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MMD > Archives > July 2012 > 2012.07.19 > 05Prev  Next

Seek Design Improvement Ideas For Early Ampico
By Gordon Stelter

I've just been informed that the 6" long striker pneumatics on
a 1920 Ampico are "too powerful" on high intensity, and otherwise
not "nimble" enough for correct dynamic expression.  I've not done
much personal examination of the instrument, yet, but was wondering:

1. Can some length be cut off them during rebuilding, and the stack
moved forward by that amount, or the pneumatics glued back on their
decks further forward?  (Or some combination of these approaches:
personally, I like the stack-moved-forward-as-much-as-possible idea,
because it would give more room for the criss-cross tubing to the

2. Will a later stack from a "small Chickering" (I'm guessing a 5'4")
fit a 1920 5'8"?  Will the "breaks" line up?

3. As for the valve blocks: presuming that I can resolve the issue
with the too-long pneumatics, I was intending to rebuild them with
thin aluminum washers for "valve buttons", and use a set of metal
insert seats instead of the original wooden on-top washers.  (But
other improvement suggestions would also be greatly welcomed.)

4. As for "soft pedal compensating": I was considering outfitting the
poppet wires with set-screw collars, and designing a rail with grooves
that would lift them all the appropriate amount when the hammer rail
is raised.

Sure, I could be proud and not "ask directions" and sit and stare at
this thing for days and scratch my head over it, but I'm too lazy for
that these days.  (So I thought I'd ask y'all!)  All other ideas for
improving the functionality of this thing are also greatly welcomed.

Gordon Lee Stelter

(Message sent Thu 19 Jul 2012, 13:19:14 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Ampico, Design, Early, Ideas, Improvement, Seek

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