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MMD > Archives > December 1995 > 1995.12.06 > 13Prev  Next

Lindeman Player Piano
By Larry Fisher

> Last year I rebuilt a 1911 65/88 note Lindeman player piano and have
> been having trouble with it ever since. I've re-leathered valves, re-covered
> pneumatics..the works. It's leaking air like a sieve
> and I couldn't find out where if my life depended on it.

[Les Smith has some great points regarding this. Here's a few more angles.]

Ok Jason, I've had the same experience on many myself. It's enough to make you quit rebuilding players. I too have started re-leathering the valves and it sure opens a new can of worms when you do. I don't know your particulars about the player type you've got but try this and see if it fits.

First of all, I want to say that I've started resealing all my players with shellac. The inside of every pneumatic, bellows, control pneumatic, valve chest, port, etc. gets a coat or two of shellac. As the wood ages it becomes more porous. Shellac can be applied easily and it dries really fast. I then coat the outside of the bellows and control pneumatics with a coat of flat black. Anyway, on with the post here.

Assuming all else has been tested, eliminated and tried........

Separate the top assembly, spool box, tracker, motor, etc, from the valve chest.

Remove the valve cover exposing all the valves. Remove the pneumatic rails from the valve chest. Tape the screw holes left by the screws that used to be holding the pneumatic rails on to the chest. Put the valve cover back on using a minimum of screws. If you haven't already, convert all them screws to phillips heads and use a small electric screwdriver to do all that screwing around. You should now have a valve chest, no upper assembly, no pneumatics, ready to put back in the piano. Attach the main hose(s) plug the motor hose and put tempo to zero. Plug the source for the tracker (if it has one) vacuum. Use masking tape to plug all the holes that go to the tracker bar. Now pump. Still spongy or leaky I'll bet. Use a piece of tubing as a stethoscope and listen to each valve outlet or the ports that go to the pneumatics. You'll probably hear some leaky ones. Trial and error is all I've been able to use from here on to fix each individual valve. Mostly I've found leaky seals around the metal valve seat even when I've used PVCE glue. To clarify, I'm referring to the outer rim where the two screws are that hold the "toilet seat" valve seat to the chest. (if it has this type) Other times I've found debris on the valve leather, or simply a valve out of adjustment. After nailing all the leaky ones in the closed position, remove the masking tape ( a section at a time) from the holes that you covered up going to the tracker bar and find all the ones that leak in the on position. As you fix each leaky valve, the pumping will get easier and easier. Towards the end of your task, reattach the pneumatic rails and pump gently and take note on which valves seat last as you first apply vaccuum. With the pneumatics attached you'll have a visual indication of which ones are slow to seal. Fixing them last will complete the job to the point where a gentle push on one pedal will seal all the valves in one stroke. Re-assemble and enjoy!

I hope this helps. Good luck and may you have lots of patience!! The last time I did this particular mentioned operation from fully assembled to fully reassembled took about 4 hours.

Larry Fisher, Metro Portland, Or.
Factory Preferred Installer for PianoDisc Products
phone 360-256-2999 or Email
live life with variety and stare adversity in the eye!

(Message sent Thu 7 Dec 1995, 03:48:39 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Lindeman, Piano, Player

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