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Author Topic: Gasket Repair  (Read 5817 times)

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Jamie Robertson

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Gasket Repair
« on: November 18, 2007, 06:45:00 PM »

While squeezing my Pokerwork, and leaning over to look at my right hand (I'm new at this), I noticed a refreshing breeze coming from the point where the bass side is attached to the bellows.  At first, I marveled at the wonders of German engineering, combining an air circulation system with a musical instrument, when I realized:  This is supposed to be air-tight!!

My question is this:  Am I to assume that, after removing the bass side cover, whose technical name I know not, are the four screws through the plate with the holes that the key pads cover the only thing holding the end on.  Or, upon removing the four screws, is there some other mechanincal means of fixing the ends to the bellows.  I just want a clue here as to what to expect when I start dismantalling the machine.

Next, is it likely I will need some new gasket material, or do I just need to snudge the old stuff around to make it seal tighter when I put it back together.  Or might it be as simple as tightening a screw or two inside of the box.

Should I have some new gasket material on hand prior to opening the instrument?

And while I'm at it, will it become obvious how to remove the keyboard so I can replace the thumb strap when I open the bass side?  The strap is bolted through the bottom of the keyboard, not riveted.

Just for the record, I'm handy with tools, have dismantled my Bastari concertina a few times, and am a former piano technician, so I'm not quite a monkey with a hammer in teh Waterford Crystal shop.

Thanks for any and all advice.   
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Lester

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Re: Gasket Repair
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2007, 08:13:36 PM »

The ends are attached to the bellows by 4 pins at each end two on the front and two on the back. They just pull out with a pair of pliers. To remove the keyboard. first remove the treble end then from then inside you will be able to see the two screws that fix the keyboard in place. To remove it it is also best to remove the grille.

Sorry can't help with the gasket but I am sure someone else will chip in.

melodeon

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Re: Gasket Repair
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2007, 10:54:51 PM »

If the instrument is "older"  it was likely a bit of white cotton yarn that has gone flat or moved out of place.

As mentioned... remove the bellows pins and wiggle the box end off the bellows... inspect the "yarn"  sometimes gluing it back and then "fluffing" the yarn with a pokey thing  will be enough.

If the gasket is not yarn, then it would be some sort of  rubberized foam ...   neoprene from diving suits (wet suits) works well... get some ,cut some.. glue in place,  reassemble.



« Last Edit: November 18, 2007, 10:56:27 PM by melodeon »
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Mike Gott

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Re: Gasket Repair
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2007, 11:06:46 PM »

Yes - once you pull the pins out it should be pretty self-evident what you need to do. Ultimately you'll probably become quite adept at pulling those pins out by nipping them between a couple of 2p pieces in pubs to do quick fixes on stuck reeds! Then there's the temporary replacement of a broken spring with a rubber band, etc, etc......

Make sure you don't lose the pins while they're out. Good luck, it doesn't sound like a major problem.

Mike
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Jamie Robertson

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Re: Gasket Repair
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2007, 11:31:04 PM »

Thanks so much.  I just didn't want to open 'er without some notion of what to expect.  Let's see--where are the pliers.

You guys rock.  Being here in rural US without any local box isn't ideal for working out these little problems.  And I was wondering what those little pins are for.

Thanks again.

J
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melodeon

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Re: Gasket Repair
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2007, 03:30:52 AM »

Make sure no one is around

Pull the pins

count to 3  and throw the box as far and as hard as you can

end of problem : )
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Gasket Repair
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2007, 09:51:52 AM »

Bellows gaskets and tape etc., available here:
http://www.cgmmusical.co.uk/index_files/Page2713.html
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Jamie Robertson

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Re: Gasket Repair
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2007, 11:57:15 PM »

Make sure no one is around

Pull the pins

count to 3  and throw the box as far and as hard as you can

end of problem : )

I apparently didn't make my feelings about my melodeon clear...
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Claire Abbott

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Re: Gasket Repair
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2007, 05:17:10 PM »

...Ultimately you'll probably become quite adept at pulling those pins out by nipping them between a couple of 2p pieces in pubs to do quick fixes on stuck reeds! Then there's the temporary replacement of a broken spring with a rubber band, etc, etc......

Thanks for the 2p tip Mike  :), I have always wondered what I would do if I lost a button whilst playing out.

Claire
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Jamie Robertson

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Re: Gasket Repair
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2007, 01:29:42 AM »

Another short coming of being a yank, apart from our government, we have no 2p coins.  Our dollar is worth about that much, but is far less useful in a jam.
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melodeon

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Re: Gasket Repair
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2007, 02:06:19 AM »

We have a 2p  coin.. it's called a nickel
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Jamie Robertson

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Re: Gasket Repair
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2007, 02:35:39 AM »

Touche'  That would work better than a quarter or penny, wouldn't it? ;-}.
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Doug Anderson

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Re: Gasket Repair
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2007, 03:19:08 AM »

A 2p coin is slightly larger that a quarter ($0.25). A couple of Susan B. Anthony dollars might work, but you'd have to carry them specifically for that purpose because they're not in general circulation.
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philkatz

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Re: Gasket Repair
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2007, 10:52:31 AM »

Jamie, I think there are tremendous advantages in having that bellows really tight (assuming the flapper valves are, also) . Rather than "just playable". Do not know what part of U.S. you live in, but here in/near Seattle we are privileged to have access to really superb repair work on melodeons. I had an old pre-ww-II "hulk" Hohner 2-row  re-reeded and rebuilt to "perfect" (Ie better than the average new facory box) tightness; thus a "new" box in an old case. The speed and cleanness of playing was breathtaking (it plays better than I do  ;)   ).  And my 1980's vintage Erica is kept similarly tight. Should this sort of maintenance interest you, I will be pleased to provide particulars.

I do not get any money or consideration for this; I just like to commend and encourage quality work, when i know of it.
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BruceHenderson

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Re: Gasket Repair
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2007, 12:54:32 PM »

  (snip) Do not know what part of U.S. you live in, but here in/near Seattle we are privileged to have access to really superb repair work on melodeons.  (snip)

    Hi, Phil.  Good to see that you've joined the discussion list (for those who may not know Phil, he's an active melodeon player with bands, at sessions, etc. in the Seattle Washington USA area).  Hope you're well!

    I think that Jamie has mentioned in previous postings he's in southern Virginia.  I have an excellent accordeon repairer in the Washington DC area but he's mainly a p#^)o accordeon repairer and he probably does work mostly as a favor for me.  And often I have to kind of "coach" him on what seems to be wrong and how it should be repaired in the melodeon context - thus -- although his results have been very good for me -- it wouldn't be fair to recommend him.  Thus, Jamie would be like most of us on the East Coast; probably he'll need to send a box for any major repairs to Button Box in Mass.  Of course, they're very good but I've experienced some fairly long wait times lately as they orient their shop toward concertina manufacture -- when the production of concertinas catches up to orders, they do melodeon repair work.  Once you're putting a melodeon in UPS/FedEx, Wash isn't a really big difference to Mass.

    And you're right about how small things can greatly affect the playing quality of an instrument.  I've usually found that if I find something that I think should be repaired, a really sharp repairer will also do "little tweaks" that greatly improve the playing quality of the box, too.
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Matthew B

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Re: Gasket Repair
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2007, 03:37:41 PM »

The Button box guys are great.  But the most recent wait time quoted to me was about 6 months.  Not a problem, as they have a waiting list, and they assure me they will call when my turn in the queue comes around. 

As for gasket material, neoprene draft excluder from the hardware store works pretty well (well it would, wouldn't it?), and it already has the glue on it.
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