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  • Stuck key

    Hi, I'm very much a novice so excuses if I don't have the correct terminology here.
    I have had this old pump organ half a year and love playing it, the high C# key never worked since I got it (it didn't make a sound but was still sprang up when you pressed it) so I opened the back and at the slightest touch the wooden thing that holds it up fell downwards and now the key doesn't spring up anymore. I am guessing there is a little spring down there that it's meant to sit it that it has fallen out of its place or something but I don't know how to gain access to that part. This video will show more clearly what I mean...
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/HT5DSwPVv9bsYtU66
    I don't want to proceed in case I make the problem worse. Can anyone explain how I open that part and look at the mechanism holding the keys up?
    Thanks in advance!
    Gerard

  • #2
    Hello Gerhard and welcome to this Forum. The video is a great help to see whats going on. Thanks. It would appear as though the pallet spring has either broken or came off its seat on the pallet. Unfortunately the wind chest will have to be opened to correct this. It is a somewhat major effort as the entire action (the links, keys and keyboard) will have to be removed and then the top part of the wind chest needs to come off. The pallets are located on the underside of the upper portion of the wind chest.
    Since you say that you are a novice perhaps you should consider posting some pictures of the work that you are contemplating, starting with identifying your instrument with pictures of the face, keyboards and most importantly, the name of the organ. There are some very kind and helpful folk here who will be glad to assist and "talk" you through the process.
    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

    Comment


    • #3
      Gerhard - welcome to our organ family.

      I agree on the pallet spring issue - and on the complexity of reaching it! I had similar issues with mine several years ago, but all was sorted in good time.

      Say, that video shows an organ that at least partially resembles mine (1874 George Woods). Can you share some photos of your instrument, and perhaps some background on it?

      Thanks.
      Tom in Connecticut

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for those answers guys. Yes the organ was made at a factory here in Sweden called A. G. Rålins Orgel- & Pianofabrik in Åmål sometime before 1935 when they closed down. It was sitting in a basement unused for a few decades before I had it and is still in pretty good shape. Picture below.
        That was my main fear, gaining access to that part of the mechanism, it looks tricky but I will give it a go! Will post some pictures/video when I get around to opening it.
        Gerard

        Comment


        • myorgan
          myorgan commented
          Editing a comment
          Gerard,

          Thanks for the information. Pressure or suction-based?

          Michael

      • #5
        Welcome to the forum! Lovely instrument. I was unaware that they were also made in Sweden. It sounds like it could be a positive pressure machine, as they were very popular in Europe (what we call a harmonium here in the US and Canada). I agree with the pallet springs, and once you have the action open, it may make sense to replace them all. Once one starts to fail, you may start having more, which can create other keying problems, and ciphers (notes stuck on). You don’t appear to have any stops, which means it is a simpler instrument to refurbish. Usually the springs are made with stiff wire, which apparently is called instrument wire here in the US and Canada. You just need to buy wire of the same diameter as you have. Indeed, take plenty of pictures as you go and post here if you have any questions. I wish you much success!

        Comment


        • Larason2
          Larason2 commented
          Editing a comment
          Ah yes, this applies primarily to a pressure type instrument. For suction instruments, the pallet springs are stiffer and fail less often, so sometimes all you have to do is clean them and reinstall.

      • #6
        That should be an interesting instrument. I have also not heard of Swedish made reed organs - and if one can go by the quality of automobiles made in Sweden, it should be of high quality also.
        Looking forward to seeing some pictures.
        Nico
        "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

        Comment


      • #7
        Thanks,
        I think by looking at it, it works by suction, but I might be wrong. This is all new to me!
        A couple more photos here. I put one up the other day but it has mysteriously disappeared.
        There are four sets of screws at the back. I am unsure which ones to start with to be honest. I have labelled them A to D in the photo of the back of the instrument. Any suggestions?
        Attached Files

        Comment


        • #8
          Thank you for the pictures.
          The cabinet style as well as the gold medallions to the left and right of the name remind a lot of the Mason & Hamlin organs. Looks like a suction organ. When you pump the organ the bellows (lower large panel at the back) will move inwards on a suction organ. The small spring loaded panel in the center is a relief valve.
          The screws that you have marked secure different components. You may have to remove the entire top as well as everything above the horizontal flat area towards the middle of the organ in pictures two and four. This flat is the top of the wind chest on the underside of which are the pallets. Those screws that are visible on top of that flat are holding the wind chest together. More screws will be located on the sides and driven from underneath at the front. Be sure to mark each screw as you remove it in order to replace it exactly where they came out. You can either label them with numbers on a piece of masking tape or get a larger piece of cardboard and make holes in it to push them into, each suitably marked. Also start sourcing suitable leather sealing material for the wind chest when you finally re assemble the instrument.
          You have a little labor of love ahead of you but hey, its all worth it. Take lots of pictures - it helps with the re assembly.
          Enjoy!
          Nico
          "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

          Comment


          • Gerard Farrell
            Gerard Farrell commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for the info! Yes my main concern is not being able to put it back together again when it's finished.
            Apparently the organ belonged to my wife's grandparents, the granddad was a church organist. Many little churches all over Sweden used to have these pump organs. Actually found the manufacturer's catalogue from 1899 online: https://weburn.kb.se/eod/5670/NLS17A055670.pdf
            Would be interesting to know how old it is exactly!

