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Kath

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  • Website URL
    http://www.billkath.com

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  • Interests
    World music, piano-accordion. I am a family entertainer, working mostly with my husband.
  • Location
    Warkworth, New Zealand

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  1. OK - to the nitty-gritty. When I apply glue, anyway - with a toothpick or what have you - I cover the bottom third, quarter or whatever suits that particular valve - copying what was done before - with the adhesive (on accordions, as I haven't done it on concertinas yet). This will adhere to the sides of the reedplate, leaving the untouched portion facing the cavity in the reedplate. It was right behind that where I found the rust. Just co-incidence, maybe. It seems like many old accordions that one finds second hand (the cheap ones, anyway) have at some stage been kept in damp conditions. Makes for interesting restoration jobs, and learning curves . It's very damp in many parts of NZ, and people who inherited some weird thing that is taking up space tend to store it in the (shudder) garage, etc.
  2. OK, good - I've been using a contact glue for accordion valves. I may experiment a bit more after this thread. Well, I don't know what the glue was then, because my accordions are most certainly post-war - probably mostly about sixties vintage. In these particular cases (only on some accordions), the glue was a dark, burnt orange colour, and very brittle - when you lifted the valve to tune behind it, they would often just come off. Don't know what that glue was, but it's what I imagined shellac might look like, with age.
  3. First, apologies all, for not doing the "search" properly on this topic before asking. It's a pain to have keep repeating things, I know. There seem to be many varied ideas and opinions here - some quite strong. Of course, the vast and lengthy experience of some people here gives more weight to their thoughts and opinions, but a lot of the ideas seemed to have merit. I kind of like the idea of using a "Pritt Stick", though - merely because it isn't permanent, and any harm could be easily undone, and it's so easy to use. We'll order the valves from David Leese in Wales when we need them - it seems to be going pretty well at the moment. The valves are curled a bit, and I was thinking of replacing them, but Bill says "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". It's a Wheatstone Linota. Now, about the accordion valves - the rust was on the actual steel reeds, not the reedplate, and it corresponded exactly to the area where the shellac was. There was very little or no rust elsewhere on the reed. I'm not sure if it was only happening under leather valves or not - I'll have to check on that. One of the things I learned from this thread was that concertinas need quite different repair techniques and materials than accordions. Cheers, Kath
  4. Thanks so much, Dave. Yes, the "stringing" - I've been very careful, though, and this hasn't happened. Just about impossible to remove the glue from the valve base later, though - as you say. I stress I've only done this on accordions - I'd like to expand and update my knowledge before doing much on "irreplaceable" concertinas. Thanks - I'll try those two suggestions - it's "gum arabic", I believe. I'm off to Google to find out a source . . . Cheers, Kath
  5. Hi. I bought a set of jewelers screwdrivers - very cheap at the $2 shop. You can then grind one of them thinner at the tip on a grinder, so it should be just right for your bolts. I also bought a set of those fine files (all different shapes and sizes) very cheaply. Cheers, Kath
  6. Hi. This is my first post - just joined today, and I live in New Zealand. I have a question about attaching valves. I learned basic accordion repair many years ago from one of your members, and a smidgen about concertina repairs. Haven't done much on concertinas except just touch up the tuning on the odd "sour" note reed on my husband's concertinas. Now, I may be wanting to replace the valves on his anglo concertina sometime, and also this question applies to accordions, too. What glue do you use? I ask because, on all the old accordions I've worked on (I don't think I've ever owned one less than 30 years old), some of the valves often come off just with a touch (such as you have to do when tuning), or are already off. These have been put on with shellac, which I have seen recommended for use even today on one accordion site. Now, I've found this shellac very brittle, but worse, the reed is always very rusty right behind where the shellac is. I don't think that's a co-incidence, I think it's because there must be water in the shellac. Now, Bill's concertina's valves are not glued on with shellac - I don't know what it is, but it doesn't seem to be shellac. What do you guys use? My original teacher taught me to use Quick Grip, or any contact adhesive. That can be very thick sometimes, though, and sticks really well - sometimes too well, when you want to remove it again for some reason. Sorry for the garrulous post. Any advice on this? Cheers, Kath
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