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Is it possible to refinish an accordion?

Hello Braves,

Just a passing thought ..

I own a Miller accordion that used to be blue.

I showed it to Larry Miller who told me that they
used to use food-dye to color their wood, but now
use a dye that's more permanent.

Well, the "blue" accordion is starting to almost look
black .. which wouldn't be bad if it went all the way
to black, evenly.

My Martin is also food-dyed red.

Is it possible, or even plausible to disassemble an
accordion & have it refinished in order to change
or rejuvenate the color?

Has anyone else experienced "accordion-fade"?

Has anyone heard of this being done?

Inquiring minds want to know!



Re: Is it possible to refinish an accordion?

My purple Bb faded on the top to a greyish blue. Bummer. I would certainly be interested in any fix but I suspect that with the finish Larry used it would be prohibitively expensive to strip it off, restain and refinish.

Re: Re: Is it possible to refinish an accordion?

This is an interesting subject. People often refinish fiddles, which in my opinion, is the death knell for any tonal qualities they may have possesed. It would not effect the sound of an accordion, though.

Could you turn a red, green, blue or purple accordion back to natural, or brown?

There is always black lacquer!!

Re: Re: Re: Is it possible to refinish an accordion?

Good idea Cory.
so they end where it all started with: "les p'tites noires"?


Re: Re: Re: Is it possible to refinish an accordion?

The bellows frames would probably be doable, but the faceplates are going to be hell, as will be the part of the frame that extends away from the faceplace on the outside of the box.

That black lacquer might be the most feasible solution, but, again, on the faceplates, you'll cover over the filigree/carving.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it possible to refinish an accordion?

I believe most builders use thin veneer on the faces, in which case removing the finish would probably go through the veneer. But I wonder if the frames could be refinished, and the faces recovered. Recovering would probably be a heck of a job.

Jude, John??

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it possible to refinish an accordion?

I wouldn't try that.
If you do, talk to an artist who understands the interactions between colours and tones.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it possible to refinish an accordion?

Anything is possible if one is willing to pay for it. So if you would want to make a blue accordion natural or a lighter color much work is involved. Less work is necessary to make that same accordion a black one but still requires pretty much labor. In my experience Anline dyes usually don't fade very much unless the accordion would be stored near a window out of its case. Then it should not fade a whole lot. The much used food dyes do fade to a much greater degree even in less light. Now while I have never used food dyes I make no claim to know who may or may not have used them. Concerning the faces that have been covered with veneer. If they were done right in the begining one should not have any problem striping them. Follwing are the steps I use to finish the end plates (faces) 1. Glue veneer onto the end plates. 2. drill holes in end plates. 3. Engrave logo and scrolls. 4. Apply several coats of finish, depending on the veneer this may require 12 to 18 coats. 5. sand smooth. 6. Apply gold leaf (22k) to logo and scrolls. 7. Lightly sand and mount into frames. Final finishing is done when the accordion body is completed then keyboards, corners etc are mounted onto the accordion.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it possible to refinish an accordion?

So the dye doesnt go so deep into the veneer that removing the color might go through the veneer?

Thanks for the input John.

Re: Is it possible to refinish an accordion?

I have a fairly well used LA box I bought a about a year ago. There are finish issues on it Ive been wondering about repairing. Specifically it looks like someone had been prying up one of the stops with a butterknife. Areas around the mets rod are scuffed up pretty good. Im wondering if there is a way to get the rods out and plug the holes while I take down the wood on that part of the box and refinish it ??
Also, on the sticking stops issue, anyone have any idea about maybe getting just a little bit of soap on there to loosen it up? Im not looking to blow bubbles or anything but I doubt it could really harm the box ??

Re: Re: Is it possible to refinish an accordion?

IF, and that's a big if, the soap happens to then create flakes or something inside the box, they might clog up a reed. Graphite?

Re: Re: Re: Is it possible to refinish an accordion?

Wax. Try wax. Of course, that's probably pretty close to soap.

Re: Re: Is it possible to refinish an accordion?

i think refinishing would be hard
because the original process
does stain first, then engrave,
ink the engraving, etc

i had my blue 1996 point noir fade
to an uneven greenish light blue
it was almost yellow in spots
it was probably made with food color

my larry miller from 2000
has faded some to a less intense
purple, and i am pretty sure
he used real woodworkers dye, not
food coloring

so all those weird stain colors might
fade, no matter what
i;ve even tried to cover it when not

the point noir, i sold to
cajungreeneyes, but he knew about
the fading



Re: Re: Re: Is it possible to refinish an accordion?

Color Haiku

I made an inquiry to Jr. Martin
To change the color of a box
From a bright color to solid black.
The cost would be $800.


Not worth it, IMO.

Re: Is it possible to refinish an accordion?

Removing the clearcoat is the messy part. Food coloring stain can be drawn to the surface with a damp towel first. An oxidizer will then eliminate the color. I have not used a bleach solution, but Oxi clean works in dillution as well as lab cleansers. Aniline dye, which is very hazardous, is colorfast when lightstruck and is what many gibsons are colored with. It is added to the lacquer as opposed to staining first. Try the coloring on scrap, and then try removing it.
It has worked for me on a variety of stringed instruments that used a water based dye.
I would just live with it on a box though.

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