Big Fingers – Smaller Screws & Nuts – NP!

Okay – So you’ve made the plunge into opening up your Lee Oskar, Huang, Hohner or whatever make or model you’re playing…

Providing you haven’t dropped or heavens forbid lost the cover screws and/or nuts –

Time now to replace those covers and hopefully let your reeds rest. Please see:

Only thing is, you find your fingers are quite a bit bigger than them itsy-bitsy tiny screws and nuts. Sure, it was easy getting them out, but putting them back in – Oh, man: What’s a person to do?! ???

Besides cursing yourself, the harmonica maker, your parentage and/or anything/anybody within or without ear shot of your involuntary full blown tirade – Do this first:

Go to your kitchen cabinet, the place where all those old spices you hardly ever use are. If your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, mother, father, or even you did a good job shopping once upon a time, behind those old spices, it’s a pretty good chance you’ll find a box of old toothpicks laying in there too.

Hopefully as well, they’ll be the round sturdy types rather the chintzy flat-type toothpicks you can get at the discount market. {Of course, if you’re really without, next time you’re in a restaurant, pick up a few extras from the roller on the checkout counter. And/or find yourself lucky if you can get the minty ones that are in their own individually-wrapped packages sitting in a little dish. In any event…}

So it’s time to put the harmonica back together. Aligning the front and back covers as best you can, by running a little round toothpick on either end – And viola! The covers and comb will match up perfectly, assisting you in getting the first screw and nut into the first hole.

When that one is started, just slide the toothpick out and holding the covers between your fingers, it should be very easy to get the second screw and nut aligned and started.

From this point on, you can adjust the covers accordingly.

That’s all there is to it.

Of course, it may take a little practice here too.

I learned all this because my left arm was damaged and could hardly hold itself up. Then as my arm, fingers and ‘touch’ got better, I broke the toothpick in half to make it easier to hold in my hand. And now, well, I’m just like those harpsters you see on YouTube opening and re-covering their harps, screws and all, with free abandon.

Don’t get discouraged. Try this and let me know how it works for you. Until next time:

Keep on harpin’!

Thanks for reading.

SPD, One harp I have has a male/female screw. It is much easier to put back on than the nut and screw combinations on the diatonics and chromatics which comprise most of my instruments.

Time to get into the 21st century! Technicians…do your best! 8)

Hohner Golden Melodys and their MS series like Big Rivers have those male/female type of screws.

Unfortunately, those pricks don’t use them on such things as the Spec 20s and others.

It’s like going down the shampoo and/or toothpaste aisles at the grocery stores… This one has that in it, that one has the other in it – And before you’re done figuring out which one is best for what you want, your cart is full of bottle and tube crap!

Oh well, eh? Hehehe!!

And another thing: While I absolutely like Lee Oskars as a top-notch harp, just trying to ‘squeeze’ together the covers and get the screws and nuts to match up without them popping apart again…Sheesh! Don’t get me started!!


Have Harp, Will Travel!

One of the Hohner 260’s that I was working on seemed to be spring loaded. I thought I made a mistake of some sort. A website I went to said some have a slight bow to make for a tighter seal when you put them back together. I think I’ll kick the tires on that opinion before I pass it along as gospel!

Honk Hup Whoot!

Street Player Dude, I wonder if we can fit them on regular harps? We could buy a bunch, and we could change out the nut and screw on our current instruments and replace them with these more user friendly male female things?

Now you’re talking “work” - Ugh! :stuck_out_tongue:


Keep On Harpin’!

If you get a couple of small vice grip pliers, you find it much easier to put those little screw back in. Don’t clamp them on too tight, you might bend the metal. Also another trick is to glue the nut on the outside plate before you take the screw out. Use just little dab of glue, any fast drying glue will do. Use a tooth pick to apply a little on each side of the nut.Now when you take the screw out the nut stays on the outside cover and when you go to put the screw back in it will line up perfectly. Piece of cake!! John