Button Box Forum

General Category => Instrument Construction and Repair => Topic started by: dudawelder on October 09, 2019, 02:29:12 PM

Title: Bass end of small button box
Post by: dudawelder on October 09, 2019, 02:29:12 PM
I am interested in trying to have a small 3 row box with 8 bass adapted to 48 / 60 bass if it is possible.
Do any members have any advise / opinion on the subject. I have always it would be good to try a smaller box with a decent bass
Title: Re: Bass end of small button box
Post by: roymagna on October 10, 2019, 03:36:46 PM
Yes it is possible. I know of at least three 2 rows that have been successfully done adding a 48 bass end of an old piano box. All you have to do is find an old piano box of similar size to the Button keyboard side and graft it on. This is quite a tricky job but any competent joiner/ carpenter/cabinet maker can do this.  A rubber gasket should be made to seal it and make it airtight.
By the way welcome to the forum.
Title: Re: Bass end of small button box
Post by: Bill on October 11, 2019, 02:30:37 PM
Is there a particular 3 row 8 bass box you're starting with? There are at least two ways of getting to a 48 or 60 bass.

1. I know of at least 3 Hohner Trichords and a Double Ray Deluxe that have had a 48 bass end from a small piano accordion grafted on to the left side. I did one myself, described on this other forum - http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,1686.0.html. It’s difficult to find a PA that’s a near match in size, which is why I ask where you’re starting from. The important dimensions are the height and depth of the bellows.

2. Graeme Mackay had two Hohner Morino Club models fitted with 60 bass mechanisms from a small CBA by John Crawford. This is very complicated - all the works were fitted inside the original left end casing - reed blocks, mounting board, bass mechanism, buttons and button board. This depends on the casing being big enough in the first place; that model of Hohner had 3 rows of bass buttons to start with.

Title: Re: Bass end of small button box
Post by: JNM SY on October 12, 2019, 12:41:41 AM
Hi, Ive done a few of these but the best & most fun to play is a Hohner Club 2b converted to BCC# with a 40 bass from a Student iv stuck on the left side.(see attached pic. hopefully).   I have since added another 7 basses & chords.  - Bmin, F#min, and C# bass   The weight is now 4.7k which for me is perfect - although only 2 voice treble.
  The 60 bass ones I did feel heavier  and  slower in comparison.
     Best sounding is an old trichord,but only has 32 + 1 basses.( no counter basses).
I nearly forgot - my last effort is a Hohner Lucia 48 bass (4 × 12) Csystem changed to BCC#. This was the easiest one to convert and smaller than the Club 2b, but they are quite rare.
                                         Good luck,   John  SY.
Title: Re: Bass end of small button box
Post by: Bill on October 12, 2019, 03:52:46 PM
That’s a very nice-looking conversion, and interesting additional basses and chords.
Could you provide some more info about the 60 bass boxes that you’ve made?
Title: Re: Bass end of small button box
Post by: JNM SY on October 12, 2019, 10:23:04 PM
Hi Bill, My first attempt at a 60 bass was based on a  box of Hohner Club 3m parts I bought on #$%bay.
It turned out to be a complete box just dismantled and all parts wrapped seperately! - V good buy.
It was of course C/F tuning, so first task after freeing off the siezed slides was BCC# conversion.
Next I had the good fortune to aquire a Hohner Carena 3 bass end for pennies, so I wasn,t nervous about carving it up as you,ll see from the pics. The Carena carcass was broken in the middle where the bass coupler switches would normally be. It was both too narrow and too tall to fit the Club3m,so once the wife was out some serious surgery took place on the kitchen table.  More wood was added top & bottom to make it wide enough then covered with some dark red celluloid offcuts. The Carena 120 bass mechanism was miles too big so I squeezed in a mech from a small Delicia 60 bass I had for spares. It plays well considering... I hope all the pics attach OK.
Title: Re: Bass end of small button box
Post by: JNM SY on October 12, 2019, 11:43:28 PM
Hello again, my next 60 bass project was based on a very nice - as new-Paolo Soprani 3 voice club 8 bass box.
  I didnt want this box damaged in any way so the original bass end is untouched and ready to go back on any time.
  The donor box for this was a Weltmiester 30 treble keys,60 bass. It was the perfect width, just a touch too tall.
 So a lot less work involved in this one - I think about 8mm out of the middle.
 I find the bass reeds a bit dull in comparison to the nice bright Paolo Soprani treble side, so I may change them at some point. Its nice to play and only 6.35kg, so it feels about half the weight of my PS Elite 3.
    All this faffing about modifying boxes,adding buttons etc. is so addictive I hardly play them anymore!  - John.
Title: Re: Bass end of small button box
Post by: Bill on October 13, 2019, 06:39:36 AM
Those are tremendous conversions – fine looking boxes. I wouldn’t have the temerity to attempt such major surgery on the casework – you can’t see the join!
Title: Re: Bass end of small button box
Post by: Euanbrown on October 13, 2019, 09:44:49 AM
Very impressive conversions!  Have you any idea of  the actual weight of the LHS in these boxes in relation to the total weight?  After all the LHS is where most of the the heavy  lifting is all done.  Also do you have any videos or recordings of them in action?   
Title: Re: Bass end of small button box
Post by: JNM SY on October 13, 2019, 04:49:26 PM
All of these boxes still have their original bass ends untouched so there is no risk really, except to some old piano box write-offs. Its a form of re-cycling...  try it!

