• If you haven't done so already, please add a location to your profile. This helps when people are trying to assist you, suggest resources, etc. Thanks

Thanks for the encouragement!



I realize that I haven't posted in this section of the forum before, so some of you may be scratching your heads and wondering how you have given me encouragement.

I came into possession of a Marca d'Oro used accordion (120 bass) and it had a few problems. One was that only one of the bellows securing straps actually snapped so it didn't stay silent when picked up. That was easy -- I simply unscrewed the strap (it's a sort of chain-mail strap, not leather) and drilled new pilot holes and secured the strap such that it now snaps and holds the bellow securely.

The big problem was that one of the snaps on the bass side of the instrument was loose and the nut which anchored it in place had fallen off inside the instrument. I has very fearful about removing the pins and taking the bass end off of the bellows, but after reading the sorts of repairs you folks are doing plus seeing some videos on disassembly and reassembly on youtube I realized that it would be a simple thing. Being a repairman for woodwinds and brass instruments for over 40 years, I know about being patient and careful and being sure not to drop little parts. So I bravely removed the pins holding the bass section to the bellows and found the loose nut (I had been afraid it might do serious damage to the reeds!). I secured the nut and the snap, reassembled the instrument and it's now working just fine.

Now back to learning to play the thing!




During the life of an accordion with all the accidental bangs and bashes it will get, bits do tend to fall off and end up in the inner works. Finding them is one thing, but working out where they actually belong can be another.

FWIW French CBA boxes don't generally have bellows straps at all, and they often make all sorts of weird sounds when you pick them up or put them down. In over 30 years I've never caused damage to a box due to lack of bellows straps, although I do appreciate if you have them fitted you need to maintain them.

I used to work on aircraft jet engines and if we dropped any small component the aircraft was grounded until we accounted for it. If we couldn't find it, depending on what it was, and where the senior engineer thought it may now be located, the engine either had to come out, or very occasionally he would take a chance and "ground run" the engine in the hope that the missing part would get blown out the exhaust without damaging the inlet guide vanes. I am a fan of the second option with accordions. If I hear any of the 3000 little bits rattling around, and everything seems to be working OK, then I leave it alone. Don't know if you can get decent exhausts for accordions, but you never know!

Stephen Hawkins

Experienced Gentleman.
Jan 25, 2016
Reaction score
Lancashire, England.
Hello DH,

At the risk of being branded a heretic, I would like to acquaint you with a few of my sneakier tricks.

Leather straps often become frayed over time, and new ones are available to buy. Luckily for me, we have an old-fashioned Cobbler's Shop about a mile up the road. This man is a real craftsman and can easily fix or replace leather straps at a fraction of the cost of new ones.

Similarly, a friend of mine owns a car servicing and repair garage. On a couple of occasions now, I have asked him to repair bits of metal which have been strained or warped in some way. As my Wife & I have our cars serviced there, he never charges me for the little jobs he does on my accordions.

With accordion repair shops being so thin on the ground, it is sometimes necessary to think outside the box. It is really just a question of finding people with transferable skills.

Kind Regards,


P.S. I am useless at DIY projects.


I have now had the accordion bellows off of both ends and can finally see how to replace the bass strap when I need to. Before I had only taken the outer case off of the bass end and could see where the bass strap anchors at the bottom, but try as I might I could not budge it. But now that I know how to remove the bellows and can see how to remove the blocks with the reeds, I know I can replace it.

Thanks again!

Similar threads