Recently the Starr player piano at the museum where I am a volunteer
developed a problem with the flap valve on one of the exhausters, and
occasionally would give no resistance to a pedal stroke. The local
tech I called offered to save me the cost of a service call and told me
to look at the flap valve, and make sure is was in place. He said if
it still didn't work after I made sure it was OK that he'd come out and
have a look.
As it turned out, the flap valve was (and is) the problem. The little
spring that holds it in place had somehow been moved out of its proper
place, and a bit of diddling with this spring took care of the problem.
Well, at least most of the problem. The flap valves are not flat
against the bellows board, but are rather wavy, and, although they seem
to work reasonably well, I wonder how much leakage there is. They are
about ten years old, and I wonder if there is something (mink oil,
perhaps?) that I could rub into them to make them more airtight?
There is one other problem with this piano: The nipple that connects
the sustain pneumatic to the "sustain pedal button" on the key slip is
a bit too small. I fixed it temporarily by shimming the nipple with
a bit of tape, but this obviously won't last, and a bit of work form
the "Jacque Legg School of Player Repair". My question is; what is the
preferred material for sealing this slightly undersize nipple into this
slightly oversized hole?
All you help is appreciated
Bryan S. Cather
[ Hmmm. My modern dictionary says "Jack Ketch - a public hangman,"
[ but gives no explanation nor origin of "Jack Leg", connoting a
[ makeshift or temporary repair. Anyone know? -- Robbie