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Removing and reinstalling accordion reeds


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I recently complained that my Beaumont has waxed in accordion reeds that I was reluctant to service because of the difficulty of removal and reinstallation.

 

While researching for that post I stumbled across a photo essay on this very topic buried deep inside the Concertina Connection web-site:

http://www.concertinaconnection.com/reed exchange instructions.htm#

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13 minutes ago, Theo said:

Waxed in reeds can be tuned in situ with a few very simple tools.  Accordion tuners do this all the time.

True, but in an accordion they are in removeable reed blocks and you can get at the inside reed tongue from inside the block.  And you can put the entire reed block on the tuning table while you are filing or scratching the reed.

 

I don't understand how you can do that in a concertina where the reeds are waxed down to the back of the action board.

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Sadly I can't open the link you posted

 

11 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

True, but in an accordion they are in removeable reed blocks and you can get at the inside reed tongue from inside the block.  And you can put the entire reed block on the tuning table while you are filing or scratching the reed.

Maybe this video can help with some misconceptions here. The inner reeds are very much tuned from the outside as well.

 

 

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15 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

True, but in an accordion they are in removeable reed blocks and you can get at the inside reed tongue from inside the block.  And you can put the entire reed block on the tuning table while you are filing or scratching the reed.

 

I don't understand how you can do that in a concertina where the reeds are waxed down to the back of the action board.

 

I tune diatonic accordions and concertinas for a living, have done for nearly 20 years.  I now tune all accordion type reeds on the reed blocks with the blocks fitted in the instrument, either in accordions or concertinas.  Concertinas with upstanding reed blocks are usually easier than accordions because there is almost always more space around the reeds.  I'll try and take some photos to illustrate the process.

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8 hours ago, Skran said:

Sadly I can't open the link you posted

 

Maybe this video can help with some misconceptions here. The inner reeds are very much tuned from the outside as well.

 

 

Thank you for this video, I have looked at many videos on accordion and melodeon tuning but this is the first that I have seen that clearly demonstrates the reed lifting tools and the process involved.  I will try to make myself some lifting tools. I think that the the German style ones could be made out of some sacrificial feeler guage 'tongues' and I have some old dental picks that might be usable for the Italian style lifter.

 

I am still not clear on how to tune concertina reeds in their 'natural environment' unless I reassemble the concertina at every step of the filing process.

 

The author of this video was asked about that in a comment, this was the reply:

 

rather than a tuning bellows I
normally use the instrument itself:
bass with bellows attached,
standing on its feet and strapped
to the table to prevent it from
moving around.

 

4 hours ago, Theo said:

Concertinas with upstanding reed blocks are usually easier than accordions because there is almost always more space around the reeds.  I'll try and take some photos to illustrate the process.

I look forward to any more information that you can provide, especially on how to do the filing and test the tuning in place.  Do you have to reassemble the concertina frequently?

 

I suspect that all of us who own a Morse concertina will find this information useful one day.

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2 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

Thank you for this video, I have looked at many videos on accordion and melodeon tuning but this is the first that I have seen that clearly demonstrates the reed lifting tools and the process involved.

Yes there are many youtube videos about accordion tuning.  Unfortunately many of them are quite misleading and describe poor practice.

 

2 hours ago, Don Taylor said:
7 hours ago, Theo said:

Concertinas with upstanding reed blocks are usually easier than accordions because there is almost always more space around the reeds.  I'll try and take some photos to illustrate the process.

I look forward to any more information that you can provide, especially on how to do the filing and test the tuning in place.  Do you have to reassemble the concertina frequently?

 

I suspect that all of us who own a Morse concertina will find this information useful one day.

 

 

The video above ( which from renowned Norwegian accordion builder Olaf Bergflodt, and narrated by his daughter) shows all you need to know about the main types of tools and how to use them.  Personally I favour the Italian hook, though I use the German style tool as well.  

 

The video only makes passing reference to files so I'll add my thoughts on that.

 

I've used a number of different makes and types of file, but now I do most tuning with one of four files:

 

1 a small diamond warding file 600 grit.  Like this unfortunately this one is now out of stock and I'm looking for a substitute.  I'm currently using this one from Ezlap, but the quality is poor.  The diamond coating is inconsistent and the edges of the file are lumpy. Good diamond files have a very predictable cutting rate so are particularly useful when you get within 2 or 3 cents of the target pitch.  They also avoid the disaster that can follow if the teeth of a traditional file catch the corner of a very thin reed.

 

2 Swiss Vallorbe needle file 3 square cut 2. A variety of these files are are shown here, don't be tempted to try the cheaper Cousins own brand, they wear out fast on spring steel reeds.  This cuts faster than the diamond file so I use it where the pitch has to be changed a lot, roughly more than 15 or 20 cents.

 

3 a high quality 6" engineers file fine cut which I use for the largest reeds.  

 

4 an old medium cut file which I use exclusively for filing solder on tip loaded reeds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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