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: first time tuning  (Read 881 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

mselic

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 301
first time tuning
« on: August 08, 2017, 01:30:37 PM »

So, after several years of reading up on it here, doing heaps of research, watching other people do it and getting them to explain it in detail to me, I finally (and very carefully) took a file to a reed to do some tuning!  Now what I'm doing is just spot tuning, adjusting the tremolo on notes that have wandered.  So far so good...

The box in question is a HA114, so the reedblocks are glued in place and all the spot tuning is being done in situ.  One bank of M reeds is tuned to A442, and the other to A446.  Most of the notes that had wandered were on the M+ row and were a little sharp - this resulted in too much tremolo for my ear, at least in relation to the adjacent notes.  Bringing them down to A446 resulted in a cleaner sound, with the tremolo steadily increasing as you go up the scale, rather than having it all over the place.

Because most of the notes needed to be flattened, including pull notes, it was relatively easy and painless.  A scratch or two and the treble end would get reassembled to test the note.  The pull notes I did through the corresponding valve, taking care to not damage the valve in any way.  However, there are a couple of pull notes that need to be sharpened.  I understand that people will do this with a reed lifter, bringing the reed out through the valve, supporting the tip and then working on it.  I don't have a reed lifting tool, and I'm more than a little hesitant to try doing this.  A friend recommended that I actually remove the reedplate and turn it around for tuning purposes.  This would temporarily make it a push note rather than a pull note, and easier to work on.  He did mention that the tuning would not be exact, as once you turned it back around again the tuning would be a little different.  However, this does seem like a better approach for me than trying to reach in, especially on blocks that are glued down and facing each other!  Has anyone tried this approach and have any advice to offer? 

Also, for those who do reach in with a reed lifter and bring the pull reed out, is that not bending the reed too far? And wouldn't that adjust the gap set in the process?
Logged
Beltuna Cajun in D, Hohner 4 stop in G

hickory-wind

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 255
  • Live in NY USA near the Erie Canal
    • Bellinger's Button Boxes
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2017, 01:50:46 PM »

Matt
For medium and large reeds I made a dual ended magnetic lifter by epoxying two 10mm x 5mm x 1.5mm rare-earth magnets in slots cut in brass tubing. Works fast with no chance of 'trauma' to reeds or valves. Works great until you get to the high reeds that are not flexible enough to be pulled entirely out of the slot.

Scott
Logged
too many boxes...please buy one, or two, or

mselic

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 301
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2017, 02:30:14 PM »

That's an ingenious creation, Scott!
Logged
Beltuna Cajun in D, Hohner 4 stop in G

hickory-wind

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 255
  • Live in NY USA near the Erie Canal
    • Bellinger's Button Boxes
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2017, 02:38:07 PM »

That's an ingenious creation, Scott!

And cheap!

Scott

BellingersButtonBoxes.com
Logged
too many boxes...please buy one, or two, or

syale

  • The Terrier
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 621
  • When will this MADness stop?
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2017, 04:39:19 PM »

Works great until you get to the high reeds that are not flexible enough to be pulled entirely out of the slot.

Could you press down on the reed with a toothpick (or non ferrous rod) to save the reed hurtling toward the magnet to exercise some control? Once it is picked up you can release the toothpick and move the reed to where you want it.

Stephen
Logged
HA114 C/G/A/D, 2915 G/C. Liliput, Club IIB C/F Dino Baffetti Modell 22 Bb Twitter: @syale

mselic

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 301
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 04:50:18 PM »

Works great until you get to the high reeds that are not flexible enough to be pulled entirely out of the slot.

Could you press down on the reed with a toothpick (or non ferrous rod) to save the reed hurtling toward the magnet to exercise some control? Once it is picked up you can release the toothpick and move the reed to where you want it.

Stephen

I think the issue with the high reeds is that they are too small and inflexible to come out of the slot all the way (when dealing with pull notes). 
Logged
Beltuna Cajun in D, Hohner 4 stop in G

Lester

  • MADman
  • Mods and volunteers
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7080
  • Hohners'R'me
    • Lester's Melodeon Emporium and Tune-a-Rama
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2017, 04:59:00 PM »

Logged
Melodeon Repairs - Website - Facebook
Lester's Tune-a-Day Blog
Hohner Melodeons
Made in Germany
Improved in Wendover

malcolmbebb

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2196
  • In dampest Dorset, on the soggy south coast.
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2017, 06:01:35 PM »

Reed lifting tools and techniques were also discussed in this thread fairly recently. As noted here, the small reeds are the hardest to catch.
Logged
Dino BPII. My wife seems to have claimed the Liliput.
"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire."

Lester

  • MADman
  • Mods and volunteers
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7080
  • Hohners'R'me
    • Lester's Melodeon Emporium and Tune-a-Rama
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2017, 06:05:06 PM »

I will admit, on the small reeds especially in D/G boxes, to taking reeds off of blocks and tuning them a bit high then rewaxing and flattening them in situ. Bit ugly but far easier than sharpening the inside high reeds in  situ.
Logged
Melodeon Repairs - Website - Facebook
Lester's Tune-a-Day Blog
Hohner Melodeons
Made in Germany
Improved in Wendover

malcolmbebb

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2196
  • In dampest Dorset, on the soggy south coast.
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2017, 11:08:01 PM »

If you do make a magnetic lifter as above, the handle could e.g. be wood or stainless rod with the ends filed half round. The magnets are very cheap in small sizes, on Ebay for instance, and can be attached using epoxy.

