Wednesday, February 21, 2018

                                                         




                                                           PATCHING UP A VICTOR R

A nice Victor Model R "Royal" was brought in for a minimal cost patch job.    The mechanical part was easy, one of the three governor springs and weight assemblies had a screw come out of one end.   The screw was in the bottom of the case, so putting it back was easy.


After that was done, the turntable did not have enough torque to play a record.   This is a simple spring motor, so I thought maybe it needed to be cleaned and greased.   Did that.   Not much improvement.   The spring seemed to have lost much of its tension.   The short term solution was to decrease the needle pressure, by adding a counterbalance to the  horn, thus getting by with a reduced motor torque.


Rule #1, is do not make irreversible changes, so I made a small clip to hang the weight on.   If a proper restoration is made in the future, this can be removed and no sign it ever existed will remain.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018





                                                  Making an Orchestrion     Part 4


The piano we chose for this project is a 1909 Weber.   Having rebuilt the stack and getting it properly fitted in the case, the next issue is placing the other items and instruments.

We have placed all the pieces on the shelf and think this will work out, subject to finding that we have to readjust due to unforeseen problems in the future.


Based on the hope this will work, we have run the valves to the manifolds on the deck and have started tubing the tracker bar for this configuration.


We have not yet found a home for the triangle.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018




                                          REPAIR OF A ROLLER ORGAN      PART 7

Earlier we wrote about an Autophone Concert Roller Organ we received for evaluation and repair.  When it came to us, this is what we saw.



After rebuilding the pumps and reservoir, repairing the case, making the missing parts for the case, cleaning the reeds, making a new base and finally recovering and adjusting the valves, we have declared the job a success.    The valve adjustment took way longer than anticipated, because the adjustment is done by bending the tabs that contact the roller pins.   I assume in the factory they had gauges and fixtures to help with this.   Anyway, this is what we now have.




Wednesday, January 31, 2018



                                                          MAKING AN ORCHESTRION 
                                                                                PART 3


The piano we chose for this project is a 1909 Weber.   Having rebuilt the stack and having gotten it properly fitted in the case, the next issue is placing the other items and instruments.


We think this will be the way the top shelf will be arranged.   The wood block in the form of a pecking bird goes on the left.   The bass drum goes next, then the roll drive and last is the tambouring and snare drum combination.


The xylophone goes in the bottom and there is not much room left for anything else.   We have not yet found a home for the triangle.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018



                                                    MAKING AN ORCHESTRION
                                                                      PART 2


The piano we chose for this project is a 1909 Weber.   Having rebuilt the stack and having gotten it properly fitted in the case, the next issue is replacing the other items and instruments.


The roll drive has to go on the top of the stack, but how we place the other items is more flexible.   We have a tambourine, triangle, a wood block in the form of a bird, bass drum, soft pedal pneumatic and mandolin rails & its pneumatic.    The xylophone fills the bottom of the case, so not much room is left there.



It will take some time to sort this all out.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


                                                         MAKING AN ORCHESTRION
                                                                             PART 1

We have a few player pianos that have not been restored and decided to make an orchestrion out of one of them.    First we removed the player parts and fixed whatever problems existed with the piano action.


The next step was to rebuild the stack, eliminating the pneumatics not needed for the 66 playing notes  to be controlled by the O Roll we had decided to use and substituting connections for additional functions.

We obtained a Ragtime roll drive and now we are ready to start assembly.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018



                                                     NEW SILVERTONE PHONOGRAPH


We recently received a Sears Silvertone floor model phonograph.   The oak cabinet is in good cosmetic condition and the phonograph works and sounds fine.

Since most of the Sears Silverstone Phonographs were made by Columbia, I suppose this machine falls into that group.   There is no model number or for that matter any identification label anywhere that we could find, except for the Silverstone label on the underside of the lid.   From the case design, we suppose it is a 1910 to 1920 unit, but to date we have found no way to be sure of the manufacturing date.    If you have any info about this, please contact the museum at either debencemusem@verizon.net or at 814-432-8350.








Wednesday, January 3, 2018




                                       REPAIR OF A ROLLER ORGAN             PART 6


We were sent an Autophone Concert Roller Organ for evaluation and repair.

As the assembly progressed, we finally reached the point where we inserted a song and tried it.

It seems that the tangs on the end of the valves that are tripped when the song plays, are very fussy about being properly located.

The adjustments are made by bending the tangs.   When you bend them, it is easy to throw the valve faces out of good closure, so this turns out to be a fussy job.   Not only must they project the correct amount, but they must be vertically aligned to get the notes timed right.



Basically the ends must be correctly positioned both vertically and horizontally and at the same time, the valve face must meet the seat exactly.