Saturday, September 26, 2009

Disassembling an Accordion Bass Mechanism Part 4

Disassembling an Accordion Bass Mechanism
Part 4

After you have removed the 40 Bass and
Counterbass Button Rods, cleaned them
And placed them in the jig, you can examine
The “fingers” which extend out, and which
The Bass Button Rods push down on to open
The Bass Reed Valves.

These can be cleaned as needed with Q-Tips
And Goo Be Gone. Be Careful not to bend
Them, or to leave lint from the Q-tip on them.

I sometimes cut a strip of fine sandpaper, fold
It in half, and gently clean every slot in the
Wooden guides which hold the bass button

This is a good time to make sure there are no
Loose pieces laying down inside the Bass Side
Of the Accordion. You can vacuum up any
Debris, and do other cleaning or minor repair
At this time. You may want to clean the holes
Where the bass buttons protrude, of any dirt
Or residue at this time, using a Q-Tip and Goo
Be Gone.

Once you are satisfied that everything has been
Cleaned properly, you can begin reassembly
Starting with the Bass and Counterbass
Button Rods. I usually begin from the right
Side, nearest the Air Release Valve, and work
My way to the left. As you install each rod, be
Certain that the little pins that push down on
The Bass Reed Valve Fingers, are all positioned
On the top of those fingers. This will become
Very important when you install the Chord
Bass Button Rods, All three pins on each rod
Must be on top of the fingers to make sure the
Entire chord is played when the button is

As you Install each bass button rod, gently test
It by depressing it to make sure it operates
Freely and does not rub. If a bass button rod
Seems to rub, you may need to remove it, and
Gently straighten it with a pair of pliers. Don’t
Overdo the bending, usually if a rod is rubbing
It takes just a hair of straightening to make it
Operate freely.

After installing the Bass and Counterbass Rods,
Reinstall the thin Wooden Retainer which holds
those rods in place with the screws you removed.

Then Reinstall the Chord Button Retainer Guide into
The Slot on the Stand Off, and screw it into place.
Then, Begin reinstalling the Major and Minor
Chord button rods into their respective locations
Working from the air release valve over to the left.

Again, test each rod to make sure it operates
Freely and adjust as needed. Make sure each rod
Is positioned so that it actuates three “fingers”.

Once you have reinstalled the Major and Minor
Chord Button Rods, Reinstall the Thin Plastic
Retaining Strip into the slot on the wooden
Retainer guide, and using a Q-Tip and some
Wood glue, reattach the 4 or 5 thin plastic strips
Which you removed previously, and space them
Evenly so that they hold the thin plastic
Retaining strip in place. If you broke a plastic
Strip during removal, take a thin piece of
Cardboard or cardstock, cut it to the approximate
Size, and use in lieu of the plastic strip.

When the glue has dried, reinstall the 7th and Dim
Chord Bass Button Rods, testing each one to
Make sure it operates freely.

When the final Bass Button Rods are installed,
Attach the outer thin retainer wood strip using the
Screws you removed. Test all the buttons to make
Sure they operate freely and make sure that all
The pieces you removed have been reinstalled.

You are done1! Reattach the bass mechanism
Cover plate, and the bass strap and you are ready
To enjoy!

By the way, a Great Children's Book about the
Accordion, with a music CD is available at:


  1. very good

    what do you do to replace the material on the face of the bass pallet. I believe it is felt or is it leather?


  2. To access the end of the bass strap that doesn't have the screw on it do i have to take apart the bass reed box. When I take the out shell off the bass side , I still can't see the bass strap end??



  3. My aunt shipped me an accordion she no longer wanted. When it arrived, several of the buttons had fallen down inside from the 1st two rows. Apparently it took a good drop because the wooden legs that support the retainers were busted loose. I have repaired the broken wood with carpenters glue but I don't know which button goes in which slot. How can I put them back together in the right order? Is there any pattern to the little fingers protruding from each rod? Thanks!