Break in of new bellows

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AccordionTop126
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Break in of new bellows

Post by AccordionTop126 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:03 pm

I just completed my restoration of a three-reed Detroit Castiglione piano accordion and it is the first time I have installed replacement bellows. I ordered my new bellows to order from an ebay seller in Slovenia and they are excellent quality. I ordered them to the exact specifications as the original bellows, but the bellows fasteners are very tight when I snap the bellows straps closed (they are the wire type, with no "give"). Should I drill new holes and move the bellows fasteners or will my new bellows contract more as they are broken in?

maugein96
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Re: Break in of new bellows

Post by maugein96 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:33 pm

Hi, Top 126,

Firstly, don't panic. Whilst it is entirely possible you will never have seen one, French spec accordions tend not to have bellows straps fitted at all, to either the top or bottom, and in over 30 years of playing them I have never damaged the bellows on any of them.

That being the case, I have little experience of bellows straps, although I do have an Italian box that has them (leather).

I would doubt very much whether your bellows will contract with use, and it is probable that the folds are just that bit thicker than on the original bellows. Some other members may be able to clarify that.

Italcinte in Castelfidardo make the type of wire bellows straps you have (I think), and it might be possible to buy replacement straps a few mm longer than the ones you have. You may have to consider replacing them with fabric or leather straps which you can get in various lengths. Here's a link to an eBay seller in Scotland who may be able to help you, although I have never dealt with him/her and have no connection. They are quoting £8 GBP shipping to the US so I would try and get them your side if that is unreasonable.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Accordion-bell ... xy3yNTfQft

The last thing you want to do is have to relocate fixing holes on the accordion casing, but I'm sure you'll get it all worked out.

Here's the link to Italcinte's catalogue;-

http://www.italcinte.it/wp-content/uplo ... og_NEW.pdf

EDIT:- Even cheaper on your side of the swamp at Liberty Bellows in all sort of shapes and sizes:-

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Accord ... pzHlRciu1g

AccordionTop126
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Re: Break in of new bellows

Post by AccordionTop126 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:24 pm

Thanks fir your reply maugein96. I didn't know that somw French accordions have no bellows straps. I will look for a different size. I think you are correct that the new bellows ate simply slightly larger. I imagine any break-in would rather result in a change in flexibility, not compressed size.
Devin

maugein96
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Re: Break in of new bellows

Post by maugein96 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:10 pm

No worries. New accordions come with bellows straps to cater for the size of the brand new bellows it comes equipped with. They don't have an adjustment to cope with any "breaking in" period.

Accordions made for the French market (even those made in Italy) have no bellows straps at all. That's just the way it's always been there.

I have a grandson named Devin, and we wondered how he came by that name. We thought it must have been a trans Atlantic creation, and you've just confirmed that.

There is no absolute "must have" list for the accordion. Just play it and let others worry about all the etiquette.

JIM D.
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Re: Break in of new bellows

Post by JIM D. » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:26 pm

New bellows straps are available in the US.
http://frment.com/accordion-accessories ... ws-straps/
Owner & Operator "THE FISARMONICA SHOP" Chicopee, MA USA

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