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Author Topic: Crooked, noisy bass buttons  (Read 541 times)

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Crooked, noisy bass buttons
« on: April 17, 2018, 10:31:31 PM »

Hey, players!

I just picked up a new box (Pokerwork family, the one with the anchor on front) and it showed up with some rather crooked bass buttons.  I can't tell if the arm itself is bent or if the buttons are just jammed on askew.

I took the end off and tried removing the buttons, but they didn't budge with either pulling or twisting.

The bentness seems to be making the bass end hella noisy as well.  It sounds like I'm being accompanied by a snare drummer playing on the rim.

Any thoughts or suggestions for how I might proceed?  Pic of crooked buttons attached.


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Re: Crooked, noisy bass buttons
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 11:01:52 PM »

Fixing the crookedness is easy enough, remove the bass plate, press the button right down, with a pair of snipe nosed pliers bend the rod to correct the crookedness.

As to the clatteryness, the only way to fix this is to remove the rods* by straightening the little nails that form the pivot, then ream out the holes in the casework and, using proper bushing felt, bush the holes and refit the rods.

Oh! and on relooking at the pics it would be good to replace the missing felt rings from the buttons.

* If you do this label the rods as they are all slightly different and need to go back where they came from.


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Re: Crooked, noisy bass buttons
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2018, 02:15:28 PM »

Same as above.. i've taken the bass cover (normally 4 to 5 flat head-screws) then use my applyers to straighten out those crooked metal holders that are currently holding the crooked bass buttons and I apply some WD40 on the button to smooth it out .. yeah call me nuts they use that stuff in the moon so why not on my box. if the bass system is wooden reconsider the applyers part as it might break the wooden system. instead you want to check for the screws holding the system down those normally become loose and make the buttons be clumsy.

enough from me.. post updates ;) open bass side would help..
Hohner Corso A/D x2, G/C, Corona II A/D/G from the 60s.
Hohner Pre Corona II BsEsAs,Club IV C/F Pre-War, Liliput C/F, Mignon I (G) Piano from the 30s, Kromatica III from the 60s harmonica. Hohner Kids I. Pearl Forum series 80s, Zildjian, SabĂ­an, Wuhan cymbals. Ludwig snare 70s.


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Re: Crooked, noisy bass buttons
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2018, 09:42:18 AM »

Just a note to augment what Lester has already said...

The bass mechanism on 2 row Hohners is rather crude in design (and manufacture) and to my mind has a few flaws which can be cheaply improved.  First, though a word of warning as the buttons appear undamaged and have a light yellowing patina which suit the honey colour of the box so well.  They are likely to be somewhat brittle at their age (as am I).  Lester is right about depressing the button fully and tweaking the "rod" which is actually a pressed steel strip on all that I've played around with, till the assembly is straight again.  With the button supported in its hole it should be protected from damage.  The buttons are a press fit onto the action.  As supplied they have a hole drilled in the end and the spade like rod is pushed into this.  It's not really a reversible action and for some reason the two shoulders on the rod are at uneven heights so care is required when fitting a new button not to seat it onto both shoulders or it will be crooked, but tilted along the line of the players fingers unlike yours which are tilted across the line of the fingers.  New felts, readily available from CGM will stop the tap of the button against the case and reaming and bushing the hole will improve the feel of the action as well as reduce noise. 

But two other elements often produce some clatter.  The lower lever of the mechanism can bottom out and this is sometimes improved by adding a "buffer" of felt or rubber on the casing beneath it to give it a soft landing without significantly reducing its travel.  Also a frequent noise generator is the pallet lining having hardened so that when it closes it sounds like two lumps of wood being slapped together (a slapstick).  This, like the bushing of the holes, is a more intricate repair as the pallets have to be removed to fit a new felt/leather facing.

Of course, if you were to fix all these things, the treble side would sound noisy!

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