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The use of shellac as an adhesive

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My limited understanding is that shellac is used on pads for brass instruments, by heating the metal cup with a flame and melting a bit of solid shellac onto the hot metal, then pressing the pad onto the molten glue. Sort of an early form of hot-melt glue. I don't think you could do that inside a concertina action box. Maybe you could dissolve some in a small amount of alcohol to make a thick liquid glue, but if you're going to do that why not just use a traditional water-soluble hide/fish glue instead?

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I believe that traditionally shellac was sometimes used to glue accordion valves to reed plates. And, although I am no expert, I can confirm that for clarinets, etc shellac can and has often been used to glue the pads into cups - one of the reasons it works well there is because when you re-heat it, it melts and allows you to adjust the pad alignment.


The same effect can be achieved a lot cheaper & easier with bog standard hot melt glue (which is not a taboo when it comes to gluing accordion pallets to the aluminium levers these days).



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On 10/17/2023 at 11:52 AM, DDF said:

I have used a thick shellac mix for valves and it seems to work fine I don't think it would be the best for "pad assembly" or pad attachment.


I recall the late Rich Morse posting here that he used thickened shellac to attach valves (but not pads).



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