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MMD > Archives > May 2013 > 2013.05.27 > 04Prev  Next

Ampico Flap Valve Material
By Eliyahu Shahar

Jon Page asks about removing the posts for the Ampico flap valves,
as the new leather is too thick to conform.  I'm wondering if there
aren't some better ways to make it conform using todays technology.
Too thick?  Chinese body armor is made of leather -- thicker than
your flap valves.

When I rebuilt my last Ampico I replaced the flap valves and also
removed the center posts.  I saved them, but never re-installed them
and I still have them today, though the piano is at the Nisco Museum
and though the museum was ravaged by fire, that pump was still strong
enough to play all 83 notes at once when we turned it on after the
fire.  (Sadly, that was with a roll on none of the stack valves were
working.)  I fixed that and moved on.

I would still recommend trying to use the posts, and I recently was
thinking about what I would have done differently.  So I would try
a couple things and see if they improved it.

1. Moisten the leather and put the board in a vacuum bag, suck out
all the air and let the vacuum press it against the board and shape it
to the post.

2. Carve a groove out of a block of wood to match the post and press it
down against it.  Make a sandwich of the board, the post, the leather
and then the block of wood.  Clamp that down and keep it there a couple
of days.

3. Craig Brougher recommended moist newspapers to dampen the leather;
try them with one of the previous two ideas.

4. Before assembly, test the flap valve in place -- make sure that it
is sealing by sucking on the other side.

Eli Shahar

(Message sent Mon 27 May 2013, 18:22:11 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Ampico, Flap, Material, Valve

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