Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

1899 Kimball Parlor Organ

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    #31
    Thank you, Casey and Rodney!

    Casey, the hinges are indeed stapled in. Johnson Music shows an image of them in their catalog. Hmm... they never called me back about that DVD.

    Rodney, I have the Presley book with me and the Milne book should be in next week. I am embarking on the great reed-cleaning campaign with my new slightly overkill ultrasonic cleaner and the ground-shipping only watch parts cleaner to use in it. May be here tomorrow. I think I can just put the "hooks" inside the knee pedals and get another couple of inches clearance on them. That would barely show. I've read the "Aunt Maude" series - I see the original writer has an illustrated version on DVD now. Need to find that again. It's a pleasure to hear from you here - I've watched a BUNCH of your videos on YouTube.

    I am going to go in there with my duckbill pliers and see if I can tighten up the existing hinges. Failing that, I will go with piano hinge. I've seen some brass-centered hinge somewhere... maybe at Van's Piano.

    Gentlemen, I am appreciative of your support in this endeavor.
    -- I'm Lamar -- 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
    -- 1899 Kimball Parlor Organ (forum thread)
    -- 1999 Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - spare W5000C for spares
    -- Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112 - Roland RD300nx stage piano
    -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

    Comment


      #32
      OK - I couldn't stand it... pulled the non-sounding D reed out and it had a piece of dusty spooge upon it. Lightly dragged a microfiber cloth along it and got a black smudge. Put it back in - ah, sweet relief, it works! Verified that all the keys were working and then got the idea to try all the celeste. It has a few more that need cleaning, but that can wait for the cleaning campaign. The reeds are easy to pull with the D-shaped-end tool I found in the organ. I used a thin plastic sheet from a packaging box to guard against scratches and that worked fine.
      -- I'm Lamar -- 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
      -- 1899 Kimball Parlor Organ (forum thread)
      -- 1999 Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - spare W5000C for spares
      -- Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112 - Roland RD300nx stage piano
      -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

      Comment


        #33
        Good going there Lamar! You are lucky to have found that reed-puller. I had to make my own....

        Enjoy!

        Nico
        "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

        Comment


          #34
          Saw on YouTube where one helpful fellow made one out of a nail (took a reed with him to the hardware store) and a file handle. Worked to pull the reed out and push it back in.
          -- I'm Lamar -- 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
          -- 1899 Kimball Parlor Organ (forum thread)
          -- 1999 Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - spare W5000C for spares
          -- Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112 - Roland RD300nx stage piano
          -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

          Comment


            #35
            I used a 6" nail and machined down the head. However, some reed cells are narrower so I had to make a few of them to fit all the cells and reeds I have come across so far.

            Nico
            "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

            Comment


              #36
              Fortunately, the reed puller works on all the reeds. Milne's book (crazy book about how to BUILD a reed organ) says that new organs commonly came with a reed puller somewhere inside the cabinet. (Cearly found the clips for one in his M&H.)

              Found out that the high B that is not sounding on the celeste is due to a broken reed - the tip of it is missing. Guess I'll find it in the windchest or below later. The great reed cleaning caper is in progress... Found a spider ball in the the lowest note on the celeste side. Tomorrow I'll work on the main reeds.
              -- I'm Lamar -- 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
              -- 1899 Kimball Parlor Organ (forum thread)
              -- 1999 Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - spare W5000C for spares
              -- Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112 - Roland RD300nx stage piano
              -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

              Comment


                #37
                Reed cleaning - dusty reeds from 1899 Kimball reed organ

                Here's what some of the reeds looked like coming out the main (diapason/melodia) side, which is on the back. I had to put a light at a low oblique angle in order to show all the dust and debris on them. I used cotton swabs, one or more per reed bed, to gingerly poke around in there and pull out as much dust and dirt as I could.

                Nothing was particularly problematic, but I did find one broken reed on the celeste (front) side. It's the high B, so I'm not very worried about it. I also have a note that rings slightly, but only RARELY. I've looked at and put it back without change, so I'm going to ascribe this to the organ's character for now.


                Click image for larger version

Name:	Dusty_Reeds.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	255.4 KB
ID:	602884

                That surface the reeds are sitting on was made from the packaging for a Roland USB-MIDI adapter. The organ has some rather profound scratches from past removals. They're unsightly but don't interfere with the closing of the swell shutter.

                In other news, I got the videos in from Johnson Music and have watched the first one - "Reed Organ Cleaning & Repair." It's pretty terrific. The example organ is a WW Kimball - with the metal plates saying so on the pedal bases - don't know if that's older or newer, but it's VERY similar to mine. I see how the bottom of the mechanism works now, although I still haven't grasped how it's getting the various sounds of the stops.

