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Author Topic: First attempt at box fettling  (Read 1559 times)

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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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First attempt at box fettling
« on: August 30, 2017, 05:37:34 PM »

Having my first go at refurbishing a box. I am stripping down an old Hohner Koch. Firstly, what thickness felt/leather should I use to reface the pallets. Then, when it comes to repairing the bellows, can I re-tape over old tape, which is thin, and frayed in places, ( it won't come off) and, how do I take off the decorative corners on the frames, as they need recovering. They appear to be held on with round headed tacks. What should I recover them with?


Sir John

Just another thought, what should I use to replace the wee round paper discs, that attach the pallets, to the levers?
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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2017, 05:44:36 PM »

Having my first go at refurbishing a box. I am stripping down an old Hohner Koch. Firstly, what thickness felt/leather should I use to reface the pallets.
http://www.cgmmusical.co.uk/CGM_Musical_Services/Felt_Leather_Pallets.html#4

Quote
Then, when it comes to repairing the bellows, can I re-tape over old tape, which is thin, and frayed in places,
I wouldn't

Quote
( it won't come off)
Yes it will, gentle application of damp cloth will soften the glue and allow the paper to be removed.

Quote
and, how do I take off the decorative corners on the frames, as they need recovering. They appear to be held on with round headed tacks. What should I recover them with?
Don't know without a picture.

Quote

Sir John

Just another thought, what should I use to replace the wee round paper discs, that attach the pallets, to the levers?
Nothing, they are, in my estimation, of no practical use.
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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2017, 05:47:14 PM »

I use fine leather that I've punched out of offcuts from other projects for capping off pallets, saves getting strings of glue everywhere, if you want some drop me a PM.

Mike. 
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GPS

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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2017, 06:03:27 PM »

Funnily enough, I've just got round to finishing the refurb on the Bb/Eb Koch whose bellows restoration I posted about ages ago. For refacing the pallets I used Charlie Marshall's felt-backed Persian leather.  As far as the bellows is concerned, I elected to remove all the old tape - in fact I removed all the old paper as well, as it was in a parlous state . The problem with taping over the old stuff is that it is, as you say, much thinner than modern bellows tape., and the extra bulk of new tape over old could well make the bellows uncomfortably bulky. The old stuff WILL come off, but you need HUGE supplies of patience, time, luke-warm water and sharp scalpel blades.  I lost track of how long it took me to strip the bellows -certainly a couple of months, on and off. Then there is the issue that the new taping won't match the frames; that's why I decided on a complete strip and restoration. I used a leather-grained bookbinding paper that goes by the name of Skivertex (I got mine on eBay, but I'm sure there are other suppliers: Nick C-B - any suggestions?) for the tapes and frames.

The metal corners are held on by ordinary reed nails - carefully slip a fine blade, such as a palette knife, under the head of the nail and gently work it upwards. Or if you're going to refurb the frames anyway, slip a blade under the metal decoration and lever the whole thing gently off. Beware: those metal corners are very thin, soft stampings and you do need to go VERY gently to avoid damaging them.

Hope this helps.

On my own Koch I have just the last bank of treble reeds to valve and refit to the reedblock, then the last odds and ends of reassembly, a final tweak to the tuning, and with a bit of luck I should be able to post a couple of pics and maybe a soundclip in the next week or so.

Cheers
Graham
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GPS

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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2017, 06:16:32 PM »

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Squeezing in the Cyprus sunshine

911377brian

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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2017, 06:25:43 PM »

John, I found that the application of a soldering iron on the heads of the nails holding the corners on made their removal much easier...
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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2017, 07:13:01 PM »


Just another thought, what should I use to replace the wee round paper discs, that attach the pallets, to the levers?
Not sure if Lester was referring to these - anyway, they are cloth and held on with pearl glue or similar.

If you want the same look, you can punch some more out of some cloth (e.g. strips of old sheet, soaked in dilute PVA and allowed to dry), or similar using leather as above. It's not too hard, and you don't need to get all the old glue off, but it's a bit of a fart.
Or you can do the same, but cut strips and have them square.
Or you can use a hot glue gun, the modern way  (:) Trick is to allow plenty of time for it to heat up.
Whichever, finish all the other pallet stuff and button height setting first.
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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2017, 07:55:28 PM »

Thanks Lester, but isn't it available in different thicknesses?

