First Repair Project - Geraldo - "All that glitters is not gold"

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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo - "All that glitters is not gold"

Post by donn » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:06 pm

I was thinking that, out of context, this slow start symptom would point at the valves. Just intuitively, I can picture a valve taking a while to fully seal, and until then the air flow would be off. There are other explanations for inadequate air flow, but mostly not in such a transient way. Purely guessing, though - I have had reed problems, but can't recall that I have ever managed to fix one.

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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo - "All that glitters is not gold"

Post by Geronimo » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:20 pm

Valve problems are obvious when doing a slow crescendo from ppp. If there is a valve problem, there will be a moment with a plop making the sound louder. When the valves are ok, they close before the reed even sounds. Unless your reeds are really unresponsive on their own and then you have sort-of a hen-and-egg problem.

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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo - "All that glitters is not gold"

Post by debra » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:38 pm

Geronimo wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:20 am
...
For unconditionally engaged M reeds used as L reed starters, wouldn't it actually make sense if a significant ratio of the L reeds' air supply came across the M reed outlet? The two-storey design of free-bass Morino bass reed blocks will provide for significant shared reed chamber space. If the reeds are only getting combined right at the pallet, putting L at the inner position will give the M more of an impact. Also, opening the L reed will affect the pitch of the M reed less.

So I don't see this unconditionally as a "design blunder". It may or may not have been intentional, and if so, it may have been a worse or better idea.

Not opening far enough seems like more of a problem to me. This may happen after repadding the pallets without readjusting the bass mechanism.
The M and L reeds do not share the same hole and the M reed does not function as air supply for the L reeds in any way. It might have been better if they shared the same hole, because then both reeds would get air at the same time. From the actual behavior of the instrument it is clear that the L reeds have trouble starting and sounding clearly because they are starved of air. My own experience is that when using LM the L needs to get air first in order for the L and M reeds to start sounding simultaneously (which is what you want). On this Morino the L reeds were slow to start and sounded weak. I did adjust the bass mechanism to improve things, but because of the direction the pallets are angled you simply cannot expect L and M to start sounding simultaneously.
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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo - "All that glitters is not gold"

Post by Geronimo » Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:49 pm

debra wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:38 pm
Geronimo wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:20 am
...
For unconditionally engaged M reeds used as L reed starters, wouldn't it actually make sense if a significant ratio of the L reeds' air supply came across the M reed outlet? The two-storey design of free-bass Morino bass reed blocks will provide for significant shared reed chamber space. If the reeds are only getting combined right at the pallet, putting L at the inner position will give the M more of an impact. Also, opening the L reed will affect the pitch of the M reed less.

So I don't see this unconditionally as a "design blunder". It may or may not have been intentional, and if so, it may have been a worse or better idea.

Not opening far enough seems like more of a problem to me. This may happen after repadding the pallets without readjusting the bass mechanism.
The M and L reeds do not share the same hole
They share the same pallet and the air to the L reed chamber to a good degree passes over the hole for the M reed chamber.
and the M reed does not function as air supply for the L reeds in any way.
And I did not claim anything of that sort. I said that the air supply for the L reeds passes to some degree over the hole for the M reeds due to their common pallet.
It might have been better if they shared the same hole, because then both reeds would get air at the same time.
Well, they can't really help getting air at the same time when a pallet lifts off since the leather cannot really seal one hole while the other hole is already open. It may just be that the proportion of the air they are getting isn't suitable for starting both.

Admittedly, the sort of starter effect without a common reed chamber and just a common pallet is not likely to be anywhere near that of helicon bass plates where low and high bass reeds share both reed plate and reed chamber.

