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Keys problems on Keyboard

FireSpirit

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Hello guys! I have an huge problem (i guess), some keys don't go up.
Last week I was playing normal and only the D of the first octave was like that, but it happens occasionally. I left the accordion in the case and went on a trip. Coming back from a trip, I went to play and those keys are like this. After that video, the A of the first octave was like this. I left the accordion out of the case and apparently it was back to normal, but it still happens a lot. What should it be? I theorized that it could be because of dirt or sweat (I sweat a lot).

Yesterday I realized that ... felt? (that fabric under the keys) is apparently loosening a lot, it even looks like "it's coming out".

What can it be?

 

Dingo40

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I'm sure you'll get some answers from both Jim D and Paul Debra but my guess would be some of the backstop padding material of the treble keyboard is coming adrift and fouling the key mechanism under the keys.
If so, the keys would have to be removed and the padding replaced.
This is something an accordion technician should be able to manage, so all is not lost!🙂👍
 

debra

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Every keyboard is different but in essence they have something with the same function as what this image shows. Under the key you see a metal piece that slides in between two pieces of wood. The wood is under all keys and can best be described as a comb or guide. Under the influence of moisture that wood may swell and as a result the metal piece does not slide in an out effortlessly in between the "teeth" of the comb.
On some accordions with plastic keys the key itself is hollow and the base underneath has pins standing up (with some felt around them) that should fit in the hollow key.
These parts have one important function: they prevent that the key can wobble left or right (touching the adjacent keys). But if the fit becomes too tight then you get friction and the keys become sluggish or stay down.
P9022774.jpg
 

FireSpirit

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I'm sure you'll get some answers from both Jim D and Paul Debra but my guess would be some of the backstop padding material of the treble keyboard is coming adrift and fouling the key mechanism under the keys.
If so, the keys would have to be removed and the padding replaced.
This is something an accordion technician should be able to manage, so all is not lost!🙂👍
Thanks Dingo! I pray it won't be serious and expensive.

Excelsior?

nice wood keyboard
Thanks, man! It's a good accordion
Every keyboard is different but in essence they have something with the same function as what this image shows. Under the key you see a metal piece that slides in between two pieces of wood. The wood is under all keys and can best be described as a comb or guide. Under the influence of moisture that wood may swell and as a result the metal piece does not slide in an out effortlessly in between the "teeth" of the comb.
On some accordions with plastic keys the key itself is hollow and the base underneath has pins standing up (with some felt around them) that should fit in the hollow key.
These parts have one important function: they prevent that the key can wobble left or right (touching the adjacent keys). But if the fit becomes too tight then you get friction and the keys become sluggish or stay down.
P9022774.jpg
Thanks, Debra. If it is the case that you explained, do you believe that you need to do it on all keys? Would that be too expensive or "normal"?
 

debra

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How much work it is depends on the keyboard construction. If the keys are held in place by means of a rod (axle) going through all of them and you have a problem with the highest notes this means that all the keys need to come out (because the rod is pulled out loosening the lowest notes first. And before all this the register mechanism needs to be disassembled... So you see, even if only a few keys are affected and need to be fixed it's always quite a bit of work.
 

Ventura

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okay... now that THAT is settled

someone has to say it

PLEASE

put some long pants on and sox and shoes before you upload the next Photo !!!

hehehe
 

JIM D.

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This is the problem frequently caused by an accordion stored in a damp environment. Also may be the result of a liquid
spilled on the keyboard. And although rare, a grease that may have been applied to the key rods & spindle when constructed
and has with age dried and become a tar like substance. The bad news is no matter the cause this situation will not cure itself and
will require the removal of treble keys for correction. The good news is (1) there won't be cost of parts replacement (2) the
only materials you will need is some light sandpaper, dry lube & some solvent. Your Excelsior has 2 spindles and only the
white key spindle need be removed as this will give you access to the black keys & pivot points.
If you feel you can tackle this yourself PLEASE REED THIS FIRST !!! -----

If you feel you need more info, post it here or contact me in a PM.
 
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FireSpirit

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okay... now that THAT is settled

someone has to say it

PLEASE

put some long pants on and sox and shoes before you upload the next Photo !!!

hehehe
In Brazil, we are used to wearing shorts and slippers because of the heat. I particularly like to walk barefoot at home. I apologize for the "culture shock" hahaha.
This is the problem frequently caused by an accordion stored in a damp environment. Also may be the result of a liquid
spilled on the keyboard. And although rare, a grease that may have been applied to the key rods & spindle when constructed
and has with age dried and become a tar like substance. The bad news is no matter the cause this situation will not cure itself and
will require the removal of treble keys for correction. The good news is (1) there won't be cost of parts replacement (2) the
only materials you will need is some light sandpaper, dry lube & some solvent. Your Excelsior has 2 spindles and only the
white key spindle need be removed as this will give you access to the black keys & pivot points.
If you feel you can tackle this yourself PLEASE REED THIS FIRST !!! -----

