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Casali Verona Restoration

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Davey Eddy

Hi all,

As I sit here at the table, stripping reeds and valves, cleaning the blocks etc I've come to wonder?
Now this old girl is approaching a 100 year old, the reeds nailed and waxed are something of a joy to see - now at this stage of the proceedings I am considering giving the reed blocks a proofing of linseed oil, propolis and beeswax. I see this being done on many quality accordions of the 60's and sometimes varnish or shellac being used. I'd rather something to feed the wood and effectively proof it from the deleterious effects of humidity but nothing that would stifle the tone. Thoughts anyone?
I note that the valves are all set with shellac, it certainly works extremely well by the looks of it?
Now I will be using my own beeswax, with propolis and linseed oil added - I always remember being told by an old guy who repaired accordions etc that beeswax was far too refined these days.
This appears to bear true - the molecular structure of wax can change dramatically by overheating of course but there are many other influencing factors to consider. Propolis is a fantastic substance which has certain definite benefits in its use in accordions - conversely the same benefits for its utilisation in hives. I render the wax in all my hives by the most gentle means possible, ensure a clean product by passive filtration and then add a good heap of propolis which is clean harvested from the same hives to the mix. Italian wax is no longer considered any better than German - both now, by mechanical and chemical means been rendered less than perfect. Anyhow, I digress - what is the opinion and consensus regarding the use of shellac or beeswax/linseed to paint the reed blocks?

Many thanks,

Is it possible to get photographs of the project?
The italians are keen to varnish their reed blocks. Shellac is quite an old fashioned medium these days and I suspect modern equivalents are being used.
When you say shellac or beeswax/linseed to paint the reed blocks are you referring to fixing the reeds?
(My first attempts at tuning/restoration were on a 1930's (I think) Casali 3voice MMM diatonic which was of very high quality with resonant, responsive reeds which I've never forgotten).
Hi Stephen, most of the files appear to big to post.
Hope this one gets through - just wondering if there is any benefit to coating the internal woodwork of the accordion and reed blocks? The reeds themselves will be pinned and waxed.


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I've got to say Robert, I've looked this accordion all over, as have two very experienced accordion players and repairers - it was definitely made in Italy, it is definitely a quality build and it is definitely well worth the restoration as I'd thought from the get go. However, this appears to go against all other opinions I've had from this forum in general, I'd dearly like to hear from anyone who has any info on the manufacture of this range - I gather J. Kirkpatrick once played a Casali Verona squeeze box which was considered pretty special. There must be someone out there who can remember the factory - some info must exist surely?
Casali Verona Restoration


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Now I really dont want to break your bubble but --

Contact --
Paul has many and can sell you one thats working fine.

And tell Paul Jim sent you.

Now I must tell you that I can and will rebuild this one - BUT - the cost of rebuilding, will out value the price of this box when finished.
The problem is that when rebuilt to original - the action and playability will be crude by todays standards.
A nice museum piece .
Jim D ~ there you go again with the negative waves! <EMOJI seq="1f606">?</EMOJI><EMOJI seq="1f606">?</EMOJI><EMOJI seq="1f606">?</EMOJI>

There's nothing I see of Paul's selection I'd be interested in - Really!
Now I've no idea what you might charge per hour to 'rebuild' this accordion, in fact it's immaterial -
because it's getting done and is in process. On both counts I'd not wish to get shafted by the dollar or FedEx. Here's why this restoration wouldn't pay on paper - I'll see every part set right and do all I can to see the box reassembled faithful to every note she'll squeeze. 'The action and playability will be crude by today's standards' - yet in all total honesty, I've not seen any evidence of that in witnessing it played or found it myself to be the case. Take a look on YouTube and look for a group called Mabon and the accordion player in the group Jamie Smith. Jamie played an old 1920's Hohner of mine one eve at a session and didn't drop a beat. These accordions were made to be played not screwed to beams or dumped. Now I'm looking at the fettling to produce the best possible tone and sound - not a continual negative. I think it's pretty piss poor that so many accordions are being trashed for no good reason, if the zenith of accordion manufacture and repair was in the 60's - it's certainly dropped like a bag of shite since!
This evening's spare hour over a beer and listening to a few tunes - block 3 out of four on the treble side.


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Davey does not need me to speak on his behalf, but I am confused as to why anyone thinks he is in the market for a similar accordion. All that I have read leads me to the conclusion that Davey has all his ducks in a row, with expert repairers standing ready to assist him with his project.

As to the expenditure to value ratio, not everything can be assessed in that way. This instrument once belonged to a close family member, making expenditure a secondary consideration. I own personal items which once belonged to close family members, so can fully appreciate the sentimental attachment Davey has for this instrument.

Perhaps closer reading of related posts would help to prevent unnecessarily insensitive comments being made, thus avoiding any resentment in the future.

Kind Regards,

JIM D. post_id=51575 time=1508433491 user_id=63 said:
Now I really dont want to break your bubble but --

Contact --
Paul has many and can sell you one thats working fine.

And tell Paul Jim sent you.
I was JUST going to say something similar! I know Paul received one very similar to this, and if I understood correctly, in near playing condition considering the age and it still requires a fair amount of work.

