Author Topic: how to open a little lady  (Read 850 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline elaect

  • HELPER
  • Chrome-Tributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 201
  • Harmonica Rocks
how to open a little lady
« on: April 29, 2023, 05:24:52 AM »
I lost my Little Lady like 2 months ago, and today I found it at the back of my bed in the worst condition, humidity really does have an effect
So I decided to open it and clean it properly, but the covers are not moving from their place although I used a really thin and sharp knife to pull the sides up. Guys can you please advice me on how I can disassemble it?  :’(
Retired Harmonica Player

Offline John Broecker

  • (procastanetter)
  • HELPER
  • MonsterMeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 5,622
  • Vintage 2K? Swan 1456 & JB
Re: how to open a little lady
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2023, 11:33:55 AM »
Hello, Elaect.

I'm not an employee of any harmonica maker.
I'm not a pro harmonica repair person.

The Hohner #39 Little Lady diatonic harmonica,
introduced in 1924, has a wood comb, and my
LLs have rivets on the covers, going through the
bottom reed cover. That will make dis-assembly
difficult.

The last time I looked, the Hohner Little Lady harp
was made in Trossingen, Germany.

Hohner also sells 5 other 4-hole mini-harp models,
mostly made in China, with plastic combs, with
the name Hohner, only.

I'd just buy another Little Lady new, from a retail music
instrument store. They usually sell for about $8-10.
When I bought my LLs, they were 50 cents each.
Chinese-made Hohner minis are normally priced
from $3-$6.

If you have a Little Lady harp, you'd need to remove
the cover rivets, either by filing (long and tedious) or
by using a sharp pliers tool with the "biting" edges like
a nail clipper (for clipping your finger nails). When the
nail head is removed, punch out the rivet shaft with a
nail-setting tool, with a blunt conical tip.

After the tip and shaft are removed, use screws and
nuts to fasten the covers to the harp.

The shape is important. A nail clipper may not work,
because the pliers need to get under the rivet heads,
then clip off the rivet head.

Go to a local hardware or Home Depot store, and ask
about a pair of pliers for removing small nails. Show
them your Little Lady harp.

The Tombo harmonica company makes a "Baby Pipe"
harmonica, 4 holes, with a sliding, removeable cylinder
cover. A gold chain is included. I don't know today's
prices, but you'd have to do business directly with
Tombo, of Japan.

Best Regards, Stay Healthy

JB





« Last Edit: April 30, 2023, 04:45:55 PM by John Broecker »
Bob Uecker, Catcher, Announcer, USA Baseball: "The best way to catch a knuckleball is to wait for it to stop rolling on the ground, then pick it up."

Offline elaect

  • HELPER
  • Chrome-Tributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 201
  • Harmonica Rocks
Re: how to open a little lady
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2023, 05:16:10 PM »
Thank you JB for replying, this one doesn't have a wooden comb, it's plastic, but the shafts are like crazy, I hope I can find the type of plier you mentioned here. I don't want to throw this one away because it's a gift from an old friend and it has been with me in most of my travels for like 7 years, that's why I want to keep it properly. but I will buy one from Tombo to try the sound of it if I find it. :D
Retired Harmonica Player

Offline beads

  • Chrome-Meister
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,895
    • my youtube channel
Re: how to open a little lady
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2023, 11:26:57 PM »
Back when I used to work on equipment that had rivets, I would drill out the end of the rivet opposite the rivet head. If you use the correct size drill bit, you can push the rivet out intact. No need to drill all the way through the harp. If it's a tight fit, you may need to use a small punch and hammer and tap it out. You can then replace the rivet if you can find the correct size. However, replacing the rivet with a small screw and nut would be better because you can then disassemble again if needed. To get the screw the correct length, put two nuts on the screw and then cut the screw to length with wire cutters (small screw) or a fine tooth hack saw (larger screw). Doing either will mess up the threads. That is why you put the 2 nuts on first. Taking those nuts off again will straighten the threads.
Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Troost Bid voor ons.

Offline John Broecker

  • (procastanetter)
  • HELPER
  • MonsterMeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 5,622
  • Vintage 2K? Swan 1456 & JB
Re: how to open a little lady
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2023, 01:20:24 AM »
Hello, Beads.

