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Author Topic: Thinking of fitting felt/leather on old Hohners  (Read 804 times)

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-Y-

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Thinking of fitting felt/leather on old Hohners
« on: April 26, 2018, 01:16:16 PM »

Hello,

I'm thinking of improving a bit of my Hohner accordions (an old Erica and a Club IIb). The idea would be to make them as smooth to use as any modern, higher end, box. The reason is that at first, I used these boxes just for fun or on rare occasions, but now I'm using them more and more and would be glad to have something that is more pleasant (although it's not awful as it is).

On my Erica I already fitted a bar on the treble side that prevents the pallets from moving too high, in order to limit to "clap" noise, at roughly the position of the red bar on the attached photo. I also added some foam inside the keyboard to prevent any noise.

I think adding felt+leather on the pallets may do some good, too. I saw that GCM and others may supply leather+felt pieces. But I was wondering what would be a good thickness. I'm under the impression that a 2 mm felt is enough, yielding a total thickness of about 3 mm, but I wonder if other members here have an experience of such fettling.
Also, once it's done, if I'm right I should have to put some kind of shim or spacer under the fixation of the treble mechanisms (and, subsequently on the keyboard) so that it's level with the sound board. Do you have any advice on this?

Also, should I change the springs ? I'm not familiar with this and I'm at a loss to say whether my springs are old and tired, and if it will change the felling when playing if I change them for new ones.

Thanks in advance !
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Y.

Planchée, folk music from Eastern BrittanyIsidore et les sans-soucis, folk music from Québec

(please excuse any misspelling or odd wording, english is not my mother tongue)

John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Thinking of fitting felt/leather on old Hohners
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2018, 01:34:21 PM »

For what it's worth, and remember I'm a newbie at box fettling, this is what I was recommended to use on my old Hohners was 2.5mm on the short travel pallets, and 3mm on the long travel pallets. This was from a fettler of many years experience. The theory is that the longer the operating arm, the harder the pallet slapped back down on the fondo, with resultant increase in pallet noise.
It works for me.

Sir John
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There is no beginning to my talent :)



: Hohner Club Modell 1. Bb/Eb, de-clubbed : Early Hohner Pressed Wood 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: Hohner B/E: Hohner Erika C/F: Hohner Pre Corso C/F : Bb/Eb Liliput, in restoration.

Tiposx

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Re: Thinking of fitting felt/leather on old Hohners
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2018, 01:53:08 PM »

I fitted CGM felt/leather to my Pokerwork when I converted it to b/c. It got rid of clack completely  and lowered the button height. A bit of lever bending before gluing the pallets got the buttons down to about 2.7mm at the centre of each button. It plays like butter and if I run a finger up and down the rows as quick as I can they all sound clearly.
I don't limit the button travel.
Tiposx
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MarioP

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Re: Thinking of fitting felt/leather on old Hohners
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2018, 02:11:02 PM »

I've used Hocky stick handle tape to felt my oldie 1900s Hohner box only becuz that's what I have a lot of in stock it quiet down and does not stick as it was with the old felts.. again this is not a permanent fix would like to have the same professional advise that you will get here. but thought i throw in my current improvisation perhaps is helpful in short term ;)
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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, Sabían, Wuhan cymbals. Ludwig snare 70s.

Barlow

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Re: Thinking of fitting felt/leather on old Hohners
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2018, 05:30:24 PM »

I have an Erica that is a good 30 years old. After using Castagnari I wasn't too impressed, but I now use the Erica more and more. It has grown on me. The clacking was a bit disconcerting at first but it doesn't bother me now, I seem to filter it out of my mind. That won't be the same for others in the session/audience of course. (I'm kinda on the verge of stepping out of the kitchen and playing down 't pub.)

I look forward to any advice given here but will also have a thorough look through the forum before contacting Mr CGM.

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-Y-

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Re: Thinking of fitting felt/leather on old Hohners
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2018, 03:47:23 PM »

A bit of lever bending before gluing the pallets got the buttons down to about 2.7mm at the centre of each button.

Good idea, bending the levers. Did you heat them beforehand?
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Y.

Planchée, folk music from Eastern BrittanyIsidore et les sans-soucis, folk music from Québec

(please excuse any misspelling or odd wording, english is not my mother tongue)

Tiposx

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Re: Thinking of fitting felt/leather on old Hohners
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2018, 03:59:58 PM »

No heat needed. They are quite thin so go easy. Just a slight finger pressure on the button whilst pressing the pallet down on the fondo to lower the action. Push the pallet up against the lever/woodwork to raise the button. I made a very simple template to set the buttons at the height I wanted. A look down the row to double check even-ness

It takes no time at all.
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Lester

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Re: Thinking of fitting felt/leather on old Hohners
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2018, 04:06:36 PM »

The only problem I run into is when bending the action there is a tendency for the buttons to become misaligned with the holes in the fingerboard and require a small amount of tweaking after setting the correct button height.

invadm

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Re: Thinking of fitting felt/leather on old Hohners
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2018, 04:51:34 PM »

I have used 3mm felt & leather from Charlie before but on some of the older CF boxes I've lost original full volume..now days I make my own felt+leather combo and max thickness i'd go 1.8mm. even with 1.8mm I put a long strip of soft wood -same thickness 1.8- under the mechanism and the key board to keep the same height or as close as possible to the original..after new facings and button limiting and lowering buttons on c/f or d/g boxes you just don't get the same volume /not as loud  if it's important to you..big fat Hohner volume is essential for the music i play..I'm not sure what pro repairers think/ do though  :||:                 
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