Yes, the price will likely outweigh its market value, but one has to take in to consideration that the OP here is someone different... even special... he is a man that has created an emotional attachment to an accordion to the point that he is willing to invest a lot of time and money in to a similar accordion and does not mind, and that is the key part, he *wants* to bring this accordion back to its former glory days.

I also think this is perhaps financially a bad decision, but who cares... we have something that is going to make him very happy, and that is far more important than what the cost can be. Its only money and not a huge fortune or anything, right? :)

In a way I too would love to see this accordion *and* the one that Paul has rebuilt to perfection, and I know Pauls story too, and the story adds SO MUCH to it... just look at the accordions in his museum, each one is a labor of love! :D {}
Hi Jerry,

The sentimental element in this thread is definitely the most important consideration. Driven by principles much higher than cost, I am certain that Davey and his friends will very soon have this instrument back to its former glory.

Cost is irrelevant in this situation, and is not a good enough reason to trample on a man's dreams. To expand on that theme, even if this instrument is never as slick as modern instruments, it will nevertheless remain a treasure in Davey's eyes.

Kind Regards,

Davey Eddy post_id=51637 time=1508573289 user_id=2469 said:
It really is a shame - Ive looked over each and every post Ive made to this forum and wondered?
At first I thought I may have failed to explain myself properly, then I wondered if perhaps Id offended someone ......... The Accordionists Forum - I guess I thought this would be a friendly forum of like minded people who might offer advice and assistance, possibly include members with an interest in history, heritage, restoration?

Now, now Davey, you have to understand JimDs point of view a little. At least once a month or more we get people in that ask about the value or difficulty to restore an old accordion. None of them (to date), have your desire and drive, access to equipment, access to people who can assist and commitment to restore an old accordion.

Most people are mostly ignorant of how or how much time and money it would take to make their accordion functional, and then once told, get this incredulous look and mostly leave.

Near everyone of these people think that they own some unique jewel of the accordion world that has some astronomical value and when told of their actual approximate value or how much it costs to repair, wont proceed any further or just dump the instrument.

So, you see, in the manner that you entered the forum, you appeared the same and based on the experiences of the past, JimD responded in a perhaps dry factual manner.

You have proven to not be the same as the others for the reasons outlined above, and because of this, one very old accordion is going to be restored, and I want to assure you that indeed, you do have the respect of everyone here, and we all would appreciate hearing and seeing the story of its restoration. I for one would love to hear it the way it originally sounded and hear it again the day after it is completed... and pictures of the process along the way would be a treat, videos would be fantastic.

Looking forward to the story.

Hi Davey:
I'm really sorry that my response to your post has been taken as a demeanor to your endeavor.
My response only was to the value and price of restoring a 90+ year old accordion.
Now if the accordion in question has a family or sentimental value - the result of restoration will bring back priceless memories and well worth the time and labor involved.
Please keep us posted here on your progress as we have many members here to assist you on your restoration. :tup:

Musically Yours;
Hi Davey,

On a more positive note, I have been looking at advertisements for Veronas similar to yours but, so far, I have only found the straight keyboard variety.

All I was thinking is that it may be useful to have a donor instrument in case any parts need replacement. One Verona went for a bid of £20.18p + £17 PP on ebay, but I think that was a straight keyboard model.

There may be some interchangeable parts from the straight keyboard model, though I suspect the treble side would not be much use to you. The bass side should be similar, however, which could be interesting.

Anyway, it was just a thought.

Kind Regards,

This accordion looks beautiful and I'm sure it'll sound great too when you're finished working on it! Please keep us updated. I just had a lot of work done on an old 1950s accordion (my first instrument way back)- was it worth it? Well, probably not in a monetary sense but it was certainly more than worth it to me to have this instrument back to its former glory.

I'm following your updates as I'm about to start a similar project on a 1930s Hohner. Again, will it be worth it? Of course it will (non-monetary)!
Wow , talk about making a mountain out of a molehill!
Jim D certainly would understand why someone would have a sentimental or other personal reason for investing time and money in an instrument that might not ever be worth it . However he has to deal with customers concerns over repairs and rebuild costs on a daily basis and I can understand the focus of his reply.
He is a contributing member here and deserves to be cut a bit of slack . Personally, I thought a couple replies sounded a bit pompous.
Yes, jim says it as it is , based on his considerable experience and I always hope he will do


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Well Davey, anyone who is so passionate with a mission such as you will certainly be successful, so I have no doubt you will get there in the end.

You don’t say where you are situated, but it may be worth your while getting in touch with Terry at Accordions of Coventry. Terry, in his very senior years, is still totally besotted with all things accordions & has been working all his life fixing, repairing & selling them.

HIs shop window is adorned with vintage, curved keyboard instruments, so it may be likely that he will have the bits & bobs you need in his workshop for the restoration of your own jewel.

Good luck

I have removed all the edited/irrelevant/off-topic posts from this thread, in the hope that it will return to the original subject that Davey Eddy intended.
Further off-topic posts will be deleted.
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