Tools to Repair an Accordion

Written by simon slayford
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Tools to Repair an Accordion
Technicians rely on specialised tools to repair accordions. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Accordions are great instruments, but they also happen to be specialised mechanical devices prone to special problems: a misaligned bass button, an out-of-tune comb of reeds or sticky treble keys. Professional accordion technicians -- as well as people experimenting with accordion repair -- have to make use of a specialised set of tools to repair an accordion in order to get the instrument to play properly and make beautiful music again.

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Accordion Reed Tuning and Waxing Tools

Using an accordion extensively over a long period of time can cause the reeds to go out of tune. Rather than buying a new set of reeds, accordion enthusiasts can try having the reeds tuned by an accordion technician. A technician will first remove the reeds from the reed bars; then, a special kind of wax (usually a mixture of beeswax and rosin) is used to fix the reeds against the wooden reed bars. When this wax gets old or weak, the reeds sound weak or out of tune. To remove old wax, tune the reeds and install new wax, an accordion technician makes use of special spoons, a reed-cleaning pen to remove wax remnants and other debris and residue, a waxing blade, a small warming pot for melting wax, an alcohol lamp for heating the wax and a files to tune the reeds.

Accordion Bellows Repair Tools and Materials

Bellows can get punctured, causing poor air delivery to the accordion. Technicians repair bellows using specialised bellows pin-pulling pliers and vice grips to remove the bellows, a low-powered soldering iron for removing glue, scissors to cut pieces of cardboard and leather for patching up the bellows, some bellows tape, water-soluble glue for fixing leather components, contact cement for a foam gasket and lighter fluid to dissolve rubber cement. Technicians also use a bellows corner-crimping tool for replacing or regluing a bellows corner.

The Bass Button Straightening Tool

An accordion's left-hand panel has bass buttons for playing chords; these bass buttons sometimes get misaligned or bent. Accordionists and accordion technicians can make use of special a bass button straightening tool to repair misaligned bass buttons quickly.

Miscellaneous Accordion Repair Tools

The straps of accordions will sometimes come become loose due to loose strap holders, and technicians make use of a special wrench to easily tighten a strap holder back into shape. Accordions are meant to be portable instruments, and similarly there are portable repair tables on which accordianists can perform quick fixes while on the go.

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