SJ
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: Liliputs C/F, D/G : Hohner Club Modell 1. Bb/Eb, de-clubbed : Early Hohner A/D : Hohner Club II (De-clubbed) D/G : Hagstrom G/C: Hohner Corona IIIR G/C/F :Preciosa Bb/Eb. Hohner 384 1930's Varnished wood G/C

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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2017, 08:10:15 PM »

Thanks Lester, but isn't it available in different thicknesses?

SJ

The 2.5mm will be fine for your Koch; it's what I used on mine.  You may find the button height a little lower than it was with the original plain leather, but that's probably a good thing in most cases......

Graham
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Among others, Saltarelle Pastourelle II D/G; Hohner 4-stop 1-rows in C & G; assorted Hohners; 3-voice German (?) G/C of uncertain parentage; lovely little Hlavacek 1-row Heligonka; B♭/E♭ Koch undergoing a rebuild. Also Fender Jazz bass, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Epiphone Sheraton, Charvel-Jackson 000-style acoustic guitar and other stuff..........

Squeezing in the Cyprus sunshine

RogerT

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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2017, 07:40:33 AM »

Don't use a scalpel to tease off bellows tape You'll end up cutting a slit of puncturing the card, not to mention cutting your fingers. Personally use a long bladed bone handled dinner knife, with the round ended blade. The bone handle isn't mandatory.  You can get such items from eBay.

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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2017, 07:57:45 AM »

Don't use a scalpel to tease off bellows tape You'll end up cutting a slit of puncturing the card, not to mention cutting your fingers. Personally use a long bladed bone handled dinner knife, with the round ended blade. The bone handle isn't mandatory.  You can get such items from eBay.

I always use a scalpel and have never punctured either the bellows or myself.
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GPS

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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2017, 12:37:26 PM »

Don't use a scalpel to tease off bellows tape You'll end up cutting a slit of puncturing the card, not to mention cutting your fingers. Personally use a long bladed bone handled dinner knife, with the round ended blade. The bone handle isn't mandatory.  You can get such items from eBay.

I always use a scalpel and have never punctured either the bellows or myself.

Likewise  ;)
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Among others, Saltarelle Pastourelle II D/G; Hohner 4-stop 1-rows in C & G; assorted Hohners; 3-voice German (?) G/C of uncertain parentage; lovely little Hlavacek 1-row Heligonka; B♭/E♭ Koch undergoing a rebuild. Also Fender Jazz bass, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Epiphone Sheraton, Charvel-Jackson 000-style acoustic guitar and other stuff..........

Squeezing in the Cyprus sunshine

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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2017, 01:01:25 PM »

Don't use a scalpel to tease off bellows tape You'll end up cutting a slit of puncturing the card, not to mention cutting your fingers. Personally use a long bladed bone handled dinner knife, with the round ended blade. The bone handle isn't mandatory.  You can get such items from eBay.

I always use a scalpel and have never punctured either the bellows or myself.
actually it's ok to use a scalpel, unless you are a clumsy person like me (:)

Rees

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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2017, 03:20:39 PM »

I use a scalpel and frequently puncture myself - ooooww!

Reminds me of that old cowboy song "Blood on the bellows", or was it a Dylan album?
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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2017, 03:25:15 PM »

I use a scalpel and frequently puncture myself - ooooww!

Reminds me of that old cowboy song "Blood on the bellows", or was it a Dylan album?

That is the main problem with scalpels, they are so sharp you don't notice you've stuck your self until there is blood everywhere  (:)
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Rees

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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2017, 03:29:43 PM »

Yes, I too have a bone handled kitchen knife with a round end, I may revert to that.
Mind you, it's such a sh..ty job that I have to be dragged kicking and screaming to the workbench.
I've often been tempted to send the whole thing to Lester  ;)
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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2017, 04:12:09 PM »

I've often been tempted to send the whole thing to Lester  ;)

 :P
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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2017, 04:13:59 PM »

Yes it's not a lot of fun, only surpassed as an unpopular job by the box where some clever person has used silicone to glue the bellows frames to the ends
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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2017, 04:15:38 PM »

Yes, I too have a bone handled kitchen knife with a round end, I may revert to that.
Mind you, it's such a sh..ty job that I have to be dragged kicking and screaming to the workbench.
I've often been tempted to send the whole thing to Lester  ;)

I tried that once, but he persuaded me (nicely) not to.  >:E
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Re: First attempt at box fettling
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2017, 06:02:29 PM »

Yes it's not a lot of fun, only surpassed as an unpopular job by the box where some clever person has used silicone to glue the bellows frames to the ends

I think I may be bidding on one like that at the moment, but I want it...  :(

MAD strikes again!  ::)
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