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Using Oil or Grease on Airmotor Valves
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  I'm probably not the only player technician who has scratched
his/her head and said to themselves, "Who ever thought that putting oil
or grease on an air motor was a good idea?"  Well, I now can offer you
proof that a major player system manufacturer actually suggested the
practice in their service manual.

Quoting an advertisement for 'Official Motor Graphite' in the Beckwith
Service Manual, "Flake graphite, ground fine.  Suitable for lubricating
motor slides of player pianos.  Use dry or mixed with grease or oil.
Comes in three sizes."

As some of you may know, Beckwith pianos and player pianos were made
for Sears, Roebuck and Co. by the Winter Piano Co.  So, we're not
talking about some small regional outfit with limited reach.  In fact,
Winter was one of only a few companies that produced over 100,000 units
by the end of the 1920s.  My point is that if Beckwith, and by
association Sears and Winter, said it was acceptable to put oil or
grease on the wooden parts in the air motor, imagine the arguments
within the trade about the practice.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons that Standard and others decided it
was necessary to put a brass plaque or a decal on or near the motor
which read 'Do Not Oil Motor' or words to that effect.

John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA

(Message sent Wed 27 Feb 2013, 04:07:18 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Airmotor, Grease, Oil, or, Using, Valves

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