FS: Wurlitzer Band Organ and Caliola Parts
By Julie Porter
In February I purchased the 'spare parts' from the estate of Mike
Kitner. There were quite a few castings for the Wurlitzer pot metal
4-in-1 valves. In addition, I received a Caliola pneumatic stack which
used these valves. I intend to re-construct a Caliola from some of the
Thanks to Dr. Bill Black and the MMD I know now that I also have the
center core block of a late model snare drum beater which is of the
type used on a Caliola. Bill was kind enough to send photographs of
the one on his machine. I was able to use the Photo Modler Lite program
referred to by Steve McCollum in the 2000.10.02.01 MMD to calculate the
dimensions of the missing parts. I am working on restoring the snare
drum unit. The next step is to restore one of the valves.
In the Kitner parts are parts of the 4-in-1 valves needed for this
restoration. I have aluminum castings for 16 top plates that are not
drilled, and about five original top and middle plates made from pot
metal. Only one of the extra valves was complete with the stamped
aluminum bottom plate; this valve was water damaged and the cores made
of wood have come apart. It is somewhat corroded but otherwise in fair
I have friends that run a precision metal stamping business. They
could replicate the bottom plate, however the tooling can get a bit
expensive. Typically they manufacture washers and such in quantities
of 100,000 to millions. They are familiar with antique reproductions,
as many of the stamped reproduction drawer pulls come from them.
Alternatively I thought I might ask if anyone out there in the trade
might have some of these bottom plates? I need about five to complete
the valves I have. I do have the machinery to complete the top
castings. The trick in the bottom plate is that the guide for the
valve stems are stamped in such a way as to make machining on a CNC
difficult. These protrude into the grove behind where the valve
Other castings I now have in my possession are for a roll frame. There
are almost enough parts to complete this for the Caliola. I have an
original right-hand side plate with the top rewind gear. There are
castings for the transmission. It looks like I may have two or three
extra sets of the transmission castings I would like to sell or trade.
I would also like to know the tooth counts of the three missing gears,
and of possible replacements from Berg or Boston gear companies.
I would like to find a left-hand side plate for the roll frame. I have
the back half of the tracker bar and the ears that attach it. I also
have some extra 7-inch take-up cores and wooden tracker bar backs for
the Wurlitzer 150 scale. The extra roll frame parts are available for
immediate sale or trade.
If anyone is interested in a set of parts for a Wurlitzer roll changer
I have this available for immediate sale or trade. This includes a
number of axles and some hubs castings. It also includes a fixture for
machining the hub castings. This is mostly the speed governor. It also
includes the big gear on the left as well as some fittings. I got the
Vestal Press reprint of the manual that identifies what the parts are.
I would prefer to trade the roll changer parts for band organ roll
frame parts. I also have many orchestrion and reproducing piano parts
from the Kitner estate that I would like to sell or trade for other
band organ parts. Email me at <email@example.com> for a list of
photographs if interested. I have over 100 photographs on the website.
I can usually identify what an item is, but not the manufacture.
I would also like to find more photographs or scaled drawings of
Caliolas. Or if there are any I may visit in the San Francisco Bay
area during the next month. I have the pumps and stack along with
parts from at least two pipes. As noted above I have about half the
parts for the roll frame. I need to find the inside dimensions for the
case and windchest. I am also seeking Caliola rolls.
(Message sent Sat 3 Mar 2001, 00:03:56 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)