Everyday Semiotics

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Inside my accordion

My sweet squeezebox has a chromatic right-hand manual and a standard Stradello left-hand bass system. Nothing too fancy: just one register switch on each side. It's a Moreschi, made in Italy, serial No. 7701.

No idea when it was made or what it's worth. My only clue is in the maroon velvet-lined case, which has a tag indicating a 1931 patent. I bought it for $20 at a Salvation Army in 2003.

The high C# key hasn't been working properly, so Sunday I opened it up to see if I could fix the problem. I undid a number of screws that I didn't need to, losing track of one in the end. Turns out all I needed to do to check out the reeds was pull out six pins connecting the keyboard to the bellows.

The culprit seems to have been a tiny piece of cotton fluff, which I pulled out with tweezers. Certain reeds activate when you pull on the bellows, others work when you push. Thus, the key sounded in one direction but not the other.

After I'd closed everything up, one of the others keys started doing the same thing. Opening it again was no trouble. There was no fluff, but the reed seemed to be caught somewhat in its housing, so I just massaged it a little.

After closing up, it happened a third time to a third key. This time I just pulled real hard on the bellows, and that was that.

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