Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Documenting a Recent Accordion Repair

I recently obtained a nice Contello 2/4 reed accordion which had some sticky keys, and a sluggish treble register mechanism. Having successfully done a limited degree of disassembly and reassembly on a number of previous accordions, I felt comfortable tackling these particular problems. The first step was to remove the Bellows Pins from the Treble and Bass sides of the accordion. I do this very gently with a pair of pliers, pulling the pins out with a slight back and forth twisting motion to help break some of the friction, and being very careful to in no way mar or scratch the body of the accordion. I am careful to identify which holes the bellows pins must be reinstalled in.

Once the pins are removed, I gently separate the treble side from the bellows, lifting the treble side straight up and away from the bellows so as not to risk having the reed blocks rub against the side of the bellows. I then removed the reedblocks from the treble side and stored them safely aside. After removing the grill cover by unscrewing the machine screw on either side, it was a simple matter to unscrew the treble register mechanism and disengage it from the treble register pivot arms.

Now I had the keyboard of the accordion with no treble register and no reed blocks installed.

I removed the aluminum end cap which covers the keyboard axle and to my surprise I noticed that this little accordion had a double axle! I think this is somewhat rare. The double axle seems to give the keyboard a nicer action when playing. I took my channel lock pliers and gripped the end of the axle which held in the white keys. I gripped down very tightly on the exposed end of the axle, and with a slight back and forth twisting motion I began to withdraw the rod. As I did I placed a number identifying each white key as it was removed. After all the white keys were removed, the accordion looked like the above photo. I will publish more info at a later time.


  1. Wow, you've become quite the accordion expert Dad! I'm very proud.

  2. Patience and precision my Love.
    You are my Accordion Man!

  3. I have a huge problem. I was reconditioning my accordion, and somebody at the place I was doing it moved all my bass button rods, which I had lay out in order. I can't get them back correctly; I had placed them back twice with chord errors. Is there any way you could post a higher resolution photo of the first rows (the rows first exposed upon removal of the panel) so that we could see the correct order of the button rods? Thanks!

  4. BTW, it is a stradella 120 bass, as in one of your other FAQs.