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Remove and Replace Bass buttons

ben

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I am sure there is an answer to this somewhere back on the threads, but I am needing to know how to remove the bass buttons that need repaired on the accordion. I am talking JUST the plastic buttons. They are glued on?
 

Dingo40

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Ben,
I also remember a thread on the subject but can't find it.
If I remember rightly, some are screwed on, some glued🤔
 
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Dingo40

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It had a really good poke around the web and didn't find even one post regarding the replacement of the little plastic bass button caps.🤔
I can only conclude it's not a common problem!🙂
 

debra

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The bass buttons are normally made from celluloid and are a "press fit". They are not screwed on and are not glued on either (at least not when the accordion is built). They very rarely break, not even when you try to readjust a bass piston that isn't straight just by holding the piston by the button and pushing it back in the right direction. When a bass button is broken (cracked) it should come off fairly easily unless someone already tried to glue it in the past.
 

ben

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Thanks, you all. I have an accordion find that has multiple base buttons cracked and partially gone, and so I was curious if there is a "right" way to remove them.
 

debra

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Thanks, you all. I have an accordion find that has multiple base buttons cracked and partially gone, and so I was curious if there is a "right" way to remove them.
Whatever you do to remove the buttons... open up the plate (under the bass belt) so you can go in with pliers to hold the top end of the piston firmly in place while (with another set of pliers) you try to pry off the cracked button from the outside. You do not want to bend the piston in any way (and if you do it accidentally, bend it back into shape gently).
 

ben

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Whatever you do to remove the buttons... open up the plate (under the bass belt) so you can go in with pliers to hold the top end of the piston firmly in place while (with another set of pliers) you try to pry off the cracked button from the outside. You do not want to bend the piston in any way (and if you do it accidentally, bend it back into shape gently).
That makes sense. To me, the base pistons and everything in there is the most intimidating part of accordion repair. I have one here now that I went in to bend some of the , well, whatever it is called, the little pins that are pushed down by the pistons. Some of them were bent out of place, which held some of the chords open, causing a drone. I got that fixed, but now I have a weird little "bumble bee buzz" that happens when compressing the bellows. It sounds terrible. The chord plays very well, but that little buzz accompanies it. Only when the bellows are at least half way to the closed position, and being compressed, is when I get the buzz. It does not happen when expanding the bellows. It seems it happens mostly on every other chord, position wise. The buzz sounds with one note, skips the next button, and sounds with the following button.
 

debra

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That makes sense. To me, the base pistons and everything in there is the most intimidating part of accordion repair. I have one here now that I went in to bend some of the , well, whatever it is called, the little pins that are pushed down by the pistons. Some of them were bent out of place, which held some of the chords open, causing a drone. I got that fixed, but now I have a weird little "bumble bee buzz" that happens when compressing the bellows. It sounds terrible. The chord plays very well, but that little buzz accompanies it. Only when the bellows are at least half way to the closed position, and being compressed, is when I get the buzz. It does not happen when expanding the bellows. It seems it happens mostly on every other chord, position wise. The buzz sounds with one note, skips the next button, and sounds with the following button.
The buzz is probably because one of the "arms" of a catorcetto you bent is pushing just a tiny bit on the piston so there is a small force trying to pull the pallet open. When you pull the air pressure sucks the pallets closed, hence no buss. On push the air pressure tries to push the pallets open, and that little bit of "help" from the arm pushing on the piston may be enough to cause some air through the reed, making a little bit of noise.
(BTW, these "combs" or "rakes" are called "catorcetti" in Castelfidardo speak. The word catorcetto, and plural catorcetti, may look and sound like a genuine Italian word but the reality is that this term is only used in Castelfidardo. Ask any random Italian from elsewhere and they will have no clue what a catorcetto could be.
 

JIM D.

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If the accordion you have has translucent colorded buttons they will all shatter in time. These translucent bass buttons were
made of plastic not cellulose and like all plastics will become brittle in time. I've been replacing bass button for years and
when removing old ones I remove the piston and using a trigger soldering gun place the tip under the button - apply heat
and the buttons pop of easily.
 

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