Wednesday, May 23, 2018




                                     TOM THUMB REPAIR                                                       PART 8

As 2017 progressed, the Tom Thumb Player Piano lost it's enthusiasm and by the time we closed for the season, it was ready to be worked on.

Some jobs just hate to be finished.   After the unglued action was fixed, tuning was the next step.  While tuning, we broke a treble string.   While replacing it, we undid the wrong mating string, so we ended up replacing 2 strings.    Then at the bottom end of the scale, we broke a wound bass string, so we had to order a new one, made as a duplicate from Schaff.

In order to install it, we had to take the pump out to get at the bottom anchor point.   Then it turned out that the tuning pin would not hold, so it had to be removed and the hole shimmed.




Well, it is back together now, ready for final tuning.   Of course, we might break another string doing that.



Wednesday, May 16, 2018




                                              MAKING AN ORCHESTRION                                         PART 7


The piano we chose for this project is a 1909 Weber.   We have put the top shelf back in the piano and are about to test the piano playing part.


I got the test roll and discovered that the tube it is mounted on is undersized.   I unrolled it, made a correct sized tube and remounted the test roll.


Then I found that we have an interference between the moveable mount and the spring loaded plunger will not retract far enough to put the test roll into the roll drive.



I took the tambourine off, ground the necessary clearance and remounted it.   Now we are ready to try the test roll.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018







                                         TOM THUMB REPAIR                           PART 7


As 2017 progressed, the Tom Thumb Player Piano lost it's enthusiasm and by the time we closed for the season, it was ready to be worked on.

There has been a small leak in the shutoff valve which I could not find.    The back cover which holds the pouch has been modified and has motor cloth patches on the back, so I decided to make a new section.   The center of the photo shows the old pouch holder.    The right side shows the new part before cutting it to size.

There will be no unexplained leaks through the wood after we seal it.



Wednesday, May 2, 2018




                                                 Making an Orchestrion                                  Part 6


                            The piano we chose for this project is a 1909 Weber.    We have the upper
                            section  placement worked out.   We think we have everything properly
                            arranged, so we tubed the parts.   This is what it looks like from the rear.   



                           We fully expect that when we put this back in the piano, there will have to be
                            a few adjustments made, but we are pretty sure this is basically correct.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018




                                        TOM THUMB REPAIR                                                PART 6


As 2017 progressed, the Tom Thumb Player Piano lost it's enthusiasm and by the time we closed for the season, it was ready for some help.

You will remember when we took the pumps out to check them, we found a piece of a piano action in the bottom of the case.    Well it is time to fix that.   In order to do so, the piano action has to be removed and in order to get to it, the player piano roll drive section has to come out.;



With the roll drive out, the piano action can be removed for the needed repair.   The rest of the key striking mechanism is removed and the unglued part can be glued back in place.




Then the parts are reassembled and a few other checks are made and the piano action is reinstalled in the piano.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018





                                                      TOM THUMB REPAIR                    PART 5

As 2017 progressed, the Tom Thumb Player Piano lost it's enthusiasm and by the time we closed for the season, it was ready for some help.

Well, we have all the pump sections checked and repaired as necessary.


The gaskets are glued where the joints come, replacing the silicon sealer used in the last repair.   This is a more conventional method, but will probably not seal any better.   It will however make the job easier for the next person


After the dry fit and repair of a few stripped screws, the pump is reassembled and ready for putting on the auxiliary control parts.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018




                                                             BUILDING EXCITEMENT


The building was erected in 1906 and there have been many changes and additions since then.  Never a day goes by without some echoes from our past.   On April 3, we had a new issue.   The sink on the second floor blew a water line and flooded the area.



From there, the water ran down to the mezzanine and over the telephone Centrix system control box.



From there the water came through the light fixture on the first floor and from there we were able to catch most of the water in pans.






The leak was caught quickly, but it was large, so we got a lot of water in a short time.   Of course, besides drying out the wet areas, we lost our phone service from water in the Centrix  box.   After uncovering the pc board and drying it out, the phone came back in about 1 hour.

Never a dull day at DeBence!