If you feel you need more info, post it here or contact me in a PM.
Thanks buddy! I was afraid it might be something of a chronic accordion. I'll try to open it to see, if I can't, I'll take some accordion technician to resolve. I hope it's not too expensive.
 

nagant27

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It’s something you can totally do with some research and dedication.
After you remove the white key spindle keep each key in order and clean all the dust and lint and stuff in the keybed. (especially the outer sides seems to collect here). Clean the keys nice too. Then see where it’s rubbing and adjust. You can improve the overall keyboard feel by checking each key when you put it back together and the leather on the felt on the pallets too where “pillowing” happens. These Older excelsior symphonies have one of the best keyboards in my opinion. Read the accordion revival site and you can do it.
 

Glug

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You can also write the numbers 1-41 on the back of the keys with a pencil/felt tip or scribe them into the pallets.

You might find the manufacturer has already done that.
 

Tom

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Then the big challenge is getting the axle all the way through when putting the keys back in....
 

Ventura

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i have a couple of Bungee cords just the right thickness and wrap them
around the keybed so that as i pull an axle the keys don't go gerleapin' and gerflyin'
our of their places

those long legged springs can have quite a lot of flip to them

and you really have to study the opened area empty of the keys,
think about the pressure and friction points before you leap

also be very delicate... sometimes the grain direction on the wooden
"comb" that keeps the keys aligned can be broken with a twist the wrong way
 

Tom

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Good idea, then you can individually prise out the offending key(s) and keep all the others in place....
 

Glug

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I spotted this video, it's not great, but it does show how it all fits together:

Searching youtube for "accordion sticky key repair" matches several.
 
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FireSpirit

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Hello guys! I had much difficulty, removing the sordino and I decided to take it to a technician. He told me that the bottom of the keyboard is wood and that keys too, and that it is a little unusual in accordions. He advised me on what humidity and heat may have "worked" the wood (slang in Portuguese to explain that the wood has expanded) and that this accordion is to be extra careful. He cleaned the keys and "sanded" the wood a bit (A few millimeters).

I didn't know about accordions with wooden bottom on the keyboard being like this, would you have any advice to avoid humidity / heat?

Thanks for the answers!
índice.jpg
 

Dingo40

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Fire Spirit,
All untreated timber (wood) is affected by moisture ( humidity ).
The tropics ( where I assume you live) experience very high humidity, which swells the wood, which has happened to your keyboard.
The simplest way to reduce the humidity in your accordion's environment would be to play it in a room/space with refrigerative air conditioning. Refrigerative air conditioning has the side effect of drying the air in the room.
I don't know how practical this would be in your circumstances, but it would work.
Good luck!🙂👍
(Where I live, the reverse often happens: the humidity is so low, the wood often shrinks so much, the bellows pins become loose and are forced out by fair pressure inside the accordion, when playing.
One become tempted to use larger diameter bellows pins, but then, when the humidity rises again due to seasonal variation, the original pins regain their tightness and using thicker pins would have been a mistake😐)
 
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Ventura

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when i work on my own accordions, anything that looks like this
(all wood)
i clean very well, lightly sand all those touchy spots of course,
then i put it where it will dry slowly for awhile before reassembly..
this is sometimes just in a big ol' box with a 25 watt lightbulb

then glue on any new felt

part of my refurb habit is to lightly brush all bare unfinished and
friction point surfaces with old fashioned Johnson and Johnsons
paste wax, which seals the wood enough to resist swelling and bugs
(at least in my environment)
and help friction points slip nicely

sometimes i barely touch each spindlehole with the tip of a sharp
paintbrush coated with powdered Graphite then work it in a bit
so there is a light coating inside the hole but no leftover powder
to get anywhere i don't want it
(note: graphite is considered a no-no in accordions generally)

i may also brush the wooden parts of the keys with wax before
i re-assemble, and the little metal guides too
(if any.. depends on the age)

This old style wax is really clean, with enough volatiles (like in Reed Wax)
to last a long long time, and the Carnuba base has awesome surface
tension so it really maintains the environmental "seal" nicely

this is all amateur style, by the way, and while it works for me
may not be the right way to do this... but i have had good results

bare unfinished unpainted unvarnished woods for the most part
should be improved and protected in my opinion
 

nagant27

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didn't know about accordions with wooden bottom on the keyboard being like this, would you have any advice to avoid humidity / heat?
Yes this wood I think is what makes these keyboards so smooth. That was my earlier comment. Try to find the where it is rubbing and lightly sand it. Maybe some dry lube too.
 

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