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Author Topic: Switching reed blocks  (Read 5445 times)

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george garside

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Re: Switching reed blocks
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2013, 10:46:38 PM »

another way would be to use a one row 4 stop  fitted with 4 reedblocks in different keys controlled by the stops. the result would be  sort of  2 lillys in one box  say cfdg or whatever & bugger the bass!  - I believe this has been done by somebody.

george
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Theo

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Re: Switching reed blocks
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2013, 12:21:42 AM »

Its been done before!.  The  pokerwork player in a band that used to be at Whitby regularly many years ago  - ?toc Bleu or something like that  had  sawn the  end in half vertically  and hinged the 2 halves together with , I  think< piano hinge ( maybe because he could not find melodeon hinge!)  .  A simple catch secured  the 2 halves together in a completely airtight fashion.  The reedblocks were retained  by very quick release clips and he carried a selection of reedblocks in different keys in  a quiver like what bow and arrowists use for th'arrows.

He could change reedblocks in a matter of seconds and I remember him  demonstrating this in the Elsinore session.

Can anybody throw more light on this 'conversion'?

george

Yes quite true.   he lives near Hexham.  He now plays a three row.
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Re: Switching reed blocks
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2013, 01:02:19 AM »

...On a related, but distinct topic: why do accordions typically use pins rather than screws to secure the bellows? Screws would seem to offer a stronger, more secure attachment.

...Regarding screws replacing pins: it seems to me that they would be overkill as far as bellows attachments go because they only need to hold the bellows in place, a job that pins do just fine. Early models of accordion had transverse screws that went through the cabinet and into the bellows frame. I once thought this seemed like a better idea but now I disagree. The push/pull forces acting against the bellows pins only do so in a very small area so they are plenty strong. Using screws allows you to remove the bellows more often, I guess, but then there's the issue of the gasket being broken....
As Christopher mentions, traditionally built Cajun one-row instruments have two long screws top and bottom at each end to secure the ends to the bellows frame. The gauge of the screw is quite large and a relatively few cycles of undoing and re-screwing for tuning and maintenance during the instrument's lifetime is not going to cause too much wear of the screw thread in the wooden frames. Typically, the bellows frame is a simple butt joint up to the ends; there is no rebate to wear either. Testing during tuning can be done by using the instrument's bellows just held in place without screwing.

On ordinary two-row instruments the only ones I've ever seen using screws rather than bellows pins are some of the smaller instruments made by Bernard Loffet. He uses small-gauge cross-head wood screws for this purpose, as shown in this photo. I owned an instrument like this for a while. The screws did the job and held the ends to the bellows frames securely. Nevertheless, I became concerned that the small diameter screw holes in fairly soft wood would wear relatively quickly with repeated cycles of assembly/disassembly for tuning and maintenance. If I had kept the instrument concerned, I would have eventually replaced the screws with conventional bellows pins.

On old Hohner Ericas and Pokerworks which have a non-adjustable LH wrist strap, you can often see worn screw holes where successive owners have unscrewed and re-screwed the strap ends to adjust the positioning. One of the repair jobs I've had to carry out on such instruments is to plug the worn screw holes with a wood insert (usually a piece of cocktail stick) and then re-attach the strap. I would guess that a similar repair would eventually have to be made on instruments with screwed bellows frame. (And even bellows pins aren't the perfect attachment method; loose bellows pins due to worn holes can occur on older instruments necessitating plugging the holes and then re-drilling).
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Rees

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Re: Switching reed blocks
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2013, 01:04:33 AM »

Many Italian makers make "two tone" two voice, two row melodeons, so no problem there. Baffetti, Paolo Soprani, Giustozzi, blah, blah.