                The "Principal" stop speaks from the front side of the organ, too. I was surprised that some of the reeds in the celeste set (treble, from the F below middle F) are bigger than the reeds BELOW in the Principal range.

                The bass reeds have a very satisfying low growl now. They also have a slow buildup and collapse, which is going to take some getting used to. That might go away when I get the bellows fixed. And, hmm, that might be why the Principal has the smaller reeds - so when it's pulled WITH the diapason folks don't run away shrieking.
                -- I'm Lamar -- 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
                -- 1899 Kimball Parlor Organ (forum thread)
                -- 1999 Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - spare W5000C for spares
                -- Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112 - Roland RD300nx stage piano
                -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

                Comment


                  #38
                  Utrasonic cleaning the reeds

                  Here's the ultrasonic cleaner that I used. It's a Flexion that I purchased from Amazon. The cleaning fluid is "Zenith #777" from esslinger.com.

                  Click image for larger version

Name:	Ultrasonic_Cleaner.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	243.7 KB
ID:	602886


                  Some of the things I discovered include that the quantity of fluid helps determine how much heat will be generated. When I just covered the tops of the reeds, they got very warm in five or six minutes. At first I was giving it thirty minutes to an hour to cool down between runs. Then I had the bright idea to add another pint or so of fluid, and that helped immensely at keeping the heat down.

                  I also found out that leaving the reeds in the cleaning fluid after running, like when going to lunch, for example, will make them sticky when they come out. The solution there is to put them back in and run the cleaner for a minute or two.

                  This model cleaner is at the bottom end of a larger series of commercial cleaners. Compared to the precious little clam-shell-like home cleaners used for jewelry and dentures and such, it's uncouth. It buzzes and shudders and hot mist escapes from around the chattering lid. Because the fluid has contact and breathing precautions, I used it in the garage and used chemical-rated gloves (from Lowes paint department) to handle the reeds when they came out. Patting them gently with a microfiber cloth removed most of the fluid, and the rest evaporated in a minute or so.

                  It worked great for removing dust and dirt from the reeds. I saved the used fluid to a mason jar. The Zenith #777 went from clear to a deep purple color. A slick of dark particulate matter was on the bottom of the cavity. In 24 hours so far, nothing has particulated out of the solution. So... this stuff was $46/gallon and $20 or so for ground shipping. I used less than a quart of it for the 61 x 2 reeds in this organ, and it was pretty dark and dirty when I finished. It was ready for changing.

                  The ultrasonic cleaning didn't touch the area of the reed that was exposed to the room air, i.e. where the note stampings were. I still had to go back and clean them by hand. I used Eagle Never-Dull for that and worked it just long enough to read the stamps.

                  The cleaning solution brightened the reeds some. The bottoms, which are away from the room air, were shiny-clean, and the machining and tool marks where clearly visible.

                  So what does the organ sound like now? This simple procedure woke it up. The bass is now growly and a pleasure to play around in.

                  Onward and upward. My next project is to fix the noisy pedals.
                  -- I'm Lamar -- 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
                  -- 1899 Kimball Parlor Organ (forum thread)
                  -- 1999 Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - spare W5000C for spares
                  -- Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112 - Roland RD300nx stage piano
                  -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

                  Comment


                    #39
                    Good going Lamar! Thanks for keeping us posted. I wish I were closer to be able to hear the beautiful sounds.... Do post some clips when you are ready.

                    Nico
                    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

                    Comment


                      #40
                      Pedal repairs

                      This part of the project was aimed at the loose, noisy, and too short pedals. I found an oak board that only needed a little trimming and fashioned new pedals from it. I could only add about a half-inch in length in order to avoid hitting the bellows at the bottom of the stroke or the floor at the top. In the picture below, I have the organ tilted back to work on the pedals. This protrusion for the pedals is actually suspended off the floor a small amount, by design. I've been using some thin board stock to support it when I'm playing. The straps are NOS synthetic hold-down straps for the trucking industry. Above them, not pictured, is a board with the cutouts for the strap rollers. It was was flexing and squeaking when the bellows were opened. A couple of two-inch machine screws through the front and through this board fixed that.

                      Click image for larger version

Name:	Hinge_Repair.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	151.6 KB
ID:	602923

                      I'm not perfectly happy with the piano hinges. They have some slop and are noisy/clunky in certain positions. Although the pedals look pretty good, and it's a definite improvement, they're not as silent as I had hoped. I'm thinking about changing them for 4-inch door hinges, which are certainly made to be durable, and may be more rigid. Also, the oak board I used for the pedals is heavier than the original (southern?) white pine, so that contributes to stress on the hinges, I imagine.


