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  • Need Help Karn Air storage

    The Karn will ONLY play if you keep pedaling. I ASSUME this is the Accumulator where the Air is stored is not work, WHERE IS IT? I know it might be the relief flap for over pressure but that is not inplay since it neve builds any playing pressure.
    Before I break something I am going to remove all panels front and rear but would like to know what I MIGHT see and find. ANY PICTURES would be great.
    These are the stops pictures. These do NOT have steps like a draw bar just on and off. BOTH treble and Bass couplers work. I am just using ON pedal since I have not fixed the other one yet.
    Thank you for putting up with a novice on this, At 70 years old I would have never thought I would get into this type of restoration.
    Click image for larger version

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    5 Octave, 15 stops ALL spear to work. With only the left pump pedal working. Going to gid into this on Wednesday of this week.
    Last edited by lrpman; 03-06-2018, 11:00 AM. Reason: More Info

  • #2
    Hi, George - When you replace the straps for the actuators, the part the actuators hinge from is the reservoir. If you have that cover in front of the pedal straps off, you can slide a mirror under there and see the bellows move when you pedal. That is, if you have the vertical bellows. A variation was to have a horizontal one with horizontal actuators. You'll find out when you de-panel it. By the way, if the panels are made of several boards, don't be surprised if the glue is gone and they clatter apart when you set them aside. Mine did that on my Kimball. Surprised me greatly.

    I can suggest a couple of books that will help. One is Presley, Restoring & Collecting Antique Reed Organs. It has some inaccuracies, like you do not want to use the glue he suggests on the bellows. The other is Milne, The Reed Organ: Its Design and Construction. This book is kooky fun - it's about how to design your own reed organ, but it has lots of interesting sections.

    My Kimball thread is linked below. You may find it helpful.

    By the way, that's great if all the stops and keys are sounding.
    -- I'm Lamar -- Allen TC-4 Classic -- 1899 Kimball, Rodgers W5000C, Conn 643, Hammond M3, L-102 - “If music be the food of love, play on" Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Silken Path View Post
      Hi, George - When you replace the straps for the actuators, the part the actuators hinge from is the reservoir. If you have that cover in front of the pedal straps off, you can slide a mirror under there and see the bellows move when you pedal. That is, if you have the vertical bellows. A variation was to have a horizontal one with horizontal actuators. You'll find out when you de-panel it. By the way, if the panels are made of several boards, don't be surprised if the glue is gone and they clatter apart when you set them aside. Mine did that on my Kimball. Surprised me greatly.

      I can suggest a couple of books that will help. One is Presley, Restoring & Collecting Antique Reed Organs. It has some inaccuracies, like you do not want to use the glue he suggests on the bellows. The other is Milne, The Reed Organ: Its Design and Construction. This book is kooky fun - it's about how to design your own reed organ, but it has lots of interesting sections.

      My Kimball thread is linked below. You may find it helpful.

      By the way, that's great if all the stops and keys are sounding.
      Thank you I have VERTICAL Bellows that are NOT torn or damaged it is the Over Pressure Check Valve that is worn out. (not sealing) will put some tape over it to see if that is the problem then REPLACE what appears to be Cardboard that holds it in place with tension. I am taking LOTS of High Resolution pictures as I go. I found the Original box of Graphite in the back behind the top cover that covers the tremolo which still works also will TRY a picture but think it might be to big for this forum
      Click image for larger version

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      - - - Updated - - -

      After Cleaning the back up a little
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      • #4
        Tested the theory of the relief valve, NOT IT The Air box TRIES to compress but does not. So now I need to remove the cover from the air Box? There is something OPEN that allows the vacuum not to form to compress the air box. Have to Find it.

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        • #5
          You Karn has non-conventional reservoir bellows. This is something Karn is known for on their larger, nicer organs.
          Only our pal Rodney Jantzi can help you.
          Bellows material that has reached the end of its service life can look okay, but the rubber coating is crunchy and not airtight. This big Karn is worth restoring.
          Casey

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          • #6
            You may have some wonderful holes you can stick your finger in, too. I suggest an old fashioned hand mirror and a flash light for looking around. Look carefully at folds! If you can build up any suction, get somebody to pump like a fiend and STOP. Then listen for leaks.

            I'm looking forward to your pictures. Rodney's a good fellow, too. Between Casey and Rodney, there's a lot of reed organ knowledge walking about.
            -- I'm Lamar -- Allen TC-4 Classic -- 1899 Kimball, Rodgers W5000C, Conn 643, Hammond M3, L-102 - “If music be the food of love, play on" Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

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            • #7
              Do you have another picture of it with a full view of the back? Something does not make sense with the second picture - is that with the lower section of the back still attached? I first thought it was the bar for the hand blow handle, but it looks like that is not the case. Some Karn organs had two reservoirs, one at the back of the organ where the spill valve is (that is actually leather, not cardboard) and one under the keyboard - but I don't think that this organ is large enough to warrant a double reservoir. If it has two reservoirs, it will take a little while for the first one to vacate all the air first, then the back one will kick in.