So maybe I am overinterpreting. It's just that I think that the idea behind the unconditionally active M reed in the early Morinos and a substantial part of shared reed chamber by placing the slider in the middle of the reed block is to have the M reeds help as starter reeds. Probably with just a common pallet that's too much to hope for.
From the actual behavior of the instrument it is clear that the L reeds have trouble starting and sounding clearly because they are starved of air. My own experience is that when using LM the L needs to get air first in order for the L and M reeds to start sounding simultaneously (which is what you want). On this Morino the L reeds were slow to start and sounded weak. I did adjust the bass mechanism to improve things, but because of the direction the pallets are angled you simply cannot expect L and M to start sounding simultaneously.
Hm. I'd probably have to check my standard bass Artiste's setup (and response), but the Winkelbaß likely plays into it as well. And the free bass instrument has flaps and a large shared air space. I am ok with its response in spite of its pallets probably not opening all that wide. But the holes have a really large cross section (basically standard Morino bass pallets with no intervening space and most of the area behind them being one undivided large hole each). Which probably makes up for part of it.

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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo - "All that glitters is not gold"

Post by debra » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:54 pm

Getting bass reeds to respond quickly and properly is always tricky. On my bayan the L and M reeds (lowest 15 notes only) share the same hole and chamber and have great response. The higher notes are all L-L and again share the same hole and chamber. Not all of them respond exactly the same (and you can hear the difference) but that is due to the valves not opening easily enough. To cure that I have ordered Italian valves. We'll see whether that improves things.
On the Artiste it is a bit strange that although L and M are forced to play together they do not share hole and at least part of the chamber. I'm sure that would have helped to get L to start better, boosted by the M reeds.
I guess that just like the old accordion designers we all still need to learn more about how to improve accordions...
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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo - "All that glitters is not gold"

Post by Geronimo » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:09 pm

Geronimo wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:49 pm
They share the same pallet and the air to the L reed chamber to a good degree passes over the hole for the M reed chamber.
Ok, let's take a look at the Artiste VID. Umlenkstimmstock (half of the time I wrongly declare it a Winkelbaß).

Open pallet:
fuellung.jpg
Obviously, the smaller opening additionally gets the less open side of the pallet.
And here is the reed block:
umlenk.jpg
This makes pretty obvious that the big hole (and bigger pallet opening) is for the L reed plate. And if anything, it is the air for the M reed plate wheezing over the big L opening rather than the other way round. But given the separation here, not likely much. So basically I argued nonsense.

Ok, so for reference I'll try adding the same kind of pics from my main accordion. Will take a moment: that bass reed block is much harder to remove.

Ok. You call that a pallet opening? This is a pallet opening:
pallet.jpg
Here is the reed block from the side (where one sees the levers operating the flaps and that the L main reed chamber to the left has a slight funnel shape with the M side reed chamber being actually pretty cramped):
twostorey.jpg
And here is the reed chamber inside with both flaps open where one sees some shared reed chamber space (L at top)
reedchamber.jpg
It's also quite apparent that by far the majority of the reed block base area is air hole.

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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo - "All that glitters is not gold"

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:24 pm

Hello Geronimo,

I like Chaucher as well. In particular the part where Satan's Imps show a recently deceased priest around hell.

Good Stuff.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

p.s. conscience intact.

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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo - "All that glitters is not gold"

Post by Morne » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:00 pm

I've done a couple of things since my last post here.

Sluggish bass reeds
The verdict is still out on this. I have one or two bass pallet leaks I'm still struggling with, but they are not on the slow, lower reeds. I noticed on the high C reed (which is one of the slower reeds) that the base of the tongue does not sit fully flat on the reed frame. It's high enough that I can slip a shaving razor edge underneath the one side. This has the effect that the one half of the tongue has a bit more of a gap on the side. For now I'm okay with the response as I'm not expecting too much from these reeds. I'd rather focus on other areas of the repair and if it bugs me enough after everything I will revisit this.

Keyboard spindle
I wanted to get all the mechanical issues sorted out before doing tuning. However, I failed at getting the spindle out. It's brass. I tried grabbing it with a small table vise and with vise pliers. All that happens is the brass deforms and eventually slips from the grip. After a while the protruding part of the spindle snapped off. I tried drilling holes around the spindle to get more grip, but to no avail. I tried hammering the spindle a bit, but that also ended up deforming it more than moving it. For now I'm going to assume that the only way to get this out is to try the battery trick.

