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Waxing Small Accordions

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Basil

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Hi I'm new on here, just like to say hello and maybe get some help with a few problems, with a mignon 2 and a imperial 2
I would like to change all the valves, which will need the reed frames removed and waxed back in,

Question 1 how do you wax the reeds back in when the reed frames are so close together, on these small accordions the reed frames are nearly touching. I can't see any wax in the very small gap that I can see.

Question 2 I intend to use a syringe to do the waxing, is this method ok, or is there a better method for a novice repairer.

Thanks Basil
 

TomBR

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Hi Basil,

I refurbished a Mignon about a year ago, the reed plates were small and fiddly but it was quite do-able. I think the wax at the end of the reedplates does the structural job of holding them in place, and wax filling the small gap between plates is purely as a seal.

I've done most of my reed waxing jobs using a "spoon" heated by being attached to an electric soldering iron. Lots of different ways to do make one. My first was made of brass tube which fitted into the iron like a soldering bit, then the projecting part was split down the side to form the "spoon" and the end pinched to form a spout. The tube was plugged with a bit of solid rod tostop the wax running back into the iron. That one worked fine but had very small capacity so had to be refilled a lot. My second one was folded from thin sheet aluminium. That worked a lot better, aluminium being such a good conductor of heat.
A ready made solution might be an electric tjanting as sold for Batik, but the spout tends to be very tiny.

A syringe is an interesting idea, but how would you keep it hot enough? A fine version of the traditional waxing "spoon" taking the molten wax from a reservoir, ie small saucepan type arrangement would be easy to make. There are videos on Youtube.
 

JIM D.

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When there are close tolerances between the reed plates you can first apply a light film of wax to the reed block, apply wax to the ends of the reed plates, press the reeds in place and then wax the tops a bottoms. You can use an eyedropper for waxing but you will have to heat it in melted wax for each application. JIM D.
 
B

Basil

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Hi thanks for the advice, and ideas, Tom BR, I have decided on using a syringe as there is a ytube video and the guy reckons its easy, stays hot enough, long enough, I'll find out over the weekend.

Jim D, thanks for that, sound advice, I think that must be the way that Hohner do it.

Basil
 

knobby

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I replaced all the reed valves on a Hohner Tango II without removing any of the reeds. I worked through the holes in the bottom of the reed block. It was fiddly and required a lot of patience (which is something I don't usually have) but worked out fine. A long pair of "normally closed" tweezers and a headtorch helped a lot. :tup:
 
B

Basil

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Hi, the guy waxing reeds on this ytube video,


seems to press the reeds into place , Jim D, do you think he is doing what you said and pressing them into a thin layer of wax to keep them into position.

Basil
 

JIM D.

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That's exactly what he's doing!
 
D

DonnieDubh

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This is another reed waxing idea from youtube I found quite interesting ...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7-MUhBc1ho
 

JIM D.

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Nice video; All waxing take's some practice with a spoon , knife , eyedropper , or artist's brush. The technique you use will depend on a one reed replacement or a complete reed block re-waxing. Also the composition of your beeswax and resin mixture plus a proper temperature is an absolute factor in any application. JIM D,
 

george garside

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Charlie Marshal . (cgm music) has an interesting and very easy and swift waxing technique using a small paintbrush . Its all there in a you tube video just try you tube reedwaxing made easy. Charlie is also able to supply a vast range of spares and repair advice. see his website for more info.

george
 

kimric

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I often use a soldering iron with the copper tip hammered flat. I then solder a blade of copper about the size of a pinky fingernail (use plumbing solder ,higher melting temp) then drill a couple of holes through the copper and the hammered iron's tip. I use tiny brass rivets (brass nails work) and rivet the two together. You can then hook this to a lamp dimmer to control the heat.
These last about a year with constant daily use. The blade can go between the reeds, and touching a bit of wax to the copper tip will cause the wax to wick down between the reeds. It takes practice. Laying down a thin film of wax (mentioned earlier in this thread) and warming the reed plate first will get you a very good seal.
 
B

Basil

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Thanks for all the help, I can now do waxing ok, the most useful information for me was from Jim D laying down a film of wax to hold the reed frames in postion, I used a paint brush for this and was surprised when pressed into the wax how firmly they were held in place.

