Hi All, Bill Maguire's posting [091107 MMDigest] about the
Universal pneumatics stimulated me to ask the question; 'Are the
pneumatics made out of wood or plastic?'
The unit I'm currently working on has wooden pneumatics and the
cloth is a blue color. It feels like Nylon and it's in great shape;
nice and dry to the touch.
The problem with the stack was bad Perflex pouches. They are being
replaced with tan pneumatic leather pouches.
The original valve facings feel like Neoprene, and they are a bit
stiff. So, they are also being replaced. The new valve facings are
made from a rust-colored material that Story and Clark sells at the QRS
web site. I've been told that it is the same material that was used to
seal ammunition cans during WW1. I've also located the same material
at Home Depot in the plumbing section. They sell it in small sheets
that are about eight square inches.
Another question that comes to mind is whether or not the pouches in
the unit Bill Maguire worked on might have already been changed at some
time in the past? It just so hard to believe that the original pouches
could still be good, and it makes me wonder what sort of environment
the instrument was in for all these years.
Admittedly, the unit I'm working on had maybe a dozen pouches that
still worked. Particularly, the rings to which these pouches were
glued are made from a translucent type of plastic, whereas the majority
of the rings are white plastic. All of the pouches with white rings
are milky colored, whereas the pouches on the translucent rings are
still fairly clear.
All of this makes me curious about what was going on at Universal.
It seems that they went through a number of changes with regards to the
materials they were using. Were they 'experimenting' on-the-fly with
units that were being sold to the public?
John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA
P.S.: The unit I'm working on was made in 1980, according to the
Universal Piano serial numbers supplied by Diane DeTar.