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Pads


Alan Day
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Many of you may have noticed on my recordings a certain amount of clacking noises.After some while and a bit of experimenting ,the problem appears to be the pads.After I have played a note the sound being created is the pad retuning to cover up the hole.The pads are relatively new and are of standard construction.

My posting is to enquire if anyone is experiencing the same problem and if someone out there are making pads with a softer return noise.

Al

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Hi Alan,

 

For what it's worth...

 

To me it seems the material choice is a compromise.

 

I have one lachenal concertina padded with thick felt and leather, like in a steierisch harmonika.

It makes less noise when the pad closes.

But I feel that the button action is somehow slow (I think that is related to the thicker felt).

So a thicker felt layer may have a disadvantage - the feel of the action is a bit "woolly".

 

The standard concertina pads may make some noise but - you just have to touch the button and it's open.

 

Hoping this helps,

Marien.

Edited by marien
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The 'clicking can come from three sources:

 

1 pads closing the hole, but this usually a dull sound,more of a tap than click,

 

2 the key hitting either the action plate, if the damper is worn or missing, or too compressed that the peg is bottoming in the guide hole.

 

3 the leather end of arm bead striking the underside of the action box cover, especially on Anglo long arms.

 

Check damper condition and thickness

 

 

Check key travel height, it should be around 3mm or 1/8 ins.

 

Check pad facing hardness

 

Hope that this helps

 

Dave

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Alan, I don't agree. Are you sure your Bushings are in good condition, especially in the middle of the righthand side? The sound I hear from your recordings is more a metalic click as you start a note... as if the metal button is touching the end plate or something like that. I too have pad return slapping noises even with new pads but that can sometimes be more to do with the 'live' condition of the action board which can be like the top of a stringed instrument in the way it produces noises.

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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Dave's checklist would certainly be the first resort.

 

I've had occasions to replace noisy pads on fairly new instruments. Surprisingly, quality of materials seemed not the problem so much as the density of the wool and abundant use of glue to hold everything together. I suppose the pad leather and card were also a bit on the heavy side.

 

My test when I suspect noisy pads is to replace one of two adjacent pads that are making a thump and see if that makes a significant difference in quieting things down. If so, I replace them all.

 

Regarding pad making and materials (Greatful acknowledgement to Wally Carroll who got me started):

 

In my area most of the wool available is a blend of 80% wool to 20% polyester. This may not be such a bad thing. I've used very dense 100% wool

and those pads do seem to make more noise. I'm guessing the added polyester may help the wool blend from being too dense and heavy. On occasion I've used a 60-40 blend but feel things start getting a bit fluffy. For sealing leather I use a fairly soft CPL hairsheep. This comes from skins that are possible valve material candidates that end up being too floppy for valves but just right for this purpose.

 

I use a 3M adhesive spray on each joined surface. This seems to work well but you need to pay attention to the leather/felt joint to make sure everything is covered properly. White PVA glue has come recommended from some sources I respsect. I'm sure that will work find as long as you control the thickness and it doesn't make the pad too dense and heavy. I use waxed paper to control the alignment and joining of the glue sprayed sheets and a marble rolling pin (never got around to its original purpose of making candy!) to initially compress and join the sheets. I put the newly glued pad sheet under 30 lbs. of compression for 12-24 hours.

 

I've been lucky to have obtained sample packs of 11" X 8&1/2" card from some local paper companies that give me some choice as regards thickness and stiffness.

 

I have several round punches with 14, 15, 16 and 17mm being the most useful. My favorite is made by Osborne. It pays to keep them clean and sharp. I use a "self healing" poly cutting board and a poly mallet when punching out the pads.

 

That is what works for me considering local, available materials.

 

I'd be interested to hear of other methods and materials.

 

Greg

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Many thanks to those of you who have replied and also for a very interesting discussion.

I have recently taken off the end plate and tried the buttons without it in position, so therefore deleting the levers possibility of it hitting the plate.The main noise is definitely the pad returning . I have increased my use of using the accidentals and I try to reduce the possibility of slurring the notes by sharp push and release of the buttons,so at the pads maximum height I am letting it go.The resultant noise is the pad returning to position. Well heard Geoff ,the other little metallic noises which I suspect is the little felt pads at the lever/button hole ,some of which have either come off or I have taken them off due to slow action.I shall have to live with that (and my listeners).

The pads that were last done during a past renovation (courtesy of a tax rebate) do not have the same cushioning effect as those mentioned by Greg,or for that matter many that were originally supplied on old instruments, that were so enjoyed by moths.

So Greg's pads, or similar, are the answer, that would dampen the sound and go a long way to reduce the clatter.

Al :)

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Al,

so you have several buttons that lack their Felt "key cross hole bushings" ? Well, that would explain the metalic clicks that I hear. If I were you I could not live with that . I realise that replacing these KCHB's can be tricky, frustrating even, but David Elliott has explained a nice easy way to do this in his maintenance manual and whilst you have the Pads off for replacing it would be the ideal moment to attend to these other noises.

 

Best regards,

Geoff.

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Al,

Clear some room in your message box and I'll PM you.

 

Greg

Done Greg

Got a bit of a shock I didn't realize there were so messages on there

My apologies to anyone that I have not replied to

Good idea Geoff but I have so much to do here renovating that time is difficult.

I expect you know the feeling.

Al

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Good idea Geoff but I have so much to do here renovating that time is difficult.

I expect you know the feeling.

Al

 

 

 

 

 

The only thing that is getting renovated here is myself..... but yes I know what you mean.. I stopped renovating about four years ago and the house remains half finnished... I prefer to fix my clicks! Drop in for a cuppa if you are ever down in Limousin and let me try and fix those bushings. :)

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