hosted on condor3913
 Mechanical Music Digest  Archives
You Are Not Logged In Login/Get New Account
Please Log In. Accounts are free!
Logged In users are granted additional features including a more current version of the Archives and a simplified process for submitting articles.
Home Archives Calendar Gallery Store Links Info

End-of-Summer Fundraising Drive In Progress. Please visit our home page to see this and other announcements: https://www.mmdigest.com     Thank you. --Jody

MMD > Archives > February 1997 > 1997.02.01 > 01Prev  Next


Life of Materials in Pneumatic Instruments
By Bruce Clark

In response to Craig Brougher's letter on rebuilt Players that should last 20 to 60 years, I fully agree. They should!

My Seeburg Nickelodeon still has it's original pneumatics and pump cloth, still in excellent condition -- that's 75 years, and it's still going strong. The old spill valve is probably spilling 50% of the extra vacuum that it doesn't need!

In my case, I purchased an Ampico for my own use and enjoyment during my retirement years. I was fully aware of the importance of purchasing the best material; using the proper glue etc. for I am not anxious to do the work over again.

I purchased what I thought were the very best materials, from what I thought was the most reliable source. (where many of us purchase supplies) I did the work meticulously in 1994.

During a recent inspection of the player unit, I found holes in the pump cloth! and small leaks in the motor cloth! The pneumatics seem to be fine so far, and the neoprene hoses are good, but for how long? The materials do not come with a guarantee!

A fellow restorer related an incident of pouch leather that had a life of three years!

I assisted that fellow rebuild his Ampico back in 1956, and scolded him for not replacing the motor cloth on the tracker and rewind repeat pneumatics. His reply was: "... it is not leaking, so why replace it?" Today, I know I may have been wrong for scolding him. That original material is still on his Ampico, and still does not leak or show signs of wear! That which we replaced back then, was stricken with the" potato chip syndrome", and has been replaced a few times over the years.

It is frustrating do our best possible work using the best materials (sometimes the most costly) and see signs of failure in a short time.

In most cases, I do not think it fair to blame the supplier, as he had little to do with the manufacturing process.

In addition, I have noticed supplies are not consistent. One time I buy No.XX. best and finest pneumatic cloth, which turns out to be very fine indeed. The next time I buy the same No.XX. , I get the worst material I have ever seen! That is one of the reasons that influenced my retirement.

The technology was there in the 20's for the Seeburg... materials. Why can't these excellent materials of the past be replicated? If they are available, I would like to know! We all would like to know! Let's hear it from readers!


(Message sent Sat 1 Feb 1997, 14:32:25 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Instruments, Life, Materials, Pneumatic

Home    Archives    Calendar    Gallery    Store    Links    Info   


Enter text below to search the MMD Website with Google



CONTACT FORM: Click HERE to write to the editor, or to post a message about Mechanical Musical Instruments to the MMD

Unless otherwise noted, all opinions are those of the individual authors and may not represent those of the editors. Compilation copyright 1995-2022 by Jody Kravitz.

Please read our Republication Policy before copying information from or creating links to this web site.

Click HERE to contact the webmaster regarding problems with the website.

Please support publication of the MMD by donating online

Pay via PayPal

No PayPal account required

                                     
Translate This Page