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My EC came yesterday, I'd like to change the oil and spark plugs


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Got my first EC from ebay for $95, it's as advertised, like new and in great playing shape. Has a sweet deep tone- been playing (correction: trying to play) until my hands are sore

which happens sooner than I thought. (I posted a thread today about my idea for a new kind of pinkie rest in the "Ergonomics" forum.)  There is one key that only sounds on the push not the pull and another plays but sounds like it has a plumbing issue - it falters on a sustained note. the other niggle is the B and B flat keys are reversed, the flat is on the third row and the whole note is on the bottom row which does not fit with my carefully drawn Wheatstone chart! 

 

This EC has sat for several years and I've read it should be played to give it time to loosen up, but I'm also curious what manufacturer/make it is which may have a hint inside the door and just want to open it up and have a look see. I'm a small tool machinist with a good shop (mill, lathe and the works) so am adequately tooled up. 

 

If any one could offer broad guidance it would be nice. I plan to search for videos. I've read up on EC repair generally at concertina.net but def want to see it with my own eyes before starting. It seems a careful use of an air gun and maybe a slight glistening (re-annointing) of nose grease (a technical term we use in the camera dept) here and there...

 

I wonder what are the fundemental things an EC needs from time to time by way of mechanical love and repair-  like gluing some felt or leather here or there - anything that does not require "local knowledge" (meaning skilled experience). 

 

The reversed B and B flat kinda bug me - is that a user repairable issue? I don;t need to tune it - just swap out the 'mailing address'. 

 

Anyway nuff said - thanks for your time. 

 

Caleb New Orleans 

 

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8 hours ago, helmbelly said:

The reversed B and B flat kinda bug me - is that a user repairable issue? I don;t need to tune it - just swap out the 'mailing address'. 

It should be user repairable/swappable.  I suspect that your concertina actually uses accordion reeds and they are probably waxed in place - without pictures of the internals we cannot be sure, but I think all of the Chinese-built concertinas use waxed in accordion reeds.  

 

You are going to have to take the end off and identify which are the two reed plates that need swapping, make sure that they are the same size.  If they are different then you are screwed.  If they are the same, then you can carefully cut through the wax around the plates, prise out the reeds and swap them over.  You then need to remelt the wax around the reed plates to seal them in place.  There are various techniques to do this, I use a controllable heat soldering iron on its lowest setting, you can use a heated screwdriver tip, blade or a knitting needle.  If the wax smokes then your iron/blade is too hot.  You probably will not be able to make a really neat job of this with these techniques, but it should be functional.  There are lots of Youtube videos about waxing in accordion reeds, worth watching some of them.

 

The fiddliest job is going to be getting the end back on again with all the buttons back in their holes.  Try holding the concertina with the buttons pointing down and then offer up the end from underneath.  Patience will be required but cursing also helps...

 

Added later:  This link from the Concertina Connection is intended to show how to upgrade and replace the reeds in their beginner level concertinas (probably made in the same factory as your EC).  It is useful to show you what to do to swap your reeds.  You should ignore the bits about  reducing the chamber sizes.

Edited by Don Taylor
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Just a few tips for removing the ends- once you've loosened the 6 end screws out of the bellows frame the end should come off.  To get access to the button side of the action board you'll probably have to unscrew 2 tiny wood screws that are driven in to the action box frame at about a 45 degree angle at a couple of spots around the edge of the action board.  When you put it all back together be careful not to over tighten anything.  These things are cheaply made, the wood is soft, and they're not really intended to be assembled/reassembled very much.  It's easy to strip the holes the screws go into.

Edited by Bill N
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Hearty thanks on this detailed info. I have to find that button hack before doing this just bc it sounded like it would work - even tho I can't recall it. I have controllable iron with 1/16 tip very slender lady that should be just right for what you outline. It's great to know I can do this. I'll report back post surgery hopefully not post mortem!

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33 minutes ago, helmbelly said:

trick/hack for reallignment of the buttons

Kebab skewer?

 

I suspect that your concertina will have an action that is based on what has been called the Stagi action.  If so then the buttons will have a little sleeve of rubber tubing at their base.  If this tubing has perished, which happens over time, then the buttons flop about and become even more tricky to get back in place.  In this case, you will need to replace the tubing.  As long as it is the right size then almost anything will do.  If you need to go and buy something then the neoprene tubing used for fuel lines in model airplanes will work very well and be long lasting.

Edited by Don Taylor
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7 hours ago, helmbelly said:

I was reading somewhere a guy had a trick/hack for reallignment of the buttons when replacing end cap - I gotta go back and find in my history. If I can find I'll report it 

7 hours ago, helmbelly said:

I have to find that button hack before doing this just bc it sounded like it would work - even tho I can't recall it.

 

You mean this?

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