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Author Topic: Hohner HA114 maintenance  (Read 462 times)

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rileyismycopilot

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Hohner HA114 maintenance
« on: April 21, 2017, 03:12:27 AM »

Hi,

I have a Hohner four stops in G that is my main player these days. It's been rode hard and put up wet but it has a great growly warm tone.

I can feel an air leak at the joint between bellows frame and  bass side. Hopefully new bellows gasket will fix that.

Anyways, how do I know whether I should do the maintenance like bellows retaping and pallets refacing?
The bellows tapes are all scratched in several different places but it seems superfical. Like only the colored layer of the tape is missing at some corners. Should I replace the whole thing?
As for the pallets, I have no idea whether they look good or not and if the box would be better / more airtight after a refacing. What should I look for in order to determine whether it's time for new leather or not?
Same thing for the bass spoons.

Thanks for the hints!
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 02:11:30 PM by rileyismycopilot »
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Hohner HA114 maintenance
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2017, 07:51:24 AM »

Based on your description, my advice would be to fix one thing at a time. It sounds as if the air leak around the bellows frame is the most serious thing, so concentrate on that for the time being. Renewing the bellows gasket is a straightforward job - just a bit of care needed.

1. Pull out the bellows pins (use pliers and a straight vertical pull) which will enable you to separate the bellows from the end frames (do one end at a time so you don't get the orientation muddled).

2. Use a blunt knife or similar to scrape off the old bellows gasket. Take care not to gouge any grooves or nicks in the wood of the bellows frames. Ensure the exposed surface is clean and free from old adhesive gunge.

3. Replace the gasket with the proper self-adhesive neoprene gasket available from Charlie Marshall (he ships overseas).
See here: http://www.cgmmusical.co.uk/CGM_Musical_Services/Bellows_Gasket.html

4. Cut a length of gasket long enough to go all the way round the bellows frame with about an inch extra for final trimming/overlap.

5. Start halfway along one of the short sides and gradually press the gasket gently into place, removing the backing paper progressively as you go. The important thing is not to stretch the gasket, especially when going round the corners. Don't use any additional tension, just ease the gasket into place - it will flex and bend around the corners.

6. Finish off by making a diagonal butt joint with your starting point. Lay the one end of the gasket directly over the starting end and carefully cut down through both layers with a sharp blade, at a 45° angle to the length of the gasket. Remove the excess pieces with fingers or tweezers.

7. Do the other end in a similar way, then reassemble everything. Reinsert the bellows pins with a straight push using a piece of scrap wood or similar to protect your fingers/thumbs. You will need to compress the ends against the gasket a little in order for the pins to find their original holes. Hammering the pins shouldn't be necessary. If the pin won't go back in with a push, you probably haven't got the holes aligned properly.

Additionally...
It is just possible that the air leak which you have described is due to the bellows frame coming loose from the last cardboard fold in the bellows itself. I've had to repair one HA114 with this fault. In this case, remove all the bellows pins and separate the bellows form the instrument. Run a little PVA glue in the gap between the bellows card and the bellows frame and clamp firmly (but don't distort the frame)  or better - lay on a flat surface with a a few heavy books on top and leave for a few hours until the glue is set.

It's still worth replacing the bellows gasket if it is old and compressed.
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Steve
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Lester

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Re: Hohner HA114 maintenance
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2017, 08:33:06 AM »

5. Start halfway along one of the short sides

Interested why you chose the short side. I have always started in the middle of the long side on the back of the bellows as that is where Hohner seemed to start.

Don't think it makes one iota of difference either way??
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Hohner HA114 maintenance
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 08:45:42 AM »

5. Start halfway along one of the short sides

Interested why you chose the short side. I have always started in the middle of the long side on the back of the bellows as that is where Hohner seemed to start.

Don't think it makes one iota of difference either way??

I don't suppose it really matters. I do it that way (a) because that's how I learned to do it from Emmanuel Pariselle and (b) I like to have a full uninterrupted run when applying the gasket along the longest sides. It just seems easier that way.
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rileyismycopilot

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Re: Hohner HA114 maintenance
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 10:35:13 PM »

Thank you for the tutorial. That's all the info I could dream of right there under my fingertips!

I'll def change the gasket. It's a quick and cheap upgrade / maintenance. However retaping the bellows and refacing the pallets is way more involved. How do I know whether I have to do it or not?

Thanks y'all.
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Re: Hohner HA114 maintenance
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2017, 12:44:16 AM »

Thank you for the tutorial. That's all the info I could dream of right there under my fingertips!

I'll def change the gasket. It's a quick and cheap upgrade / maintenance. However retaping the bellows and refacing the pallets is way more involved. How do I know whether I have to do it or not?

Thanks y'all.

Retaping the bellows is a fiddly and messy job. You may need to do it if the bellows folds are badly worn back to bare cardboard, otherwise it is partly cosmetic. There are several threads on the forum discussing the various aspects of it. Use the forum 'Google Search' box in the blue strip menu below the header banner on each forum page. Typing in 'retaping bellows' returns many relevant hits. Once again, Charlie Marshall will supply fabric-based bellows tape, which is more durable than the Hohner gold toilet paper stuff.

Refacing the pallets is a more complex job but it will result in a much quieter action if you use the leather/felt composite facing which Charlie sells. It's very good. Refacing the pallets involves removing the pallets from the levers and cleaning all the old stuff off, then gluing new facing on, and finally regluing the pallets to the lever arms. When you have done this, you will find that the button height has changed due to the new facing thickness, and will have to be reset. Similarly for the spoons. Again, use the forum google search box to search for 'refacing pallets'.

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