pieces once one end is loosened.

Graham
Logged
Among others, Saltarelle Pastourelle II D/G; Hohner 4-stop 1-rows in C & G; assorted Hohners; 3-voice German (?) G/C of uncertain parentage; lovely little Hlavacek 1-row Heligonka; B♭/E♭ Koch. Newly acquired G/C Hohner Viktoria. Also Fender Jazz bass, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Epiphone Sheraton, Charvel-Jackson 00-style acoustic guitar and other stuff..........

Squeezing in the Cyprus sunshine

Baron Collins-Hill

  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 229
  • Maine, USA
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2015, 03:58:08 PM »

Thanks for all the thought, everybody!

Next question is, any idea what having someone else do the job for me would run? At some point in the next couple of months I'm hoping to get the box in to the button box in Massachusetts for a light tune up and maybe a note swapped around, and wonder if it makes more sense to let them have a go at it and save me some frustration and time. That said, if it is a relatively expensive job compared, I could probably just do it myself.

Thanks!
Baron
Logged
D/G/Acc Castagnari Big 18 (full Dutch reversals)
Mandolin & Tenor Guitarist: Velocipede
Free Online Mandolin Lessons: MandoLessons

GPS

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3149
  • MAD as a wet Hohner........
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2015, 05:06:42 PM »

It's certainly a very do-able DIY job; just a little more time-consuming and tedious than you might initially think!
Logged
Among others, Saltarelle Pastourelle II D/G; Hohner 4-stop 1-rows in C & G; assorted Hohners; 3-voice German (?) G/C of uncertain parentage; lovely little Hlavacek 1-row Heligonka; B♭/E♭ Koch. Newly acquired G/C Hohner Viktoria. Also Fender Jazz bass, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Epiphone Sheraton, Charvel-Jackson 00-style acoustic guitar and other stuff..........

Squeezing in the Cyprus sunshine

Rob2Hook

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2028
  • Castagnaris, Hohners & Baffetti
Re: Bellows Tape Question
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2015, 05:12:57 PM »

I should imagine the job is mind numbiungly tedious and worse - you can buy new bellows for what it should realistically cost!

Rob.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
 


Melodeon.net - (c) Theo Gibb; Clive Williams 2010. The access and use of this website and forum featuring these terms and conditions constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal