RE: Reed Mod's

Johnny Bee writes...

>I do believe this is my first posting on the HARP-L list. It was recommended 
>from the BLUES-L list.  GOTTA LOVIT!!!
>I'm fairly new on the Harp and I must say that YOU folk are putting some great 
>comments on here. Although I didn't get any harps for Christmas from anyone 
>else, I bought myself a Lee Oscar on Christams Eve. I was actually looking to 
>get replacement plates for my 'C' Hohner and learned that there was no such 
>thing. ...

	I only know of Lee Oskar, Inc. advertising replacement plates. Don't 
know about Hohner - I have bought chromatic reed plates in the past. You might 
contact them directly.

> The salesperson said they are the equivalent of the "Bick lighter" and >they 
>probably will not have replacement plates until MAYBE sometime in 1995. 

	If they imply you should throw away your broken harps - DON'T. One of 
these days you'll learn how to repair them and/or pirate parts from one to fix 
another. Throw them in a "bone box" and keep them for a rainy day.

>From reading some of the postings already I see that I actually have to Break 
>In my new Harp...Also, on the Lee Oscar, I understand that they aren't usually 
>in tune to begin with and modifications are necessary. (I have to become a 
>technician too 8-( ) ahhhh).
	Lots of pros and cons on this - I don't break in my harps - probably 
because I'm a relatively "soft" player - If I need loud I let the mic do the 
work. But in general it is probably a good idea to break them in.

	I can't comment on out of tune harps - I have never found a new harp to 
be seriously out of tune. What does that say about my ear? Of course you have 
to realize too - I am a government worker. I have had new harps in need of some 
tweaking to improve response.

>As a beginner I'm missing a whack of tools in my toolkit. HOW DOES ONE MODIFY 
>the reeds to give it the proper tone?
	I can recommend two excellent books - One is just recently available 
from Dick Gardner. I haven't seen this one yet but my co-editor gives it a 
thumbs up! - send $10.00 to Dick at...
     7024 Jocelyn Ave. S.
     Cottage Grove, MN 55016-3640
       (612) 458-1193     

	The other is from Dr. Harp (aka BSHC's Richard Smith) Write...

	Buckeye State Harmonica Club
	4532 Benderton Ct.
	Columbus, OH 43220

	Oh, this one is $5.00 -- I recommend both. If you only buy one, get 
Gardner's - the humor alone is worth it.

	TOOLS-- Lee Oskar sells a nifty little repair kit in a roll up pouch 
for around $25 list. It is designed for L. O. harps - so it only contains a 
phillips screwdriver. Add a small flat head and you're equipped to do minor 
repairs - read adjustment, tuning. etc. A how to sheet is included.

	F & R Farrell Co. - has various harmonica repair tools.
	call 1-800-438-3543  or 1-800-438-3544 & ask for a catalog.

	Finally, most people who get half way serious about harmonica repair 
end up populating their own tool kits with stock tools and sometimes homemade 

	Here are some things to look for...
a) Precision screwdrivers - flat & phillips.
b) A GOOD set of forceps with angled or curved tips.
c) Fine file
d) Sharp scraping tool (razor blade, exacto, etc.)
e) Soft tooth brush
f) 91% Isopropyl alcohol
g) Feeler gauge material or thin metal strip
h) Tooth picks
i) Soda straw (cut to approx. 2" - makes a nice reed setting tool).
j) Small pliers
k) Light weight hammer.
l) Ask your dentist if he will save some old dental tools for you.

Now dig up an old harmonica (one you don't care about) and go to it.
Hint for #1 project - Retune the draw 5 reed up 1/2 step (F to F# on a C harp).
You do this by scraping or filing small amounts off the free end of the reed. 
Use the gauge material to slide under the reed for support. File/Scrape a 
little at a time and test often. You will probably have to adjust the reed set 
after you get the pitch right. If you have any luck at all you will have a 
quick and dirty country tuned harp.

	That's just a start - I'm sure you'll get more ideas from this list and 
from the repair manuals mentioned above.

>Additionally, once I get this baby modified could you recommend an inexpensive 
>method of magnifying this sound. The cheapest the music stores were quoting me 
>here in Toronto was about $300 strokes for Mike and Amplifier.(commments).
	I'm sure the amp/mic gurus will reply to this one.

>p.s. I've been playing diatonic now for a little over 1 year. I've been 
>telling everyone that I'm committing to playing on-stage by summer '96. With 
>your help maybe I'll be up there for a tune or two by this summer. 
>Thanks all

I can't tell, from your address, where you are but come to Buckeye Harmonica 
Festival '95 April 6, 7, 8 and sign up for open mic. More info later.

()/ ()__

PS |___________I'm no biker but I really like your sig!

       Jack Ely - Columbus, Ohio  --Internet--> IMS_ELY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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