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Author Topic: Stuck buttons. Help!  (Read 1416 times)

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Gary Chapin

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Stuck buttons. Help!
« on: February 05, 2017, 11:04:19 PM »

Hello, I recently purchased an as new small accordion (organetto), and it has been playing fantastically and has been the joy of my life. Tonight in rehearsal two of the buttons on the melody side started to stick. It feels like the wood of the arms that the buttons are attached (sorry about the technical terms  :P ) are rubbing against the slot that the arm sits in. So, I wonder if the wood is swelling ... not that it should with super dry winter air going on. Or if it's sticking for another reason. Two pictures below. Any advice? I was actually planning to use this box at a gig on Saturday. Thank you!



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tirpous

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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2017, 11:30:16 PM »

If it's dry maybe the problem is the keys are warping.  If you have feeler gauges (or a slip of paper?) you could try to find if/where the key is rubbing against the keyboard. 
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Lester

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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2017, 11:32:34 PM »

Probably not the cause but I would have to snip off the bits of hot glue that bridge between buttons and over the rods.

Otherwise as tirpous said thin feeler gauge to clean out between the wooden levers and the casework may help.
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diatonix

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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2017, 01:04:53 AM »

What happened with those pallets??
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Gary Chapin

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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2017, 02:02:04 AM »

Thanks, team.

Diatonix, could you be more specific.

Lester and Tirpous, what is a "thin feeler gauge" and what do I do once (if) I discover where the keys are sticking?

And if the keys are warping? What should I do about it?

Thanks
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Theo

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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2017, 07:54:49 AM »

I've dealt with this kind of problem a number of times.  I've never had success with trying to fish in the cracks with a feeler gauge,  and using paper is only likely to make matters worse if the paper gets into a tight spot and bits get stuck there.

You could try a DRY lubricant down the sides of the levers, for example powdered talc, powdered graphite or powdered ptfe.

Ultimately the solution is to strip down the keyboard, check the every key moves easily on the axle, and ease any spots where there is evidence of wood rubbing against wood.
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Theo Gibb

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sammypenn

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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2017, 09:22:46 AM »

 French chalks your man but only a little on a small art paint brush.
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diatonix

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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2017, 10:01:47 AM »

,
Diatonix, could you be more specific.,

Pallets seem to have been rather unprofessionally (re?)faced, aligned and glued.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 10:09:46 AM by diatonix »
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folkloristmark

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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2017, 10:32:36 AM »

check the springs they may have tiltedor be giving up. I would remove those glue bands. As an emergency fix you can tie an elastic bad or modelling balloon over the suspect pallot wire attatched to the ones either side this might help in deciding if its rubbing wood or dodgy springs. The key board is removed from inside . You should see two screws on the pallot face either side that old the key board on.To get in pull the four pins on the bellws frame.
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Mark Taylor
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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2017, 10:38:49 AM »

to be clearer I say attatch to the pallot wires as this is non intrusive you could use drawing pins and anchor the bands?springs onto the pallot face.If I am correct there is a long pin that runs the whole length of the keyboard that anchors all the pivots in place. If its a real b....er then this is pulled from the right end and releases all the parts for dismantaling whatch out for springs dont snap the wire and go down that route when all else has failed its not that high tech but ha ho
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Malcolm Clapp

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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2017, 01:48:11 PM »

I encountered this problem on my old XL/L/L Dino Baffetti D/G that I bought last year.

The offending buttons were very slightly more compressed than the others, allowing the wooden arms to be pushed deeper into the keyboard housing. Quick fix was a thin cardboard spacer between the felt washer and the arm to reduce travel. (Luckily the buttons were screw on).

Probably a better fix would be to replace the washers with a slightly thicker and more dense felt, but the quick fix would at least prove whether that was indeed the source of the problem, so worth considering.

Good luck.



