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Pulsating? Reed/Glue Type


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Hello everyone,

 

I'm not sure what I'm dealing with.  The reeds (accordion, inside a Ceili) for a button wouldn't work in or out, I took it apart and ran some paper underneath the reeds and it fixed the pull, but the push sounds like it's pulsating. (Sample attached) Any ideas?

 

Also, in the process, the leather rub strip inside the button (where the lever goes through) fell off.  It's back in place, but I think it needs to be glued.  Any ideas what kind of glue I should use?

 

Thank you!

20220119_184207.jpg

Voice 005_sd.m4a

Edited by Nabio
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  • Nabio changed the title to Pulsating? Reed/Glue Type

If you are somewhere that you can afford to/where it is practical to/ telephone to the Button Box, I'm sure they'd help you as much as they can over a phone connection.

 

Ken

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Thanks for that.  Yes, I'll call them tomorrow.  I've taken the thing apart about a dozen times to clean the reed and I think I'm making it worse.  Now I can hear a buzzing sound..  

 

Thanks again

 

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The buzzing might be the leaver arm vibrating against the bare inside of the button hole, where you might be missing a bit of felt? 

 

I don't think that the felt can be glued inside the hole in the button, there is no glue that will stick to Delrin. 

 

Can you replace the felt? 

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Hi Don, been meaning to catch up with you :)

 

Yes, I've replaced the felt (though it feels like very soft leather), so that shouldn't be the problem.  I just assumed it was glued because other buttons hang on to the material, though this could be from the continuous pressure over time.  Otherwise, it's just sitting in the hole, which I think would just vibrate or rub out eventually.  I'll keep an eye on it..

 

But the other problem.. everything was smooth until one day it wasn't.  Cleaned the reeds using a little rubbing alcohol on the edge with a Q-tip stick (no cotton).  Multiple passes of paper. Still no love.  I can't see or feel any restriction or rubbing.  Have you ever heard that sound before?  It's trying to speak but developed a muddled warble.

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I think with these instruments there are accordion style reed plates held down with screws? Have you tried loosening the screws holding the problem reed down, just a touch, and seeing if the problem sound goes away or at least changes? That would identify that the reed is catching in the slot, which would account for the sound. I set up hundreds of these reeds, the tolerances are so tight that any slight warping of the softer aluminium plates can cause the reeds to catch. Sometimes even the action of tightening the end bolts is enough to trigger this, if that flexes the reed pan a little.

 

Hope that helps.

 

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Hi Nabio

 

Just a thought after I have just gone around our house filling the humidifiers with water, but how is the humidity in your place?

 

Here in Canada and the North-East the air is  'dry as a dead dingo's donger' as our antipodean friends say, and this can cause all sorts of changes in wood.  Not too good for humans either.

 

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Hi Don,

 

I was thinking about this as a possibility.  The temperature has been colder than usual but with about as much humidity as you are experiencing.  

 

Could wax from the reed blocks be problematic if it were to come in contact with the reeds?

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1 hour ago, Nabio said:

Could wax from the reed blocks be problematic if it were to come in contact with the reeds?

If you mean reed wax on the reed tongues then sure, if it is just on the plate then I doubt that matters.

 

The Ceili does not have reed blocks in the accordion sense, the reeds are waxed onto the underside of the action board:

Ceili-insides-lg.png

 

You are only able to access one side of the pair of reeds in each plate.  Have you tried removing the reed so that you can get at the underside reed tongue? 

 

Actually, I need to do this on my Beaumont to fine tune one or two reeds but I have been a bit hesitant to do this as the the wax work on Morse concertinas looks so perfect and my attempts at rewaxing look pretty crude.

 

I have a red Chinese 20B that I bought to use the bellows for a tuning table and I have been experimenting with removing the waxed in reeds on that.  I remove them by running an Exacto knife around the plate and then gently leavering it out.  Not too tricky.  After I put it back by simply pressing it home then I find that I can test the result without having to melt the wax back into place.  Once I am happy with the result then I use a soldering iron to melt and reflow the wax.  Easy to do, but the results looks a bit crude.

 

There has not been much discussion here about working on accordion reeded concertinas and I would really like to hear from folks who know what they are doing for these types of concertinas.

