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PhilosofyJun 04, 2009 10:09 PM GMT
So, I'm about to try to make my first comb. I will try and use the screws that came with the harmonica, but I'm wondering what kind of assortment should I keep?
I know most of us say "screws", but we mean bolts. What size bolt and nuts should I get? Both for the covers and reed plates. Stainless or brass? What length assortment? If I get a self tapping screw, again what size and material? What size pilot hole should I be drilling? And what is a good online source for this stuff?
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Well I suppose it depends of which make of harp you are going to use. On my Marine Bands I use M2 X 10mm screws and nuts for the reeplates and coverplates. My are some kind of metal that looks stainless steel (although I suspect it's not) M2 X 12mm could also be used as they would then support the coverplates on a Marine Band nad stop the crushing cover problem. I use a 1.7mm drill for the reedplates. If you go through the list of topics in this section of the forum, there are numerous sources listed for supplying them.
Most customizers use stainless steel because they're much stronger and more stable. You may want to contact a few of them and ask. some will be quite generous and some won't but you don't know if you don't ask.
For the reed plates, i use stainless M2 "socket button head screws" for my custom MBs.I choose a length for the screws that, when assembled on the harmonica, lays almost flush to the reed plates on the threaded side. I use the same kind of screws for the covers, but instead M2.5. The advantage with using these screw insted of the standard ones, as i see it, is that they looks great and secures the reed plates and covers better and they are also easier to set an exact torque on the reed plates. An alternative is to use a "povidriv pan head machine screw", wich has a Phillips cross instead of Torx, as the ones i use. Look them up on the internet and i am sure of, that you will find them for a deasent price. The disadvantage of ordering from a manufacturer would be that you have to order at least 100 - 500 screws. If you choose to buy them from i.e www.harponline.de then you pay a higher price per item, but on the other hand, one can buy ten screws at a time. The internet is full of information concerning what drill you have to use for a certain hole diameter, i.e a M2 screw has to be drilled with a 1.6 mm drill etc.
A common screw diameter found in most harps, but not all, is M1.6. The M1.6 can be bought as "povidriv pan head machine screw", menaing that you can use them in the existing reed plates, but check first. Hering use i.e UNF threads in some models (more threads per inch) and they can be useful since the torque is more controllable, the finer thread you have. But using the metric system is a good recommendation.