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How To Begin?


Miriam
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Hello-- I have a 20-button Lachenal I'd like to restore but I don't know where to start! The instrument's worst symptom is that when you play any of the buttons, you get chords and "ghost" notes. I followed Dave Elliot's suggestion to rough up the chamois gaskets to stop air leakage between the chambers and it seemed to help the left side, but the right side is as bad as ever. Should I replace the gaskets? Or am I barking up the wrong tree? The wood making up the reed chambers doesn't seem to be warped-- I checked it with a straight edge. I'd appreciate any suggestions-- thanks!

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Miriam, leakage can result from either air passing round the inside bellows fram wall chamois, or accross the tops of the chamber walls.

 

1. check the fit of the reed pan to the bellows frame, rough that gasket where the impression of the pan and its chamber walls can be seen. If that fails then goto 2. below.

 

2. check if the pan support blocks are all there or if they are loose. As necessary re-glue or replace any missing blocks whilst ensuring that the top of the chamber wall chamoise is level or minisculely proud of the bellows frame end. If all blocks are secure and the ends of the chamber wall 'feel' low as they intersect the chamber wall then glue a small shim of thin card on top of the adjacent support blocks. If this fails then goto 3.

 

3. back to the reed pan fit to the bellows frame walls. If you are satisfied that 1. & 2. are Ok then its worth checking valve condition around the notes in question as a last desperate hope before the slightly more drastic measure of lifting some side wall gasket and packing it out with a bit of card. The gasket retaining glue is weak, it just pulls up. Select the area of bellows frame wall sealing the affected notes. remove the pan and tease up the gasket from the bottom, do not fully remove leave attached at the frame's outer edge. Do this for a full 'Flat', cut and slip a bit of fine card into place and re-lay the chamois. re-assemble & test. don't be suprised if you have to do an adjacent frame flat as well. If this works, and it will, then re-gluing the gasket with gum arabic is almost optional. Run for a while un-glued to be sure.

 

Dave

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Miriam, leakage can result from either air passing round the inside bellows fram wall chamois, or accross the tops of the chamber walls.

 

1. check the fit of the reed pan to the bellows frame, rough that gasket where the impression of the pan and its chamber walls can be seen. If that fails then goto 2. below.

 

2. check if the pan support blocks are all there or if they are loose. As necessary re-glue or replace any missing blocks whilst ensuring that the top of the chamber wall chamoise is level or minisculely proud of the bellows frame end. If all blocks are secure and the ends of the chamber wall 'feel' low as they intersect the chamber wall then glue a small shim of thin card on top of the adjacent support blocks. If this fails then goto 3.

 

3. back to the reed pan fit to the bellows frame walls. If you are satisfied that 1. & 2. are Ok then its worth checking valve condition around the notes in question as a last desperate hope before the slightly more drastic measure of lifting some side wall gasket and packing it out with a bit of card. The gasket retaining glue is weak, it just pulls up. Select the area of bellows frame wall sealing the affected notes. remove the pan and tease up the gasket from the bottom, do not fully remove leave attached at the frame's outer edge. Do this for a full 'Flat', cut and slip a bit of fine card into place and re-lay the chamois. re-assemble & test. don't be suprised if you have to do an adjacent frame flat as well. If this works, and it will, then re-gluing the gasket with gum arabic is almost optional. Run for a while un-glued to be sure.

 

Dave

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Hello Dave,

 

Thanks so much for your quick reply and advice. No luck so far, but on closer inspection I realized that the reed pan is in fact a little bit concave-- when I checked it from the bottom side it's about 1/32" higher in the middle than on the sides. Could this be the cause of the problem?

 

Happy Holidays to you,

 

Miriam

 

 

 

Miriam, leakage can result from either air passing round the inside bellows fram wall chamois, or accross the tops of the chamber walls.

 

1. check the fit of the reed pan to the bellows frame, rough that gasket where the impression of the pan and its chamber walls can be seen. If that fails then goto 2. below.

