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Question about removing (and re-installing) treble reed blocks...

Sean

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I'm curious (famous last words..) about removing and re-installing the treble reed blocks in this accordion. I've taken some photos: I think I've identified the screws I would loosen to slip out the blocks (identified with green circles).

Is this correct? Also, is it terribly difficult to put them back in place correctly?

Any tips or advice would be appreciated. I haven't found any videos (yet) showing this process close up.

EDIT: I'm sorry - I realize now that I should have posted this in the "How do I...?" section (but can't find a way to delete/move it there).
pic3.jpgpic1.jpgpic2.jpg
 
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JIM D.

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Yes the screws backed off or removed will allow you to remove the reed blocks. BUT before you do, use a sharpie to number the blocks
and mark the numbers on the accordion body.
 

debra

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On the reed blocks outside of the cassotto the green-circled screws need to come out. Many manufacturers use a nail instead of a screw here. The screw/nail prevents the slider from moving should the other screws accidently come loose (which normally never happens). You loosen these other screws just a little bit so the slider can move. In some accordions the contraption you see on the right in the last picture is missing and a screw is there instead. Do *not* loosen that screw as it controls how tight the reed block sits on the leather of the soundboard beneath it.
The screw in the cassotto needs to come out so the lever can rotate to release the reed blocks. This screw is placed there by some manufacturers who do not manage to install the lever and springy plate on top of the reed block in such a way that the lever can never turn accidently by itself. Victoria for instance uses this screw (and needs it), whereas Bugari for instance does not need the screw.
A very important thing to check (and the last picture suggests this may be needed with the blocks outside the cassotto) is that once you have loosened the screws and moved the slider to take out the reed blocks these blocks have absolutely no "play" to move left or right. The reed blocks need to return to the exact same position. If they can move left or right and you put a reed block back in with a slight offset the tuning will be off.
 

Sean

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Jim D., Paul, and Oldbayan -- Thank you for the helpful information!
 
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godgi

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Don't overtighten the reed blocks when u put back in as it might mess up the register movement IE stiffen or unable to change as the block been too tight feeds back to the slider mechanism.
Godgi
 

debra

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Don't overtighten the reed blocks when u put back in as it might mess up the register movement IE stiffen or unable to change as the block been too tight feeds back to the slider mechanism.
Godgi
The ones in cassotto (in this case) cannot be overtightened because the springy clamp holds them in place. The other blocks also cannot be overtightened as long as you do not bend the small sliders and don't touch (move) the metal slots they go into. In accordions where instead of this a screw (going into a piece of wood) is used instead (cheaper) but that screw should not be touched. Only the screws on the reed block.
In a few cases the reed block is loose on the other side (the side of the low notes. When you put a reed block back in you should check whether it can wiggle a bit on that end (before you put clamps/sliders on at the "high note" side). If the reed block can wiggle then it is not held in tight enough on the side of the low notes. Some manufacturers have a pair of screws on that side of the reed block that you can unscrew a tiny bit to increase the tension between reed block and what holds it in place. Here you have to make sure you don't overtighten as this will have the most effect on whether the register sliders still move freely or will have friction.
The final thing to check is whether the reed blocks cannot move sideways in any direction. For instance, if the reed block has shrunk in length (even by just half a millimeter) you should add something (one or more layers of tape may do) so the reed block cannot move. When a reed block can move, it will not remain exactly over the "holes" for the notes and that affects tuning.
 

debra

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One other thing about this accordion: it appears to have bellow straps (judging from the screw marks in that position) and the screw we see (left and right) only goes through a thin layer of wood. There should really be an additional small block of wood for the screw to go into. Otherwise after some time the screw will fail. This reminds me of a design flaw I have previously seen in Victoria accordions. So I'm thinking this accordion may actually be a Victoria, also looking at other aspects like all leather valves having booster springs (which is a good thing).
 

Sean

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One other thing about this accordion: it appears to have bellow straps (judging from the screw marks in that position) and the screw we see (left and right) only goes through a thin layer of wood. There should really be an additional small block of wood for the screw to go into. Otherwise after some time the screw will fail. This reminds me of a design flaw I have previously seen in Victoria accordions. So I'm thinking this accordion may actually be a Victoria, also looking at other aspects like all leather valves having booster springs (which is a good thing).
Thanks for all information, Paul! Your inferences are spot on: it is a Victoria (Poeta, CBA, 440 tuning). It was bought second hand and given to me as a (very special) gift, so I'm still hoping to learn more about its age and background.

Should the bellow straps/screws design flaw be addressed right away? And, if so, what would you do? My inclination is to glue two small blocks of wood with pilot holes for the screws to grip securely..
 

debra

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...

Should the bellow straps/screws design flaw be addressed right away? And, if so, what would you do? My inclination is to glue two small blocks of wood with pilot holes for the screws to grip securely..
Indeed, two small blocks of wood glued in, to prevent any future problems. When I did it it was after the problem had already occurred... and it's better to do it now rather than later when it's really needed...
 

Sean

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Thanks for the help, everybody! Happy to report that I followed your advice and was able to successfully take out and put back the reed blocks. πŸ˜…β˜ΊοΈπŸ™

Paul - Your technical guidance regarding the Victoria bellow strap/screw design flaw was much appreciated. I've attached some before/after pics of the fix. Tools and materials: ruler, pencil, screwdriver, wood glue, small Gyokucho handsaw, sandpaper, maple wood scraps, and a twisted paper clip (to spread glue more evenly).

Now back to practicing..
acc1.jpegacc2.jpegacc3.jpegacc4.jpegacc5.jpeg
 

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