Over the years, most folks using old piano rolls, and even new ones,
have realized that paper edge damage was caused directly by the left
flange closing in from the pressure of the spring loaded chuck, once
the paper had wound onto the take up spool. As soon as you hit rewind
the roll was damaged or even destroyed.
One can but wonder if this was a planned event, because, in most cases,
the core of the music roll is not as wide as the paper, allowing the
flange to close in.
There are, I am sure, limitless ways to correct this problem. I have
a faded memory of this being a topic in an AMICA publication, where the
solution was the use of fiber washers as spacers to hold the flange
My remedy came from this idea but, when I could not locate a source
of fibre washers, I selected a proper size "O" ring. They were very
inexpensive when purchased in lots of one thousand. I keep a small
bowl full of these neoprene "O" rings handy and, whenever I select a
music roll to play, I gently tap the roll to shift the paper to the
right side flange, and check the left flange to see if it is loose.
It only takes a second to remove the flange and slip one or more
"O" rings in place to correct the problem. Following play and rewind,
I again make sure the paper is against the right flange before returning
the roll to a shelf. I think this may help the roll to not take on a
warp through changes in weather, while stored.
I suggest this method to be a good choice for the following reasons:
It, in no way, alters the core or the flange. It is not messy or
sticky. It is clean and super fast to do. It can be removed
instantly. The most important point - the flange is still free to move
out should the paper expand, but can not move in and damage the music
Thanks to the MMD for helping to share ideas.
Regards - Ken Vinen, Stratford, Ontario, Canada.