For the waxing, I think all the methods need practice, I had tried most of them and still made a mess, so I thought I would try a waxing spoon as all the italian factories seem to use this method. I went to my local Toolshed shop and bought a scrapper for £1, took my grinder to it and shaped it like a waxing spoon. I had seen information somewhere on how to use one, did a quick search and found the information on the accordionrevival site. Following the information and using my new spoon, I was surprised how quickly I got the hang of it and did what I thought was a good job.

So my thoughts on this, is to try the waxing spoon.

Basil
 
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simonking

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Reviving this topic, Ive waxed a couple of reed blocks over the past few days so thought I would share my thoughts. When I tried this a while ago a found the soldering iron the best method, which I modified with a flat bit (an electrical crimp terminal that I cut some bits off and shoved onto the iron) to get into very small gaps better:

<ATTACHMENT filename=Iron.jpg index=1>

The wax was smoking a bit, so I also modified this iron to run at half power from 18W to 9W (easy to do if you have the right component). It works OK now but is probably slightly too cool for the wax to flow sometimes if anything. Of course what you really need if you want to do it this way is a proper temperature controlled iron.

I tried waxing a block this morning with an Italian style waxing spatula that I bought last year but the wax just seemed to go everywhere you dont want it and nowhere that you do. I gave up quickly as I just couldnt see how I was going to get good results with it, even after a load of practice (if you think getting old wax off is messy, wait until you try removing horribly sticky new wax...) I dont think my wax pot was deep enough which probably didnt help. Top tip from Jim D though about applying a thin film of wax with a small brush on the ledges between the reed plate so that they dont move when you place them and apply the first line of wax. That helps a lot.

After searching around watching this video again ( ) I thought this tool looked like it was worth a try. It was much easier to make than I thought with a few standard tools and some 0.25mm brass sheet - I managed to knock this up in about a hour earlier today:

<ATTACHMENT filename=Spoon.jpg index=0>

This is so much easier for waxing a whole block than any other method Ive seen so far. I cant say that its super neat at the first attempt but with a bit of practice and fine tuning of the tool I can see how you could get good results, so I think Ill stick with this method for the moment and see how it goes. Anyone else tried this?
 

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skyboltone

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Simonking: :Heres the way to get the temperature correct. I think your use of the female tab connector for a reservoir is pretty clever. I have a 2 amp one of these and a 20 amp one as well. I use them in my guitar amp service business for a variety of uses. For a simple soldering iron control a small one is quite adequate. This particular model will require you to put it into a plastic/metal enclosure to keep the high voltages isolated.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Variable-...al_Components_Supplies_ET&hash=item43ca10c37a

Dan
 

Glenn

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Dan,
This looks like overkill. You can buy a new variable temperature iron for £20.
 

george garside

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have a look at you tube ''reed waxing made easy''' to get a tutorial on Charlie Marshalls way of doing it with a paintbrush and a tuna tin! He is a very experienced repairer

He is also sells a good range of accordion parts and will post worldwide. google cgm musical services

george
 
S

simonking

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Yes, seen that (I get my parts from him already) - have you tried it? It's not very fast as the brush doesn't hold much wax nor retain heat and is prone to dripping in the wrong place if you try and put too much wax on it... I have no doubt that he can get good results with it as he is indeed very experienced but there are easier and more efficient ways to get a neat job if you're going to wax a number of blocks (I know the title of this thread refers to small accordions but this is relevant to all accordions). I would be eager to hear more thoughts on this.

On to the variac - I agree with Glenn that although of course it will work, it is a totally overengineered (and very expensive) way to control the power of a small soldering iron! I do appreciate your contribution to the discussion though.

Simon.
 
S

skyboltone

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Glenn said:
Dan,
This looks like overkill. You can buy a new variable temperature iron for £20.
I havent seen on of those. As I use my soldering irons to solder, I generally spend a couple hundred dollars when they die. One might also precisely control the temperature of ones crock pot slow cooker wax heater with a variac but then of course it might need to be larger than 1 amp. Just a thought coming from my world.
 

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