 To the OP I would recommend trying a Club2b conversion, but be aware that 40 bass "Hohner Student" models are different inside (see pics below), with the older model having 2 banks of reeds which is the one I used, and the later model with the same number of reeds but split into 3 banks. This model has a shorter bass mechanism with less  space ( if any) to add any more buttons at the top end  of the mech. Remember, all the notes are already there,you just add repeats as reqd. untill you run out of space.  In practice this means drilling holes in the horizontal bars that operate the bass pallet and soldering in a pin that the vertical slide (with the button on the top) can catch when pressed.  I know, clear as mud, but thats optional extras and easiest done by clearly marking every piece & totally dismantling the mechanism.  I started with the B bass,  then the Bmin , then when they worked OK eventually the rest. No room for the C#min chord though just the bass. Hmmm.. unless I hack a bit more of the case away...
 By the way Bill thanks for the complimentary comments, -you def. CAN see the joins, but luckily - you can't hear them!         John.
Title: Re: Bass end of small button box
Post by: JNM SY on October 13, 2019, 05:10:45 PM
Here's a picture of the Hohner Lucia alongside a Club 3bf for scale.  No hacking of (piano box) casework (fun) involved, just a general refurb and convert the treble side to BCC#.
   The air button needed moving but the box is so small I dont need to enlarge it into a bar at all.
Title: Re: Bass end of small button box
Post by: JNM SY on October 14, 2019, 03:16:08 PM
Hello Euan, I just weighed the original P.Soprani bass end,the the Welt donor 60bass end.
The results were quite surprising,    PS Club iv bass = 2kilos ,pretty hefty
     The Weltmeister 60 bass end = 2.6 kilos so not all that much heavier.

When I record with my tablet camera the sound is really distorted even from a distance but if I get that sussed I may be tempted to upload a video somewhere, - I,ve not done that before.
When I get a chance I,ll weigh the Club2b bass, but as I said earlier this one is one is the most fun to play because it is so light and has Hohner reeds on both treble and bass sides.       John.
PS -  waxing & valves still to be done on the Welty bass. ( and fine tuning)
Title: Re: Bass end of small button box
Post by: JNM SY on September 09, 2020, 07:21:43 PM
Hello all, this post is really a post-script to my previous post about the Club 2b conversion.
I have a couple of 2 & 3 voice hohner club boxes and noticed while working on them that the keyboard mechanism & on the 3 voice ones, the reed blocks, there were "spare" spaces where more keys & reeds could be added.  Seemed a shame not to put this capacity to use ( and I can,t resist meddling with things) - anyway my club 2b is now a full 3 row. Well worth the effort and a lot easier than messing around with the bass side. See pic.
                                               All the best, John
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