Don’t be Afraid to Look Inside

Talk about accordion repair and tools (⚠️ use caution when repairing your own accordion).
douglas felsenthal
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:06 pm

Re: Don’t be Afraid to Look Inside

Post by douglas felsenthal »

Hi, sure to help.

I can't listen to your video for a couple of hours, I'm in a quiet zone for a bit. I'll do that tonight.

However, your problem is very common.

Most likely the no sound and even the buzzing is caused by reed sticking. This is most prevalent with picolo or clarinet reeds at the high end.

The general research is as follows:

Mark with a the offending keys with some painters tape, so we can identify again when the instrument is apart.
Take the front cover off - inspect look for any foreign matter - can send me a snap shot.

Look for any foreign matter around the key valves - need soft felt valve closure material.

Pull the bellows pins for the RH - there are six - careful - sometimes they just about fall out - others need some pulling. There is a tool for this - it's called a bellows pliers. But you can do fine with a heavy needle nose pliers - Put some tape around the pins so you don't mark the plastic. Pull gently and evenly straight up. Sometimes, turning a little each way to get them loose. No bending, just pulling.

Once out the bellows will easily fall away.

Now you can see inside bellows and reed blocks - take snap shots - Everything should be clean as a whistle. Take snap shot of reed block area - especially at the connection ends. On one end there is a small screw holding the reed block in place. Loosen screw - it doesnt' have to come out, the tab will swivel out of the way. Now wiggle out the reed block.

Send Snap shot of offending block. Note you don't have to take booth out - just the one where you suspect the problem. That is why the tape. Push those keys, note which reed holes they are at, then determine which block is the one.

You are basically looking for air obstructions for none working reeds.
There are two reeds for each note, one works on bellow pull and the other on bellow push. You will notice that each little reed plate has two reeds. One fastened to the outside and the other to the inside.

When you get that far - let me know.

You can reach me directly at douglasfelsenthal@gmail.com MN in the US. Where are you



Cheers,


Douglas
XLRA10
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:06 pm

Re: Don’t be Afraid to Look Inside

Post by XLRA10 »

Thanks for the info! I'll get on that when I can, I tried to take the front off earlier today, but there are these two flat-head screws that are keeping it in, and none of my flat-head screwdrivers are too big for them, so I'll have to wait a few days until the smaller ones arrive. I'll email you when I've got it open. Also, I'm in Maryland.
douglas felsenthal
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:06 pm

Re: Don’t be Afraid to Look Inside

Post by douglas felsenthal »

These screws are pretty universal - I would replace them with the common knurled thumb screws. I'll wait for your next step.

D
User avatar
Tom F
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:59 pm

Re: Don’t be Afraid to Look Inside

Post by Tom F »

Good advice! Another tip is to mark the bellows pins, especially if it is an older accordion. It's not uncommon to find different sized and shaped pins and holes..... Good luck!
Enjay
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 16, 2022 10:58 am

Re: Don’t be Afraid to Look Inside

Post by Enjay »

Hi Douglas,

That's a very inspiring account of a journey into your accordion. Encouraged by this I have offered to help a friend out with an old accordion he had 'lying around' I've had a good look at the internals, one of my initial challenges has been to try and figure out what reed configuration the accordion is and also how to figure out what the missing register switches are on the treble side.

I wonder if you can give me any pointers. The brand of accordion is a Serenelli, it is a 120 Bass. I have attached a picture of the register keys, there are 10 selectors and only 2 buttons attached + 1 which as become detached but I know where it came from so I wrote on the selector with pencil (for now). The second image is one of the reed ranks.

Hope this all makes sense.

Cheers

Nigel




Image

Image
douglas felsenthal
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:06 pm

Re: Don’t be Afraid to Look Inside

Post by douglas felsenthal »

Nigel,

I have read your message. I'm tied up for most of today, but I'll get you a response tonight. It may be several responses in fact, but we will take it one step at a time. We can do a video call as we get started also.

Yes, it looks like an accordion. Ha Ha


Regards,

Douglas
Enjay
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 16, 2022 10:58 am

Re: Don’t be Afraid to Look Inside

Post by Enjay »

Hi Douglas,

Thanks for your quick response. I'm on Eastern Australian time, so not sure how our timezones match. I'd definitely be up for a video call if that works for you.

Cheers

Nigel
douglas felsenthal
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:06 pm

Re: Don’t be Afraid to Look Inside

Post by douglas felsenthal »

Hi, You are about 12 hours ahead of me from a time zone point of view.

The register switches on the front run a set of thin metal slides underneath the right hand reed blocks. The switches just add and block reed holes for the different reeds I would suspect the is an LMH unit.

I would open up the bellows - Carefully pull the bellow pins. there should be two on the front and three on the back. The bellows should separate easily with the pins out. Put carefully away, you will note that some are longer than others and you don't want to get them out of order for later.

Send me some shots of the reed blocks on the treble side.

I would mark the reed blocks both treble and bass. You want to put them back in the same order.

Pull the reed blocks. From the bass pic I see that there is a screw and swivel hold down on the left side. Loosen the screw and move the hold down swivel and the blocks should come right out. They will be hooked on the thick side - so just easy the block up and to the thin side and they will come right out.

One note, from the bass pics - the leathers are all out of place. This is very common on an older unit.

Get that far - send more pics and we can go from there.


Accordion Repair Guy Doug
Enjay
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 16, 2022 10:58 am

Re: Don’t be Afraid to Look Inside

Post by Enjay »

Thanks Doug, I’ll get that done on Monday and send the pictures. :D
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