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Author Topic: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???  (Read 4993 times)

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j.b.c.

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Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« on: September 08, 2018, 08:20:50 AM »

I need to build a tuning bench.

I would be nice if members with tuning tables/benches could post pictures of their set up for inspiration.

Thanks!
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Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2018, 10:05:09 AM »

Here's mine. Not pretty, not elaborate and inexpensive.
Due to lack of space, it clamps onto my Workmate bench as and when needed. The right hand bellows is used for checking tuning off the blocks, and the left hand set are actual instrument bellows. There are much more functional ones about, I'm sure; but for the little, and rough, tuning I do to my own instruments this is "nigh enough for pit work" as they say around here.
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Pete Dunk

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Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2018, 10:38:34 AM »

See this thread on the second page of this board.
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Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2018, 01:18:32 PM »

There's one on ebay
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PRO-Piano-accordion-melodeon-Tuning-table-Will-post-INTERNATIONAL/183412426798?hash=item2ab43b882e:g:Eg0AAOSw~p1bjB12
I've seen that one several times and cannot really recommend it. It is important that for final tuning work, a tuning bench/bellows set-up allows for tuning with the reed blocks mounted in-situ in the instrument. As far as I can see, the one on e-bay does not do that. It only allows tuning individual reeds or tuning on the block outside the instrument. Despite whatever claims might be made in favour of it, neither of those methods will give you accurate results without faffing around with offset error corrections.

The set-up that Edward uses here is far superior and useful (not to mention cheaper!)
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j.b.c.

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Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2018, 02:40:11 PM »

How does hanging the box off the workbench work in practice?
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Theo

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Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2018, 03:06:31 PM »

There's one on ebay
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PRO-Piano-accordion-melodeon-Tuning-table-Will-post-INTERNATIONAL/183412426798?hash=item2ab43b882e:g:Eg0AAOSw~p1bjB12

A more fundamental problem with this one is the completely impractical fixture for holding individual reeds.  The deep tapered pocket that holds a reed plate will accommodate different width reed plates, but you then have to extract the reed plate before you can file the reed.  That would be terribly slow. Ok for occasional use, but not suitable for producing a whole set of custom reeds that j.b.c will be doing.  To call it a “PRO” tuning table is really a serious exaggeration. As a pro tuner I would not give it space in my workshop.

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Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2018, 04:04:31 PM »

"How does hanging the box off the workbench work in practice?"

Like me, it's simple!
One end of the box hangs by the bellows, which slide nicely onto chamfered bits of wood. The other end, with the newly tuned reeds just sits on the top (but without the bellows pins/screws in) and the bellows are worked up and down by hand to check the accuracy of the sound produced.
It's probably too slow a procedure for a professional to use, but I've all the time in the world (God willing!).
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2018, 04:21:57 PM »

How does hanging the box off the workbench work in practice?

Following on from Edward's post:
Using the instrument's own bellows is going to give you the greatest accuracy of pitch because the internal dimensions and spacing of the bellows folds will be exactly those during real playing conditions.

The pitch of the reeds can be significantly affected by the proximity of objects within the bellows space, usually the bellows internal folds and the other reed blocks. That's why we say that final tuning must be done with the reed blocks in situ in the instrument.

Even with the set-up that Edward shows, there will still be minor changes of pitch once the bellows are firmly fixed in their playing position by bellows pins or screws, etc. This effect might be only approx ± 0.2 - 0.5 cents, usually not enough to be discernible by ear, but measurable with sensitive tuning meters nonetheless. The effect is almost certainly due to the change in rigidity of the whole set-up once the bellows are fixed in place.
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Winston Smith

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Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2018, 04:41:22 PM »

Steve is undoubtedly right about "rigidity". I find this when tuning individual reeds on my fixed bellows. I hold the reed against a suitable block for sounding, but it still needs further tuning once it's waxed in, and again when it's going into the screwed/pinned together instrument. Every change at every stage alters the tuning somewhat.
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Pete Dunk

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Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2018, 06:44:57 PM »