Thanks for your information on removing
rivets from a Little Lady harp. I had forgotten
that I've done the drill bit into the smaller
sized end of the rivet, in the past.

The drill bit system is quick and easy. Be careful
so that the drill bit doesn't glide across the rivet.
Skidding may be dangerous with power tools.

Best Regards, Stay Healthy

JB
Bob Uecker, Catcher, Announcer, USA Baseball: "The best way to catch a knuckleball is to wait for it to stop rolling on the ground, then pick it up."

Offline BeauKim

  • Chrome-Minator
  • ***
  • Posts: 995
  • Member
Re: how to open a little lady
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2023, 02:45:32 AM »
Hi Ela!
Oh cool, this is an anniversary model of the Little Lady model with the clear comb. I worked on mine a few months ago. You’ll have to grind or snip off one side of the rivets holding the covers on, then lightly tap the rivets out. You’ll need some screws and nuts to fit through to later reattach the cover plates. It would’ve been nice for them to have used screws im the first place like they do on their cheaper mini model. Best of luck!

Boaz

Offline Keith

  • MasterMeister
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,094
Re: how to open a little lady
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2023, 03:57:59 AM »
Hope you manage to sort it out OK.

(If looking for a similar instrument, Seydel do a 4hole Mini, & Suzuki used to do 2 dfferent 5hole ones.)

Offline wolfman

  • HELPER
  • MasterMeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,508
  • If you have no "slick", you stick.
Re: how to open a little lady
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2023, 03:29:36 PM »
 Hi Ela,
 Hope you had good luck with the little Lady.
 Send us a picture when you get her nice and shiny. :)

  Roman

Offline elaect

  • HELPER
  • Chrome-Tributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 201
  • Harmonica Rocks
Re: how to open a little lady
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2023, 07:18:17 AM »
thank you everyone, I will fix it as soon  as I find someone who has a small drill to let me use.  ;D
Retired Harmonica Player

Offline Budishka

  • Mrs. Meister (non-player but good listener)
  • HELPER
  • Chrome-Tributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 103
  • Make a Joyful Noise!
Re: how to open a little lady
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2023, 12:09:33 PM »
Bring it with you when you come to visit us, and A.J. will fix it for you. ;D ;D

Barbara
Mrs.Meister

Offline Age

  • A.J.Fedor
  • HELPER
  • Chrome-Tributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 191
  • A.J. Fedor ><((((º> (member since 9/1/22)
Re: how to open a little lady
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2023, 12:34:48 PM »
Yeah, what she said! :)

Offline John Broecker

  • (procastanetter)
  • HELPER
  • MonsterMeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 5,622
  • Vintage 2K? Swan 1456 & JB
Re: how to open a little lady
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2023, 10:07:49 PM »
Hello, Elaect.

I'm not an employee of any harmonica company,
I'm not a pro harmonica repair technician. You
will do the repairs at your own risk. Be careful.

While looking through the Seydel products catalog
(at the website, in the Configurator section), I saw
a tool made to remove rivets from harmonicas. It
costs about USA $60.

You would also need screws and bolts, sold by Hohner,
or search at a local hardware store. Hohner's parts
are expensive, sold in multi-packs. You only need
2 screws and 2 nuts.

The slotted screws and nuts are applied to the Little
Lady's covers, instead of rivets. You'll need a reamer
(rounded small file), size 1.3mm or 1.4mm to set the
cover holes for cover and comb screw insertion.

These products are expensive. The least expensive way
to remove rivets would be the process used by Beads: drill
the rivet at the opposite cover side of the rivet's head.


CAUTION: The Little Lady harp should be held on one end,
over a rivet, in a shop vise, to stabilize the work. Then, fasten
the vise to the opened side. The LL is so small, that it would
be difficult and very risky, to hold in the hand, while drilling
with a dangerous electric drill.


For more information, Go to:

www.seydelusa.com

OR:

Rupert Oysler , Seydel USA repair tech,
phone 1-828-505-2346. He'll answer your
questions.