The main reason for wanting to remove it was to replace the treble key springs and to remove any friction causing the keys to jam. Perhaps even add some felt below the keys. But in messing around with the spindle I managed to get the keys that got stuck to not get stuck - they'll probably shift and get stuck again. For now I am happy, as long as I can work on the treble reeds without the keys getting stuck. As with the bass pallets, I'll revisit this at the end if it bothers me enough.

Treble keys
Since I couldn't remove the spindle, I decided to realign the keys at least:
Keys.jpg
It went fine except, surprise surprise, one or two of these pallets are now leaking slightly as well.

Treble reeds clean and re-valve
This was mostly uneventful, except these reed plates were filthy:
Dirty Reeds.jpg
The plates are now clean and surface rust removed. The zinc frames are heavily tarnished, but there isn't much to be done about that (and it doesn't really matter).
Treble cleaned.jpg
After re-valving:
Treble.jpg
Now unfortunately it seems like either the reed blocks or the reed plates not entirely flat, because when I reattach the plates using the available hooks (?) they do not sit flush. This is causing some leaks and detuning here and there. There was no gasket material on the reed block itself, so I am not sure if the plates used to be totally flat, or if some substance was rubbed on it to make a seal. The accumulated junk might've made it a bit more airtight over time. But I will return to this after the bass side is done.

Bass progress to follow in a post below.

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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo - "All that glitters is not gold"

Post by Morne » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:12 pm

Bass reeds
I cleaned, removed surface rust, re-valved and re-waxed the bass and bass chord reeds.
Here are the waxed chord reeds:
Chords Wax.jpg
Here's a shortened video of how I waxed. If you're the kind of person who enjoys watching paint dry, you'll find this riveting:
https://youtu.be/4SocAW5HtD4
Basically, I'm using a 12W soldering iron and strips of wax cut from a big block (from Hohner). I placed the reed block on a 45 degree incline since that is somewhat safer (for me) than waxing vertically. For base, however, I placed it vertically as the incline felt awkward there. I managed not to spill any wax on the reed tongues or valves.

That was my first attempt at waxing, so it took a while. The other half of that block went a little quicker as I started getting a better feel for the iron and the wax flow.

I've also started tuning the single bass reeds. They were out anywhere between +2 to -18 cents (mostly between -3 to -10). The reeds on one side were flatter, since they had more rust and it was mostly on the lower non-blue section.

My tuning went as follows:
- Wax the reeds to the glued in block
- Measure internal deviations
- Remove reeds from wax
- Get tuning bellows deviation using the little reed chambers I made
- File them
- Stick them back in the wax
- Repeat

Doing that I got most of the single low and high bass reeds to around -3 cents. This wasn't necessarily on purpose initially. This was sort of where I ended up at because I wanted to be careful not to remove too much metal.

Here's what the reeds look like after this initial tuning (I only did the sharpening, the flattening file marks are not mine):
High Bass Tuning.jpg
Low Bass Tuning.jpg
I used a little needle file. I'm not sure if it is the sharpest and best suited. It's literally this set, but sourced locally.

This is what the bass reeds sound like after the above (the chords are not tuned, but they are cleaned, re-valved, re-waxed):
https://youtu.be/21JutfE4LZ4


How am I doing so far? Does it seem it on par for an amateur, or am I butchering here?

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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo - "All that glitters is not gold"

Post by debra » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:37 pm

Looks like this restoration that seemed hopeless at first is going rather well. I have seen (and worked) on quite a few accordions with large (multi-)reed plates and in all cases there was a thin leather (or leather-like) gasket on the reed block to provide a good seal even when the block or plate are not 100% completely flat. The same is true for the underside of the block. I prefer when the accordion has the gasket, not the reed block. (My AKKO is the only one I have seen that has the gasket on the reed block).
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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo - "All that glitters is not gold"