This thread sent me off sifting my way through various Youtube videos. I've read a lot of common sense about the pitch of a reed altering, sometimes drastically depending on its surroundings, mounting and so on. I call it common sense based on my own experience and observations which are almost exactly the same as those mentioned here.
Then I found this. Is it possible to sound and tune a set of reeds in a more alien manner? I'll be very interested to hear comments from the people here who do a lot more tuning than I do.
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Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2018, 07:23:59 PM »

Then I found this. Is it possible to sound and tune a set of reeds in a more alien manner? I'll be very interested to hear comments from the people here who do a lot more tuning than I do.
In my opinion, it's needlessly over-designed and over-engineered gadgetry. It suffers from the same major drawback as the previously discussed tuning table for sale on ebay: it doesn't allow you to tune the reeds in situ in the instrument. Except in this case there is a large diameter 'blowhole' which can be slotted in, while the main body of the instrument sits on top of its (closed) bellows - so, sort of in situ and hence marginally better than the Ebay version, but it can only be done with the bellows fully closed, so you don't get the various changes in bellows volume (capacity) to check the tuning against.

As for 'testing the instrument' to see what the actual pitches are before any tuning takes place, the easiest and most accurate way to do that is with the instrument fully assembled and simply play it to an electronic tuner. No need for the fancy electrically driven bench.
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hickory-wind

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Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2018, 10:27:50 PM »

Here is a video I published in 2014 of my ‘alien’ tuning table (well before the AKKO table was introduced I believe).
https://youtu.be/un-AvLaCenU

My YouTube channel showing some of the hundreds of button accordions and concertinas I've tuned using it:
https://www.youtube.com/user/buttonboxbellinger/videos

It can be used with single reedplate fixtures, reedblocks (single, double or triad chords) or full in-situ (without bellows).
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Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2018, 10:35:07 PM »

It can accurately and repeatably produce pressure and vacuum anywhere from a small, high pressure concertina to a large bellows low pressure piano accordion.

Extreme low pressure gage with jewel bearings accurately and repeatably displays pressure or vacuum.

Can be used to determine the lowest pressure where a reed will ‘speak’ greatly aiding setting the reed gap evenly across a set of reeds.

It can instantly switch from vacuum to pressure which not only can help diagnose valve problems but is an absolute joy to work with. It is very quiet with the blower in adjacent room.

I don’t think of it as ‘needlessly over-designed and over-engineered gadgetry’ but rather as an essential tuners tool and great time saver. But then again, I’m an engineer:)

Scott

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Pete Dunk

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Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2018, 10:49:55 PM »

Here is a video I published in 2014 of my ‘alien’ tuning table
I meant no offence and will make no further comment.
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Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2018, 11:11:07 PM »

No offense taken. I've used bellows driven and blower driven tables and both, if used properly can produce excellent tuning. The bellows table has the further advantage of being fairly easily constructed and inexpensive. I use my air table daily though and don't regret the many hours I spent designing and building it.

Scott
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Winston Smith

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Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2018, 12:18:21 AM »

I remember you posting that, and being very impressed with the amount of work it must have taken. I expect that using it is a source of great satisfaction to you.
"over-designed and over-engineered gadgetry" is certainly one way to look at such devices, and is a valid comment, IMHO. But as an innovation in tuning technology, it's also something to be immensely proud of! The fact that you still use it successfully is testament to its worth.
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Conjunto Dave

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Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2018, 12:37:00 AM »

Here's an interesting method of tuning I found on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M53lSHVUpUM

He's using a pump for an inflatable bed.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2018, 12:42:57 AM by Conjunto Dave »
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Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2018, 09:16:01 AM »

While they are excellent, necessary tools for raw-tuning individual reeds, using these devices for tuning reed blocks is a waste of time.
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syale

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Re: Pictures of your tuning tables/benches ???
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2018, 12:33:29 PM »

Here's an interesting method of tuning I found on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M53lSHVUpUM

He's using a pump for an inflatable bed.

What about the noise generated from the electric motor alone seen by the tuner?

Stephen
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