Tricks and Fixes

Have you ever blown a cover plate screw?

I lost one the other day and thought my harp would never be the same again… :confused:

Fortunately, I found a screw which fits but without the nut on the back.

As long as I keep it screwed in just right, so far it holds nice and tight.

Anyone else have any tricks and/or fixes for their broken or handicapped harps?

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Hello @HarpinBobbyMcB,
A rubber band can provide additional grip. Put a rubber band over the rotated screw.
Insert a suitable screwdriver and turn it on a trial basis.
Or:
Is the screw still stuck? Try putting some strong glue on top of the screw.
Insert your screwdriver into the screw head and let the glue dry.
Turn the screwdriver vigorously with downward pressure to remove the screw.
If that doesn’t help, you will unfortunately have to carefully remove or even drill out the head with a Dremel. Is everything a bit dangerous for the harp.
I would buy suitable sleeve screws in the hardware store and replace them in good time.
Many greetings from Astrid

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SLEEVE SCREWS!

That’s the best advice! :joy:

I was even thinking of putting wire in an emergency.

Right now the screw can be taken out easily, in fact too easily. If the othe sleeve screw on the other side loosens then the plate shifts and loses grip on the screw, making it easy to fall out and loosening the plate as well.

I like your rubber band idea to keep from loosing the screw if it does come loose :wink:

Thanks @AstridHandbikebee63! :sunglasses:

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You are supposed to put a wide rubber of jars on the defective screw head and then put on the screwdriver with feeling. This is how you can often loosen a defective screw … In any case the gentlest solution for your harp. But of course it works like that for the time being. :smiley: Has something and is very personal, without engraving.:joy:

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Great advice Astrid.

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That looks so badass. :sunglasses:

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:joy: :+1:

You are too kind @Luke

It ain’t too purty but it works… :wink:

My fix is typical of how my mind works, and your comment reminds me of something I wrote a few years back called: Pretty or Practical.

http://www.robmcbride.net/lunar-letter-pretty-or-practical/

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After blowing another screw, this time my bad by tightening it too much, I think we might be going from…

"Bobby, that just looks bad, to…

To Badass! :joy:

With one rubber band it just looks well… “rigged”…


Now I think with rubber band on both sides it does look kind of cool :sunglasses: Plus it makes it easy for me to see if I’m right side up or upside down by the different colors.

What about the rest of my fellow harpers out there…

Do you fix your harp to go from from just plain Bad to Badass, or toss it and get a new one?

:thinking: :thought_balloon:

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Hello @HarpinBobbyMcB, maybe you should use a torque wrench :old_key: so as not to overtighten the screw heads … :joy: So far I haven’t killed any screws because I loosen and loosen with a lot of feeling. Sorry, this is “yours”, my dear. :grin:
Your harp is really unique!

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That’s a great idea :bulb: @AstridHandbikebee63!

I was tightening more than usual on the one side to keep the other side firm as a support for the other screw.

Sleeve screws are the answer but not sure where to get them. Surely they are on Amazon somewhere but we don’t get delivery where I am.

Just so long as the harp works, that’s all that matters to me.

As a bonus, when I opened up my harp I noticed a pretty wide gap on the 2 draw reed. I closed the gap a bit by pushing in lightly at base and now my 2 is drawing much better after the adjustment.

My next decision is now whether I should try to tune my 4 Draw “D” which has gone flat, or just let it be…

I’m thinking more of the latter than the former. I don’t want to mess up the only harp I’ve got.

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You can also order replacements for dirt cheap. It may make things look too professional though, and you’ll lose the character the rubber band gives it…,

Not sure these will work, but worth a look…

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They look like the right ones @qnhoang81

For the price of $12 it might be better to just buy a new harp. Mine costs about $25 new.

Thanks for the info!

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Houston, we have a problem…

My 4 draw, (D) on my C key harp, has been going flat over the last few weeks.

I first noticed it on your excellent Bending Tool here @Luke. At first I considered trying to tune it but was afraid to mess it up more than it already was. It was very flat, already deep in the Db on the tool, but strangely enough, I was getting used to it, as I was also able to bend down a bit farther and differentiate the notes.

Then, this morning as I went to do my warmup, there was no sound from my 4 draw. I opened up to see what I’d find.

At first it looked like the reed was just stuck but when I want to do a “twang” test I saw someone do on a video, I noticed there was no twang to my 4 draw… :roll_eyes:

And so I lay it to rest

But, on the brightside, I still have 19 holes that do work and this will give me a chance to learn my repertoire of songs up on my high C!

This isn’t all bad since it forces me to continue working on single tones in the upper register which is still a challenge.

This does put a BIG HOLE though in my BLUES SCALE taking out two :v: critical notes…

Looks like I gotta do me some Christmas :mrs_claus: shopping for myself :joy:.

