Hello Everyone, and Happy Holidays to all ! My name is Tom Detweiler,
and I am glad to find you all here in one spot. I have been tuned in
to the site for a couple weeks now, and found it quite by accident when
searching for "White Metal" model parts. It is a valuable resource!
I own a #34 Orchestral Regina 27" disk model music box, a "piano-back",
upright changer with the racks for 12 disks. As far as I know, all
the parts are there except a few corner cabinet pieces of wood bits;
one of the glass doors is cracked but the ormolu ornaments are okay;
the comb has a broken tine and one missing lead resonator weight; but
the changer assembly, drive and star wheels, and clockworks appear to be
complete. And the clockwork motor runs, when the trip pawl is pushed.
The windup handle was missing, too, so I'll make one or buy one if they
are out there.
Currently it is non-operational, but I repaired the case some and it is
now solid again. This involved basically reassembling the entire thing
due to loose glue joints, water damage etc. The hinged top front door
is there but the veneer has peeled off the top. Once I re-veneer the
top and match the stain (the dark red mahogany), on to the movement.
I have owned this box for almost 30 years. It was bought at an
estate sale in a pile, moved around many times (in a pile), survived
two divorces, and disassembled for storage and to work on each piece.
It still has the original finish on most parts, with some water damage
on one side and the very top of the sound board where it won't be seen.
I only have one disc for it in poor shape, an original bought at G. W.
MacKinnon's "Automated Musical Instruments" showroom down in Santa Fe
California, over 20 years ago. What ever happened to the "Taj Mahal"
orchestrion he had? I got a chance to hear that and it was one of the
most incredible things I ever heard. Magnificent! I still have a news-
paper clipping about it, which I'd be happy to copy and share with you
I see several sources for reproduction disks now, so will start collect-
ing them. I now have an assembled case and am ready to remount the
mechanism. Or should I touch up or refinish (as some suggested) the
case first? Can a professional work on the mechanism parts separately
while out of the case?
For this, I want professional help and/or advice. I have the Ord-
Hume book and can figure out most of it, since it is mostly individual
cleaning, painting and reassembly. However, I can sense from email on
the web site, that final assembly, tuning and adjustment of the actual
total system is tricky and needs a professional's hand -- and the comb
So -- I live in Grass Valley, California, northeast of Sacramento
California. Is there anyone in California who MMD members can
recommend to assist with reassembly and to do the final assembly/
adjustments? Meanwhile, I'll be "tuned in" on the web site, reading
over the archives, and enjoying getting back into my music box again.
Thanks to all who read this and care to answer.
Most Appreciatively --
[ Welcome to MMD, Tom, and that's a fine project you have awaiting.
[ I'm sure our music box folks can put you in touch with an expert
[ on the West Coast. The last I heard of the Taj Mahal organ it
[ was in a private collection in Australia. Mechanical music
[ instruments sure move about! -- Robbie