                      Click image for larger version

Name:	Pedal Repair and Hinge Stock.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	134.1 KB
ID:	602924


                      The hinge stock shown above is 403 stainless. The mat is from Rubber Cal (US) and is a part of an industrial floor mat. (I have a life-time supply of this stuff now..)

                      So, I may be moving sideways and give another try to improve this hinge action...

                      On another front, the ringing C above middle C has stopped ringing... and the B-flat below it has started. I don't know what actually fixed the first one, but I did take it out and look at it and look in the reed cell. I theorize that it just wanted to re-seat.
                      -- I'm Lamar -- 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
                      -- 1899 Kimball Parlor Organ (forum thread)
                      -- 1999 Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - spare W5000C for spares
                      -- Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112 - Roland RD300nx stage piano
                      -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

                      Comment


                        #41
                        Knee levers revisited

                        I'm still a little bemused about the knee levers. They are 10 3/4" apart when just touching the hooks on each side. My knees together are about 9 inches wide doing that Huckleberry Finn thing...

                        Speaking of dresses, here are some notches in the windchest made by someone, most probably the possessor of those size five feet that left the imprints in the carpet shown on the first page, routinely holding the volume lever open to two particular positions...


                        Click image for larger version

Name:	1899_Kimball_-_Notches_from_Volume_Lever.JPG
Views:	2
Size:	158.5 KB
ID:	602929


                        I suppose I will be able to learn to keep my knees somewhat together when pump, pumping... but that (1) still seems mighty close together, and (2) makes for aiming at the insides of the pedals.
                        -- I'm Lamar -- 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
                        -- 1899 Kimball Parlor Organ (forum thread)
                        -- 1999 Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - spare W5000C for spares
                        -- Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112 - Roland RD300nx stage piano
                        -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

                        Comment


                          #42
                          Perhaps they were meant to be operated by one knee only. In such fashion the one knee will be between the levers and the other on the outside. You might want to check if the levers are dead center with the pedals, that might give you an idea of which knee goes where.... Or maybe the levers were meant to squeeze inwards? Either that or the old folk were a lot smaller that us giants of today.... They fed us well.

                          Nico
                          "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

                          Comment


                            #43
                            Could be - I do like my vittles. The thing is that those notches represent the right-hand lever being moved right another inch or so, and, judging from her foot print, she wasn't a large human. Interestingly, that first notch position barely opens the swell shutter. There are no corresponding marks on the crescendo side, so I think she may have routinely pushed toward the right, maintaining some pressure on the swell shutters. (Maybe her room was a lot bigger than mine...)

                            The levers are in the correct places - mounted on the cover over the pedals at the extreme edges. I'll get this down.
                            -- I'm Lamar -- 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
                            -- 1899 Kimball Parlor Organ (forum thread)
                            -- 1999 Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - spare W5000C for spares
                            -- Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112 - Roland RD300nx stage piano
                            -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

                            Comment


                              #44
                              Interestingly (or maybe not if you're an old hand at reed organs), the Diapason and Flute forte stops do the same thing as the swell knee lever. One can even finesse them in and out to vary the loudness.

                              Here's a video of a youngster playing a Kimball like mine.

                              Last edited by Silken Path; 08-08-2017, 03:46 PM.
                              -- I'm Lamar -- 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
                              -- 1899 Kimball Parlor Organ (forum thread)
                              -- 1999 Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - spare W5000C for spares
                              -- Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112 - Roland RD300nx stage piano
                              -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

                              Comment


                                #45
                                Originally posted by Mark Carter View Post
                                I would certainly recommend an original, sloped bench, as it automatically makes you adopt the correct posture. Enjoying your organ discovery: power to your elbow(s)! Regards, Mark.
                                Wow, Mark. I see what you mean. After experimenting with getting the gothic-looking claw-footed stool high enough, I tried my Conn's bench with a couple of boards under the back of the lid. It's an inch or so too high, but it got me moving back on the Kimball's pedals, lower in and further back than I've been playing. This, um, quietened the hinges down a lot. (This live and learn stuff just kills me.) Thank you again, Mark.

                                So, I'll need to find or make a pump organ bench. This evil stool can support a planter or something.
                                -- I'm Lamar -- 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
                                -- 1899 Kimball Parlor Organ (forum thread)
                                -- 1999 Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - spare W5000C for spares
                                -- Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112 - Roland RD300nx stage piano
                                -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X