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Author Topic: tuning tables  (Read 753 times)

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mselic

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tuning tables
« on: July 16, 2020, 05:38:50 PM »

I've inquired about this before, but I'm still not clear on how people have constructed some of their tuning tables.  What I'd like to create is something along the lines of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6ee-zGUqgs

This one is clearly foot operated, but I just can't figure out how it would work.  Also, in this example, it looks like there are several different cutouts that can be inserted to accommodate different sized treble ends.  This is the direction I'd like to move in, although once again I'm not clear on how these cutouts are fixed in place in this example.

I do generally use an instrument's own bellows for tuning, however in the case of large piano accordions that isn't always feasible.  I also have a tuning bellows but at this point I'm looking for ways to become more efficient and save time.  Any suggestions on any of the above are welcomed!
« Last Edit: July 16, 2020, 05:43:53 PM by mselic »
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Winston Smith

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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2020, 07:37:44 PM »

The one in the vid looks simple enough.
His, open top, chamber obviously is fastened to the under bench bellows (or some other wind source?) how, remains unseen but not rocket science, I'm sure.
The chamber top has the right dimension hole for each accordion end, it doesn't need to be fastened as its own weight will hold it down. A rebate in the chamber side, similar to that where the accordion end sits in the vid, with possibly a bellows gasket to seal it against the top, would finish it off nicely. The top would need to replicated for each size of accordion that you need to tune, of course.
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2020, 12:08:52 AM »

My set-up is made from an old accordion bellows glued to a plywood base plate and to a top plate with a large cut-out and with a few inches overlap on each side.
The cut-out is large enough to accommodate a three-row melodeon such as a Castagnari Handry or a Club III box. The top surface is covered with chamois leather (car-wash accessory). The set-up is clamped to a bench top.

To accommodate a smaller melodeon I use a supplementary thin plywood strip covered in chamois which I can clamp in an appropriate position to close up the gap between the tuning bellow cut-out and the end of the instrument.

To work the tuning bellows, I simply raise or lower one end of the bellows with one hand, while holding the instrument firmly in place with the other hand. For each instrument, I use a narrow strip of white masking tape stuck to the bellows top to act as a guide to help me place the instrument in optimum position. It works very well.

For tuning individual reed blocks out of the instrument, I have a separate plywood top with a single vent which I can clamp in place.

I'll post some photos but will need to add them in separate posts.

Photo 1 - bellows with un-restricted cut-out.
Photo 2 - supplementary strip in place.
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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2020, 12:11:22 AM »

Photos 3 and 4
Tuning bellows with Hohner Erica in place and supplementary strip to close the gap.
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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2020, 12:15:28 AM »

Photos 5 and 6:

Separate plywood top added with single vent for tuning reed blocks outside the instrument. I very rarely use this (see edit), as I can nearly always tune with the reed blocks in situ in the instrument. 

Edit:

But it is useful for checking the set of the reed tip gap and adjusting if necessary.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2020, 01:56:06 AM by Steve_freereeder »
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mselic

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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2020, 04:28:03 AM »

Thank you kindly, Steve, for all those detailed photos and descriptions!!
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Saltarelle Irish Bouebe D/C#

Kimric Smythe

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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2020, 07:17:09 PM »

I use a old electrolux vacuum running on a battery charger ,the 12-6 volt and 2-6 amp give me 4 flow settings. I built this 15 years ago so I would use a PWM controller now for more adjustment options.
 The table has a wooden valve modeled after a steam "D" valve that allows me to flip the air direction and also gives me some flow options.
The "table" is level with the bench top and has several opening sizes cut into it and each one has a slider to cut off air to it. One has two holes for allowing two reeds to be played at once. I have adapters the can be put on top of the holes for odd sized reed blocks or tuning concertina reeds.
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mselic

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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2020, 11:04:23 PM »

Thanks for that info, Kimric. Would you be willing and able to share any photos?
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4 stops: Melodie D, HA114s in D, G and A
Saltarelle Irish Bouebe D/C#

mselic

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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2020, 05:21:42 AM »

Steve - how did you affix the chamois to your tuning table top?
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4 stops: Melodie D, HA114s in D, G and A
Saltarelle Irish Bouebe D/C#

Steve_freereeder

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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2020, 07:35:15 AM »

Steve - how did you affix the chamois to your tuning table top?

I used ordinary PVA glue, diluted about 50/50 with water.

As I recall, I brushed the glue thinly on to the plywood surface of the top board with the cut-out, then laid the chamois on top, spreading it out, pulling around the edges, and pressing down gently with my hands. Any wrinkles disappeared as the glue dried and the chamois shrank a bit.  It's important to use the glue sparingly so that it doesn't soak through the chamois, otherwise the top surface will go hard, which is not what you want.