A maker in Louisiana (is it Randy Falcon?) offers a Cajun six stopper in two keys, e.g. C on three stops and D on the other three, or whatever. Both keys LMM. .
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gettabettabox

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Re: Switching reed blocks
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2013, 01:13:11 AM »

in pursuit of chromatic extension/improvement, it seems that melodeon players will inevitably push onwards to flexible systems, differently keyed reed blocks or perhaps bigger boxes, 3 rows, 12 basses....
the single row player, meanwhile, acknowledges that the melodeon, in it's chosen format, is a simple instrument, designed to facilitate the playing of tunes, normally in the home key, but maybe two or even possibly three keys. (allowing for trickery.) - rhythm being the crucial focus.
the two or three row semitone player has it all before them, but the rhythm can be more elusive.


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Christopher K.

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Re: Switching reed blocks
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2013, 04:47:05 AM »

in pursuit of chromatic extension/improvement, it seems that melodeon players will inevitably push onwards to flexible systems, differently keyed reed blocks or perhaps bigger boxes, 3 rows, 12 basses....
the single row player, meanwhile, acknowledges that the melodeon, in it's chosen format, is a simple instrument, designed to facilitate the playing of tunes, normally in the home key, but maybe two or even possibly three keys. (allowing for trickery.) - rhythm being the crucial focus.
the two or three row semitone player has it all before them, but the rhythm can be more elusive.

Point taken. And a good reason to buy two. Or, um... eleven.

AirTime

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Re: Switching reed blocks
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2013, 08:20:01 AM »

Quote
As Christopher mentions, traditionally built Cajun one-row instruments have two long screws top and bottom at each end to secure the ends to the bellows frame. The gauge of the screw is quite large and a relatively few cycles of undoing and re-screwing for tuning and maintenance during the instrument's lifetime is not going to cause too much wear of the screw thread in the wooden frames. Typically, the bellows frame is a simple butt joint up to the ends; there is no rebate to wear either. Testing during tuning can be done by using the instrument's bellows just held in place without screwing.

On ordinary two-row instruments the only ones I've ever seen using screws rather than bellows pins are some of the smaller instruments made by Bernard Loffet. He uses small-gauge cross-head wood screws for this purpose, as shown in this photo. I owned an instrument like this for a while. The screws did the job and held the ends to the bellows frames securely. Nevertheless, I became concerned that the small diameter screw holes in fairly soft wood would wear relatively quickly with repeated cycles of assembly/disassembly for tuning and maintenance. If I had kept the instrument concerned, I would have eventually replaced the screws with conventional bellows pins.

On old Hohner Ericas and Pokerworks which have a non-adjustable LH wrist strap, you can often see worn screw holes where successive owners have unscrewed and re-screwed the strap ends to adjust the positioning. One of the repair jobs I've had to carry out on such instruments is to plug the worn screw holes with a wood insert (usually a piece of cocktail stick) and then re-attach the strap. I would guess that a similar repair would eventually have to be made on instruments with screwed bellows frame. (And even bellows pins aren't the perfect attachment method; loose bellows pins due to worn holes can occur on older instruments necessitating plugging the holes and then re-drilling).

Wouldn't it be possible to have a small threaded metal insert to screw a bolt into? I'm wondering if this might be what Briggs does?

Quote
in pursuit of chromatic extension/improvement, it seems that melodeon players will inevitably push onwards to flexible systems, differently keyed reed blocks or perhaps bigger boxes, 3 rows, 12 basses....
the single row player, meanwhile, acknowledges that the melodeon, in it's chosen format, is a simple instrument, designed to facilitate the playing of tunes, normally in the home key, but maybe two or even possibly three keys. (allowing for trickery.) - rhythm being the crucial focus.
the two or three row semitone player has it all before them, but the rhythm can be more elusive.

I'm not sure that having another set of reed blocks really qualifies as a push onwards to a flexible system. It's not changing the fundamental playing limitations of the 2 row DBA.
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Re: Switching reed blocks
« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2013, 08:32:33 AM »

Wouldn't it be possible to have a small threaded metal insert to screw a bolt into? I'm wondering if this might be what Briggs does?
That would certainly be a solution for Cajun-style instruments where the screw/bolt axis is parallel to the bellows axis. Most concertina end bolts screw into just such a threaded insert. Whether it is worth it for Cajun instruments I am not sure. Perhaps it would be a repair option to change the screws for bolts/threaded inserts but only when needed after very many years.

