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Author Topic: Restoring hohner pressed wood cf  (Read 656 times)

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Mathieu Lavoie

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Restoring hohner pressed wood cf
« on: March 27, 2018, 02:58:34 AM »

Hello everyone,

First time posting on this forum. My name is Mathieu, i'm based in Montreal, Canada. I play a small 32 bass piano accordion (very badly) and recently a friend gave me an old hohner pressed wood cf melodeon. Now i have watched video on the web of similar melodeon and i just love the look and sound of that thing. But mine is in pretty bad shape:
-grill is a bit rusty
-fingerboard is broken in the center
-one bellow strap missing, the other one well used
-no shoulder strap
-one treble key that tend to get stuck in the fingerboard
-Bass buttons missing or broken
-one missing bellow pin
-Bass need a good tuning
-some of the bellow tape on the back is gone and therefore the bellow is leaking a bit.
The trebles sound ok though, at least for a beginner like me

Now it is not my first time, messing around with the inside of an accordion, but i do wonder, if it worths restoring it and getting some replacement parts, versus getting one already restored or in a better shape? I'm asking because it seems finding one in good playing condition is fairly common and not that expensive.

Thanks for your input and have a good one
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malcolmbebb

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Re: Restoring hohner pressed wood cf
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2018, 09:18:20 AM »

Hi Mathieu and welcome to Melnet.

I suppose it depends on the nature of "worth" to you.
As you point out you can get ready-to-go boxes quite reasonably, so if you are really just interested in playing it then that would be the way to go.

Getting it to playing condition is quite feasible, and even in Canada would probably come in under the cost of a nicely restored one. But you'd need to spend some time on it and learn a few skills - you'd get all the advice you need (and maybe a touch more ;D ) here. Many do it, as you have worked out.

Of course, since you were given the box, you are in a position to do both  ::) That would give time to restore the box as time and maybe funds permit, you'd have a working one for comparison, and very few on here end up with just one box anyway!
Plus you'd have the option of buying one in a different key, depending on where your playing interests lie.
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GPS

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Re: Restoring hohner pressed wood cf
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2018, 08:47:51 PM »

Though that list might sound daunting to a newcomer to box restoration, it's actually quite do-able.  OK, there are a fair few issues to be addressed, but each one individually is pretty straightforward; after all, a complicated job is only a bunch of simple jobs stuck end-to-end. Depending on your skills, I'd guess the damaged fingerboard is the most challenging for a beginner, but with care, patience and the right tools & materials it's not a hugely difficult repair.  I'd say go for it - it might take a while, and you will make mistakes (from which you will learn a huge amount!), but  the satisfaction you'll get when it's done is incomparable.

Best of luck
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. Newly acquired G/C Hohner Viktoria. Also Fender Jazz bass, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Epiphone Sheraton, Charvel-Jackson 00-style acoustic guitar and other stuff..........

Squeezing in the Cyprus sunshine

GPS

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Re: Restoring hohner pressed wood cf
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2018, 08:52:46 PM »

Sorry Matthieu - just re-read your post and see you're not a stranger to the inside of a squeezebox, in which case I'd certainly do the restoration; the parts you're likely to need are readily available and will certainly come to far less than the cost of a good restored playable C/F of similar vintage.

Cheers
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. Newly acquired G/C Hohner Viktoria. Also Fender Jazz bass, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Epiphone Sheraton, Charvel-Jackson 00-style acoustic guitar and other stuff..........

Squeezing in the Cyprus sunshine

boxcall

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Re: Restoring hohner pressed wood cf
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2018, 09:15:51 PM »

Bellows leaking could be gaskets and also corner gussets leaking.

You could do the repair,  if you don't have to replace the bellows then you could come in under what it would cost for one ready or almost ready to go. But if you figure your time, cost of tuning, all the parts you need which sounds like most, plus you may need to revalve and wax most likely with a box this age.
You might also want to redo the pallets / felt to quiet the action.
All doable but it takes a bit of work to keep down the cost so if your willing then go for it.

I did a box over that I probably could have bought close to or cheaper than what it cost for parts plus my time, I only went for it because it was a family member that gave it to me.
I'm very happy that I did , as long as I don't think about time invested.
On the other hand it was a good learning experience.
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Hohner 1040 C, Beltuna one row four stop D, O'Byrne Dewitt/ Baldoni bros. D/C#, Paolo soprani "pepperpot" one row D

Mathieu Lavoie

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Re: Restoring hohner pressed wood cf
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2018, 02:27:44 PM »

Thanks for the input everyone, I think I'll give it a shot! :)

I really like the idea of a complicated job being just an addition of numeral smaller jobs.

I'll probably do it in multiple step too.

Start with the simple stuff:
cleaning the grid, replacing missing pins, straps and bass buttons

Might try to fix the present bellow rather than replacing it completely.

I want to try to learn a few tunes first too before making a bigger commitment financially either by completely restoring that one or getting another one

Dip my toes into squeeze box first, see if i like it

Regarding the fingerboard, beside the aesthetic aspect, does the broken section will interfere with the playing? Or it could do the job for now?

Thanks everyone

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Theo

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Re: Restoring hohner pressed wood cf
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2018, 03:14:51 PM »

I'd advise you tackle the jobs in a different order.

Getting the reeds cleaned re-valved, re-waxed and tuned will make the biggest difference to playability.  I would tackle that first.  Doing the other jobs won't develop any skills that are of particular value to the reed work,  but will all seem easy once you have dealt with the reeds.  Air leaks need to be tackled early on too, and the broken keyboard too.  if you could post a pic of the keyboard there will be ideas about how to go about the repair.

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Mathieu Lavoie

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Re: Restoring hohner pressed wood cf
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2018, 06:16:30 PM »

hmm starting with the tough part first... you are a tough cookie right?  ;)

I have handle reed blocks before, but never did the tuning myself. If I had to go that road, in what order should i do this?
-clean
-re-valve
-re-wax
-tuning?

I'll try to take picture of the broken fingerboard this weekend

Thanks
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Lester

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Re: Restoring hohner pressed wood cf
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2018, 06:27:42 PM »

-clean
-re-valve
-re-wax
-tuning

Spot on correct order

Psuggmog Volbenz

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Re: Restoring hohner pressed wood cf
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2018, 04:06:13 AM »

Infomation presented in this thread might be of use:
http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,17993.0.html
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I'm squeezin' and they're wheezin': old junker boxes
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