Add screws to the chromatic harmonicas by Andrés Vicente

In the first place, we indicate the experience of replacing nails in the reed plates with bolts and secondly, I will describe the rivet removal work for fastening the tabs and replacing them with screws and nuts. The work has been done by a worker in the Metal and Mechanized sector, so the work on the harmonica has not entailed extreme difficulty. It can only be described as a “laborious” work, and to a large extent the process has been done by machines and tools of a usual workshop. It should also be noted that many of these tools are available for sale in any DIY trade, but here I recommend that these specific are purchased in the same place where you can get all the rest of original Hohner parts of Germany:

This place offers the most complete assortment of original parts of harmonicas, as well as tools for your best work, which is also described and narrated by the chromatic harmonica master Franz Chmel, and his visit is indicated for a vast learning of maintenance and work on the harmonica.

Two websites indicated above describe the DIY process in detail, are undoubtedly target sites for our study, and what is written below is based on the experience of Andrés Vicente with 12-channel Hohner 270 models, after learning the aforementioned.

Given the signing of the owner of the website by Hohner, it is now possible to purchase spare parts directly from Hohner Germany, for more information visit the Hohner website or the article we made about it:

Likewise, if you live near Madrid, Musical Estebarán has something to spare, check its dedicated website:

Fixation of reed plates by screws:

The Hohner 270 comes with reed plates fixed by means of nails, something not very practical if we have to disassemble the reed plates periodically, both for cleaning or its main purpose, the tuning of reeds.

First, we remove the lower and upper plates, leaving the harmonica with the tongue plates in view, where we can see the heads of common nails.

Hay varias formas de quitarlos, y en esta ocasión fueron elevados del cuerpo de madera y sustraídos con la ayuda de un destornillador plano que hizo de cortafríos, aunque también he quitado alguno con un pequeño cuchillo, o también taladrando su cabeza, hay varias formas que sacar los clavos de un cuerpo de madera, y cada uno debe utilizar la que le resulte más cómodo. Una vez sacados los clavos tendremos el cuerpo de madera en la mano, y tendremos que hacer agujeros pasados de parte a parte en los lugares donde estaban clavados los clavos, este proceso dejara el anclaje de placas con el cuerpo de modo similar al de las armónicas de 16 canales Hohner. Podemos utilizar varias medidas de tornillos, y aquí indico la tienda alemana como lugar de suministros de estos entre otros elementos, donde nos recomiendan tornillos de Métrica 2 x 16 milímetros de largo, si bien yo también utilizo Métrica 1.6 por 16 de largo. Es cuestión de gustos la utilización de una u otra medida, únicamente según la medida del tornillo debemos de hacer el diámetro del agujero; dos son las opciones que utilizo:

if I use M1.6 screws I will make the hole to diameter 2
if I use M2 screws I will make the hole to diameter 2.5

This will allow space through the wooden body to pass these screws with slack.

In the plates we must differentiate between the superior and the inferior. In my case I make a hole for the upper tongue plates by means of a drill in the place where the nails were, so that the screw passes freely and here it supports the head of the screw, where it makes the clamping of the plates. And in the plates of lower tabs, I realize in the old place of the nails threaded holes where they screw the fixation screws. In this way, the resulting design will be the same one that is being used by many harmonics (to a greater extent those with a plastic body) for fixing the reed plates, a plate with a hole, a body with a hole, where both The screws and the lower plate can be screwed into the parts, so that the three parts are firmly held.

With this adaptation, we can disassemble the body of the reed plates as many times as we wish, and only after intense use, could be any damaged thread, in which case we can either adapt a measure of upper thread, or a longer screw with a nut for fixing.

The appearance of our modified harmonica now has screw heads on the top, where we could possibly have some small problem in the heads at both ends of the harmonica since the plates covering the harmonicas could settle on the head of the screws, situation in which we separate the two sheets of their original size, and may be the original screw that embrace the two outer plates as short, nothing easier than to obtain longer screws for fixing. This is where you should remember to use the screws with the smallest heads that we can find and choose. All this range of screws is available in, and under our criterion we can choose the measurements and dimensions that we want to use.

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