For about thirty years I have been collecting historical woodwind
instruments. Starting with these instruments I learned about
mechanical musical instruments. These "self playing" instruments
are very interesting in different aspects, technically and musically,
as well as sociologically.
As a collector, I sometimes found damaged and totally wrecked
instruments. This presented me with a challenge to make them play
music again and to preserve them for the future. As a self-taught
person, I developed the needed skills in different crafts and I gained
knowledge by doing as well as from literature. From the very beginning
I felt it necessary to document each working step within a "restoration
Although some of these reports were not complete and some were of
less importance, many of these reports contain information which could
be helpful for other enthusiastic amateurs. Therefore, I decided
to provide access to some of my reports by means of "book on demand"
so that other people who love, collect and are interested in these
instruments and related restoration crafts may learn from them.
The steps of work as documented in the reports do not claim to
provide rules for professional restoration. The hours of working time
invested, for example, might not be acceptable from a professional
point of view. But this aspect motivated me to document the time
invested for each step of work. This could be a point of reference
for others and could make somebody else happy when she or he solves
a problem in an even faster and simpler way. I also learned that
I could avoid buying expensive, professional tools by investing my
time and my intuition to make the tools needed for restoration.
The first three of my restoration reports have been published recently.
Restoration report Number 1: Flute Clock, ca. 1800.
Detailed documentation of the restoration of a French organ clock
from about 1800.
Restoration Report Number 2: Piano Melodico with 30 notes.
Documentation of the restoration of a self playing piano
from about 1890.
Restoration Report Number 3: Documentation of the restoration of
a musical Christmas tree stand.
Everybody interested in my reports can access them via the Internet:
Go to the link http://stores.lulu.com/clafri and select the report
you are interested in. You can order any one of these reports from
the Lulu web-site either as a printed booklet (many colored photos!)
or you can download it as a PDF document. It costs some little money
but this might be cheaper than to suffer the same mistakes as I did!
I hope that the documentation of my experiences will reach other
people who appreciate these instruments and the restoration process.
Future demand for my published restoration reports might give me an
answer to this question.
I will be grateful for any suggestions, criticism and questions
concerning my reports. Please contact me if you find them useful.
I have reports on many other restoration projects. If you are
interested in a particular restoration project, send me a request
and I will let you know if I have a report on that subject to be
published soon. Concerning these restoration reports please use the
following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regards from Germany