However, you may wish to use a brightly coloured sleeving on the handle. That way, when it accidentally attaches itself to something that you put down near it (possibly before you've had a chance to try it) you have a better chance of spotting it and retrieving it.

Just saying.
Logged
Dino BPII. My wife seems to have claimed the Liliput.
"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire."

Theo

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9875
  • Hohner Club Too
    • The Box Place
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2017, 11:10:26 PM »

The Italian style reed lifter is very easy to make from spring wire about .6 or .7mm
Logged
Theo Gibb

Day job: The Box Place. Follow me on Twitter and please like my Facebook page
Night job: Sunniside Up! Ceilidh Band

Steve_freereeder

  • Grumpy old git (sometimes)
  • Content Manager
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4932
  • MAD is inevitable. Keep Calm and Carry On
    • Lizzie Dripping
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2017, 01:40:11 AM »

I will admit, on the small reeds especially in D/G boxes, to taking reeds off of blocks and tuning them a bit high then rewaxing and flattening them in situ. Bit ugly but far easier than sharpening the inside high reeds in  situ.

Yes - I've done this too. I think it is a perfectly valid method for working on the pull reeds, and safer than risking damage to the reed tongues by trying to pull them through the slot.

Another method I use is to support the tip of reed tongue using a rectangular cross-section brass bar* pushed through the reed block opening and then using a fine reed scratcher or very fine, thin, diamond needle file through the slot to scrape very gently on the tip end of the reed tongue. On the G-row of a D/G box, the highest-pitched reed tongues are very delicate but fortunately only the minimum of scratching/filing is needed to make a difference in pitch.

* This could also be a wooden skewer or similar; I just use a brass bar as it is an off-cut I happened to have lying around from a completely different project.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 01:45:19 AM by Steve_freereeder »
Logged
Steve
Sheffield, UK.
www.lizziedripping.org.uk

mselic

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 301
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2017, 04:03:39 AM »

For flattening reeds, I've been making several small scratch marks about 1/3 of the way up from the rivet using a needle file.  If I'm going to flatten the reed a fair bit (to reduce tremolo), what is best practice? Should I continue to make scratch marks with the tip of the needle file, or should I use something else? I want to avoid any bad practices that might weaken the reed or compromise it unnecessarily.

What about sharpening a reed? I don't usually see scratch marks there, but rather what looks like someone has used a dremel tool. Without a dremel, what is best practice here?
Logged
Beltuna Cajun in D, Hohner 4 stop in G

Theo

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9875
  • Hohner Club Too
    • The Box Place
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2017, 09:04:39 AM »

For flattening reeds, I've been making several small scratch marks about 1/3 of the way up from the rivet using a needle file.  If I'm going to flatten the reed a fair bit (to reduce tremolo), what is best practice? Should I continue to make scratch marks with the tip of the needle file, or should I use something else? I want to avoid any bad practices that might weaken the reed or compromise it unnecessarily.

Best practice is to use a file and file lightly across the reed about a third of the way up from the rivet.  It is possible to do this on the outside reeds on a reed block, but not for the inside reed.   There you have to use the scratcher, or take all the reeds off the block.

Quote

What about sharpening a reed? I don't usually see scratch marks there, but rather what looks like someone has used a dremel tool. Without a dremel, what is best practice here?

My preference (others do differ)  is to us a file on the top surface of the reed, right at the tip.
Logged
Theo Gibb

Day job: The Box Place. Follow me on Twitter and please like my Facebook page
Night job: Sunniside Up! Ceilidh Band

mselic

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 301
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2017, 12:29:27 PM »

When you say "file across the reed", are you filing at an angle or in the direction of the reed plate? My understanding was that if you filed "across" the reed at a perpendicular angle, you might upset the reed's positioning in its opening. Also, are we talking about using a flat file or a rounded file? The tip or the edge when filing?
Logged
Beltuna Cajun in D, Hohner 4 stop in G

Theo

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9875
  • Hohner Club Too
    • The Box Place
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2017, 01:58:26 PM »

I'll post a photo.  Better than trying to explain in words
Logged
Theo Gibb

Day job: The Box Place. Follow me on Twitter and please like my Facebook page
Night job: Sunniside Up! Ceilidh Band

mselic

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 301
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2017, 07:00:45 PM »

I'll post a photo.  Better than trying to explain in words

That would be much appreciated! Thank you :)
Logged
Beltuna Cajun in D, Hohner 4 stop in G

Theo

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9875
  • Hohner Club Too
    • The Box Place
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2017, 11:22:41 AM »

This photo shows how to use a file to lower the pitch of a reed.  If the reed is taken off the block the method is much the same but you have a bit more room to manoeuvre the file and you can work on either side of the plate.
Logged
Theo Gibb

Day job: The Box Place. Follow me on Twitter and please like my Facebook page
Night job: Sunniside Up! Ceilidh Band

mselic

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 301
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2017, 01:48:40 PM »

Thank you!

When sharpening a reed by filing at the tip, does the same angle/approach work without disrupting the reed's position in its opening?
Logged
Beltuna Cajun in D, Hohner 4 stop in G

Theo

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9875
  • Hohner Club Too
    • The Box Place
Re: first time tuning
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2017, 02:11:11 PM »

I usually file directly in line with the reed to avoid twisting sideways. The file needs to be fairly fine toothed, and finer on smaller reeds so that there are always several file teeth cutting.
Logged
Theo Gibb

Day job: The Box Place. Follow me on Twitter and please like my Facebook page
Night job: Sunniside Up! Ceilidh Band
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.