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Re-assembling bellows?

Beemer

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I am going to inspect the inside bass side of my Hohner Student VM. I recently watched a video where wedges were used to hold apart the bellows (or an inside part of the bass surround) from the shell whilst the pins were tapped in. Why would these wedges be required? I'll try to find the video I watched and post the link, but don't hold your breath that I'll find it again.
 

Gonk

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Just a caution against doing any pin "tapping." You don't want to do any kind of percussive thing to the bellows pins. Just push them in slowly - I use a small block of wood with a divot in it, to help push. And, keep the pins sorted, so they can go back in the same holes later. Might not be of the utmost importance on a Hohner Student model but it's good practice.
 

Beemer

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Only stretcher I can think of is a bellows stretcher - used to hold open the folds of the bellows and nothing to do with the bass / treble.
They're quite handy if you're repairing the bellows corners for example.

I had a good look for the video I mentioned and cannot find it. It definitely was not holding any bellows fold apart but rather some floating frame part that needed supporting/positioning whilst the pins were pressed in. If I ever find it again I will post it.
 

Beemer

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Yes I understand the risk. I note that special pin removal pliers are available with an inner ground away section of the jaws. I suppose I diamond burr could be used to alter a standard plier. It looks a better solution to using parallel pliers with smooth jaws.
 

Glug

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I got a pair of cheap end cutters (about £6 on amazon) and file the edge down on the jaws.
 

Dingo40

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I've used a small pair of general purpose pliers ( from my fishing tackle box) successfully: just as long as you can grip the pin heads without damaging the celluloid.
I've even used a vintage, flexible-bladed (Sheffield), large, old fashioned ("bone handled") table knife to draw the pins, at least to start them off in order to give the pliers a better grip. (Hold the knife at each end, flexing it slightly, and snag the bow in the blade beneath the pin head without fouling the celluloid .)
Necessity is the mother of invention 😆.
I try to avoid any unnecessary removal of the bellows as I feel it wears the seals and encourages air leakage . Obviously, it also wears away the pin holes and loosens them over time.
 
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Dingo40

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If using something like the above, make sure that you pad the pivot point to protect the celluloid. 🙂
 

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