Weltmeister Topas Keyboard.
#1
Weltmeister Topas   37/96 4 voice Piano Accordion.
The accordion is here to have a few treble keys levelled and some minor tuning issues corrected.
The keyboard construction is unusual (but not unique) in not having a key axle. The keys appear to be individually
attached over a fulcrum point I have not seen yet. The keys are secured with a tiny, red, plastic wedge. The metal rods, from the plastic keys to the pallets, appear to be set into the keys with wax. The fact that some keys are not level appears to be partly due to the wax around the rods starting to lose its grip. 
What appears to be a serial number typed on the body starts with 08/…… .    This may or may not be the year of construction. Certainly the instrument is in very good condition with no signs of wear and tear. If the 08 age is correct the condition I am describing may be quite new. 
I’d be interested to hear if anybody has dealt with this problem.  Thanks. 
 


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#2
I have learned that this accordion was in Spain until recently and has probably been exposed to some extreme temperatures (40+ deg C).
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#3
I have made some exploratory moves with a soldering iron (using a heatsink in the process) on the material at the place where the metal pallet rod is inserted into the plastic key.
I thought it might be wax, as used elsewhere on accordions, but it's not reacting to heat in a manner I would expect wax to do. ie. Its not melting and wanting to 'run' like wax.
So my next task is to identify the glue/material that Weltmeister has used.
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#4
I'm surprised there have been no opinions given on this fault.
Maybe I have not described the fault very well. If this is the case please let me know and I will try again.
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#5
(23-09-2019, 12:03 AM)boxplayer4000 Wrote: I'm surprised there have been no opinions given on this fault.
Maybe I have not described the fault very well. If this is the case please let me know and I will try again.

Your description is quite lucid, it’s just that few if any of us have any experience of this particular problem.
I can’t help thinking that 50, 60, 70 year old accordions ( like cars of the same vintage) are repairable to the extent they could continue to run forever (especially Italian made accordions), whereas this particular model appears to subscribe to the notions of “built in obsolescence “: just as long as it makes it out the door?
An acquaintance who builds bisonoric accordions from raw materials ( including harvesting, seasoning and fashioning his own wood for the frames, reed blocks and cases) but who also repairs and rebuilds veteran PAs on the side, told me there are certain makes he refuses to have anything to do with as they are far more trouble than they are worth.
This could be such a case. Sad
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#6
A google search of Weltmeister Topas shows that it is recent and still in production.
I notice that Allodi has a couple in stock.
It might be worthwhile to give him a ring and explain the problem.
I haven't had any dealings with Allodi, but by all accounts he is a very friendly and may give you the advice you need.
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#7
Dingo40 and Pipemajor.
Many thanks for your thoughts.
I've emailed Weltmeister so hope they respond. Their advice on key removal would have been useful as well. Mr. Allodi I suspect is a very busy man; I wish I stayed closer.
For no good reason I'm leaning towards heat affects on the glue. There's only about 3 notes affected.
My hand is starting to reach for the Araldite glue.(With the owners consent of course).  It hasn't let me down yet.
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#8
(24-09-2019, 04:04 PM)boxplayer4000 Wrote: Dingo40 and Pipemajor.
Many thanks for your thoughts.
I've emailed Weltmeister so hope they respond. Their advice on key removal would have been useful as well. Mr. Allodi I suspect is a very busy man; I wish I stayed closer.
For no good reason I'm leaning towards heat affects on the glue. There's only about 3 notes affected.
My hand is starting to reach for the Araldite glue.(With the owners consent of course).  It hasn't let me down yet.

I doubt whether the owner would have any serious objections, being conversant with the standard of your work to date... Cool
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#9
Readers may be interested to know that I was able to make contact with Weltmeister. A lady replied in English which was much better than my German. However Weltmeister were reluctant to acknowledge the failing glue and had no answer to that. I was advised to buy some levelling tools instead (tools I’ve had for 30+ years).
I was able to see on even closer inspection that a clear glue had been added to at least two keys over the original Weltmeister glue. For better or worse I have applied a 2 part epoxy glue (Araldite) to the three keys which were loose. 
PS Weltmeister did say that the keys were removable, singly, by simply removing the red wedges. I would prefer to have a few spare wedges to hand before I tried this.
 
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#10
Boxplayer,
It seems to me what we have here is yet another instance of the frequently observed phenomenon of “not all change is progress !” Sad
Or, as the Americans would say, “ If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Big Grin
Alas, in this age, where everyone has to tick a box daily to prove their innovative worth to their company, many changes are made simply for the sake of change : not always for the better  Sad
It reminds me, in the early 1980s many publishers, like “Penguin “ went from binding books by sewing the pages in folios with thread and using tried and tested glue to finish the job, to glueing cut pages (of the entire book) together along one side only with some sort of you beaut untried product. The result: not only could you no longer open the book out flat at a given page without breaking its spine but also the glue had a tendency to disintegrate into a white powder, causing the book’s pages to fall out like autumn leaves!
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#11
I’ve seen that construction. The little wedges pull out to remove the keys. I don’t know about the failing glue though. I'd probably remove the keys that need levelling and (carefully, so as not to wreck the plastic) bend the metal lever to get the key flat (though then you might have to work on getting the pallet flat.. are they floating pallets or fixed on? If fixed on you'l need to reset them flat after levelling the keys). Perhaps epoxy glue would be appropriate to refix the failed joints.
http://www.jollyrogeraccordions.co.uk/
Accordion repair and tuning in the UK
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#12
Dingo:
Your book-binding analogy is a good one for the many manufacturing shortcuts and cost saving procedures around today.
I'm not sure the Weltmeister accordion is a very good example of that. The asking price for current models is around £2700 British Pounds.
The construction is otherwise good; the reeds are by 'Antonelli' of Italy.
The problem on the one I had was simply failure of the glue and this problem is rare but not entirely unprecedented.

Roger:
The pallets are 'floating', on a rubber type fixing (not unlike the Atlantic).  
I didn't see any need to remove a key at this time and holding the key and pallet in the closed position and applying the Araldite has solved the problem in the meantime.
However, if the original glue continues to deteriorate then it may be necessary to remove keys in the future. The accordion was recently purchased from Spain and if heat there  aggravated the glue then with luck the cooler climate in Scotland might help.
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#13
Boxplayer,
All good! Smile
Also, about glue, wasn’t there a Hohner Morino model with severe glue related issues (a recurring topic in these forums)?
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#14
Dingo40
Yes, indeed it was a new accordion that appeared in about the 70s or 80's era that had faulty glue. Memory does not help here to identify the model or the exact fault but I seem to recall
the pallet felt/leather being a problem. I'm sure there will be readers around who will recall this more accurately.
On the subject of glue generally I believe it has become mostly better and certainly cheaper.  What has changed is that much of it has a definite shelf life and I suspect that some of the cheaper outlets on the street can stock 'end of life'  items. Not all items have a date on them. 
If I have a big/important glue job I tend to do a dry run with the glue to see it it still performs.
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#15
Good thinking  Smile
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