OR

www.seydel1847.com

To find the De-riveting tool:
At the website, Click on:

"Configurator", then

"Custom Shop"; then

"Equipment Parts"; then

"Spare Parts".

Search for the product #900100 De-riveting Tool.
It is made for Seydel products, not tested on Hohner
products. 

Best Regards, Stay Healthy

JB
« Last Edit: May 13, 2023, 11:05:56 PM by John Broecker »
Bob Uecker, Catcher, Announcer, USA Baseball: "The best way to catch a knuckleball is to wait for it to stop rolling on the ground, then pick it up."

Offline brorat

  • PRESIDENT'S CLUB
  • Chrome-Meister
  • *
  • Posts: 1,891
  • Member
Re: how to open a little lady
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2023, 09:56:00 AM »
John,

You are a truly AMAZING store of harmonica knowledge!  I hope you have (or will) put some of this knowledge into writing ... a book or at least an online resource...for the benefit of dummies like me! 
One day in the (hopefully!) distant future when we've moved on to the happy hunting grounds, there'll be some newbie who wants to know how to remove the rivets in a Little Lady ... or some such arcane question. 
It would be a shame to have them reinvent the wheels that you have already patented!
“Just here to harp on chromatics!”

Offline John Broecker

  • (procastanetter)
  • HELPER
  • MonsterMeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 5,622
  • Vintage 2K? Swan 1456 & JB
Re: how to open a little lady
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2023, 10:43:14 AM »
Hello, Brorat.

Thanks for your kind words.

ELAECT:

There are at least two internet companies that sell
small parts & tools for model airplanes and model
trains, cars, boats, etc. You might find the proper
screws and nuts, files, mini-vises, etc. at:

www.mcmaster-carr.com
(2 mini-vises for sale, plus a hand-held mini-vise)

and:

www.micromark.com
(many mini-vises and hand-held mini-vises)

As far as I know, neither company sells a de-riveting tool.

Best Regards, Stay Healthy

JB

« Last Edit: May 14, 2023, 11:07:19 AM by John Broecker »
Bob Uecker, Catcher, Announcer, USA Baseball: "The best way to catch a knuckleball is to wait for it to stop rolling on the ground, then pick it up."

Offline MikeB

  • V.I.P
  • Baby Button Pusher
  • *****
  • Posts: 54
  • Member
Re: how to open a little lady
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2023, 11:34:57 AM »
          Beads is correct. Using a drill on the back side of the rivit works easiest that I have tried. I still work maintenance in factory & occasionally find these annoying fasteners. I use at home on these a small hand operated crafting drill as the metal on the rivot isn't a hard metal, that is how they are able to get it to expand at the back to hold the parts together. I bought a cheap crafting drill from a local hardware store for small projects around the house. I think it was less then $20, and came with drill bits.
MikeB.
Always learning!!!

Offline streetlegal

  • MasterMeister
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,163
Re: how to open a little lady
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2023, 06:05:14 AM »
If the rivets have a flattened area overlap (gripping the reedplate), it might help to grind them away first - one of those small 'dremel style' diamond coated cutting wheels will make short work of it. Once that is removed the rivet might be pushed back through - or the reedplates carefully prized off the comb with a bit of persuasion. It is always going to be a tricky little job - the kind of challenge that a dentist might be suited to. 

Offline BeauKim

  • Chrome-Minator
  • ***
  • Posts: 995
  • Member
Re: how to open a little lady
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2023, 03:22:21 PM »
If the rivets have a flattened area overlap (gripping the reedplate), it might help to grind them away first - one of those small 'dremel style' diamond coated cutting wheels will make short work of it. Once that is removed the rivet might be pushed back through - or the reedplates carefully prized off the comb with a bit of persuasion. It is always going to be a tricky little job - the kind of challenge that a dentist might be suited to.

Yes, that is basically what I had described. You can even cut this rivet with no power tools. A drill press might work as some others have suggested, but this rivet is extremely small. I've worked on this exact style of the Hohner Little Lady that Ela has, and the cover rivets are also what hold the reed plates on. All that will be needed is a very thin bolt to fasten it all back together, unless you widen the holes of the comb, covers, and reed plates which there isn't that much room to do so.