How do you deal with blown reeds?

Throw the harp in a harp junkyard and get another one, or do reed replacement like I see people do?

What do you do? :thinking: :thought_balloon: :memo:

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Hello @HarpinBobbyMcB,
with this special life story of your harp, I would frame it behind glass. Nice in individual parts like in the photo and the entry from the calendar. Get a new harp of the same type for Christmas. :smiley: Many greetings from Astrid

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Hi Bob @HarpinBobbyMcB,

I have never attempted to replace a reed. Unless you can even get a replacement reed for that harp (and have the appropriate tools :hammer_and_wrench: for doing the work), I would do as Astrid @AstridHandbikebee63 suggested. R.I.P.

Looking at the disassembled harp, I am impressed by what appears to be fine quality. I may have to order an East Top 008K harp to give it a run !! :musical_note: :notes:

Regards,
– Slim

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Hello @Slim, @HarpinBobbyMcB, I see it the same way you do, Slim. Maybe you remember the problems with my new G harp and the reed. It never really worked. At first I thought it would be up to me. After consultation with the service of our well-known music shop, the harp was exchanged. The reed was definitely defective. Actually, I also wanted to replace the reed, which I was strongly advised not to do, as it is not easy to set it up correctly. They often do not even exist in the price ranges. I just say: “Shoemaker stick to your last”. :wink: Many greetings from Astrid

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Good advice @Slim and @AstridHandbikebee63

Now I am faced with choice of getting 1 or 2 better quality (more expensive) harps, or to get a set of several and play around with different keys.

I have been pretty happy with my Easttop 008k. Mine lasted 5 months and probably about 300 hours of playing before she threw a rod and the last few weeks I’ve been testing her pretty hard with draws in the Blues Scale, so I’m pleased with how she has performed. The same company has a pretty cool set of 7 with different colors for each key for about $100, though the harps don’t seem to be exactly the same as I have now.

Fender Blues Deluxe, which @Luke seems to like, has a set of 7 for about $70…

Or I could get a couple of good better brand name harps probably for about $100 as well.

I’m kinda thinking of going with the set of Easttop, which look bad ass with the different colors, particularly now while I’m learning. That way if one goes bad, I’ll always have another and learn to play in different keys. :wink:

Two of harps of supposedly higher quality to hone my skills, or a set of 7 to keep in rhythm…? :thinking:

That is the question… :thought_balloon:

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Hi @HarpinBobbyMcB,

Yes, that is a tough question to answer – and ultimately only you can answer …

My thinking is that a set of 7 harps in different keys sounds interesting, but really only if you play in a band.

With two harps of better quality you can still play in several different keys that are popular in rock/blues music (e.g. a C harp and an A harp: with the C harp you can play along with most rock or blues tunes that are in the keys of G/G-minor, D minor, E minor and A minor besides C; and with the A harp you can play along with tunes in the keys of E/E-minor, B minor and A). Other possibilities are also there with these 2 harps but require either more advanced techniques or are for songs in less common keys, such as C# minor using the A harp.

In place of the A harp, other popular harp keys are the G harp (for music in G, D/D-minor, A minor, B minor, and E minor) or the Bb harp (music in Bb, F/F-minor, C minor, D minor and G minor).

Another thing to consider: If the more expensive harps have stainless steel reeds then they typically last much longer than simple brass reeds.

A tough question, indeed … :thinking:

Have fun,
– Slim :sunglasses:

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@Slim great advice!

I think you are right :point_right:

The additional harmonicas en the Easttop package of 7, might look nice in their pretty colors and all, but I’m thinking they may not be quite the quality of my 008k… I found a set of 7 Easttop 008k’s for about $150, so I’m thinking the other harps in the colored version called “Free Blues” are not same quality.

Looking at the specs, the 008k has 1.2mm reeds and the Free Blues has 1 mm reeds while individual prices are about $25 and $20 respectively.

After checking what @Luke has to say and taking into consideration your thoughts I’m thinking about getting:

Hohner Special 20 in Key of C
Lee Oskar in Key of A

Couple of questions for all y’all…

  1. Does anyone know whether thicker reeds are better? (seems to me they might be stiffer and more difficult to bend, using common sense. I think I read Lee Oskar’s are 0.9 mm)

  2. In major keys, I’m guessing A and B are lower than C and D, E & F higher than C… Is this right?

If so, I’m thinking I would get little use on the D, E, F and G, since it seems to me that the higher octave on C harp is already too high…

Interested on your thoughts :thought_balloon:

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Hello @HarpinBobbyMcB,
https://harmonicarocks.com/blog/mundharmonika-tonarten
You can translate this page into English at the top right under the 3 points. Have fun while reading. :grin:

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