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Author Topic: Re-fixing bellows strap  (Read 345 times)

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JohnAndy

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Re-fixing bellows strap
« on: December 05, 2018, 05:43:07 PM »

The bellows strap just came off my Loffet Pro melodeon, from the fixed mounting point on the top of the treble end of the instrument.

I took the treble end off the bellows and recovered two nuts and a washer from inside the instrument. The bolt and outer decorative washer I had already found in the case when I got the instrument out.

So I can now put it back together, but it looks to me as though it will probably quickly work its way loose and come apart again. I don't want to over-tighten it, as the wood in that area already looks slightly suspect.

Should I use something like Loctite on the thread to stop the nuts from working loose again?

Or is it about tightening one of the nuts against the other, would that lock them in place?

Should the bolt be able to rotate a bit when the bellows strap is moved, or should it be fixed in place (my other bellow strap bolt is showing a bit of rotation, so maybe that could develop problems as well)

Finally, should I apply something to seal the hole and make it airtight?

Any advice gratefully received!
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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Re-fixing bellows strap
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2018, 05:48:37 PM »

Personally, I would use a washer against the wood, and a lock nut holding the first nut in place. Failing that, a nyloc nut of the appropriate size, if one can be obtained

SJ
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Lester

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Re: Re-fixing bellows strap
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2018, 05:52:05 PM »

I tighten the screw sufficiently to lightly grip the strap when it is rotated out the way to stop it flapping about. As to stoping it coming undone again I use a small blob of superglue as I have it easily available in the workshop.

ursamyna

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Re: Re-fixing bellows strap
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2018, 07:14:24 PM »

Who put the bellows strap onto it? Is it possibly a bit of a bodge job, hence the comment that the wood looks a bit suspect as it wasn't meant to have the strain of  a strap fixed to it. On the Loffet website under FAQs, it is stated that straps are not neccessary and his melodeons only have them fitted to the beginner models. https://diato.org/faq.htm   part way down  he says .......
(This is a google translation ) ----
It is normal (it is not an oversight) that there are no clasps on my diatos (except for small study models, see below), it is the fruit of a (long) reflection.
The clasps are a remnant of the old times when the accordions were carried on the shoulder by their strap (s), and which were used to prevent the bellows opens and hangs miserably.
It should be known that the bellows do not damage if they open or close (that's what we do playing), if we keep them closed when we put them away, it is above all for practical reasons (it takes less space) and aesthetics.
Since we arrange and carry the accordions in boxes or covers, by putting them on their feet (!!! important !!!), the clasps have no other use that to reassure the musician, which is useful, certainly, but does not justify the installation of these really unsightly accessories.
Standing on his feet, the bellows remains closed.
I continue to put clasps on my study models because they are still useful ... we do not detect at first glance: children, when they start, young and obviously slimmer than adults , sometimes keep the clasp of the bottom closed, thus avoiding their left arm to wear the "bass" part of their accordion.

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JohnAndy

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Re: Re-fixing bellows strap
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2018, 05:09:33 PM »

Thanks all, your replies are all very helpful.

@Usrsmyna - you are right, the melodeon originally did not originally have bellows straps and they were added later. I think I will keep the straps fixed in the "out of the way" position for the time being to avoid putting any load on the mounting points. In due course, I plan to take the instrument to a fettler to have some layout tweaks and tuning done, so I'll ask him to look into the bellows straps at the same time.
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Barlow

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Re: Re-fixing bellows strap
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2018, 01:06:15 AM »

Who put the bellows strap onto it? Is it possibly a bit of a bodge job, hence the comment that the wood looks a bit suspect as it wasn't meant to have the strain of  a strap fixed to it. On the Loffet website under FAQs, it is stated that straps are not neccessary and his melodeons only have them fitted to the beginner models. https://diato.org/faq.htm   part way down  he says .......
(This is a google translation ) ----
It is normal (it is not an oversight) that there are no clasps on my diatos (except for small study models, see below), it is the fruit of a (long) reflection.
The clasps are a remnant of the old times when the accordions were carried on the shoulder by their strap (s), and which were used to prevent the bellows opens and hangs miserably.
It should be known that the bellows do not damage if they open or close (that's what we do playing), if we keep them closed when we put them away, it is above all for practical reasons (it takes less space) and aesthetics.
Since we arrange and carry the accordions in boxes or covers, by putting them on their feet (!!! important !!!), the clasps have no other use that to reassure the musician, which is useful, certainly, but does not justify the installation of these really unsightly accessories.
Standing on his feet, the bellows remains closed.
I continue to put clasps on my study models because they are still useful ... we do not detect at first glance: children, when they start, young and obviously slimmer than adults , sometimes keep the clasp of the bottom closed, thus avoiding their left arm to wear the "bass" part of their accordion.

