Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Hi All,

 One benefit of self-isolation is that I'm getting some projects finished.  I've been working on a c. 1860, 48 key, brass-reeded Lachenal English for many months.  So far I've rebuilt the bellows, re-glued woodwork, made new thumb loops and pinky rest covers, replaced all valves and pads and some springs, and tuned it down from an old higher pitched tuning.  I just have a bit of fine tuning and some reed response issues to deal with and it should be ready to turn over to a very patient friend.  

 

I have Dave E's book, and have determined that some of the reeds need to be reset after their re-tuning.  From the diagrams and trouble-shooting chart I know what I'm aiming for, but the book doesn't give any information on how to put the reeds back into their proper profile.  Can any of the old hands provide any tips/ best practice for tools and techniques?

 

Edited to add:  most of my reed issues are with the lower-pitched reeds.

 

Thanks!

Bill

 

Edited by Bill N

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like to use a thin dowel to set reeds.  Perhaps a 1/8 inch in diameter and slimmer toward the tip.  Less likely to slip and I think it helps "put me in touch" when setting brass reeds which need a more gentle approach.

 

As per Dave's book the longer, lower reeds may need to be set farther back from the tip so a longer portion from the tip rides just above the reed shoe.  To do this I place the setting tool under the tongue about at half way the reed's length.  While holding the reed frame in my hand I use the index finger to hold the reed tip down while pressing the tool up with my other hand.  This will put a very tiny and gentle bend in the tongue so perhaps the last quarter to a third of the tongue toward the reed's tip rides even or just above the frame.  Then you can adjust the set distance of this profile as needed.  As a general rule for low reeds a distance of 1&1/2 to 2Xs the thickness of the reed can mean a useful set.

 

Bill, I probably don't have to remind you how easy it is to set brass as opposed to more resilient steel.  For anyone who has not worked with brass before please GO SLOW and be GENTLE.

If you don't use a light touch it is possible to weaken a brass reed to the point of breaking.

 

Good luck,

 

Greg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Greg Jowaisas said:

While holding the reed frame in my hand I use the index finger to hold the reed tip down while pressing the tool up with my other hand.  This will put a very tiny and gentle bend in the tongue so perhaps the last quarter to a third of the tongue toward the reed's tip rides even or just above the frame. 

 

Thanks so much Greg.  A light touch for sure.  Just to make sure I understand:  I should press the tip of the reed down?  Won't this bend the reed the wrong way if I want the tip slightly above the shoe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Bill N said:

Thanks so much Greg.  A light touch for sure.  Just to make sure I understand:  I should press the tip of the reed down?  Won't this bend the reed the wrong way if I want the tip slightly above the shoe?

Hi Bill.

I'm right handed, so holding the reed assembly in my left hand I use my LH index finger to hold down, brace, if you will, the tip portion of the reed.  With my RH, holding the dowel or setting tool I push up on the tongue from under the bottom of the reed assembly about 1/3 to `/2 way back of the tip.  This will give the profile you may find desirable for the longer reeds.  Then you may need to adjust the set of the reed in relation to the reed shoe.

 

With the medium sized reeds just getting the tip of the reed to clear the shoe is usually enough.  (In that case I pin the tongue in the middle with the LH index and push up on the tongue close to the tip from underneath with the tool)   Some of the smaller reeds may require little or no elevation above the reed frame. 

(See diagram page 41 of Dave Elliott's book)

 

Pretty subtle reshape but you may find it helps the longer reed respond better than simply pushing up on just the tip.

I'lP1050422.thumb.JPG.dcda7d0c68d1ca51612a39d39ad88736.JPG

Edited by Greg Jowaisas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much Greg.  I get it now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all, 

i can only speak about accordion reeds and dont have much experience with Concertina reeds. 

The shaping of tongues can vary and was used in reed organs to give a distinct tone character. And special bendig tools ware in use. On Accordions i find it in most cases best to set the curve to a nice parable lice set. Learn to here the difference in sound with different settings and shapes. It is the key of understanding in respect of talk reaktion and more. The way how do the bending varies depending on the size of the reeds. Usually you get along with just using the thin shim and the fingers.   Best would be to demonstrate this in a video or have a person that can show it. Is not as easy as one may think because depending on the size of the reed and the material for the tongue all is a bit different.  very little differences in setting may cause different results. Best Regards, and greeting from Austria i hop my english is good enough. Johann Pascher 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Johan, I love the Parable of the Lice 😄. I have only had to do brass reed setting on Organ reeds, but on my steel concertina reeds I am in the straight reed camp.  This was after giving the reed tips a slight swoop upward so the tip entered the window later than it would if the reed was straight.  I think I did this because it was easy to have the tip bent slightly downward so it appears the set height is good when actually it grows a little behind the reed tip.  After getting in the habit of looking at the reed under the microscope on edge, I could see that happening.  After many many reeds, I find that having the reed basically flat from root to tip. So the reed closes off pretty much at the same time as it swings.  I use thin slips of shim steel to lift the reeds and adjust the set.  They are a few inches long and tapered from about 7/16 inch in width at the wide end to 1/4 inch at the narrow that has been ground to a thin knife edge.  I use the heel of the lifter placed at the root of the reed and rock it forward to lower the set from the root and slip it under the reed from the tip toward the root and lift slightly to raise the set.  This keeps the reed straight.  Concertina reeds need to be as responsive as possible.  The interesting reed bending variants that are used to affect the tone in other reed instruments tend not to be optimal in that regard.  None of that matters in an organ that tends to operate at a more or less constant pressure level, but concertinas can’t afford it.  
  I think of reed as a little like pre-loading the spring that splits the difference of being high enough to ensure it doesn’t die in the window, but low enough to require little air flow to close it and start the oscillation.  It does need to be high enough so that the reed can produce enough volume, but that is a trade off between volume and response.  I find stiffer reeds can operate at a lower set than thin or weak reeds.

Dana

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dana,

thanks for your reply. You are the native speaker and i full agree with all you did explain! 

Have a nice day an keep healthy. i keep working, because we should stay indoors anyway.

 

Johann 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Parabolic auto-corrected to parable lice?

 

Is it just me or is auto-correction getting much more aggressive lately?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

Parabolic auto-corrected to parable lice?

 

Is it just me or is auto-correction getting much more aggressive lately?

Auto-correct is the little elf inside your computer who tries REALLY hard to help but who is, in fact, drunk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...