The making of an accordion isn’t a completed automated method. In that sense, you can call it handmade because there is always some hand assembly of small parts needed. The general method involves manufacturing the parts individually, assembling of the subsections, assembling of the instrument entirely and final decorating as well as packaging.
Making of the parts:
Depending on the maker, the parts of accordion may be made in-house or supplied by the outside manufacturers. Wooden parts are actually cut into proper shapes by the jigs and the presses. This is basically an automated method in which the wood actually passes by these equipments and then cut. The system signifies the repeated making of the components that are identical in look and ensures they’re made with high degree of accurateness.
Plastic components of accordion like the keys and buttons are basically made by injection molding. Here, the plastic is supplied as powder or granules and is fed into large hopper. It’s then heated, converting it into liquid, which may then be injected forcibly into the mold. After it gets cooled down, it solidifies and maintains the shape after die is opened.
Different methods are used for constructing many of the metal parts of Irish made accordions. These generally involve melting the metal to liquid form and then placing it in the preformed mold. When metal cools and hardens, mold is opened and parts gets complete. In case of reeds, metal is treated specially by a method known as tempering, which reduces the brittleness of hardness of the metal making it more tough and ductile.
After the parts are made individually, partial assembly starts. Reeds are screwed or riveted to an aluminium alloy reed plate, which basically has two slots. Reeds are attached over each one of them on the opposite sides. In open end of every slot, a plastic or leather valve is secured.
Reed places are typically arranged in a particular order and attached to the wooden reed block. Basing on the model, 3-4 of these blocks are put in treble and the bass side casings. Treble keyboard is attached to reed block and bass side buttons & keyboards are even attached.
Bellows is usually supplied by the outside manufacturers. It’s made by folding as well as pleating the strong cardboard and reinforcing it with the steel and leather strips. The bass and treble casings are joined to it and sealed with wax for preventing leakage of air.
After the main parts are assembled, different decorative finishing touches are put on accordion. For instance, the musical instrument is painted, treble grill is joined and name of the manufacturer is added. Accordion is then put in the case, packed & shipped to the distributors for sale.