I am relatively new to melodeons and have little authority, but the above sounds like sense.

(I only have a small Castagnari.)

I took my straps off straight away, as I mainly use my instrument at home. I have a hard case and a gig bag for the times I do take it out. As it is only me using the instrument I take all the risk should anything happen. I don't see there being risk anyway. If I come to sell the instrument, it will have two virtually brand new bellows straps on it, instead of two pieces of floppy leather that didn't do anything other than get in the way.

I am happy for anyone to provide reasons not to do remove the bellows straps. I occasionally borrow melodeons and am happy to use the straps when the instrument is not in use, but they are usually bigger boxes (eg Pokerwork) but even so, I'm not sure I would need the straps.

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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Re-fixing bellows strap
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2018, 01:11:27 AM »

Bellows straps are a boon if you're walking around with you instrument still strapped to your body, or hung over your shoulder (ooh er madam)  otherwise, who needs them? Depends on how mobile your between-playing is.
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Greg Smith
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Lester

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Re: Re-fixing bellows strap
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2018, 08:10:31 AM »

They are also a boon if you are playing in a band or at a session for multiple hours as they save you having to keep the bellows closed by holding them in between tunes, but each to their own.

Theo

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Re: Re-fixing bellows strap
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2018, 08:49:27 AM »


I am happy for anyone to provide reasons not to do remove the bellows straps. I occasionally borrow melodeons and am happy to use the straps when the instrument is not in use, but they are usually bigger boxes (eg Pokerwork) but even so, I'm not sure I would need the straps.

I can't see any advantage in taking the straps off if they are already fitted.
What have you done about closing the holes left by the fixing bolt?  If you leave the holes open the resulting  air leaks will make the instrument harder to play.
If you keep the instrument for long enough for the straps to have shown serious signs of wear will you still be able to find the original straps? If it were me they would be lost!  By then the shoulder straps and the left hand strap will look pretty worn too, so the new bellows straps might look out of place on a used box.

You did ask!
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Re: Re-fixing bellows strap
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2018, 10:04:02 AM »

I agree with what Theo, Lester and Greg have said. I use the bellows straps for all those reasons.

I also like them to keep the bellows closed tight when I am removing bellows pins in order to gain access to the interior of the instrument. It guards against inadvertent, premature separation of the instrument end from the bellows frame before all the pins are removed, with the accompanying risk of twisting and cracking the bellows frame or bending the remaining bellows pin. Once all the pins are removed I can unfasten the bellows straps and remove the end under my control. Clearly if you yourself have no intention of ever removing the ends, this paragraph will be irrelevant. However, there may come a time when you have to hand the instrument over to a fettler for repair or tuning, and that person might be glad that there are bellows straps in place...
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Barlow

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Re: Re-fixing bellows strap
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2018, 12:46:18 PM »

I can't see any advantage in taking the straps off if they are already fitted.
What have you done about closing the holes left by the fixing bolt?  If you leave the holes open the resulting  air leaks will make the instrument harder to play.
If you keep the instrument for long enough for the straps to have shown serious signs of wear will you still be able to find the original straps? If it were me they would be lost!  By then the shoulder straps and the left hand strap will look pretty worn too, so the new bellows straps might look out of place on a used box.

You did ask!

When I first started, I fastidiously used the straps every time I put the instrument down. That could be a dozen or more times a day. Then I realised there was no real need because the instrument was always kept in the same spot when not being played. So I didn't bother with the straps other than last thing at night. Then I found with them flapping about and not being used they kinda got in the way or at least were superfluous.

With the straps off, the stud button receiver remained and also whatever it is at the other end of the straps (a swivel). So there is no air leakage. Although here is a bit of a problem - I had to tighten the screws to take up the slack of the removed strap. The Lilly is a very compact instrument and the end of the screw now touches the reed block (can't remember which one without dismantling).

Like people design websites etc to cut down on 'clicks', I find the instrument far more accessible, so no
click > move bottom strap away, click> move top strap away, and vice versa.

 I now just pick it up whenever, and play.

Am I over-thinking this? - possibly,
Am I allowing some form of OCD to interfere (enhance) my playing? - possibly.

But having read the replies -  they are very useful, thank you - I am absolutely certain that once I join the local session down the pub, I will make sure the straps are back on and will be used. And once I traipse the streets doing whatever it is the local session does every now and again (another subject) most definitely.






 
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