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Author Topic: Wax in the reed chamber..  (Read 621 times)

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Pearse Rossa

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Wax in the reed chamber..
« on: March 01, 2017, 08:05:14 PM »

I am doing reed work and I found wax in the chambers of the four smallest
reeds on the first block. I cleaned it out, assuming it shouldn't be there and had
seeped in under the reeds when the reeds were originally waxed.
On the second block I have discovered the same thing...wax in the smallest chambers.
Now I'm thinking that it was put there deliberately, in order to reduce the air volume
in the chamber to counteract reed choking.
Would this be correct or am I wide of the mark?
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Lester

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2017, 08:22:22 PM »

Yep, spot on. I have seen wax, putty (common in old Hohners) and wood blocks to reduce the chamber size at the squeaky end of reed blocks.
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Pearse Rossa

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2017, 08:58:16 PM »

Thanks. I should have copped it earlier, since there was no wax in any of the other chambers.
It's not a big deal to redo it.
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2017, 10:46:56 PM »

Thanks. I should have copped it earlier, since there was no wax in any of the other chambers.
It's not a big deal to redo it.
A neater and better job in my opinion is to make a small shallow wooden wedge to reduce the reed chamber volume. Normally this would be glued into place, but since you've already had wax in the reed chamber, glue may no longer stick very well. You could wax the wedge into place though.
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Pearse Rossa

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2017, 10:54:51 PM »

A neater and better job in my opinion is to make a small shallow wooden wedge to reduce the reed chamber volume.

Would this involve a lot of trial and error in order to get it right?
I suppose no more so than using straight wax.
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Theo

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2017, 07:39:37 AM »

I found bed that wax is a quick, neat and effective method of doing this.  Place the reed block at an angle so that the wax pools in the upper part of the chamber, run in the wax and leave to cool.  It makes a nice smooth surface.
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2017, 07:49:24 AM »

A neater and better job in my opinion is to make a small shallow wooden wedge to reduce the reed chamber volume.

Would this involve a lot of trial and error in order to get it right?

I don't think so. On the one-row melodeon making courses with Emmanuel Pariselle, we used small wooden wedges about half the thickness of the reed chamber depth at the rivet end, tapering to nothing at the other end.
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Theo

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2017, 07:52:13 AM »

My experience is different from Steves.  The design of the wooden wedges used on Emmanuel's courses mightclook simple but it has evolved through trial and error. The design and placement of the wedge has evolved over the ten years I have been working with Emmanuel.  If the reed chamber volume is too great then the reed will respond slowly and may lack volume.  If the volume is too small then in extreme cases the reed tongue might strike the fill material, but before that stage is reached the pitch of the reed can be flattened.  I have tuned many reeds with wax fill and I've yet to have a problem with tools getting stuck in the wax. Wax fill is common on Italian built boxes.

When replacing the wax that you inadvertently remove just replace it with the same amount.  Look at the ones where you've not yet removed it for a guide.
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Theo Gibb

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Garry Probert

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2017, 09:00:01 AM »

Hi,its actually the emergency wax supply ,it was first included on hohner club models in early september 1914 ............. if you were marooned on say a desert island,or in a military engagement in the trenches,you always had a small supply of emergency wax to reseat any reeds that may have moved  ;) 

 
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2017, 09:00:59 AM »

My experience is different from Steves.  The design of the wooden wedges used on Emmanuel's courses mightclook simple but it has evolved through trial and error. The design and placement of the wedge has evolved over the ten years I have been working with Emmanuel.  If the reed chamber volume is too great then the reed will respond slowly and may lack volume. If the volume is too small then in extreme cases the reed tongue might strike the fill material, but before that stage is reached the pitch of the reed can be flattened.
The wedge or wax would have to be very thick to obstruct the very small amplitude and size reed tongues of the highest-pitched reeds (which is where you would seek to reduce the chamber volume anyway).

As for flattening the reed, surely the best approach is first of all make the reed chamber the optimum size/volume to ensure good performance of the reed. Once that's done the reed can be tuned to its proper pitch.

Quote
Wax fill is common on Italian built boxes.
Castagnari don't use wax - the reed chamber on the highest reeds is wedge-shaped; sometimes only half the width of the reed chamber is shaped in this way. 
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Chris Ryall

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2017, 09:29:25 AM »

van der Aa doesn't use wax either
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Lester

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2017, 10:00:31 AM »

Castagnari don't use wax - the reed chamber on the highest reeds is wedge-shaped; sometimes only half the width of the reed chamber is shaped in this way.

They have done in a number of Lilys I've worked on.
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2017, 10:18:57 AM »

Castagnari don't use wax - the reed chamber on the highest reeds is wedge-shaped; sometimes only half the width of the reed chamber is shaped in this way.

They have done in a number of Lilys I've worked on.
Older ones maybe?
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Theo

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2017, 10:58:42 AM »

I think a Lilly was the last place I saw wax fill.
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Theo Gibb

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Rees

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2017, 11:10:32 AM »

I have seen Oakwoods with bits of cardboard shoved in to reduce the volume of the chamber - shush, don't tell anyone!
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Pearse Rossa

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2017, 11:46:43 AM »

When replacing the wax that you inadvertently remove just replace it with the same amount.  Look at the ones where you've not yet removed it for a guide.

That makes perfect sense and is what I intend doing.
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tirpous

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2017, 11:19:22 PM »

This stuff in a Hohner Club II block looks like plastic wood or wood putty.  I doubt the rough surface makes any difference soundwise, but who knows ?  ::)
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Pearse Rossa

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2017, 01:46:25 PM »

A neater and better job in my opinion is to make a small shallow wooden wedge to reduce the reed chamber volume.

I have been working on another box, an old Corso, and the blocks do indeed have these wooden wedges in the smallest chambers.
Very neat they are too, with a channel running alongside the wedge.
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playandteach

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2017, 09:12:26 PM »

This stuff in a Hohner Club II block looks like plastic wood or wood putty.  I doubt the rough surface makes any difference soundwise, but who knows ?  ::)
When they first made plastic clarinets (and recorders) they went for a shiny hard finish, but found that if they emulated an open grain on the inside of the bore (and the outside for cosmetic appeal) the sound was fuller and more complex.
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Kimric Smythe

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Re: Wax in the reed chamber..
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2017, 05:18:27 AM »

Having worked on scores of piano accordions I have seen this done in every way possible. The shape is somewhat important based on what I have seen. Bandoneons have a curving ramp bowed out on nearly all the reeds. Other instruments have the chamber filled with wax or wood starting about 1/4 way from the bottom starting with a steep ramp and nearly a constant depth otherwise.
The newest one I have seen is a very thin divider up the chamber between the reeds and some fill in, this on a Lira with hand made reeds. I have not seen this in other Liras.

 I cut pieces of wood to length and sand the ramp on one end then wax them in to size.
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