              I have a few picture diaries of Karn organ restorations:

              1. Large reed pan church organ:
              http://www.rodneyjantzi.com/karn/index.htm

              2. Church organ which I think is most similar to yours:
              http://www.rodneyjantzi.com/karn2/index.htm

              3. Large double reservoir church organ (21 stops):
              http://www.rodneyjantzi.com/karn3/index.htm

              4. Parlor Organ:
              http://www.rodneyjantzi.com/karn4/index.htm


              Hopefully there will be some pictures there to help you see how they work...

              I look forward to seeing more of your pictures!

              Rodney
              Last edited by Rodney; 03-07-2018, 07:23 PM.
              To play a reed organ or harmonium, it helps to disconnect your feet from your brain and connect them to your emotions.
              Most of all, be creative, make music and have fun...


              Website: http://www.rodneyjantzi.com/

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              • #8
                Rodney this is with the back OFF both top and bottom.
                Click image for larger version

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                The BOTTOM cover is still on at this point BUT the Black is the top of the bellows. When Pumping both pedals it does try to SUCK shut which I guess is vacuum trying to form, I own a "SMOKER" that is used tio find leaks in car vacuum system and is mineral oil based. But I think I would just lay down a smoke screen at this point.
                I need to remove the pediment top to get to any more parts, is this correct?
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                This is today after some cleaning, have NOT done the sides yet.
                PS Thanks for the links!

                - - - Updated - - -

                This is what I want it all to look like, Sorry for this but got excited about it.Click image for larger version

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                • #9
                  Rodney I agree that the Feeder boards you restored does look like what I can see. Just have to get it apart to find out.PS Beautiful workmanship.

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                  • #10
                    More research Is THIS the serial number?
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                    • #11
                      If you were to place pressure on the lower area of the reservoir board (down by the spill valve) and push on it, does it open up quickly? If so, you may get a better idea of where the leak is. You may need to provide 30lbs of pushing power before is starts to compress. The most common place for leakage are the flap valves at the front, those are the 15" x 2.5" strips of leather. Those same strips are in the inside of the front exhausters that remove the air out of the 'reservoir' at the back - if those are shot then you are looking at rebuilding the air system which is not that difficult. The 57953 number you have there does look like a Karn serial number, but the first one you gave in the 38000 series makes more sense, as 57000 series is well into the Karn/Morris time frame and the organs were no longer labeled as D.W. Karn at that point in time...
                      To play a reed organ or harmonium, it helps to disconnect your feet from your brain and connect them to your emotions.
                      Most of all, be creative, make music and have fun...


                      Website: http://www.rodneyjantzi.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thank you. I got some new Jute to redo the pedal straps. I can watch the reservoir try to suck in but pops back very quickly, does not hold. When I pull the cover off to access the straps again I will look at those points if that is where they are.
                        I have 3 other restoration products going, 1984 Porsche 928, 1978 Rolls Royce and a 1994 Mercedes Benz 450SL but this is more fun!

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                        • #13
                          Big Question. To remove the Air reservoir I see screws across the top is this all there is OR am I going in the wrong direction?

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                          • #14
                            Hello and welcome to the mob! You have a very good specimen of antiquity in your hands. Two-manuals, as Casey mentioned, will give you much more fun and pleasure than the singles although in my humble experience any pump organ has something of a charisma equalled by none! I own two two-manual organs, one is pressure and the other suction systems. Each has its own characteristics and peculiarities but they provide for lots of fun! The one in my avatar is the Mannborg suction, something like a giant Tudor... From your comments it would appear as though either your inner reservoir valves are not sealing or the bellows cloth has gone bye-di-bye but in any event you may end up having to redo the entire bellows and pump system. Besides being a very helpful and pleasant person, you have a very knowledgable source in the person of Rodney. He knows the Karns inside out and will guide you as you go along. Be sure to listen to his playing the Karns and others on his website. Others on this Forum of course, are equally helpful and always contribute positively, such as you have seen. You have ended up in the right place. Please do keep us updated as you go - and make some sounds when the ol' Karn is up to it... Nico
                            "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request... B-)

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                            • #15
                              Thank you for the Welcome. I am happy with what I have and glad It did not become a bar as it was bought for. We are building our retirement home, yea Right, and there is going to be an English Pub so this is where this will be. The main gathering room will have my Clavanova Baby Grand and Guitars in it. So I am getting very much into this restoration.
                              Take Care
                              George P.

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