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How to add bass button dimples?

byudzai

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I'm guessing this one is too simple to warrant a thread, but before I go hacking away at my non-dimpled bass buttons (E, etc) with a dremel or other tools, do you guys have any tips on how to add good comfortable dimples?  Thank you!
 

debra

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byudzai said:
I'm guessing this one is too simple to warrant a thread, but before I go hacking away at my non-dimpled bass buttons (E, etc) with a dremel or other tools, do you guys have any tips on how to add good comfortable dimples?  Thank you!

Wrap a bit of painters tape around the button and then put the button in a vise (the tape is to prevent scratches). Take a 1.5 or 2mm drill bit and put it in a drill press (do not use a hand drill or Dremel unless you have steady hands made out of steel or concrete). Drill a hole, juse about 2mm deep, dead center in the button. Then switch to a countersink drillbit to create a larger hole with 45-degree walls. Do it with little bits and check how the dimple feels, until it feels about right.
 

Dingo40

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IHi Byudzai,

To each his own favourite method, but I've marked several Ab and E bass buttons as follows:

Have an assistant ( in my case, my wife) to hold the button in place using long nosed pliers (bind the action surfaces of the jaws with electrician's insulation tape or masking tape, so as not to injure the button or the bass board, first.

Mark the centre of the dimple to come with the sharp tip of a small knife.

Using a hand-drill ( sorry Paul) fitted with a new ( therefore sharp) 9mm (3/8ths inch) bit, while your assistant holds the button steady, gently but firmly and smoothly  drill  into the top of the button until only a slim, undrilled annular rim ( about 1 to 2 mm) is left untouched around the edge of the button.

The accordion can be laid on it's back on a soft surface (on a bed is good) in good lighting  during the operation.

This slim rim is a great help in sensing the marked button by touch!

Wipe the sweat off your brow, and proceed to the next button.

This procedure does not involve removing any buttons from the instrument, and takes only about 10 minutes overall and gives a very tidy result ( for me, anyway).

Just make absolutely sure- before starting- exactly which buttons you want to mark, and centre the hole carefully: this is permanent!

And, yes, my wife and I are still on speaking terms! :)

This technique applies to older accordions, made in Italy, with solid bass buttons: it may not suit more recent accordions made in China  :huh:
 

Glug

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I havent done this yet, but I did research it.

My 1959 Hohner has a dimple on C and # marks 4 rows up and down which works well - you can feel the difference.
Accordion Revival suggests adding rhinestones, but Ive got no idea how that feels.

http://accordionrevival.com/ACCORDION_REPAIR_2.php#Installing_rhinestones_in_bass_buttons

Rhinestones are available in many colours but make sure you get the ones with a pointed bass: theyre cut at 45 degrees which fits the hole you get with a countersink.

eg. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Swarovski-...ki+chaton+pointed&qid=1575101737&sr=8-17&th=1
 

jozz

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I have a wife but I didn't use her!

I just:
- held a sharp 8mm drillbit (metal)
- held the button pushed against sidewall of its hole with my other hand
- centered by make tiny scratches until the bit sat were I wanted
- very slowly and softly rotating the bit until enough material was removed (I removed the chips in between passes)
- left nearly 2mm as a rim for comfort

Cleaned up nicely, using the bit alone. Pre-drilling seems scary to me, if you botch it, you're kinda stuck with that hole.
 

Dingo40

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Glug,

I have, also, some bass buttons with factory fitted rhinestones.

