Wednesday, February 28, 2018

                                                 MAKING AN ORCHESTRION    PART 5

The piano we chose for this project is a 1909 Weber.   We have the upper section placement worked out, now we have to get serious about the lower area.

The vacuum box is placed on the right side against the top.

The xylo valves go on the bottom front.   The soft pedal pneumatic goes on the left, tucked about as high as we can get it.   The next step will be routing the vacuum hoses and pipes to feed all the instruments.

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.