[Harp-L] reed embossing

During a recent trip back to Virginia I came across in my belongings some
accordion reeds that were worked in a manner similar to a reed treatment
described to me by the late Delio Gabbanelli, a technician I worked with at
an accordion company in New York from 1982 through 1984.  During my time at
the accordion company I described to him a technique I devised in the late
'70s to improve the reed/slot tolerance of an unusual reed I made based on a
drawing in a harmonium repair manual. Mr. Gabbanelli, a native of
Castelfidardo (the center of the Italian accordion industry), said that
accordion reedplates were sometimes pressed or stamped near the reed slot to
force the slot edges closer to the reed, thereby improving the reed's
compression.  He hadn't any samples of these reeds in his possession to show
me and it wasn't until some years after the early '90s, when I described to
the harmonica community this technique of reed embossing, or burnishing as I
then called it, that I first saw such reeds in an old Hohner accordion I was
repairing.  In this type of reed the edge of the slot itself is not actually
touched; rather, a line of depressions is made in the reedplate's surface
around the reed slot, offset about 0.5 mm from the slot's edge.

I asked some of the R&D staff at the Hohner factory about this technique,
but, though they had seen such reeds, the process had ceased to be used
years before they came to the company and they couldn't say exactly how it
was done.  I've uploaded a photo of one of these accordion reeds, showing
the line of depressions around the slot.  With it I've included a photo of
the trident-shaped harmonium reed I made, where I first used the embossing

The photos can be viewed here:

Best regards,

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