Non-Animal based materials for accordions

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by jozz » Fri May 04, 2018 9:05 am

:mrgreen:

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by Sebastian Bravo » Mon May 07, 2018 8:06 am

Stephen Hawkins wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 11:57 pm
However, I'm sure that Steve will provide me with some useful information about substitute materials for instrument repairs and servicing.

Kind Regards

Stephen.
I am so thankful for this!
I'm Sebastian and i Play on a Hohner Concerto III called Modesto.

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Mon May 07, 2018 8:22 am

Hi Sebastian,

Please do not mention it ...... I am happy to help if I am able to.

With a bit of luck, Steve will show up at our Folk Club tomorrow evening. If he is able to provide some relevant information, I will pass it on as soon as I can.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Wed May 09, 2018 1:05 am

Hi Sebastian,

Steve did not show up again this evening, and a mutual friend told me that he had a few bookings.

I have sent him a message to contact me, so should hear something soon.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by Sebastian Bravo » Fri May 11, 2018 7:10 am

Stephen Hawkins wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 1:05 am
Hi Sebastian,

Steve did not show up again this evening, and a mutual friend told me that he had a few bookings.

I have sent him a message to contact me, so should hear something soon.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
I really appreciate your support on this Stephen, it makes me feel very happy
I'm Sebastian and i Play on a Hohner Concerto III called Modesto.

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Fri May 11, 2018 7:42 am

Hi Sebastian,

There is no certainty that Steve can help, as his area of expertise is Lutes. Still, he will have a better idea than I do, and he may know something which is relevant.

All The Best,

Stephen.

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by Morne » Fri May 11, 2018 2:47 pm

Sebastian Bravo wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:43 pm
I don't know if i can attach the reeds with another material rather than beeswax.
While doing some other research I came across some potential ingredients for wax that could pass as vegan:
https://sites.google.com/site/fomagarmoshka/mastika (in Russian)

The first recipe is a typical beeswax mix. However, the second one does not. The page does not actually mention how to make the second recipe and I have no idea how well it works, if there are any harmful side-effects or if anybody even uses it.

Here is a reproduction of the ingredients for 3000g of that wax from that website.
  • ceresin: 999g
  • rosin: 1500g
  • petrolatum: 375g
  • dibutyl phtalat: 126g
I believe the original source is from the Russian technical handbook "Garmons, bayans and accordions" by Rozenfeld and Ivanov (1974). You can find it at the Russian Garmon forum:
http://www.russian-garmon.ru/books/9034 ... tehnikumov (in Russian)
On page 236 (237 in that PDF) it states:
  • rosin: 50%
  • ceresin: 30%
  • petrolatum: 16%
  • dibutyl phtalat: 4%
I have not translated the instructions on that page.

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Fri May 11, 2018 11:50 pm

Hi Sebastian,

My friend, Steve telephoned me at lunchtime, so I posed the question regarding non-animal based products for repairing instruments.

Steve has a Vegan friend in North Wales who manufactures bespoke violins. This man collects and eats a considerable amount of seaweed, which forms a quite large percentage of his diet.

According to Tony (the man who eats seaweed) Hohner have developed a special polymer to replace leather. This product should be available from any agent for Hohner accordions, and is likely to be found in other accordion repair shops or businesses.

Tony also mentioned Carnayba Wax, which is made from Malaysian Palm Trees. This type of wax is, however, very brittle, and needs to be mixed with paraffin wax in order to prevent it from cracking. The precise ratio of Carnayba Wax to Paraffin Wax is unclear, and Tony suggested experimenting first with small amounts.

Now that I have established a link with this accomplished gentleman, I would be happy to forward any further questions you may have to him.

Hope some of this helps.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by Sebastian Bravo » Mon May 14, 2018 8:16 am

Morne wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 2:47 pm
While doing some other research I came across some potential ingredients for wax that could pass as vegan:
https://sites.google.com/site/fomagarmoshka/mastika (in Russian)

The first recipe is a typical beeswax mix. However, the second one does not.
Thanks Morne! I will try that recipe, Just need to buy ceresin, petrolatum and dibutyl phtalat! thanks for making such research! I have a russian friend and i will visit him to read the book (I downloaded the pdf version)
Stephen Hawkins wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:50 pm
Hi Sebastian,

Steve has a Vegan friend in North Wales who manufactures bespoke violins. This man collects and eats a considerable amount of seaweed, which forms a quite large percentage of his diet.

According to Tony (the man who eats seaweed) Hohner have developed a special polymer to replace leather. This product should be available from any agent for Hohner accordions, and is likely to be found in other accordion repair shops or businesses.

