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Hand-Making a Russian Diatonic Accordion

September 21, 2018
by

My Fifth Garmon (diatonic accordion)

Just saw these vids of someone making accordion reeds and reed-plates from start to finish in what looks like a home workshop. Interesting to see the long Russian style reed-plates that need no waxing. I guess if you break one of the reeds, or the big plates, this is how you’d make your own replacement.

Accordion reed making by hand (bass reed plate)

 

Every step is so labour intensive and yet matter-of-fact. That’s how you do it. For every tiny piece. Unbelievable. When they put the snips in the vice to cut the reeds out that just did me in. The vice and Dremel work, and the skill-saw to cut the reed-plate vents are tiny bits of awesome.
Accordion reed-making and installation on reed plate

Oh my gosh, he’s got videos of making all the other parts of an accordion too! From bellows to buttons. I must watch them all.
I got the tip about these vids from the always interesting UK Accordionists Forum.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Cyrus permalink
    December 11, 2020 12:16 am

    Hi there,
    I truly enjoyed watching every move and step toward making the reeds and plates !!
    My question to you is where can I buy reed strip and what type of material is it made !!
    Bronze !
    Blue tampered steel !
    Brass !..I personally like using brass reeds.
    And where can I purchase them?
    Thank you so much for your time.

    • December 11, 2020 11:58 am

      Gosh Cyrus. I don’t know where they get that reed metal. I’ve seen photos Kimric Smythe took at the Tula factory in Russia. They had it in huge rolls of tempered steel they clip off as needed. The pictures and a great little video of the stamper are on Kimric’s instagram:

      Sorry I don’t know where best to purchase the raw reed material. Some kind of sheet-metal supplier would be cheapest. But accordion makers would have worked out which specific tempered metal to use I guess.

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