[Harp-L] Arbor Press to fasten reeds

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David Pearce via Harp-L

Sep 25, 2018, 8:42:44 PM9/25/18
to har...@harp-l.org

I meant using an Arbor press to fasten the reed in lieu of a hammer. Or how would one go about making a reed riveting machine?

Love your detailed and informative explanations Vern! Keep em coming!

David Pearce


Sep 25, 2018, 11:33:09 PM9/25/18
to David Pearce, har...@harp-l.org
I misunderstood that you meant to SET the rivet, not remove it.

The problem with harmonica rivets is that they are harder than the brass of the plate. (In steel, rivets are heated to make them softer than the plates that hold them.) That means that if you apply force off the centerline of the hole, the rivet can tip over and you have a mess.

I think that the best tool is a modified set of pliers. I prefer screws or soldering* but I would use a modified pair of pliers for setting rivets. I can envision a vicegrip with a pair of pads ground into the jaws to contact the ends of the rivet. A Dremel with an abrasive wheel could be used to grind the pads.
With an arbor press, the important thing is the shape and size of the parts that touch the rivet. With a big press, you could easily apply too much force and damage the plate.

* For soldering, see https://youtu.be/DOBJCpZQ68Y <https://youtu.be/DOBJCpZQ68Y>


Joseph Leone

Sep 25, 2018, 11:43:53 PM9/25/18
to David Pearce, har...@harp-l.org

> On Sep 25, 2018, at 8:42 PM, David Pearce via Harp-L <har...@harp-l.org> wrote:
> I meant using an Arbor press to fasten the reed in lieu of a hammer.

I imagine that the shock of a light tap with a hammer has the effect of ‘barreling out’ the mid section of a rivet as it shortens it an infinitesimal amount.
Therefore the rivet holds by means of friction. A rivet is somewhat like a drift pin. Pressing would probably do the same, but it might be hard to regulate
HOW much pressure. After all brass reed plates are quite easy to deform.

> Or how would one go about making a reed riveting machine?

There is no mystery to these. Several people have designed and made various models. Our own master tool maker Richard Sleigh, master tool trouble shooter
tool maker for Stanley tools Wally Peterman, master jeweler and Harmonica Rascals repair man Leo Friedman, master watch repairman Bill ’the desert fennec’
Rommel. And others.
> Love your detailed and informative explanations Vern! Keep em coming!

Vern IS ‘Da man’. lol.

> David Pearce

Michelle LeFree

Sep 27, 2018, 7:13:57 AM9/27/18
to har...@harp-l.org
David Pearce wrote:

> I meant using an Arbor press to fasten the reed in lieu of a hammer. Or how would one go about making a reed riveting machine?

Funny you should ask, David.

As it so happens there is no need to make one yourself because in order
to address the current void of commercially available rivet replacement
systems I just recently created a 3D-printed jig for this exact purpose.
It's the first in a series of SilverWing 3-SPace's 3D-printed harmonica
repair tools I am introducing. [SilverWing 3-Space is my new company.
3-Space refers to the coordinate system used by mathematicians to
described 3-dimensional objects.] I was going to post about the set all
together but in view of this thread I am compelled to announce my "Reed
Replacer" system for diatonic harmonicas here and now.

The SilverWing 3-Space "Reed Replacer" system incorporates:

- a 3D-printed ABS plastic frame that features an oil-impregnated bronze
bushing as a precision guide for the included punches

- 2 hardened O-1 tool steel punches: 1 tapered (pointed) to remove old
rivets and 1 flat punch to flatten donor reed pads and recipient reed

- an 18 oz. 1" square cold rolled steel bar as an anvil with a slot
running across its short dimension to accept the row of rivet heads

- a port for a flashlight  to ensure that the reed, rivet pad and reed
plate slot are all well illuminated (flashlight is not included, but any
1" diameter one will do)

Here are a few photos:





And a PDF of the instructions:


I am pleased that both Andrew Zajac and Gary Lehman have posted positive
demonstrations and reviews.



I am also pleased that Rockin' Ron's is carrying the RRS system for
$135, delivered. He has them in stock.


Feel free to contact me via email for any comments, questions, or
inquiries: mlefree at silverwingleather dot com



PS: Other products soon to be released include an all-encompassing
3D-rprinted system for replacing reeds on diatonic or chromatic harps
with rivets or screws (includes an exciting USB microscope attachment
for advanced visualization), and a series of LED flashlight-illuminated
probes that I call "Harmonica Lightsabers" that fit into reed chambers
and illuminate the reed space between reed and reed plate


Sep 28, 2018, 8:22:58 PM9/28/18
to Michelle LeFree, har...@harp-l.org
Your SilverWing system has many desirable features. However, I question a pointed punch for removing rivets. A sharp point tends to spread the rivet. This can make the removal more difficult and alter the hole. Its only advantage is that it is an easy shape to grind.

I posit that the optimum shape for the punch point is a cylinder about .035” in diameter (a bit smaller than the hole) and about .050” long ( a bit longer than the plate thickness). This can project from a larger diameter punch shank. This shape is stronger than a point, spreads the pressure over almost all of the rivet face, and won’t damage the hole if it is pushed too far.

I viewed the video and did not understand how filing the rivet head at an angle can move the reed position. A large part of the video is dedicated to adjustments after the rivet is set. This is what often defeated me when I tried to employ rivets. I’m aware that many technicians use rivets routinely and that my problems may have arisen my lack of skill and experience. I had much better results with screws.

The ideal system would not depend on the location or shape of holes in the reed or plate or on the process of installing screws or rivets, You would locate the reed in the slot and fasten it without any strong forces or torques on the reed base. Welding meets these criteria but welders are very expensive .

In lieu of welding, I experimented with resistance soldering. I use it myself. Although I don’t plan to sell the equipment, I would furnish information to anyone wanting to try soldering. I have illustrated the process in this video:
https://youtu.be/DOBJCpZQ68Y <https://youtu.be/DOBJCpZQ68Y>

You can also see my home-grown punch in action.


> On Sep 26, 2018, at 5:38 PM, Michelle LeFree <mle...@silverwingleather.com> wrote:
> …………..hardened O-1 tool steel punches: 1 tapered (pointed) to remove old rivets…………...

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