Tony also mentioned Carnayba Wax, which is made from Malaysian Palm Trees. This type of wax is, however, very brittle, and needs to be mixed with paraffin wax in order to prevent it from cracking. The precise ratio of Carnayba Wax to Paraffin Wax is unclear, and Tony suggested experimenting first with small amounts.

Now that I have established a link with this accomplished gentleman, I would be happy to forward any further questions you may have to him.

Hope some of this helps.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
Thanks Stephen!
That special polymer valves may be the viledon valves i think!
I will also try with the Carnayba Wax, Maybe mixing it with the ingredients that Morne mentioned!
I'm Sebastian and i Play on a Hohner Concerto III called Modesto.

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Mon May 14, 2018 8:34 am

Hi Sebastian,

I'm sorry that I could not be of more help. Still, it has been an interesting and informative subject, and I now know a little more about Veganism.

The man who lives in North Wales, and from whom this information has come, gathers seaweed, wild plants, fruits and herbs in order to feed himself in an environmentally sustainable way.

Though I will not emulate him, I do admire his dedication and resolve.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by donn » Tue May 15, 2018 5:25 pm

I doubt very much that carnauba wax would help at all. The term "wax" includes materials with many very different properties. Carnauba is more of a lubricant and not sticky at all, so there's no hope that it would make reed plates adhere. That's my take, anyway, just from using it on my floor.

If you don't want to use beeswax (and I agree with the above, it's one of the very few animal products that we get in real partnership with the animal), you could consider "hot glue" and similar cements, but look at the French method too. Nails (as far as I know, never screws.) Any durable resilient material will serve for a gasket, seems very likely that there are many options here that are better than the traditional leather. Of course there may be better fasteners, too, but in defense of nails, they've sure been a time tested way to fasten things to wood.

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by Sebastian Bravo » Mon May 28, 2018 9:18 am

donn wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 5:25 pm
I doubt very much that carnauba wax would help at all. The term "wax" includes materials with many very different properties. Carnauba is more of a lubricant and not sticky at all, so there's no hope that it would make reed plates adhere. That's my take, anyway, just from using it on my floor.

If you don't want to use beeswax (and I agree with the above, it's one of the very few animal products that we get in real partnership with the animal), you could consider "hot glue" and similar cements, but look at the French method too. Nails (as far as I know, never screws.) Any durable resilient material will serve for a gasket, seems very likely that there are many options here that are better than the traditional leather. Of course there may be better fasteners, too, but in defense of nails, they've sure been a time tested way to fasten things to wood.
As you said, it’s not sticky. I’m trying with other kinds of rosin that i bought, mixing it... maybe i will get a good vegan wax... someday

I think i will use that double sided foam tape and nails to attach my reeds. But i work repairing accordions, and the people won’t accept a non-traditional-waxed instrument... maybe it’s time to have bees in my house...
I'm Sebastian and i Play on a Hohner Concerto III called Modesto.

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by donn » Tue May 29, 2018 6:14 pm

The down side of wax, of course, is that it may melt at an inconvenient moment. I think the incidents of this I've heard of have come about in the trunk of a car (UK term "boot" I believe), in full sun on a hot day, which is an exceptionally hot place, but it makes people nervous.

I wouldn't use any kind of foam in an application where it had to last for more than a couple of years. Unstable material combined with high ratio of surface to volume. It isn't only a crumbly mess, the evolved gases aren't inert and may affect other materials. I don't know how to research long-lived stable materials, so for me it's hard to get away from "the old ways are best" conservatism - the old ways being the methods used to make the things that have survived. I have some notion that real latex rubber might be good for 20 years or so, in the protected environment inside an accordion. There could well be elastomers with much longer lifespans, and I think some people might see that as an apparently superior material to leather, once they're convinced that the French knew what they were doing when they installed reed blocks with nails.

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by Geronimo » Tue May 29, 2018 7:04 pm

donn wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 6:14 pm
The down side of wax, of course, is that it may melt at an inconvenient moment. I think the incidents of this I've heard of have come about in the trunk of a car (UK term "boot" I believe), in full sun on a hot day, which is an exceptionally hot place, but it makes people nervous.
Hohner's Texmex line of diatonics is nailed on leather I think, probably because hot car incidents are a lot more common where it is played and they don't care about ruining their rep with them.
There could well be elastomers with much longer lifespans, and I think some people might see that as an apparently superior material to leather, once they're convinced that the French knew what they were doing when they installed reed blocks with nails.
Everybody did that. The French just stuck with it even when wax came about. Hohner once used glue ("Helmitin" I think) but that was a royal mess for repairs. I think that one of the problems Harmona in the GDR (brand names "Weltmeister" and "Universum") had for using plastic reed blocks was finding a wax formula that actually stuck.

