There is always something to do in our studio and revision jobs are the common thread.
We are currently working on a nice revision job, a Sirius of around 30 years old. Another great instrument, but due to old age and a lot of playing a revision is necessary. After such an overhaul, the instrument actually comes out nicer and richer than ever. Especially when you have built up a long history with the instrument.
The flaps and leather were completely worn out, hard and dehydrated, the glue released ‘too’ easily after years of loyal service. The instrument looked quite used, which I always find positive.
After removing the valves and various cover plates you can nicely get into all corners of the instrument to clean everything that is not possible in the assembled state. This is just the beginning. The bass side still has to be completely dismantled and all tongues also go off the blocks to be completely cleaned. Ultimately, they shine more beautifully than new.
Then it is quite a job to find the right learners together, not too wide, the right thickness, not too flexible or not too stiff … after this strict selection it is time to stick all the learners on the tongue houses and where needed to be fitted with a thin metal spring, which in Italian is called ‘contropelli’ (freely translated: against hides). This is to support the leather so that it stays nicely connected to the tongue housing to seal the pull and push tongue.
After that the waxing of the tongues on the blocks can start, perhaps the most beautiful part of the revision, a very precise job, because the wax may not touch the tongues or the teachings. A Sirius button accordion is chock full of tongues … on the right there are 64 tones, 4 choirs (4/8/8 cass./16 cass.) And each tongue house is equipped with a pull and a push tongue.
This data gives the following sum: 64 (tones) x 4 (corn) x 2 (pull and push tongue) = 512 tongues! at the right. There are fewer tongues on the left, only 372. So together there are 512 + 372 = 884 tongues in a PIGINI Sirius.
Also nice to know: an instrument like this contains around 12,000 parts! That explains why it is such a time-consuming job. In a following article more about our studio activities. And those who don’t fully understand, feel free to contact us for answers to all your questions.