Craft Project :: Accordion Box

I haven’t posted a craft/design project in a while. I built a nice deck in the back yard, but I’m not posting any photos of that.

I’m not  a musician, and it’s questionable if anyone will see me playing an intrument in public, but a few months ago I purchased a 12bass accordion at a Flea. It was in surprisingly good shape, all the notes are correct, but there are some flaws (the bellows aren’t airtight, etc.). So while I am going to try to learn this damnable squeezebox, my need to customize kicked in and I went to town on the worn down case…

I started by taking all the measurements and creating a design for the top and bottom. Figuring out exactly how many different peieces and how they’d be applied was the most difficult part.

I based the design around an ad from the Johnson-Smith catalog of 1929 (reprinted 1970).
Love the ad and illustrations for too many reasons to list here, but I did want to acknowledge the source.
One point is the old-world immigrant look of the two figures, and that the accordion itself has an old-world look to it.

The top was completely seperated from the case, but not cleanly.
The rear panel was still attached to the bottom by the rusted hinges.

I stripped the lining from the box.

Broke the hinges off. I tried drilling out the grommets holding the hinges,
but I ended up breaking 3 drill bits doing it.

I used PVC sheet to reline the box and wrap in new fabric.
The fabric was in a dumpster from a place that does upholstery and window treatments.
I work in the same building and smoke on the loading dock, so I peak in occasionally to see what’s there.

I don’t expect many readers to have access to a 54″ printer, but I do. I printed 2-up andthen applied a gloss laminate over it.
I was going to do a matte lam, but the gloss was loaded up and I was feeling lazy.
Once the design was applied to the lid, I decided I wanted to keep the worn look on the bottom half, and didn’t print the design I’d made for it.

Cut down more PVC to size for the inside of the bottom part of the box.
Wrapped it all in a different fabric (also from the dumpster) and glued it all in place.

Over a few days after work, my fancied up accordion box is done!

New brass hinges and fancy protective corners for the bottom.

Slaughter Family Band

The accordion fits pretty snugly, and it looks as I imagined.

Now, if I don’t learn to play it, it’ll at least look good sitting in a corner.