Friday, 9 December 2011

Inside the Treble End

The treble end is held onto the bellow by two screws. Remove them and this is what you find.

The uppermost stop has come adrift from its slide, so I should think the reed bank will need to come out to repair it. All the stops are difficult to move. Everything looks fairly clean and the reed banks are firmly attached - they're waxed on and held down with metal pins that have been turned over. The reeds are fastened down with pins.

The leather valves have almost all curled up quite significantly. How much of a problem this is, I'm not sure.

Some of the valves certainly curl a lot.

As you can see from the last photo, some of the woodwork inside is fairly crude, and not much attention has been paid to the finish. Still, the timber seems sound and I haven't noticed any woodworm.

To remove the keyboard is a simple matter - it's held on by a couple of small screws. Again, everything seems in quite good condition.

The exterior is in sound decorative order, and the leather linings of the pallets look ok, too.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Inside the Bass End

I've now dismantled the bass to have a look inside. It looks reasonably clean to me, and doesn't smell musty - surely a good sign!

The leather valves curl significantly, but the reeds themselves don't look too bad to my untutored and unpractised eye.

The control box is held on by five brass screws, and also doesn't look too bad inside.The springs are firmly in place and quite strong. The buttons are simply screwed quite roughly into the valves,which look as if they're made from card sandwiched between two pieces of leather.

A General View of the Melodeon

Here are some more photos to give an idea of the general condition of the box.

The bass end strap is missing - it came to pieces when I first played the box.

The ends of the stops are very worn, and the stops themselves very stiff.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Restoring a Regal Melodeon

I've recently acquired a Regal one-row melodeon in G, dating, I think, from the late 1920s. At any rate, the closest image to it that I've been able to find comes from an old Honer cataloque:

 At the moment, the treble side plays adequately , if somewhat wheezily, while the bass end is very quiet indeed. It has various obvious problems - leaking bellows, at least one valve issue on the treble side, and the  leaky bass end. The plan is to try and restore it to full playing condition, if I can.

As you see, it has three stops on the treble side, and two basses.

Most of the Regal one-rows that I've seen are black - this one is finished in a reddish-brown. The corners are protected with nickel-plated tin, stamped "Regal. Made in Germany". As I understand it, Regal were made by Hohner as budget instruments, and the time and effort involved in restoring this one will probably not be justified financially. But I hope it will be interesting.