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Scandalli Bass Machine

Glug

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In my ongoing series of (1950s) Scandalli related posts ... The Bass Machine.

It's removable with only 2 clips :)
And the one I've got works fine, and the rubber bands haven't decayed

However it hasn't been cleaned in 60 years and a few of the pistons are sticking slightly.
They're only sticking slightly and It's not the buttons jamming so I'm thinking I should clean the machine.

So my theory is I can clean it without taking it apart - meths with a 1/2" paint brush, then IPA.
Possibly followed by a quick spray with (WD-40) dry PTFE.
Does anybody think that's a reasonable idea ?

From the front:

1 Front.1.jpg

From underneath (brown marks are muck, not rust):

3 Bottom a.jpg

And some script on the end I can't translate:

4 Script a.jpg
 

Glug

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Nice one, I was having a hard time working out what the letters are.

A bit of googling and I think it's "Taratura 120 normale" which should be Italian for "Calibration 120 normal".
 

JIM D.

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Use VM&P Naphtha to clean off the old grease residue and blow the assembly dry.
Then apply dry lube as it works fine on these bass machines.
 

Glug

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Cheers, just ordered some naptha.
It doesn't seem to be very common in the UK (except lighter fuel), but Amazon has it.
 

Dingo40

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Glug,
"Nice one, I was having a hard time working out what the letters are."
This is very like the script many European educated adults wrote when I was a boy.🙂
 

WlaFisa

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I think the script could be 'Foratura 120 Normale' (drill 120 holes on that panel in the standard way).
 

Dingo40

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Oldbayan,
It's not WD40 per se. It's made by the DW40 company, but it's a non-oily spray-on "dry lube". 🙂
 
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debra

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For cleaning we use something here called "wasbenzine". It's not naphta or lighter fluid. It does work well. In the ACA course in Italy we called it simply "benzine. (It's not to be confused with the fluid we use to run a car and which is called "benzine" in Dutch.
For cleaning I first blow everything out with pressured air. When the bass mechanics has some dust in it but not really dirt that already helps a lot. The Scandalli bass mechanism is easily removed as a whole, but that does not mean it is easier to disassemble and put back together than a modern Italian bass mechanism.
 

Glug

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Jeremyh

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So my theory is I can clean it without taking it apart - meths with a 1/2" paint brush, then IPA.
This was the bit that worried me, unless the India Pale Ale is for you? If so I'd leave out the meths chaser o_O
 

debra

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That "wd-40" is https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B006UCJ4Z4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
which is a very different thing.

Oooh "Foratura 120 Normale" google translates to "120 normal drilling", I think we have a winner :)

And wasbenzine can't be found on Amazon (UK), but apparently can be used for 'spice' extraction:
The container says it consists of carbon and hydrogen in a formula CnH2n+2 where n can vary, for instance C7H16.
There is now also a product called "eco-wasbenzine" and like many "eco" products that is rubbish and should be avoided...
 

Glug

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It's all a bit confusing, much easier just to buy something labelled 'naphtha' to see what the difference is:

I think that's relatively light hydrocarbons.
https://echa.europa.eu/substance-information/-/substanceinfo/100.059.211 says C4-C11

My bottle of (Bartoline) White Spirit says C9 - C12 hydrocarbons + a bunch of cyclics and aromatics

It looks a bit like "white spirit" is medium and heavy naphtha
and "naphtha" is light naphtha,
and wasbenzine (C7-C9) is on that scale somewhere near light naphtha.
 

debra

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It's all a bit confusing, much easier just to buy something labelled 'naphtha' to see what the difference is:

I think that's relatively light hydrocarbons.
https://echa.europa.eu/substance-information/-/substanceinfo/100.059.211 says C4-C11

My bottle of (Bartoline) White Spirit says C9 - C12 hydrocarbons + a bunch of cyclics and aromatics

It looks a bit like "white spirit" is medium and heavy naphtha
and "naphtha" is light naphtha,
and wasbenzine (C7-C9) is on that scale somewhere near light naphtha.
I can attest that "wasbenzine" does not smell nasty like white spirit does. It is used not only for cleaning accordion parts but is actually intended for use in laundry, to clean fabrics. (The term "was" refers to laundry.)
 

Ventura

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looking closely at that last photo... i think this is a HANDMADE bass machine
just look at the welding !

much more valuable than a hand finished bass machine no doubt

i wish we had a machine made bass machine to compare it to
 

Tom

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looking closely at that last photo... i think this is a HANDMADE bass machine
just look at the welding !

much more valuable than a hand finished bass machine no doubt

i wish we had a machine made bass machine to compare it to
See if the rivets are blue.
 

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