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Author Topic: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner  (Read 957 times)

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Fred

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Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« on: June 27, 2018, 03:58:47 PM »

Hello there melodeon-lovers,

I've recently decided to start fiddling around a bit more on the repair side of melodeons. So I decided to buy an old 1-row Hohner on ebay and see how it goes from there. Whatever needs to be done, will be done by myself. That may include polishing of the metal, readjustment of the various buttons and rods, fixing problems with the bellows, etc.

So what I've found is this beauty (at least in my eyes it is a beauty indeed) and negotiated a very fair (and somewhat low) price with the seller:

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/t7oAAOSwNNVbE~ii/s-l1600.jpg

The box is now on its way to my place and I'll keep you posted with some more pictures and sound samples, once it's here.  (:)

Have a nice day and talk to you soon,
Fred  :||:
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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2018, 04:22:30 PM »

Nice wee box, have fun with it, I certainly enjoy the fettling I do in an amateur way. A point of interest, if you don't already know, but should those metal corners prove too deeply pitted to polish out, replacements can be bought from Charlie Marshall.

Enjoy


Sir John


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: 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: Bb/Eb Liliput, awaiting restoration.

Winston Smith

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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2018, 06:04:22 PM »

Or you could just leave the pitted ones on. It's an old box, and maybe shiney new bits would look a bit strange on it? It looks nice as SJ says, but I'm sure it will prove to be a nicer instrument when you've finally finished with it, good luck!
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Fred

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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2018, 12:45:32 PM »

Alright, the Hohner has arrived! (:)

First sightings reveal that some tinkering has already been done to it. So I'm definitely in for a treat of the bad or at least interesting kind...

  • Mechanical parts (air release button, every metal rod, etc) seem to be in proper working condition, i.e. almost no rust, not squeeking, easy movement.
  • Basses do not work, chords do work.
  • The lowest notes (or accidentals? Who knows...) on the treble side also don't work but the rest seems to be roughly in tune and working.
  • Both sides make rattling noises when turning the box around, which are definitely the source of the missing notes.
  • The bellows are less than airtight as it seems so far. However there has been done some creative modification to them where they are connected to the wooden parts. From my two row Hohner, I'm used to a tight fit and simple "nails" attaching the wooden box parts to the bellows. The whole rim on both sides seems to have been held in place not only by bigger screws instead of the "nails" (which would be fine with me) but was also sealed by a gentle line of silicone. Lovely!

I've started to take the box apart as I'm writing this and am looking forward to more adventurous findings. (:)

Pictures will follow soon, as I will try to document my findings, the repairs and the journey itself as much as it seems interesting to others.
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Lester

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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2018, 12:49:47 PM »

The whole rim on both sides seems to have been held in place not only by bigger screws instead of the "nails" (which would be fine with me) but was also sealed by a gentle line of silicone.

That's a hanging offence

GPS

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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2018, 01:00:07 PM »

The whole rim on both sides seems to have been held in place not only by bigger screws instead of the "nails" (which would be fine with me) but was also sealed by a gentle line of silicone.

That's a hanging offence

Hanging's too good for 'em!! :D
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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

Fred

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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2018, 01:08:06 PM »

The treble side looks good so far!



The assembly is .... well, creative!


With the silicone on removed on one side:


There is a glued rope below the silicone which (as far as I know) is the normal fitting, right?




« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 01:09:53 PM by Fred »
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Fred

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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2018, 01:11:01 PM »

I've been able to completely remove the silicone from one side already and voilà, the box can be removed!


But wait, what's that in there?
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Fred

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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2018, 01:14:06 PM »

It's the missing bass!


And not only was it loose and rattling around in the bellows (I expect that to not have done any harm to the paper) but it isn't even missing any of the leather straps! That's a good message in my book. They don't even look too worn and I'd expect to only have to replace the outer ones, if any at all.
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Fred

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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2018, 01:16:02 PM »

And while the bass side looks ok, as far as I can tell:


...the treble side is in a worse condition:


That's something I'll definitely have to look into how to repair.
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Lester

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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2018, 01:18:33 PM »

It's the missing bass!

And not only was it loose and rattling around in the bellows (I expect that to not have done any harm to the paper) but it isn't even missing any of the leather straps! That's a good message in my book. They don't even look too worn and I'd expect to only have to replace the outer ones, if any at all.

The leather bits are valves not straps. I would suggest replacing them all as they will be stiff and curled and the box will never work properly with them. Additionally all the reeds will need to come off as the wax is shot and will not be holding the reeds properly preventing the working properly.

Welcome to the world of fettling.

Fred

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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2018, 01:31:27 PM »

The leather bits are valves not straps. I would suggest replacing them all as they will be stiff and curled and the box will never work properly with them. Additionally all the reeds will need to come off as the wax is shot and will not be holding the reeds properly preventing the working properly.

Welcome to the world of fettling.

Thanks for the warm welcome! :D

I'll try to do it as good as possible because I want to learn a bit more about melodeons.
To get it right, you would recommend removing all the reeds from the blocks and repair and refit them properly?
So I'll have to read up a bit on replacement of the valves (should not be too complicated) and how to get the reeds off the wood. There has to be some resource on this on this forum... I'll just have to dig it up!