For me, the rhinestones make it much harder to distinguish the marked buttons . :p

But, maybe my fingertips are not as sensitive as they should be? :huh:


Jozz,

Very good! :)
Mine also came out neat and clean, right off the bit  :)
 
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You could also find a suitable flat sheet of 3mm timber, drill a hole in that which is a snug fit over the button. Apply to bass machine/button in question, press and pull gently sideways to hold it firm, simultaneously shielding the area around the button (with the wood...or make a card shield and masking tape in place). You now have access to the button. I would advise against gripping it with pliers as this will damage the button. To get a start on the centre of the button file a flat area and then create a drill start point (with a scribe or tiny 1mm drill). Select drill which is about 1/2 diameter of the button and make cut, which you don’t want too deep. A Dremel is v good for this..even better, attach the drill to the Dremel extension, if you have one. Rhinestone works very well, superglued in place. I suggest you practice this a few times to get the depth just so first, before trying it on something valuable.
 

debra

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Not sure why several suggest to do it with the button still on the accordion. Buttons are "press fit" so you can remove a button from its piston by gently wiggling or turning it. It's better if you can use pliers to hold the piston but the piston may be too deep down. If you must do it without removing the button, use a vacuum cleaner hose nearby to suck away the shavings from drilling. It could be that I always start by drilling a small hole because my drill bits are not new. But my hands are not steady enough to drill a hole dead in the center using a hand drill and also not using a large drill bit. I guess that comes with old age...
 

jozz

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I left my buttons on the lever because i tried to remove them like that, but that needed so much force I thought I might break the button itself, or the lever.
 

Chrisrayner

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In his tutor Anzaghi suggests using white sealing wax to mark bass buttons. As he says, it is reasonably durable as a marker, and may be removed leaving no scar. Sealing wax is now very rarely found, even more so in any colour other than red. I have, however, used hot melt glue to mark bass buttons. It is reasonably easy to apply, and, once you have ceased to need it, it may be easily removed and leaves no mark.
 

Glug

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There's loads of sealing wax on amazon and ebay, including white.

What I need is some spare bass buttons to try the options :(
 
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maugein96

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Glug said:
There's loads of sealing wax on amazon and ebay, including white.

What I need is some spare bass buttons to try the options :(

Simplest method of all is the French way. Maugein instruments come with the buttons already dimpled, and Cavagnolo mark the C button only. 

You'll very rarely see any of those with additional permanent bass markings at all. 

Players are expected to manage without them, same with the treble side on CBA. Very few French boxes have hatch markings on any of the treble buttons at all, and they are all usually monocolour. 

I would have to concede that 120 bass with only one dimple is quite a daunting prospect, and when I acquired an elderly Cavagnolo after years of playing a Maugein, guess what I did? Gave it to a guy to put markers in the bass buttons for me. I think he simply removed the originals (they just screw off on French accordions), and replaced them with two that had rhinestones already in them. I do appreciate many people wouldn't have that option. 

So I'm now a Rhinestone Cowboy on the Cavagnolo, and just a plain cowboy on the Maugein.  

No drills, bass buttons, or cowboys were harmed or placed in danger using my method. I've only owned one accordion with push in peg type buttons, and the rhinestones were already in that one too. It's currently for sale in the UK at three times the price I paid for it in the early 80s. Shame I lost out on an investment opportunity. Should have checked those rhinestones before I traded it in. They obviously add considerable value to an accordion!
 

Chrisrayner

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Glug said:
There's loads of sealing wax on amazon and ebay, including white.

What I need is some spare bass buttons to try the options :(

Maybe so, but hot melt glue is available in most high street hardware shops.  For very little money you can buy a gun and more sticks of glue than you will ever use to mark your bass buttons.  As I said, it cracks off easily and leaves no mark.  You may find it useful for other purposes at home.  Not many folks use sealing wax these days.
 

Dingo40

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In my opinion, lumps of sealing wax, wax, hot glue, and I've even seen rhinestones attached with dabs of sealing wax, all look ugly  :p

Give me the plain dimple anytime! :)
 

Dingo40

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"Not sure why several suggest to do it with the button still on the accordion. Buttons are "press fit" so you can remove a button from its piston by gently wiggling or turning it. "

Paul,
Speaking for myself, having no idea of how the buttons are attached, I'm more worried about permanently damaging the means of attachment and the rods than possibly mildly scratching anything with padded pliers . :rolleyes:

In any case, it's proven to be relatively easy and manageable (for me, anyway!) :)
 

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