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Ive experienced a similar sounding issue before. The wax had loosened its grip on a reed in such a way that you couldn't really tell very easily at a glance, but if you shifted the reed by hand you could see it move ever so slightly. The push reed worked ok, but when activating the pull reed the thing would warble and buzz or not work at all. The solution there was re melting the wax and bam, all good. 

 

I live in New England and winters are incredibly dry, to echo Don's statement, and it wreaks havoc on musical instruments. My current concertina has screws holding the reeds in and I have had to snug them up when it gets too dry in the house, much to my trepidation.

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Thank you so much for the advice, everyone.  I do believe it's a reed plate (not block - thanks Don) that's loose.  I looked around and noticed visible cracks in the wax around several plates, so I tried squishing the problem plate further into its recess, into the wax, to create a better seal.  It worked, temporarily.  I have one screwdriver and a fold out knife at my disposal, so I'll have to wait until I get home to deal with this.  I'm going to try the soldering iron to close any could be gaps.  

 

Could this same issue affect the pitch of other reeds?  It's been something I've noticed getting progressively worse over the last few months.

 

Thanks again for all the advice. 👍👍👍

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1 hour ago, Nabio said:

I'm going to try the soldering iron to close any could be gaps. 

 I just spent a few hours watching Youtube videos on working with waxed-in accordion reeds. 

 

Unless you have an adjustable temperature soldering iron then be careful using a regular soldering iron as they run pretty hot.  In which case you may find that smooshing the wax down and then holding the iron close to, but not actually touching, the wax will do the job without smoking the wax.

 

I now realize how the BB gets such a smooth finish to their wax - I think that they use a pot to heat and melt new wax then use a 'wax spoon' to pour liquid wax  around the reed plates.

 

This post on Melnet is worth reading.

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This can be either a valve which is stiff and holding off from the reed vent. Air flow closes the valve, then it springs open again, or the reed plate is loose. Either way I don't like working on waxed reeds. I have learned that re-using existing wax is not a good idea, I get pre-mixed wax which is beeswax and rosin, I proprietary blend  

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Thanks, all, for the great advice.

 

I spoke with Doug at Button Box and he shared the idea that it was a wax issue.  Upon closer inspection, I did notice that the one reed plate was loose (the wax let go of the wood, not the plate).  I was able to find a very helpful accordion repairman who helped me re-melt the wax for a quick fix.  All he did was heat what basically looked like a soldering iron, but with a very unique spoon shape like the one in Don's recommended video (thanks again Don).  However, this was only after he did a few tests that included regluing the leather flap/valve, another that involved taping the leather shut to ensure it wasn't flapping around.  It was here that we noticed the plate wiggling in its place, and fixed it.

 

The repairman was very confident and wasted no time diagnosing and fixing the instrument.  The repair and chit-chat cost 40 dollars CDN.  This included some glue for the valves if something goes again.  Here is his contact information if anyone needs a repairman in the Quebec, QC, Canada area:

 

Accordeon

Mr. Albini Gallant

Tel. 418-877-2227

www.accordeons.ca

 

Again, thanks for all your help!  

 

Cheers!

Edited by Nabio
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Be aware that wax problems like this may recur.  The wax is (should be) all the same age.  If one reed plate has come loose then others may do the same. You might be lucky, but if this happens again with a different reed then it will be worthwhile getting all the wax removed and replaced with fresh new wax.

I do a lot of repairs and maintenance to waxed reeds and this advice is based on experience.

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I've been following this discussion with interest, as a Ceili is on my short list to consider as an upgrade from the loaner Stagi I'm using for my beginning lessons.  Is wax installation a common procedure for this class of concertina?  Is it because the accordion reeds come mounted on the reed plates which are then installed with the wax?  I'm curious why hot hide glue would not be suitable for this.  The reed plates could still be removed if necessary with a little heat.   

 

With the uncertain future of new Cailis being made and serviced, should I be concerned about buying one?  I assume other concertina repair services could do any necessary repairs, but I'm just not yet familiar enough know what I might be getting into.      

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May have partially answered my own questions.  I just looked at the process of changing accordion reeds on Concertina Connection, and it looks like wax is probably way easier and probably ensures a better seal.  And it's probably been done that way for a hundred years on accordions.

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