I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would pick up their accordion at such a weak point. Its like when someone grabs a 12lb banjo by the neck and swings it into position. Thats what straps and handles are for to hold it. I've had my boxes apart and those stop slides are not the place to be swing such a great little instrument. Bruce
Lifting the accordion by the stops brings new meaning to the expression "to pull out all the stops" = “faire un suprême effort, remuer ciel et terre”, which derives from playing the pipe-organ...the stops on a pipe-organ are the buttons which are activated by pulling them out, which activates tones the organ produces ...some organs have an enormous number of them and 'pulling them all out' causes a very loud noise indeed. I always wondered why the stops were up to play and down to mute. Now I know they are up to lift it and immediately play.
While I occasionally do lift my accordions by the stops, I remember a workshop with Ray Abshire I attended, where he said "you should NEVER lift the accordion by the stops". Not only could the stops come off, but they could also become loose and leak air. Also you should never push them down regularlyfor the same reason.
If I'm sitting around playing at home and close to the carpet, I lift by the stops. If I'm standing on stage, I lift by the shoulder strap. I've been lifting by the stops for years -- never had an issue.
When I started playing, I never used the stops to lift or carry the box. Then I saw several people do it, and thought it was okay. However, I won't do it again. All it takes is a little sideway pressure to damage the stop mechanism.