 

2. check if the pan support blocks are all there or if they are loose. As necessary re-glue or replace any missing blocks whilst ensuring that the top of the chamber wall chamoise is level or minisculely proud of the bellows frame end. If all blocks are secure and the ends of the chamber wall 'feel' low as they intersect the chamber wall then glue a small shim of thin card on top of the adjacent support blocks. If this fails then goto 3.

 

3. back to the reed pan fit to the bellows frame walls. If you are satisfied that 1. & 2. are Ok then its worth checking valve condition around the notes in question as a last desperate hope before the slightly more drastic measure of lifting some side wall gasket and packing it out with a bit of card. The gasket retaining glue is weak, it just pulls up. Select the area of bellows frame wall sealing the affected notes. remove the pan and tease up the gasket from the bottom, do not fully remove leave attached at the frame's outer edge. Do this for a full 'Flat', cut and slip a bit of fine card into place and re-lay the chamois. re-assemble & test. don't be suprised if you have to do an adjacent frame flat as well. If this works, and it will, then re-gluing the gasket with gum arabic is almost optional. Run for a while un-glued to be sure.

 

Dave

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Hello Dave,

 

Thanks so much for your quick reply and advice. No luck so far, but on closer inspection I realized that the reed pan is in fact a little bit concave-- when I checked it from the bottom side it's about 1/32" higher in the middle than on the sides. Could this be the cause of the problem?

 

Happy Holidays to you,

 

Miriam

 

 

Miriam,

 

its normal for reedpans to be a little 'crowned', that is the chamber side to appear to be a little convex, is this what you are describing? If so then it should not be a problem.

 

So lets get mote specific:

 

1. Which side is the problem side? Left or Right?, or if both which is worst? and is it only in squeeze and not draw?

 

2. are there a group of keys (notes) which are effected?

 

3. with no keys pressed, if you pressurise the bellows can you hear somme notes sounding? I.e. in Squeeze mode, if you de-pressurise the bellows by pulling (no keys pressed) is the instrument silent? please do not force anything for these two tests.

 

4. Are the valves all curled and twisted away from the reed pan?

 

Dave

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I posted a similar question last spring and got many varied responses, which you may read here. Ultimate resolution (after the quick fix I describe in the thread) was that in September I took it to the Button Box for general overhauling. I don't know what Bob did there (I should really take the thing apart and have a good look—I'm not even certain my paper shims aren't still there), but it hasn't been a problem since.

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Hello Dave,

 

 

 

Thanks so much for your quick reply and advice. No luck so far, but on closer inspection I realized that the reed pan is in fact a little bit concave-- when I checked it from the bottom side it's about 1/32" higher in the middle than on the sides. Could this be the cause of the problem?

 

Happy Holidays to you,

 

Miriam

 

 

Dave,

 

I didn't know the reed pan should be crowned--oops, I did meant convex! In answer to your questions:

 

The left side is pretty good... it's the right side that's the problem. You can hardly hear any of the real notes; instead when you push or draw on any key, or no keys at all, there is a uniform "chord" sound made up of many notes.

 

The valves are hardly twisted or curled, though I'm not sure what degree of curling is OK.

 

As you can tell, I'm a beginner but I'd like to tackle this.

 

Miriam,

 

its normal for reedpans to be a little 'crowned', that is the chamber side to appear to be a little convex, is this what you are describing? If so then it should not be a problem.

 

So lets get mote specific:

 

1. Which side is the problem side? Left or Right?, or if both which is worst? and is it only in squeeze and not draw?

 

2. are there a group of keys (notes) which are effected?

 

3. with no keys pressed, if you pressurise the bellows can you hear somme notes sounding? I.e. in Squeeze mode, if you de-pressurise the bellows by pulling (no keys pressed) is the instrument silent? please do not force anything for these two tests.

 

4. Are the valves all curled and twisted away from the reed pan?

 

Dave

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I'm waiting to receive approval to post a new topic, I just joined. I received a Bastari 20 button for Christmas. It was sitting as a knick knack at a heavy smoker's home for many many years. It smells like heavy smoker armpit sweat, it is grimy and dirty, and had dust in the creases that looked like felt. Does anyone have any suggestions on cleaning this without harming it?

 

It's not in the best of shape but it's a good way to see if I can learn how to play it.

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