Colin Hinz asked if he should use Polylon or rubber coated cotton cloth.
Either are fine, actually. I have used both and like both of them. Very
seldom does a residential instrument receive 50,000 plays. I have heard
a pizza-parlor orchestrion with over 100,000 plays, and it was still
going strong with Polylon.
Polylon will outlast cotton and rubber ten to one, but some people
don't want that. They would rather have cotton and rubber, because it
represents the old-fashioned way of doing it. That's fine. Makes no
difference to me. It's their instrument. Fix it up for them like they
I would just say this, Colin: Don't use plastic glue on pneumatics! To
do a good job, you need a glue that will not creep, and gives you good
hinge support. There is only one glue for that: hot hide glue! So if
you don't know how to use it, you might check back in the archives of MMD
for the letters explaining how to cover pneumatics using Polylon.
Briefly, you cover pneumatics with hide glue and the poly side in. You
don't use it thick. And any new pneumatics you have to remake, you will
have to "size" with glue around their edges, especially on the ends,
I haven't bought Polylon for several years because I've laid in a supply.
But I got it at American Piano Supply Co., in a dark burgundy. I also
buy cotton and rubber. Aeolus cloth from PPCo is about the best buy for
good cotton and rubber cloth. By the way, they now have some very good
"Heavy Bellows Cloth" for rotary and motor-driven pumps. It will work
too for treadles and reservoirs, but Medium and Light bellows cloth
(depending on the size and throw of the pumping bellows) should ideally
be used for that, with leather corner patches, of course.