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Author Topic: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds  (Read 5420 times)

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Palle

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electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« on: March 08, 2016, 09:05:25 PM »

Hello. I would like to find an electric tool to use with tuning reeds. Please, will any in here help with the right choice, and maybe where I can find it?
Regards
Palle
P.S. Sorry for my bad english!
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forrest

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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2016, 09:35:05 PM »

Hello. I would like to find an electric tool to use with tuning reeds. Please, will any in here help with the right choice, and maybe where I can find it?
Regards
Palle
P.S. Sorry for my bad english!

Hello Palle....It is my view, and perhaps that of many others, that tuning reeds with an electric rotary grinding tool is probably equivalent to shaving with a chainsaw. There are many discussions about this on the forum. Tuning by hand with files and scratchers is still the accepted standard for most tuners, even with all the other gadgets currently available. I have seen the result of "dremel" tuning, and what I see is gashed and damaged reeds, reeds with the tongues ground so thin that they cannot hold a true tone, and must really be replaced.
  If you are intending to tune your Hagstroem, it might be best to learn to use the files and scratcher. I recommend that you look at the videos from Diatonix of this parish for an excellent introduction to tuning, waxing and other tasks.
  We are very fortunate to have these instructions along with the helpful advise from Theo, Martyn, and other professionals on this forum who are quite willing to share their knowledge in order to keep us "in tune"              :||: ;D :|||:
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 09:47:16 PM by forrest »
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Lester

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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2016, 10:03:17 PM »

Wot he said. Spent an unhappy couple of hours making the best of some dermeled reeds only today.

Theo

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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2016, 10:12:41 PM »

Yes, get some good quality small fine files, and a scratcher.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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robotmay

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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2016, 10:22:42 PM »

Are there any files you'd recommend? I'm planning to make a scratcher from a drill bit, but I don't think I've come across any recommended brands/suppliers for the files.

Theo

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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2016, 10:32:21 PM »

Vallorbe saw files from Axminster tools are reasonably priced and reasonably good quality.  They vary a bit in quality, I've had some that struggle with reed steel, but the batch I ordered recently are good.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2016, 10:50:42 PM »

Ah nice, I have an Axminster 5 minutes away now so I might go and see if they have any in stock. What shape of files are the most useful ones? I see diatonix is using a fairly large square file in the video forrest linked. The specifically labelled 'saw files' on Axminster only seem to be in stock in a 'double extra slim' size at the moment.

Theo

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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2016, 11:11:08 PM »

It's personal preference to some extent.  I like the slim or extra slim, I find the double extra slim a bit too small. But for the smallest reeds it can be handy to have something even smaller, and with finer teeth.  You can also make sandpaper files with 600 grit wet and dry glued onto a suitable base.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2016, 11:14:03 PM »

I use these for the v small reeds and all sorts of other tasks

http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-detail-sanding-pen-kit-410218

Lars

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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2016, 01:18:58 AM »

Above posts summarised from one dane to another in danish:

Hej Palle,

En elektrisk sliber til at stemme harmonikastemmer med er generelt en dårlig idé af flere grunde. Du risikerer meget nemt at tage for meget materiale af stemmetungen, og der skal virkelig ikke særlig meget til før stemmen begynder at reagere langsomt eller ligefrem tage skade af det. Hvis man ikke er meget stabil på hånden kan man gøre mere skade end gavn, og man har ikke så meget føling med værktøjet, som hvis man arbejder i hånden. Desuden tager det noget tid at få sådan en roterende sliber op i fart og stoppet igen, så det er ikke fordi man sparer tid ved at bruge sådan en.
Som alle de andre har kommenteret her i tråden, så er det bedre at bruge en lille, fin fil, hvad vi kalder en nålefil på dansk. Du kan købe dem i specialforretninger, eller på http://www.anku.dk/shop/div-file-475c1.html
Du skal gå efter en lille fil, og helst i hugning #2. Jeg har brugt deres trekantede nålefile, og fundet at det er de bedste ud af de mange forskellige slags jeg har prøvet til harmonikastemning.
Som Theo kommenterer, så kan man til de allermindste stemmer også lave sine egne slibe-pinde, ved at lime sandpapir korn 600 på en lille træpind.
Naturligvis er der mange andre aspekter som også er vigtige, såsom at støtte stemmen når man filer på den, at file i den rigtige vinkel på stemmen så det bliver ensartet på hele bredden, at finde en god skraber hvis stemmen skal sænkes i tone, og hele den kunstart det er, at få stemmen til at sidde helt rigtigt i sprækken inden man overhovedet begynder at stemme på den.

Det er nemt at gøre mere skade end gavn, og den generelle holdning er, at det er absolut bedst at arbejde i hånden med en kvalitetsfil. Alle anbefalinger peger på at holde sig langt væk fra elektriske slibere til stemning af harmonikaer, og jeg kan kun bakke op omkring dette.

