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MMD > Archives > June 1999 > 1999.06.21 > 08Prev  Next

Harmonica vs. Accordion Reeds for Roller Organ
By John Kleinbauer

Hi All,  I just spent the last two weeks getting my roller organ
project back on track.  As you may remember the reed blocks shipped to
me turned out to be bigger than expected.  The whole organ had to be
redesigned and rebuilt.  Now that the organ is almost done I have the
following to report.

Accordion reeds require less air than harmonica reeds.  They also have
a much fuller sound.  The biggest difference is the cost.  Accordion
reeds cost from between seven and fifteen dollars each vs. ten dollars
for a set of twenty in a harmonica.

Mounting is also different.  Harmonica reeds are mounted ten on a
plate.  Accordion reeds have two per plate and both are the same note,
one for the accordion going in and the other for when the accordion is
going out.  (I am only using one of the two reeds)

I spent several weeks deciding how to best mount the plates.  I went
with the quick and dirty method that follows.  I cut a hole slightly
larger than the reed plate.  I then glued two strips of cardboard on
the bottom of the hole in the sound board.  The strips of cardboard
overlap the hole a little on the two longest sides.  The strips keep
the reed block from dropping through.

I then put a bead of silicone caulking  around the bottom of the hole.
When the reed plate was dropped in, the caulking oozed out filling any
void.  The caulk seals and prevents any unwanted vibrations.  Now when
I pump the organ all twenty notes sing!  Now on to making the twenty
keys.  If you are thinking of building a mechanical organ, please
consider reeds.  They are lightweight, cheap and easy to design with,
unlike pipes.

John Conrad Kleinbauer

(Message sent Tue 22 Jun 1999, 01:01:43 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Accordion, Harmonica, Organ, Reeds, Roller, vs

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