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MMD > Archives > May 2008 > 2008.05.09 > 08Prev  Next

Small Suction Box for Player Piano
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  I've run into numerous situations where the vacuum pump
kit wouldn't fit into the 'normal' space without some modification.
There are a couple of options.

One, turn the pump sideways.  Two, use an elbow instead of a straight
flange at the top of the pump.  Three, decrease the length of the
right reservoir.

I don't advocate removing the right reservoir.  Like my grandmother
would say, "a little bit of something is always better than a whole lot
of nothing." (I think that might be a 'depression era' saying.)

I do advocate cutting the reservoir down in length, but only as much
as is necessary.  As for keeping it spring-loaded, a stiff conical
spring that's mounted internally will do the trick.  Or, if the bellows
is long enough, a small outward leaf spring is good.  My reasoning,
besides maintaining as much reserve capability as possible, is that you
still have a reservoir to which you can attach the new vacuum supply
flange.  If the reservoir is removed, you have to make up a blank-off
plate to cover the other holes, or resort to using heavy bellows cloth.
Also, there's always the risk of damage to the wind trunk when the
reservoir bellows is removed.

Naturally, the other side of the coin, in this case, is that by
removing the right reservoir bellows, you can put it aside in case
someone wants to return the system to its original configuration at
some time in the future.  However, realistically speaking, what are
the chances that the bellows will stay with the piano until that
happens?  My guess is less than 5%.

Further, by using a portion of the original reservoir, any future
restorer will have the critical measurements at hand since all of the
large bellows are the same overall length, and the span of the left
reservoir is almost always the same as the one on the right.

My musical opinion,
John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA

(Message sent Fri 9 May 2008, 17:10:15 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Box, Piano, Player, Small, Suction

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