As for using bolts and threaded inserts to replace conventional bellows pins, I think it would be overkill and an un-necessary expense to install threaded inserts into the bellows frames. But it could be done. Doug Briggs uses conventional bellows pins as can be seen in various images on his website.
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george garside

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Re: Switching reed blocks
« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2013, 10:23:26 AM »

in  the two or three row semitone player has it all before them, but the rhythm can be more elusive.

 absolutely no problem with rhythm  with stradella bass which are fitted to most 3 row semitone boxes ! and decent harmony comes free of charge!

george
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Re: Switching reed blocks
« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2013, 10:30:59 AM »



...On ordinary two-row instruments the only ones I've ever seen using screws rather than bellows pins are some of the smaller instruments made by Bernard Loffet. He uses small-gauge cross-head wood screws for this purpose, as shown in this photo. I owned an instrument like this for a while. The screws did the job and held the ends to the bellows frames securely. Nevertheless, I became concerned that the small diameter screw holes in fairly soft wood would wear relatively quickly with repeated cycles of assembly/disassembly for tuning and maintenance. If I had kept the instrument concerned, I would have eventually replaced the screws with conventional bellows pins.



My Loffet Pro 2.5 row is a hybrid, in that the front has 3 bellows pins either end, whilst the back has the 3 small screws that you describe.

Touch wood, I haven't had to undo anything since I received it from Bernard a couple of years or so back; but when that time comes, as inevitably it will, I'm not looking forward to it.

P.S. I imagine that the screws are used so that there are no "snags" on the back of the instrument.

P.P.S. One way to mitigate wood thread wear in way of the screws is to lubricate them lightly with candle or bees wax.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 10:35:11 AM by Prestidigitator »
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RogerT

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Re: Switching reed blocks
« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2013, 11:17:50 AM »

Just wondering if there is a way to 'like' this thread. Fascinating stuff.  (:)

AirTime

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Re: Switching reed blocks
« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2013, 04:05:43 PM »

Quote
As for using bolts and threaded inserts to replace conventional bellows pins, I think it would be overkill and an un-necessary expense to install threaded inserts into the bellows frames. But it could be done. Doug Briggs uses conventional bellows pins as can be seen in various images on his website.

I see that Briggs uses pins. I can't imagine a threaded insert would add a significant expense to a high quality box - especially not a Briggs! It would be nice if somebody who owned one of these 2 block set Brigg's would comment on this.
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gettabettabox

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Re: Switching reed blocks
« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2013, 05:11:11 PM »


 absolutely no problem with rhythm  with stradella bass which are fitted to most 3 row semitone boxes ! and decent harmony comes free of charge!

George

yes, I know what wonders you lads can do with stradella basses, but I really meant the rhythm from bellow dynamics...the rhythm of the tune itself, less chord accompaniment.

by the way, i'm a big fan of jimmy "morino."




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george garside

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Re: Switching reed blocks
« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2013, 05:18:23 PM »

that as well!
george ;)
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Barry Spaul

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Re: Switching reed blocks
« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2018, 05:18:32 PM »

I just acquired a Scarlatti BC “Irish” button Accordion which was advertised as second hand though “little used” . It was very very cheap, but given the many comments against Scarlatti this was not too surprising. Anyway I thought I’d dip my toe in the BC experience given my wife’s heritage and my admiration for Sharon Shannon. Imagine my delight when the box arrived in its case as new! In fact so new I had to stretch the bellows (thank you lester for the vid) to make it playable. I was also very pleasantly surprised by its softer tone compared with the usual aged Hohners I play. Anyway to cut a long story short I’m thinking about swapping the B block for for a G block. Has anyone done this? Does anyone know if Scarlatti reed blocks can be purchased?
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