Hi All, Bruce Clark is totally right about testing an air motor,
but he seems to have missed the point of my posting. While turning
the crankshaft backwards with the vacuum supply port sealed will
tell you if an air motor leaks, it won't tell you how badly it leaks.
I'd venture to say that over 95% of all air motors tested in the above
manner would fail the test. The aim of my test is to quickly determine
how much the leakage is effecting overall performance.
Like I've said before, if I went to a customer's home with the attitude
that my job is to fix every leak in a player system, I'd have to rebuild
everything, and perhaps five in a thousand customers would stand for
that kind of attitude. The other nine hundred ninety-five would simply
show me the door.
The vast majority of player piano owners are not looking for perfection,
they just want the music to play. Those of us who successfully service
a hundred or more player pianos in a year soon learn that our job is to
"Keep The Music Rolling".
Learning how to pinpoint major faults that prevent a player system from
working at all has taken me years of practice. How clearly I remember
my early years when I would test every component in a system and say to
the customer, "Well, this is bad, and so is this, and this, and this",
etc., etc. Then, after rebuilding a number of components that weren't
all that bad, I'd find the one or two that were actually keeping the
player from working at all. After rebuilding or repairing those parts,
the machine would 'magically' come to life, and I'd be the hero.
For me, such successes were shallow victories because I knew in my
heart that I could have gotten the player working for far less money.
With experience, I found out how to tell the difference between "the
good, the bad, and the ugly" and, as I am wont to do, I try to pass
along what I've learned to both the public and those in the trade.
And while the information I give freely might, from time to time, make
it appear that I lack the skills to do quality work, I can assure you
that isn't the case at all.
It's easy to spend a lot of someone else's money and get their player
piano working again. The art is doing quality work and satisfying
'their' desires for the least amount possible.
John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA
[ See John's article, "The Customer Is Always Right", at
[ -- Robbie