Post by Morne » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:26 am

debra wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:37 pm
Looks like this restoration that seemed hopeless at first is going rather well. I have seen (and worked) on quite a few accordions with large (multi-)reed plates and in all cases there was a thin leather (or leather-like) gasket on the reed block to provide a good seal even when the block or plate are not 100% completely flat.
I'll play around with some chamois leather, but it's a bit thick and there isn't much space in between reed chambers. I've noticed some old large plate concertinas have what looks like waxed string between the plates and the block. Otherwise I was also thinking of maybe putting a little wax on the block and letting it settle before squashing the reed plate onto that.
debra wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:37 pm
The same is true for the underside of the block. I prefer when the accordion has the gasket, not the reed block. (My AKKO is the only one I have seen that has the gasket on the reed block).
Funny that you mention that, because the bass chord block here also has the gasket stuck to the block and not the accordion. The treble side has the gasket on the accordion.

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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo - "All that glitters is not gold"

Post by jozz » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:42 am

Nice to follow this! I like the look of this instrument

Are you not burning the wax like that?

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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo - "All that glitters is not gold"

Post by Morne » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:31 pm

jozz wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:42 am
Are you not burning the wax like that?
I wouldn't say it's burning the wax. It smokes a bit when I work too slow (as I did initially, in the video), but as long as I keep feeding the tip and running it against the reed plates it seems to lose enough heat so that it doesn't smoke all the time. It also seems like the smoking mostly happens when I lift the tip out of the wax, so the tiny amounts left on it get cooked off.

However, despite the smoking, I haven't noticed any short term side-effects. There is no discolouration and it doesn't get stringy or hard/brittle.
Now, sure, in the long run it might not last as long as properly melted wax if I've been cooking off some of the volatile components.
Maybe some of the soldering iron pros can weigh in here?

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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo -

Post by Glenn » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:33 am

Can’t you lower the iron’s temperature even more or does it then require a specialist tool?

You could perhaps experiment with wiring a domestic light dimmer (eventually with a 20W bulb in parallel to give an indication what your setting is) to lower the irons voltage? Just an idea.
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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo -

Post by debra » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:55 am

Glenn wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:33 am
Can’t you lower the iron’s temperature even more or does it then require a specialist tool?

You could perhaps experiment with wiring a domestic light dimmer (eventually with a 20W bulb in parallel to give an indication what your setting is) to lower the irons voltage? Just an idea.
I always use the soldering iron with a light dimmer, to achieve a temperature where the wax melts but does not hiss or smoke excessively. Dimmers that you plug into a wall socket (and have a socket as output) are quite popular here. My old accordion repair teacher was still using a large transformer with a dial, so I gave him a dimmer to replace it.
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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo - "All that glitters is not gold"

Post by debra » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:36 am

Morne wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:26 am
...
I'll play around with some chamois leather, but it's a bit thick and there isn't much space in between reed chambers. I've noticed some old large plate concertinas have what looks like waxed string between the plates and the block. Otherwise I was also thinking of maybe putting a little wax on the block and letting it settle before squashing the reed plate onto that.
...
Did you notice that when you showed the large reed plates and remarked they were "filthy", that filth was actually remnants of the gasket material used in the past. I bet they were only filthy on the side that connects the reed plate to the reed block. Accordion makers use a very thin gasket material that looks like leather but could well be something else. It is glued to the reed block, and I assume the holes are cut out after gluing (and after the glue is completely dry). Without gasket material there is no way you will obtain an airtight seal. Do not attempt to use wax for this. (It could be entertaining to see what happens when you do but I fear it will just be a big mess.)
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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo -

Post by Morne » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:53 am

Glenn wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:33 am
Can’t you lower the iron’s temperature even more or does it then require a specialist tool?
It doesn't have a temperature control dial. At 12W this is the weakest (and smallest) iron I could find. It's got a tiny 0.5mm tip, so there isn't an awful lot of area for the heat to be transferred. At best I can try playing around with other tips, or making a modified one like http://www.accordionrevival.com/ACCORDI ... ering_iron
But I figured I'd give this 12W one a go, since a straight 15W might still be too hot (as per Accordion Revival), and 9W might be too cool (as per simonking's comment at viewtopic.php?f=4&t=915#p17414).
Glenn wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:33 am
You could perhaps experiment with wiring a domestic light dimmer (eventually with a 20W bulb in parallel to give an indication what your setting is) to lower the irons voltage? Just an idea.
This is probably something I can try easily.