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mselic

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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2017, 10:32:18 PM »

I'm having a similar problem on a few of the buttons on the wooden keyboard of my 1 row, 4-stop box. In my case, two of the buttons don't move as smoothly as they used to, but are still functional. Based on similar problems reported here over the years, it seems that wood swelling around the axle rod might be the culprit. The solutions presented involved disassembling the keyboard, removing the axle rod and carefully drilling out the pivot holes in the affected wooden keys, essentially widening them a *little* and allowing for smoother action. This is a process I have admittedly not had the courage to undertake myself yet, for fear of messing something up; a fear that is probably justified. Apologies if I don't quite have that right...perhaps the makers of one rows can chime in?

As far as the dry weather goes, I live in Quebec, not too far from you, and I'm not sure I'd call the weather in this part of the world dry! We get a damp cold around here and, although I heat with wood (which certainly dries out the air in the house), when I'm not around for a good portion of the day, the damp cold tends to sneak back into the house once again..my guess is that this was the cause of wood swell at my place.

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Theo

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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2017, 11:02:58 PM »

Two things:

First extreme dryness e.g. n centrally heated homes, can cause wood to distort just as much as high humidity.

Second - be very careful with the holes in the levers that the axle rod goes through.  The difference is minute between a good fit and over large holes.  Over large holes will give you a sloppy feeling action and pallets that can move sideways and not seal reliably.
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Theo Gibb

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TomBom

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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2017, 12:58:09 AM »

I'd certainly not drill out the pivot holes. No chance to get a snug fit. Guess how I know ...
Pushing and pulling the axle rod through the lever arms might be enough.
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boxcall

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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2017, 01:50:02 AM »

I found on my box after taking it apart and checking to see if the lever would spin freely on the axle, then putting it back together it worked great. But then it happened again :(
I broke things down again ( much easier 2 time) I notice a slight roughness on axle in the area sticking. I found spinning the axle end for end worked for me. No problems since then.
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mselic

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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2017, 04:21:07 AM »

Thanks for the all the input regarding pivot holes!
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Beltuna Cajun in D, Hohner 4 stop in G

Theo

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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2017, 08:08:25 AM »

I've often found roughness on the axle rod is the cause of sticking keys with wooden levers. Sometimes there are high spots that you can remove with a very fine file, sometimes polishing with a fine grade of steel wool is enough.
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Theo Gibb

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Psuggmog Volbenz

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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2017, 09:15:01 AM »

I was noticing that, on some of the felt pads under the key buttons , there seems to be fraying. Perhaps some fibers liberated from the felts have become impacted in the slots which the levers move in and have increased friction in certains areas. If the binding is occurring  between axle and key levers, and if you could rotate the axle of the keys without pulling it, any rough spots on the axle might become burnished, and the wooden parts slightly reamed without dismantling. If you can grab the axle end, I would use a hand cranked " eggbeater" drill to spin the shaft. I would caution against enlarging the pivot holes.
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Edward Jennings

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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2017, 09:34:04 AM »

Obviously, I've no idea of the design of the lever/axle/bearing/mounting arrangement on a miniature Costalotti (mind you, I think I'd like to become acquainted!!!). But if it's anything like the old fashioned things which I've messed around with, then I would echo Psuggmog's "I would caution against enlarging the pivot holes", unless, that is, you are going to enlarge the main bearing holes and replace the axle too.
In which case, the record of my, eventually successful, labours might be useful to you:

http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,18507.msg226384.html#msg226384

I used gas welding rod, which is plated and would seem to negate the possibility of Theo's "high spots that you can remove with a very fine file" for the foreseeable future, as it has no unevenness or roughness about it.
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Gary Chapin

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Re: Stuck buttons. Help!
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2017, 02:59:43 PM »

Thank you everyone. This has been fantastically helpful. For the nonce I have used Malcolm's advice of reducing the travel on the button so that the two wooden arms don't get set into the slot and stick. I've used dental rubber bands (for braces) and wrapped them under the buttons so that they act as the washers you describe would.

This is only temporary -- to get me through Saturday's gig. After that, I'm going to send it off to the Button Box because, like mselic, I lack courage.

I feel, in my heart of hearts, that this is a matter of the arms sitting inside their slots and warp occurring. You literally cannot see daylight between the arm and the slot.

Also, mselic is right: Maine is a poster child for damp, but I was talking about the central heating enviro of my home.
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