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Question about repairing pedal of pump organ

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    #16
    Hi, Patrick - Casey will correct me if I'm wrong here, but since that fish/hide glue is activated with water, water would later clean it up, soften it up, and remove it. I too think tacks are the trick - bet you see some holes if you look closely.
    -- 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

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      #17
      Glue gets into the leather and stiffens it so it won't flex any longer. Tacks were the rule for the fixed end at least, some makers like Estey and M&H on their best models used various devices to allow the flaps to open farther, letting the air out faster, allowing a lighter return spring.
      The early large-scale Philharmonic Esteys were the best; a 3" wide "staple" trapped a weighted wooden block hanging from the bottoms of the triple flap valves. More like a guide than a staple. But the escaping air pushed them open effortlessly, the weight made them return to the correct position at the end of the cycle. Of course, where the weight came against the guide it was padded with special fluffy felt so it worked silently.
      M&H used a spring to keep the valves just taut enough, but the wind would overcome the spring and the valves opened further. (than tacking both ends)
      You have to get the tension on the plain old flap valves just right or they make a farting noise.

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        #18
        I have never seen those flap valves fastened with anything other than tacks, at least on one side. They attach and remove effortlessly, and can be re positioned if necessary without any problems. A word of warning here may be appropriate: If the original tacks are still in the board, remove them carefully, they are most certainly rusted by now and should they cause a scratch or cut on a careless finger, may result serious infection. Use a pair of long nosed pliers to gently pull them out. They do come out easily as their business ends are tapered into a sharp point.

        It certainly sounds as if the old gal will sing sweetly again once that flap valve is in place....

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

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          #19
          Hi Lamar, Casey & Nico,

          Many thanks for all kinds of supports from you all! And here comes my update so far:

          I have replaced the return springs and fixed the new leather flap valve by tacks, and at least the organ is playable as normal now.

          But some small issues still remain. Probably due to my unprofessional installation, the valve is not installed closely as possible, so the air exhausted quickly and the player need to step the pedal quicker than normal to maintain appropriate sound volume/velocity. Plan to redo the pinning process later on.

          There is another minor problem but I don't know its cause. Sometimes the key is not rebounce and it sounds still when doing nothing but stepping the pedal, but it could be solved by repetitively pressing the corresponding key. I have recorded a video about that:

          In addition, one pulley for connecting belt between the bellow and pedal seems leaning leftwards, so when playing the organ, the connecting belt will lean leftwards, rubbing the wooden cap and slowly worn (as the following picture shows). This problem is relatively not big but not easy to fix to me - I may need to open up the organ to replace something, but it would be at risk when operating by a complete beginner like me... Currently I am using a stupid idea: sticking rubber tapes on the belt as a protective layer, so the tape would be worn instead. I need to frequently replace the rubber tape if keep playing like this...

          Click image for larger version

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            #20
            Hi, Patrick,

            That looks like a misalignment due to where the belt connects to the pedal. It's easy to take out the screws that attach it to bellow, unfold the end where it is doubled, and then pull it through the roller. Then you can lean the pedal toward you and work on it. I used some load tie-down strap material that my dad had on hand (he was a trucker), but I'd get the softer woven webbing stuff for a permanent fix. Also, those rollers have pins that are literally dropped into slots in that board. If the roller is really deformed, you could try shimming up the slot. I suspect that aligning it on the pedal will fix that, however.

            Sometimes key response is changed due to humidity (!) but if you take off that long strip below the keyboard, which is called the "keyslip" for who knows what reason, you'll see the wooden dowel rods that activate the valves (pallets) below. Identify which one (it will be below the key, obviously) and gently see if it's sticky moving up and down. Make sure the coupler "fingers" aren't touching the felted ring under it. (They are adjusted by bending, but I suspect they respond by breaking.) Then work the key and see what happens. If you can lift up on the dowel and get a crisp cut-off, then it may be upstairs in the key mechanism that the binding is happening.

            Bear in mind that I'm an amateur and this is an amateur's advice. (But I am a Kimball using amateur.)

            Thanks for the update.
            -- 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


              #21
              Originally posted by Patrick Huang View Post

              There is another minor problem but I don't know its cause. Sometimes the key is not rebounce and it sounds still when doing nothing but stepping the pedal, but it could be solved by repetitively pressing the corresponding key. I have recorded a video about that:
              The key staying depressed is most likely the small dowel rod (incorrectly called pitmans) that binds in its hole. These rods were originally coated with graphite powder or similar to make them slide easily. This has almost certainly worn off by now and perhaps the hole is roughened some as well. Perhaps this will kind of remedy itself by some vigorous playing.... (tongue in cheek...) In any event this is probably possible to fix with less difficulty than the second possible cause: A weakened pallet spring. To remedy this the wind chest and reed pan will need to be separated involving more careful work. On an old one like this that possibility is rather more likely and redoing all the insides might be necessary even at a later stage.

              If the exhauster valve is obviously not working properly try and fix that first, also the side-rinding strap. While testing and playing the sticky key may come back to normal working.

              Have you checked the bellows for leaks?

              Good luck!

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

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