        • #9
          As a follow-up to what Nico said, a good way to keep the screws in order is to always start from one corner of the instrument when removing screws and then go either clockwise or counter-clockwise when removing them. As you remove them, try using a piece of styrofoam or foam insulation to keep the screws in order. It's also a good way to recycle styrofoam, too!

          The medallions remind me of Mason & Hamlin organs, but since it is of Swedish manufacture, it may be an new manufacturer we're not aware of. Thank you for the photos, as they are very helpful in allowing us to help you better.

          Michael
          Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
          • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
          • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
          • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

          Comment


          • myorgan
            myorgan commented
            Editing a comment
            P.S. One thing I forgot to mention. When it comes time to replace the screws, make sure to turn the screw the opposite way until you feel a "click" when the threads align. Then you can screw it in. Wood tends to strip easily–especially when cross-threaded. Then you're just left with a hole that holds nothing.

            Michael

        • #10
          The Reed organ society has a nice write up on how to restore a pump organ, you will find it quite useful.

          https://www.reedsoc.org/index.php/in...d-organ-repair

          Comment


          • #11
            What is a good source for pallet springs?

            Comment


            • #12
              Some more pictures in the middle of disassembling this. I have removed most of surrounding structure and am down to the actual mechanism. My hunch is the next step is to remove the screws with the red arrows pointing at them in one of these pictures, is that right?
              Still don't see what's connecting the whole upper part to the bellows..but maybe that will become clearer...
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • Organfella
                Organfella commented
                Editing a comment
                The screws you have arrowed actually assist in holding the entire assembly into the cabinet. You do not want to remove those at this stage as are removed only if one wants to remove the entire bellows with everything else, which should not be neccessary. I would guess the next ones to remove would be the domed-headed shiny ones that are clearly visible (I think you arrowed them in one of your earlier pictures.) They should be quite long - probably about 60mm. Before you start with the easily accessible ones look for the front ones - they are probably flat headed and screwed in from underneath in the front, and shorter than the ones at the back. You should find a corresponding number of them to the ones at the back. Once they are out, the top of the wind chest will come off together with the keyboard. (This is unusual to me but since there are no stops this does make some kind of sense.) Be careful when you lift the top assembly off - watch for the pitmans - those are the round dowel like wooden pegs one of which is stuck. They may fall out especially when the assembly is turned upside down. You will immediately see the pallets mounted on the underside of the upper wind chest flat. The assembly may be a bit stubborn to come off as it would have been compressed by the screw pressure on the lower portion to to ensure a good seal.

                Having said all that, I must confess to some considerable amount of guessing and relying on what the pictures say. However, we will try and assist as well as we can. It is obvious that you are very enthusiastic and a fast worker which we appreciate. Rather than rush into something, please ask beforehand when you are not sure.

                Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

                PS. Music wire is the right material for making new pallet springs. I doubt if you would be able to purchase ready made ones. But they are easy to make

                Nico

            • #13
              Gerard,

              WOW, you've made great progress, and I'm just barely keeping up. In many of my pump organs, the keyboard will come off in one assembly, and I suspect that would reveal if or how it is separated from the chest. However, you may wish to wait until others can weigh in for certain. It's an unknown organ for me.

              Michael
              Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
              • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
              • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
              • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

              Comment


              • #14
                Thanks! Yes it's difficult to tell just by looking at photos I guess. I tried removing those domed-headed screws you mentioned Nico, although I didn't feel that piece give way at all so it may be connected by more screws underneath.

                Comment


                • myorgan
                  myorgan commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Originally posted by Organfella
                  Before you start with the easily accessible ones look for the front ones - they are probably flat headed and screwed in from underneath in the front, and shorter than the ones at the back. You should find a corresponding number of them to the ones at the back.
                  Gerard,

                  Did you remove the front ones as Nico describes in his post?

                  Michael

              • #15
                It looks like the upper part will come off together with the vertical panels, (the shallow box which houses the pallets) The area where it sits on is the top part of the bellows and it is possible but unlikely that it is glued in place. However, the presence of the screws suggest otherwise. Good luck!
                Nico
                "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

                Comment


                • myorgan
                  myorgan commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Nico,

                  Isn't there some sort of compressed gasket between those two pieces?

                  Michael

                • Organfella
                  Organfella commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yes indeed Michael there should be a gasket there somewhere. Given that is Swedish built the seal could be above the vertical strips or below them. I was actually looking at the pictures and made my assumptions and therefore suggestions, from the position of the domed headed screws. This arrangement, if my assumption is correct, makes good design sense but the seal would have to be positioned between the top of the bellows and the vertical strips which in that case makes it rather different from the "conventional design" The OP has also not commented on the question of whether or not the organ is a suction or pressure model. I guess from the pictures it looks like a suction design. Of course I could be totally wrong and the bottom of the keyboard assembly simply comes off the vertical strips in which case, that is where the seal would be. The pictures are not all that clear to see if there is a gasket there. However, it appears clear enough that the entire action would lift off when those domed heads and their "underneath" brothers are removed. They all seem to be quite accessible.
                  Nico
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