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MMD > Archives > January 1997 > 1997.01.15 > 14Prev  Next

Re: Help for 1914 Kimball Player
By Craig Brougher

Bill Shoemaker asked about getting parts for his Kimball player piano. The Player Piano Co in Wichita, KS is the source of practically everything he should require to rebuild that piano.

There are basically two versions of the Kimball 88-note player piano. The early version is by far the most difficult to restore and requires removal of the keybed and bottom board (in some models when replacing the pedals). That model has sealed channels in the keybed itself at the ends which supply the stack and the air motor. In earliest versions, the pedals pull straps attached to the pumping bellows.

The principle is similar to Baldwins, but the Kimball is much more difficult to rebuild and regulate for proper travel because it is fully integrated with the piano case. There is also a mechanical linkage which opens the pedal door and the control cover at the same time which must be gone over, and the lead tubing throughout is usually a mess and thoroughly perforated with corrosion.

The later Kimballs were much easier to work on, with a bakelite outside valve seat in screw threads, sealed with beeswax, it is a perfect system to adjust each valve precisely. You'll like this part of the job.

Craig Brougher

[ Is your piano an early or late version, Bill? How do you feel about
[ rebuilding it yourself? It sounds like it may be a big job, but if you
[ want to tackle it yourself we have several generous techs here, like
[ Bruce and Craig, who will advise you as needed. Have you found a good
[ player tech nearby you? -- Robbie ]

(Message sent Wed 15 Jan 1997, 14:31:46 GMT, from time zone GMT.)

Key Words in Subject:  1914, Help, Kimball, Player

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