I've also come across these cheap (compared to proper) temperature controlled soldering stations: https://www.amazon.com/MPJA-Mini-Solder ... B008B86XOK
As I understand it, these generic stations are not thought of very highly for actual soldering, but perhaps at the lower temperatures they might be fine for waxing? They're essentially cheap irons with an added transformer and dial.
debra wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:55 am
I always use the soldering iron with a light dimmer, to achieve a temperature where the wax melts but does not hiss or smoke excessively.
I definitely didn't get any hiss. At what point do you find an acceptable trade-off between the wax flow rate and smoke? I agree that you don't want the wax bubbling and smoking while the tip is in the wax, but do you get almost no smoke at all, even when the tip is out of the wax? In my case it seems like when a thin film of wax on the tip is exposed (by lifting or changing the angle of the tip), that's when it smokes. Which is still bad for me, but probably not so much for the wax on the block.

I imagine the wax composition also plays a role in how the temperature affects the flow rate and smoke.

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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo - "All that glitters is not gold"

Post by Morne » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:30 am

debra wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:36 am
Did you notice that when you showed the large reed plates and remarked they were "filthy", that filth was actually remnants of the gasket material used in the past. I bet they were only filthy on the side that connects the reed plate to the reed block.
Yes, it was only on the inside. That thought did briefly cross my mind, but I thought it was too weird that all of it would've disintegrated like that, because there was literally nothing left on the wood. Unless this was some synthetic substance, like that pallet foam that crumbled away after many years?
debra wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:36 am
Accordion makers use a very thin gasket material that looks like leather but could well be something else. It is glued to the reed block, and I assume the holes are cut out after gluing (and after the glue is completely dry). Without gasket material there is no way you will obtain an airtight seal. Do not attempt to use wax for this. (It could be entertaining to see what happens when you do but I fear it will just be a big mess.)
Thanks, I'll skip the wax then. I've had quite enough of cleaning these reeds. I'll give the chamois a go first.

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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo - "All that glitters is not gold"

Post by Morne » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:17 pm

I've been playing around with the soldering iron tip a bit. Here's my first functionally acceptable prototype (ignore the fine looks of it):
Side.jpg
Top.jpg
Front.jpg
This is based on some existing soldering iron modifications I've seen. This is essentially a bastard spoon with a heat source that still lets me use wax sticks.

The aluminium tip/spoon serves to transfer the heat in a way that prevents the wax from smoking. My first attempt had the iron's tip at the bottom, but this ended up touching the wax. The current version has the iron's tip at the top, so it never touches the wax.

This also serves as a small reservoir that I can direct more easily compared to putting the wax directly to the iron.

Unfortunately I don't have any reeds to test this on right now, but here's a demonstration of the flow. The tip wasn't quite hot enough when I filled it the first time. But what it shows is that I can fill the reservoir or force feed it by pushing the wax stick in while waxing:
https://youtu.be/drhxUAaEa24


What do you guys think? I'll play around more to determine the optimal relationship for the reservoir size, heatsink area and tip contact area.

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Re: First Repair Project - Geraldo - "All that glitters is not gold"

Post by Sebastian Bravo » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:03 pm

Morne wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:12 pm
This is what the bass reeds sound like after the above (the chords are not tuned, but they are cleaned, re-valved, re-waxed):
https://youtu.be/21JutfE4LZ4


How am I doing so far? Does it seem it on par for an amateur, or am I butchering here?
Try the tempered thirds for the chords!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ2f0PGnfuI

It sounds better, at least for me

You are doing it very good, i wish you the best results on your repair project!
I'm Sebastian and i Play on a Hohner Concerto III called Modesto.

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