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Wheatstone #55167, South Africa


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5 hours ago, Fanie said:

Thank you Theo. I am going to try to make one from the shaft of an old drill bit, but how do you drill into hard steel?

 

I don't know. I used tool steel as supplied which is not to hard to drill.  If your old drill shaft is carbon steel you can soften it by heating to red and cooling slowly.   If it's high speed steel I don't know.

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  • 2 months later...

Time for an update:

I made a new set of 8-fold bellows

I made a set of new deldrin/acetal buttons

I made new pads and 

I made new springs from 0.7mm stainless steel spring wire.

Now for my big headache, the reeds.

The reeds sound terrible. Some of them don't make a sound and the rest are out of tune. Some of them were so rusted and pitted that I do't know if it will be possible to tune them.

Now I have been thinking............ I have an old Scandalli piano accordion that is beyond repair, but the reeds are still looking good. It has about 120 treble reeds. If I could harvest a set of reeds from the PA and then cut half of the reed plate off so that it is a single tongue reed and then file the reed plate to shape and then drill holes on both ends to attach it with screws?

What do you think?

Edited by Fanie
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It is time time to start doing something about the reeds in my Wheatstone. I cleaned all the rust out and started testing the pitch.

I have two tuner apps on my phone, which are Pano Tuner, and I have Billthefarmer Tuner.

Both apps measure the pitch in Hz an my reeds are way out of pitch.

I first tested the right hand side reeds and made a tabel of what it should be (Target Hz), and what it is currently testing (Current Hz).

Right hand reeds:

Reed

Target Hz

Current Hz

C#5

554.73

546

D#5

662.25

604

A5

880

857

G5

783.99

747

G#5

830.61

800

Bb5

932.33

903

C#6

1108.73

1095

D#6

1244.51

1173

A6

1760

1587

F6

1396.91

1246

E6

1318.51

1182

B5

987.77

963

B6

1975.53

1780

F#6

1479.98

1425

C6

1046.50

962

A5

880

845

G6

1567.98

1482

E6

1318.51

1256

D6

1174.66

1092

C6

1046.50

1011

G5

783.99

760

F5

698.46

 

B5

987.77

949

A5

880

868

E5

659.25

620

D5

587.33

583

G5

783.99

750

F#5

739.99

728

C5

523.25

490

B4

493.88

481

 

As you can see, they are WAY out of tune. Please tell me if it will be possible to tune these reeds to what they should be.

Thank you for you help.

Edited by Fanie
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Double check your Target values. You have D#5 as 662.25 but I believe it is 622.25!

 

See this table of note values. You can use it to work out what your current  reeds are set to. Better still your tuner app may tell you

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_key_frequencies

 

Providing the reeds have not be tuned too much you should be able to retune by half a tone up or down relatively easily.

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If you're using a tuning app, you normally don't need to worry directly about frequencies, other than when you set your pitch reference (e.g. A4=440Hz). The app autodetects what note you are playing, then calculates how far off it is from what it should be and expresses the result in cents. A cent is a hundredth of a semitone. You need to have an idea of what note you expect the reed to play, because if it is more than 50 cents off the tuner may show you the wrong note (e.g. it may say F# -45c when it's actually F +55c).

 

The app I use is called TonalEnergy Tuner & Metronome.

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I have just had a brief look at the Pano Tuner website, and the display only seems to show the note value and frequency (eg A and 440.0 hz). Other tuners also show how many cents the note being sounded  is above or below the required pitch

I believe this is what Alex is referring to, and it seems cents is not available on that tuner.

Bill the farmer tuner does appear to show cents, so I suggest you use that one if you are familiar with it.

When you sound the note it will show you what note it is nearest to and how many cents above or below that note it is. You are looking to get it to as near as 0 cents as possible,

So

  • Sound the reed
  • Look at what the tuner says the note is and how far above/below pitch it is in cents.
  • Tune the reed up or down and re-sound  until you get as near as you can to 0 cents.

 

Does this make sense?

 

Tuner-swift.png

unnamed.jpg

Edited by Rod Pearce
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6 minutes ago, Rod Pearce said:

I have just had a brief look at the Pano Tuner website, and the display only seems to show the note value and frequency (eg A and 440.0 hz). Other tuners also show how many cents the note being sounded  is above or below the required pitch

 

 

unnamed.jpg


In the screenshot of Pano Tuner, I would guess the gauge directly above the note display (with green bars from +10 to -10) is showing the cents error. 

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3 minutes ago, Richard Mellish said:

If so it's confusing, because 10 seems to correspond to half a semitone.

 

Yes, the designer of that app obviously favoured its artistic design over usability and features.

 

Bill the Farmer's tuner is unusual in that it seems to be primarily intended for tuning instruments that have pairs of reeds, e.g. melodeons and accordions.

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Thank you for the help gentlemen, I appreciate it.

So if the error measurement is "+" cents off, you file the tip of the reed, and when it is "-" off, you file the base of the reed?

How much maximum error is it possible to change?

Thanks

Edited by Fanie
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2 hours ago, Fanie said:

Thank you for the help gentlemen, I appreciate it.

So if the error measurement is "+" cents off, you file the tip of the reed, and when it is "-" off, you file the base of the reed?

How much maximum error is it possible to change?

Thanks

 

No, that's backwards. A + error means it's sharp, so you need to flatten it by either weakening the read near the clamp or adding extra weight to the tip. A - error means it's flat so you need to sharpen it by removing weight from the tip.

 

It's impossible to say how much of an adjustment you can get away with because it depends on how thin they are already. Removing metal makes the reeds weaker which may limit their performance (unless they were manufactured too heavy to start with). If they have been heavily tuned in the past there might not be a lot of material left to remove. With very high reeds in particular they can become so thin at the tip that the metal just disintegrates.

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