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Reed issues on project


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So with the instrument I'm currently working on (see my last post) I'm having some trouble with a few reeds. At least 2 of the reeds struggle to sound, almost as if they need time to get going when the bellows are being moved, and at least one reed buzzing because it's hitting the reed pan.

 

I've got a rough idea of how to stop the buzzing reed, If I'm careful I can hopefully move it to stop the collision, but I'm not sure what to do about the other reeds that struggle to produce a noise. The only way I can describe it is that it's like they need a run-up of air whereas they should just be sounding instantly. I'll attach pictures in an edit later on if that would help.

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Larten

 

There's lots of reasons why a reed can stall or refuse to sound. Too close to one side of the frame; too little gap between reed tip and frame; too much gap between reed tip and frame; too tight in the reed pan slot...

 

Whereabouts in Scotland are you?  I'm in Ayrshire if that might help you find the solution

 

Alex West

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Larten

 

Have a look at this. It is a bit on the long side but explains the principles very well

 

http://www.concertinaconnection.com/concertina%20reeds.htm

 

To increase the gap I use a feeler gauge between the reed and its frame. and twist it upwards slightly a step at a time, checking it each time to see if it is sounding,  until I get the level I am looking for. If the reed is too high I use a thin wooden stick (cocktail stick) to push it back down lowering the set.

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17 hours ago, larten27 said:

... at least one reed buzzing because it's hitting the reed pan.

 

I'll attach pictures in an edit later on if that would help.

 

For the benefit of people trying to advise you, I'd better point out that the instrument in question is a very old 20-key German one, because your mention of a reed pan greatly confuses the issue and makes it sound like your enquiry is about a concertina of (much more expensive) traditional English construction. (A reed pan is a wooden assembly into which the bevelled, tapered, individual reed frames of English-style reeds slide.)

 

Presumably what you've got inside it are traditional German-style long-plate reeds, similar to those in your Scholer?

 

A picture speaks a thousand words!

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7 hours ago, Stephen Chambers said:

Presumably what you've got inside it are traditional German-style long-plate reeds, similar to those in your Scholer?

You are 100% correct that is my mistake! These are the german plate style reeds more akin to harmonica reeds, not individually set shoes.

 

I'm attaching 2 images. The reed I'm focusing on for now is the one closest to the camera in both shots, it sounds but quietly and with some delay. I have been trying to adjust the height of the reed tip from the plate which has yielded some small results, coming from a reed which barely sounded at all. The issue I then face is the body of the reed no longer running parallel, being ever so slightly bowed in places.

20210704_172513.jpg

20210704_172530.jpg

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Looking at the reed in the foreground, if that one is not sounding quickly then no surprise. While people often say the tip needs to be raised up above the frame, in fact the reed needs to be raised up above the frame from about 1/3rd of the way along the frame from the root, not just the tip. 

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OP here with an update. I bungled it.

 

Well kinda. The reed I talk about in the images above is now sounding at a point where I don't want to risk messing it up any more. The issue lies in the reed that was buzzing awfully because it was hitting the plate.

 

Following a guide online I attempted to use a thin piece of metal to get it back into place but what happened instead was the reed twisting and developing a weak point which, after my not realising and carrying on, failed and broke the reed. (In the image you can see its rivet, I trimmed back the broken pieces)

 

So now I need to either remove that rivet, somehow make a new reed, tune it to D¹ and fit it back to the plate

OR

Find and buy a replacement left hand F key plate.

20210705_160421.jpg

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Find yourself some harmonium or reed organ reeds as a source of the brass. They will be around, almost no-one keeps the instruments but people sometimes keep the reeds. Take the reed from the harmonium reed frame; it will still need drilling, filing to fit , riveting (the secret there is to have a hole in the reed a little bigger then the rivet and this will allow you to adjust the position of the reed as you rivet it) and then filing to pitch. 

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4 hours ago, Chris Ghent said:

Find yourself some harmonium or reed organ reeds as a source of the brass.

Another source of material is the cheaper type of old German piano accordion or melodeon which use the same long plate reeds as your concertina.  You can harvest the reeds and fit them as Chris suggests above, or if you can find a diatonic with a row of the same pitch you may be able to saw the reed plate in half and use the top half on the right of your concertina and the low half on the left.

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