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MMD > Archives > October 2011 > 2011.10.07 > 01Prev  Next

Cleaning Gem Roller Organ Cobs
By Paul Wassmund

I've acquired about 20 rollers for a Gem roller organ.  They've
not been well preserved so they show signs of mold, discoloration,
etc., which would distract from the appeal of a restored organ.
In addition, the labels are mostly worn off.

I'm thinking of purchasing a bristle-type sanding wheel to try to
clean up the rollers, since this would allow me to get between the
pins without damaging them.  I'd use a fairly fine grit (240) to
avoid aggressive removal of material. I'd also clean up the ends
and apply new labels.

I have a couple of questions: does anyone have any experience with
this sort of operation?  Are there any pitfalls I should avoid?
Would it make sense to apply some sort of clear finish to preserve
the look once they're cleaned up?

I realize that some people object to making antique items look new,
but I'm more interested in having a working, nice-looking organ and
rollers than in preserving things in their current, run-down state.

Paul Wassmund

(Message sent Fri 7 Oct 2011, 19:28:13 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Cleaning, Cobs, Gem, Organ, Roller

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