As for the wording (straps instead of valves), I'll just blame that on the fact that English is not my mother tongue (I'm German, if that's any excuse) and I was simply lacking a better word to describe what I'm seeing.
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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2018, 01:47:23 PM »

Yup, that all needs to be stripped down. Remember to keep the reeds in sequence when you have removed them, and mark  which set belongs in which position. Believe me, I have been the person who forgot to do that, and so refitted the bass reeds wrongly.. Such fun!
What I do now is put a symbol. like an X or an O on the end reed of a row, and also on the block beside it, then as long as you keep the reeds in order, you know where they go, when reassembling.

SJ
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: 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: Bb/Eb Liliput, awaiting restoration.

Lester

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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2018, 01:51:04 PM »

I'll try to do it as good as possible because I want to learn a bit more about melodeons.
To get it right, you would recommend removing all the reeds from the blocks and repair and refit them properly?
So I'll have to read up a bit on replacement of the valves (should not be too complicated) and how to get the reeds off the wood. There has to be some resource on this on this forum... I'll just have to dig it up!

As for the wording (straps instead of valves), I'll just blame that on the fact that English is not my mother tongue (I'm German, if that's any excuse) and I was simply lacking a better word to describe what I'm seeing.

Getting the reeds off will not be a problem as I would guess that slipping a small knife under an edge will just pop the reeds off. Best to have somewhere set aside to lay the reeds down to prevent them getting mixed up.
Once the reeds are off remove and discard the valves and replace them with plastic ones.
Then you need to rewax the reeds to the melodeon, this requires proper reed wax and, in my opinion, a temperature controlled soldering iron.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUaHU1vY8f0&

Your English is much better than my German   ;)

Fred

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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2018, 04:49:57 PM »

Lovely, thanks Lester for the tips and links. I'll definitely need to order a few things now before I can get started with this.

Can anyone of you help me with a quick question, please? I've found valves (both leather or plastic) in shops which have a hole at one end. What is that for? Is there a reason for me to some of these or should I stick to "normal" valves without hole. (See attached picture for reference)
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Theo

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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2018, 04:59:01 PM »

The hole is designed to fit over the rivet.  In theory this gives a greater length of valve that open allowing slight ly improves airflow and sound production.   In practice i don't think it makes any detectable difference.
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Pete Dunk

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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2018, 11:18:22 AM »

Until recently I was unaware that prepunched valves were available and used a pair of leather punch pliers to do my own, a bit tedious and fiddly but as Theo says it allows the valve to be stuck firmly to the plate around the rivet without getting too close to the reed slot and limiting the flexibility of the valve. Theo is also of the opinion that this doesn't make any detectable difference and I'm more than happy to accept his word for that. I do it because I think it looks a little nicer and my time is my own so it doesn't add to the cost of repairs.


As this is your first box refurb I would to suggest that you leave any reed work until last as you can't properly fine tune the reeds until the box is airtight and that requires all of the other repairs (other than cosmetic) to be completed. Reed work is by far the most complex element of box repair that you will encounter so you can spend your time thinking about the best way to proceed during the many hours you will spend cleaning up and retaping the bellows, replacing gaskets, refacing pallets, hunting for leaks that you think you will never find and so on.


In between the repairs you may enjoy a little light reading  - Refurbishing an Old Hohner. This was a C/C# box so some elements of this thread won't be of much interest to you but all of the general box repair and reed waxing posts will, and it may save you having to ask some questions. Good luck with your project and I look forward to reading about your progress.
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Winston Smith

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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2018, 01:20:54 PM »

That thread will prove to be a great resource for Fred! It's also going to be a help to me, I fancy, as I've got a Corso stashed away which I'll eventually get to. Thanks Pete.
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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2018, 01:23:15 AM »

Until recently I was unaware that prepunched valves were available and used a pair of leather punch pliers to do my own, a bit tedious and fiddly but as Theo says it allows the valve to be stuck firmly to the plate around the rivet without getting too close to the reed slot and limiting the flexibility of the valve. Theo is also of the opinion that this doesn't make any detectable difference and I'm more than happy to accept his word for that.
I'm completely in agreement with Theo. I've never bothered with valves with punched out holes for the rivets. I simply use un-punched valves and butt the end of the valve up to the rivet. Nearly all the Italian boxes I've seen and many Hohners use un-punched valves and they work just fine. Modern reed makers such as Voci Armoniche and Binci supply reeds with un-punched valves. If they're good enough for Castagnari, etc. ...
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Re: Sideproject: my first 1-row Hohner
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2018, 05:05:02 AM »

Quite so Steve, the only reason I punched the holes in the first place was because the very first box I did (a Hohner pre-Corso) was fitted with this style of valve and I replaced like for like as I didn't know any better. I quite liked the look of them and have done this on the other couple of boxes I've re-valved. Before and after pics of the chord reed block from my first box are below, looking at them now I don't know why I replaced them as they look pretty good!





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