Hello, John. I sent this as a private message, but after two days,
I keep getting messages that say it has not been delivered to you.
In desperation, I forward it to MMD.
> ... I have tried taking the finger right off, putting a bead of
> burnt shellac on its bottom, and then screwing it back on. I'm
> hoping that the shellac will reduce the likelihood of the finger
> working its way up or down the brass rod when I can't get at it.
> But I certainly don't want to glue the fingers permanently in place.
I think that your solution will work admirably. Burnt shellac is
easily removed, with no damage to the parts involved. I have a similar
problem on my Aeolian Orchestrelle, where a former owner used some sort
of glue ("Gorilla Snot", or something like that) to secure the buttons
on the valve stems.
Whatever that "Gorilla" stuff is, it defies any solvents that I've
tried so far -- alcohol, acetone, mineral spirits, chlorine bleach,
plain soap, lye soap; I have yet to try paint remover! -- which makes
it necessary for me to replace the valve stems _and_ the buttons.
The leather nuts were also glued on the tops of the stems, so that
the valves cannot be adjusted. Same glue, same result!
Stick to the burnt shellac -- it's much safer!