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MMD > Archives > July 2005 > 2005.07.18 > 11Prev  Next

Repairing a Musical Casket Organette
By Greg Thiele

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Dear MMD Advisors: I recently acquired a Musical Casket organette,
with 14 notes, that doesn't play.  The machine came with eight rolls
but won't play a note.  Here's my observations:

(1) When a roll is attached, I can crank it accordingly but no sound.

(2) Visually the only thing I can see missing is there is no glass or
anything to cover the large rectangular opening on the top of the case.
And, to the left of the opening is a small wooden piece which has a
small hole in it and a small carved indentation in the middle.  The
right-hand side of the opening is missing a similar shaped wooden
piece; I'm guessing since there is some glue residue remaining and a
shadow of a similar sized object.

(3) On the inside of the case is a metal curved clip.  I'm not sure if
it holds down the paper roll as it winds onto the wooden roller or if
it is used to hold a small piece of glass over the opening.

(4) There are two thick white rubber gaskets at each end of the
cranking rod.  Apparently, used to drive works beneath, the drafting
bellows.  These two round rubber pieces are now very hard, not round,
and won't stay on the wooden wheel.  Is there replacement material

(5) Upon disassembling the unit, I see that the various air chambers
work okay.  The leather bellows material is okay.  I don't understand
how the bottom larger chamber is used.  There are two active metal
clips on either side that spring and collapse to draw air, but I don't
see how that happens in combination with the above air chambers.  Also,
I can blow into the top of the harmonicas (where the rolls rest) and
get good sound.

(6) Also, on the very bottom, there is a hole with a sliding wooden
gate, and the hole is left entirely open.  If I cover the hole I see
that the top holes blow air and not draw air.  Should it be left
covered or open?

All in all, if I can replace or re-energize the rubber wheels, discover
what top parts are missing and learn the operating basics, I can get
this great musical instrument to work.  Any help you can provide would
greatly be appreciated.

Greg Thiele
Blue Mound, Illinois

(Message sent Mon 18 Jul 2005, 19:48:54 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Casket, Musical, Organette, Repairing

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