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JonesHand52

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Having recently obtained a used accordion lacking straps, and needing some to be able to play it, I found that locally available straps at a music store would cost me 40 dollars plus tax (9%) and decided to make my own out of whatever scraps I have on hand until I could make a nice leather pair later, when I feel like doing leatherwork. I already had to do some of that rebuilding and restitching another pair for another accordion. 

I happened to have a pair of old black denim jeans that I was recycling, plus a supply of aluminum stock I use for various projects, so I made a set of buckles which also save me a ton of money, although it was time consuming work, but nothing an old retiree is lacking. 

So, jewelers saw and files in hand, I made the buckles. The denim strap blanks were cut out and sewn on a Pfaff 130. Once the buckles were finished, I then finished the blanks into straps using a c. late 1950s or early 1960s White 565 (I made the base for this machine, but still need to make the case top). I finally finished the project today and have a serviceable pair of accordion straps for this old 1950s accordion. 

- Bruce 1. Tools of the trade and blanks.jpg  2. Sawing out the openings 1.jpg  3. Sawing out the openings 2.jpg  4. One opening cut out.jpg  5. Two blanks cut out.jpg  6. Edges and openings filed and squared.jpg  7. Edges to be rounded are beveled.jpg  8. Edges rounded and buckle smoothed with fine sandpaper.jpg  9. Final smoothing with 0000 steel wool.jpg  10. Nail filed and bent to form tang of tongue.jpg  11. Tongue trimmed and back filed flat, end rounded.jpg  12. Finished buckle.jpg  13. Finished buckle and second blank. Total time to make buckle about .jpg  14. Finished buckle, buckle blank, more blanks with patterns glued on .jpg  15. Finished buckles & denim strap blanks sewn on Pfaff 130.jpg  16. Finished denim accordion straps pair.jpg  17. Straps finished on White 565.jpg  18. Finished straps installed on accordion.jpg 

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ke6cvh

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Reply with quote  #2 
Bruce,  That is awesome work and an incredible documentation of your project so others can make buckles and straps as needed.   Just need an mp4 upload onto the topic so we can hear it in action 😉


Best regards,
Mike


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Mavis

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Reply with quote  #3 
Oh my...I can't even imagine trying that.  You did a wonderful job!
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Mavis
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pgf

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Reply with quote  #4 
Nice!
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Kitcarlson

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Reply with quote  #5 
Excellent!
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Dave in middle TN
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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #6 
Ingenious work!  I've not seen buckles made before - so this was a learning for me.
  
I'm curious as to why you used two different machines. Since you started on the Pfaff 130 why not finish on the Pfaff?  Does the White have something else to offer? I always like to understand any reasons behind using one machine over the other...
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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #7 
The reason for the change from the Pfaff 130 to the White 565 is simple: When I started the project, I had the Pfaff 130 out and handy. The project was interrupted, and when I went back to it, the White 565 was out and handy. 

I wish I could say there was something really profound and technical for the change, but that's what happened. I have a lot of machines and for a relatively simple job such as this, both machines handled it with ease, both being heavy duty. 

I can say I think I liked working on the White over the Pfaff for finishing the job for one simple reason - the straps are black, the Pfaff is black, and finishing on the White 565 was easier on the eyes for working on black material. 

-Bruce
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pgf

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Reply with quote  #8 
I was thinking about your accordion straps some more this afternoon (while working on restor-a-finishing a not terribly shabby Singer library table), and I realized what was most impressive:  you did all of that work to make temporary straps!

I could maybe imagine doing the metalwork and the sewing for a permanent solution, but if I had leather in mind, my accordion would be slung with old tie down straps in the meantime.  :-)

paul

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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #9 
Ha! Yes, but temporary is a bit of a relative term around my house since it may be a long time before leather ones are made. The biggest reason I did denim was as an expedient and to recycle materials. As for the buckles, they can always be reused for another later project. 

I have only had them on for 1 day, and think I may add some padding using some leftover vinyl leatherette. It would make them easier to get on and off. Denim grabs my shirt and makes them a bit of a pain to get adjusted, but they are soft enough to be comfortable as is. I may just leave them alone for now and make some leather ones after all. 

Meantime, this is not the only accordion I have. Like sewing machines and cameras, I found Shopgoodwill also has accordions. [cool] I may never be good on one, but they're fun and I always wanted one. 

- Bruce


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morningstar

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Reply with quote  #10 
You did a great job. Sure enjoyed those series of photos to help too.
It’s really amazing the things sewers accomplish.
Gee, I had to buy the buckles with leather straps for my tartan skirt but I
don’t have equipment to ever do what you did.
Thought these straps look narrow but I don’t play music.
Enjoy !

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Kathleen 
 
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southwest Fl in winters
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JonesHand52

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Reply with quote  #11 
Thank you for your comments, Kathleen. Yes, those accordion straps are narrow, but original accordion straps, such as those that are on my 1938 Hohner Verdi III C, are the same size but made of leather. Modern accordion straps are mostly made with wide, padded shoulder straps, but narrow leather ones are still available. 

RE your comments on anther thread, I was in a Scottish shop once where they sold kilt straps and tartan cloth. I was thinking of making a kilt then. I picked up a pair of straps and headed for the cashier, who told me I had better get the wide ones unless I was making a kilt for my wife. The men's straps are about and inch wide, ladies smaller, more like 5/8" or 3/4". I had picked up the small ones. I never made the kilt, but still have the straps.

-Bruce
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Deb

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Reply with quote  #12 
Great job!!
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Deb in WI
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Barny

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Reply with quote  #13 
It looks to me like you are very good at doing a lot of things with these sewing machines and all your other good ideas.  Don't stop!
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Diana

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Reply with quote  #14 
Really nice work and thank you for sharing!!
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Farmhousesewer

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Reply with quote  #15 
Bruce, 
Thank you, so much for sharing. You continue to provide inspiration, although I don't have the skill or equipment to do the metal work. How did you bend the buckles? Special equipment?

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Maria
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JudyB

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Reply with quote  #16 
I've always wanted an accordion.  Nice job on those straps and especially those buckles!
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