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Accordion reed plates falling into block chambers


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Hello all!

 

I am re-waxing half a block of reeds on a 120 bass accordion, because I noticed 2 or 3 reeds on that side that were starting to rattle loose. I removed all the reed plates, scraped away all the old wax (what a tiresome job!) and now I'm happily and patiently awaiting the arrival of a block of accordion wax in the mail.

 

In preparation for the task of re-waxing, I am practicing placing the reed plates on the block where they will be waxed in place. However, the issue I'm running into is that some of the chamber cutouts seem to be a tiny bit wider than the reed plates, maybe by only a half millimeter, but that's enough to let the plates fall in, much to my frustration. I can get them all on there, but the equilibrium is so unstable that even picking up the block (which I will need to do for waxing) causes them to fall in again.

 

Should I whip up some wood filler to sculpt a little more of a stable surface for the reed plate to sit on, or is there some kind of secret reed plate balancing act or waxing trick that could possibly solve my conundrum? All the videos I find either have different style blocks in which the reed plates are nestled snugly within the wood, or the video begins with all the reeds resting flat on the block before the camera started recording.

 

Thank you kindly for your time and assistance!

 

Sam

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Don't give up yet - there might be folks here who work with accordion-reeded concertinas, but often the reeds are held on by screws instead of wax. A more likely place to get a good answer would be at the melodeon.net forum since a lot of melodeons have reeds held in with wax - I know that for a fact as several reeds melted and fell down into the bellows of my Hohner pokerwork while I was playing on stage in 100+ degree weather in San Antonio - yikes!

 

Gary

 

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Thanks Gary, I will be sure to check that out! I've also just requested to join a Facebook group about accordion repair, so I will try asking there as well. May your future concerts be mild in temperature but wild in style!

 

Sam

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Note added: I composed this last night but it didn't attach until now.

 

Sounds like a challenge. While I have no idea where repairers of piano accordions congregate on the web, someone here may have encountered something similar and will speak up. Until then, best of luck.

 

Ken

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Hi Sam......this is not that uncommon in my somewhat limited ( but developing ) experience.

 

When you come to replace the reeds, depending on your strategy, if you apply wax to the ends first, to hold the reed, when you apply it along the sides it will cool on contact with the metal of the plate and the wood and  'bridge' the gap without reed plate or wax falling into the air chamber.  That will have been how it was done in the first place.  There should be no need to fettle the block.  It does require you to have the reed in pretty much the right pace when you 'tack it on' but you would anyway.  Much depends on your system for applying wax.  Some use a 'cool' soldering iron, I prefer the wax pot and paintbrush method.  There is a Lester Bailey "Hot Rod Hohner" video on the solder iron method and a Charlie Marshall video on the paintbrush one.  Nb the iron needs really to be heat controlled and for the wax pot one of the cheap leg wax jobs works fine.  I have an encaustic iron for 'wax crafts' and that is perfect, although I found the iron needs a steadier hand than the brush and for the wax to be made into a suitable form, ie thin pencil like strips. 

 

If you intend to use an Italian wax spoon......then you need expert advice from a real expert!

 

Re waxing, often leads to re-valving and re-waxing....if not re-valving, re-tuning and re-waxing. because if the wax has desiccated and perished with time, the rest is probably needing attention too, before long.    

 

 

 

 

 

Safer than an open flame....

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Edited by Sprunghub
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