Re: [Harp-L] Manji welded reeds?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Peloquin" <peloquinharp@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "Harp -l" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, August 10, 2009 11:55 AM
Subject: RE: [Harp-L] Manji welded reeds?
I'm a relative newbie to harp-playing and I know it's
probably a dumb question, but.......if welded reeds are
such a tremendous improvement over rivetted reeds,
wouldn't replacing a welded reed with a screw-fastened
reed result in a poorer quality harmonica?
If not, then why not use all screw-fastened or bolted
reeds in the first place, rather than welded reeds?
Spot-welding is much more amenable to an automated assembly
process than rivets or screws. (See those videos on
assembly of automobile bodies.) One suspects that this is
the most important reason for choosing spot-welding. Better
alignment and closer tolerances are real but marginal
advantages to the user. Field-replacement difficulties are
challenging but not unsurmountable. Replacement of rivetted
reeds is also a challenge to the average harper.
And if indeed the performance of a welded reed is so vital
to the musician at the outset, why would he/she then
settle for a lesser harmonica with a repaired reed which
doesn't meet original manufacturer's specifications? I'm
thinking that if welded reeds were so vitally important to
the professional player in the first place, he/she would
simply dispose of the damaged harp and buy a new one,
rather than play an "inferior" instrument.
.....Or am I missing something? Jim,
Quite the contrary.
As they say in talk radio; "you stole my thunder."
And, with those close tolerances, how could a lowly human
easily align this replacement reed in the slot? What about
all of the distortion and stress put on the reed and the
plate when the holes are drilled and threads are cut?
Valid questions. Because you drill the hole in the reed
bigger than the screw, you can always loosen the screw and
change the angle and offset of the reed with respect to the
slot. Although this can involve quite a bit of fiddling
around, it is theoretically possible to get a perfect
alignment. I have found that it helps to put a lubricated
washer under the screw head to reduce the tendency of the
reed to move as the screw is tightened. You still need a
Because welding is fairly new, harp techs haven't had much
opportunity to work out solutions to the problems that you
have correctly identified. However, we're working on it.
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