I think there is a difference in sound quality. On my main instrument, I have screws and leather in the bass and wax in the treble. Particularly the free bass is very defined and able to cut through, and that's not just the absence of a cassotto-like construction I think.

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by Sebastian Bravo » Tue May 29, 2018 8:55 pm

donn wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 6:14 pm
The down side of wax, of course, is that it may melt at an inconvenient moment.
I play in a french café, and sometimes, at sunny days, bees are flying arround me, trying to get on the grill, it's quite annoying hahah but i understand them.
Geronimo wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 7:04 pm
I think there is a difference in sound quality. On my main instrument, I have screws and leather in the bass and wax in the treble. Particularly the free bass is very defined and able to cut through, and that's not just the absence of a cassotto-like construction I think.
Maybe using some king of foam tape or viledon tape with screws to attach the bass reeds? i will test!
I'm Sebastian and i Play on a Hohner Concerto III called Modesto.

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by Geronimo » Tue May 29, 2018 9:53 pm

Sebastian Bravo wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 8:55 pm
donn wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 6:14 pm
The down side of wax, of course, is that it may melt at an inconvenient moment.
I play in a french café, and sometimes, at sunny days, bees are flying arround me, trying to get on the grill, it's quite annoying hahah but i understand them.
Geronimo wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 7:04 pm
I think there is a difference in sound quality. On my main instrument, I have screws and leather in the bass and wax in the treble. Particularly the free bass is very defined and able to cut through, and that's not just the absence of a cassotto-like construction I think.
Maybe using some king of foam tape or viledon tape with screws to attach the bass reeds? i will test!
I've heard that the French may use harder woods for their reed blocks so that nails/screws have good hold. When using nails, you'd likely want not the smooth variant but ones having a "carved"(?) surface providing some resistance to pulling out.

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by donn » Wed May 30, 2018 6:58 am

Ah, yes, it would be worth looking for information about the kind of wood, and nails. You'd want something that continues to hold the nail firmly, possibly after it's been removed and replaced once or twice? Or do they drive the nails in different places each time the reeds are removed? ... and wood that for sure won't split. I'm not so sure about ring shank nails, that's kind of brutal. You do need to be able to draw the nails back out without damaging anything, and there isn't much room to insert a crowbar.

I really wouldn't use any kind of tape, foam tape particularly not, but nothing with adhesive. Consider cork. Instrument repair suppliers have good quality cork in sheets as thin as you could possibly want.

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by Morne » Wed May 30, 2018 8:07 am

Donn, would those same concerns regarding foam tape also apply to the synthetic, adhesive-backed gasket tape used around the bellows? Or is it irrelevant because it is used "outside" and easily replaceable?

I ended up using foam tape on my practice project because I had a really hard time retrofitting the block with chamois leather. The tape was easy to cut and apply. But yes, decade long survivability was not my concern.

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by donn » Wed May 30, 2018 2:54 pm

I will sure defer to established manufacturers, on any questions of suitable materials - I categorically denounce stuff out of a very small amount of experience and a vast amount of ignorance. Bellows construction is entirely within that sea of ignorance, but intuition suggests that it might be practically impossible without something like adhesive tape, and that would kind of set the scene for the question.

But it isn't needed so much inside under the reed blocks, though for all I know the leather they use there may be cemented down. Maybe no harm done if they do - at worst, if you had to years later remove that stuff, you could very lightly sand off the remnants with a sanding block and likely do no damage. But ... why?

I have some sheet cork, for padding joints on woodwind instruments mainly. It's very nice to work with. Don't know how it's made, it's finer and more supple than for example a wine cork.

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Re: Non-Animal based materials for accordions

Post by Geronimo » Wed May 30, 2018 3:46 pm

donn wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 2:54 pm
I will sure defer to established manufacturers, on any questions of suitable materials - I categorically denounce stuff out of a very small amount of experience and a vast amount of ignorance. Bellows construction is entirely within that sea of ignorance, but intuition suggests that it might be practically impossible without something like adhesive tape,
Uh, where? The calico stripes are glued on, the corners are crimped, any fabric would be glued on. I mean, traditionally adhesive tape wasn't even available but I don't know where you locate it now.

Obviously hide/bone glue is not the vegan option but you'll find synthetic options. Even if they are made using petrochemistry.

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