I overlapped the chamois for a about an inch on the underneath edge of the top board and cut off any excess with sharp scissors. I secured the edges with masking tape while the glue dried. Finally, when the glue had set, I located the central cut-out hole and used a sharp blade and scissors to cut away the central portion, then used a bit more glue to just secure the chamois for about 1/2 inch around the inner edge of the hole, again securing with masking tape until the glue set.

After quite a while in use, the chamois tends to compress a bit, so I raise the nap with a suede brush every so often.
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mselic

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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2020, 01:55:26 PM »

Thank you :)
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4 stops: Melodie D, HA114s in D, G and A
Saltarelle Irish Bouebe D/C#

mselic

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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2020, 07:23:41 PM »

Regarding tuning table tops, has anyone found that different thickness of ply gives different tuning results? What about the size of the bellows? I have an old tuning bellows (constructed by someone else) and a smaller, makeshift tuning bellows that are constructed from different thickness of materials and they give different results. The old tuning bellows even had a plexi-glass layer on top that gave different results after removing it (the thickness of the top was reduced by 50% by removing it).
« Last Edit: July 22, 2020, 07:25:37 PM by mselic »
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4 stops: Melodie D, HA114s in D, G and A
Saltarelle Irish Bouebe D/C#

Theo

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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2020, 07:39:54 PM »

Yes I’ve found the thickness of the top and the size of the holes can make a significant difference.  I’ve found it best to Susan a similar material to the typical fondo and to make the holes the same or slight larger size as the vents in the reed blocks. 
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malcolmbebb

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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2020, 09:41:18 PM »

The top of my tuning bellows was nearly an inch thick and anything tuned on it was miles out. I replaced it with 6mm ply, or thereabouts, and results were much better. I also made some holders for individual reeds, for pre-tuning, and found that deeper ones introduced bigger errors.
I used Olivisc as a gasket, it's easy to replace.
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Winston Smith

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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2020, 10:15:46 PM »

"Yes I’ve found the thickness of the top and the size of the holes can make a significant difference."

Well that's a bit of a bugger, my (separate) bellows have a top made out of kitchen unit door type of stuff, then the whole thing is mounted under a bench made of kitchen worktop! All in all, I suppose the thickness will be around an inch and three quarters.
Mind you, I'm busy (well, on and off!) re-tuning a couple of low treble reeds to fit a 1040 G, and the difference between the tuning bench and the instrument's own bellows has only been about 8 cents, so I won't complain.
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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2020, 11:19:20 PM »

I encountered this problem in the past. My solution is to under cut the hole so that it tapers out steeply from the hole diameter, to 20mm or so in a 12mm table. Works fine after that.
Dave.
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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2020, 09:29:15 AM »

"Yes I’ve found the thickness of the top and the size of the holes can make a significant difference."

Well that's a bit of a bugger, my (separate) bellows have a top made out of kitchen unit door type of stuff, then the whole thing is mounted under a bench made of kitchen worktop! All in all, I suppose the thickness will be around an inch and three quarters.
Mind you, I'm busy (well, on and off!) re-tuning a couple of low treble reeds to fit a 1040 G, and the difference between the tuning bench and the instrument's own bellows has only been about 8 cents, so I won't complain.
So if there is a difference of circa 8 Cents between the reading on the tuning bench and the instrument, do you accept the 8 Cents difference or retry to under tune it to compensate.
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Winston Smith

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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2020, 09:56:36 AM »

I was talking about re-tuning reeds by a canny bit, i.e. by several notes. I'm not one of these professional types who make an aesthetically pleasing and "correct" job of everything. I find a reedplate, usually out of my stock, of the right size and then tune it to the notes I need. (Puts on steel helmet at this point!)

That said; once it's near enough, I use the instrument's own bellows (by placing it in a "U" shaped holding device) and whip the reedblocks in and out to do my version of final tuning. I've not yet mastered the tuning "in situ" which the cleverer people do. It takes me b****y ages!!!

This is probably as good an opportunity as ever, to thank Lars for providing the reeds for my latest Frankenboxes. Thanks, Lars; you're a star!
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Rob2Hook

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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2020, 07:11:14 PM »

I've heard it said, perhaps here, that all the reeds should be mapped once in the box and a second time on the tuning bellows so that an offset can be established to minimise errors when replaced in the box.  I started trying to do this, but must admit to procrastinating, I could barely get as far as identifying the reed I was supposed to be addressing before I was back off to work!  Now I'm retired I really should get back to it!

The figures I got did suggest that the offset varies with pitch, probably mirroring the different chamber volumes?  Such an effect could be expected to be very different depending on whether the reeds are on the block or tuned as individual plates.

Rob.
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Theo

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Re: tuning tables
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2020, 07:28:35 PM »

Just learn to tune the reeds in situ.  It’s really not that difficult and saves a lot of to-ing and fro-ing.  Use the tuning table to pre-tune to +5 to +10 cents above the target pitch then off you go.
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