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Cleaning reeds

Glug

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Hiya folks,
I'm about to try some tuning for the first time on an old Orfeo LMM.

It looks like it has the original 1950s wax, and there's slight rust on a few reeds.
The wax goes white and powdery when scraped so I'm fairly certain it needs replacing.

So step one is to clean and rewax one side of a reed block (M white keys) to see what difference it makes.
After that I'm going to try tuning those reeds from 443ish down to 442.

How I'm cleaning the plates is:
1) WD40 applied with a toothbrush - loosens rust and works as a solvent
2) Rub reed and reed edges with a 4mm glass fibre pencil to remove the rust
3) Rub slot side of reed with a 2mm glass fibre pencil
4) Meths applied with a toothbrush
This seems to remove the rust nicely and all the gunk in the slot.

The main issue is that the 2mm glass fibre pencil is shedding small bits of glass.
So I'm wondering if anybody can suggest a better way of cleaning the slot side of the reed ?

Accordion Revival suggests make a small brass wire brush. I've also seen people say scrape it
with a small screwdriver or use an ultrasonic bath.
 

debra

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I'm sure you wrote it differently from what you mean. The order is to remove wax and clean the reed block (removing all traces of old wax), then removing rust and cleaning the reeds (after what you describe I would leave the reeds in a benzine-bath overnight, then clean them off, then rub them with a soft pencil (the carbon this deposits on the reeds helps to keep future rust away), then add leather or plastic valves on the side that becomes the inside (n the reed block), then fix the reeds in place with wax, and finally add the outside valves.
For rust removal some (non-soapy) steelwool may be used if you can get it in the slot, otherwise a smal steel or brass brush, and of course some rust remover (like WD40).
And before you wax in the reeds, check on a tuning bellow that the reds work fine in both directions (i.e. no debris from rust or rust removal process left blocking the reed).
 

Glug

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Yep, what you wrote is the order I'm doing it.
It's just the cleaning at the bottom of the slot that is being an issue.

It sounds like I should try some steel wool or a small brush.
Or I've got some 2mm brazing rod I could make a soft scraper from.
 

JIM D.

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If you can obtain a suede brush you can trim it for reed cleaning --

I have an old one I altered and still use it.
 

Glug

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Cheers, there are similar things on Amazon in the UK I can investigate:
 
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