//Lars
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Matthew B

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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2016, 01:52:48 AM »

Above posts summarised from one dane to another in danish:

Awesome!
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melodeon

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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2016, 03:06:28 AM »

Shall I tell you how many Cajun made accordeons I have found to have been tuned with electric tools and grinding burrs.
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triskel

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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2016, 05:02:48 AM »

I've just finished tuning a Lachenal concertina that somebody had tuned up using some kind of grinding bit (possibly before WW2 seeing that it was in High Pitch), after somebody (else?) had tuned it down using a big, coarse file. I'm astonished how well I managed to get it playing after all that, but (in a perfect world) it could really do with a whole new set of reeds...  :(

The grinding bit must have been used from the right, and the tips of some (especially the higher) reeds have been badly gouged by the grinding. Don't use them!

On Steve Dickinson's recommendation (many years ago) and because they're what I can get, I've always used Oberg or Nicholson saw files.
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malcolmbebb

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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2016, 08:05:19 AM »

I don't think there is actually anything wrong with using power tools, and I have seen professionals do so both in the flesh and on video, mostly on accordions.
If you're tuning modern boxes and can replace any reeds you trash, it can save time.
The key thing is that you have to be good at it.

The ethos here is quite different, where people are often talking about older boxes where the reeds are no longer made, or newer boxes where getting one off reeds is hard. There is also more emphasis on craftsmanship against just doing it for a living. As has been pointed out, you can also wreck reeds a lot faster with power tools.
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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2016, 09:03:54 AM »

I use a dremnal for a lot of my work, small and easy to use.
 :||:
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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2016, 09:17:11 AM »

I'm not a big fan of handheld power tools in any situation where total and precise control is needed. Be they routers or drills, they seem to run away when I least want it, so anything powered on reeds is strictly out-of-bounds for me personally.

I use Vallorbe files of various sizes and shapes, and one I find especially useful is a flat one but with the filing surfaces slightly curved end to end. The other tool I really like is a diamond-tipped scriber, originally used for marking fibre-optic cables.

I can't always work in the same place, so I keep my tools in clear plastic boxes. I was taught in engineering to never jumble up bare files in a box or drawer to rub against each other, as this can ruin them, so I make cardboard scabbards for them. Of course, that's not a problem if you have a workshop where your files can stand up separately in a drilled hardwood block or similar.


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Theo

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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2016, 09:50:58 AM »

I don't think there is actually anything wrong with using power tools,

You have not seen some of the reed butchery that I have!  Not saying you cant wreck reeds with a file, but power tools do it more efficiently.

Having said that my main reason for preferring hand tools for tuning is that I find it quicker.  I might make half a dozen or more light strokes with a scratcher in the final stage of tuning.  I can do that very quickly and easily with a hand scratcher.  With a power tool I would have to wait every time for the motor to stop before I could check the tuning.  It only takes a few seconds to stop each time, but it adds up to a lot of time over the course of tuning a whole box.
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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2016, 10:08:17 AM »

Hello. I would like to find an electric tool to use with tuning reeds. Please, will any in here help with the right choice, and maybe where I can find it?
Regards
Palle
P.S. Sorry for my bad english!

Just in case you haven't been persuaded out of this

http://www.dremel-direct.com/acatalog/copy_of_copy_of_Dremel_7700_Cordless.html
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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2016, 10:20:53 AM »

I use needle files obtainable for under £5 from just about anywhere. I read somewhere that you need a new file after about three boxes, coz they do go blunt (they certainly do). The pointy needle files also make good scratchers. You can also snap off the end of the smallest round needle file to make a scratcher. I have one of Charlie Marshall's bigger files for big mother reeds.
Having said that I know Paul Flannery, who does all the tuning and set up for The Music Room in Cleckheaton, England, and that includes the Binci Reed/Oakwood tuning in the past, uses engraving tools. It is his contention that they are gentler on reeds than files, particularly where you would use a scratcher (because you can't really support the bit of the tounge you are scratching adequately, at least on an inside reed tounge, and there is the danger that you will distort it and muck up the setting). And (he told me this) he would never get through the volume of work if he used files. He uses the diamond burr bits, run at quite a low speed.

I should add that I'm still using files. You can get a nice clean, even cut, whereas you are likely to unbalance the reed tip with a Dremel, if you don't grind it evenly, and then it will sound poorly.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 10:28:36 AM by RogerThomas »
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diatonix

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Re: electric tool to use with grinding/tuning reeds
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2016, 10:44:31 AM »

There is ONE power tool I'd really like to have in my workshop and that is the belt sander used by Italian reed makers. Problem is, we are talking several thousands of €  :(  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgYYyn72HLI   (from 2 min. into the clip)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 10:47:51 AM by diatonix »
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