Rebuilding the Æolian Orchestrelle
58-Note Player Reed Organ, 1912 Model "W"
by Richard Vance
Copyright (C) 2001 by Richard Z. Vance
rev. A, 8 February 2001

Chapter 18.3 - The Secondary Pouch Cups

    Many of the secondary pouch cups were lost; many of those that remained were corrupted by previous repairs using white glue.  I had new turnings for cups made by Arnold Wood Turning Co.  The original cups were made in one piece, with the tenon as part of the cup.  But this is a complex tooling setup for a back knife machine, and makes the shellac sealing difficult. It was easier and cheaper to have the blanks made as two pieces, following Kevin McElhone's example when he has new cups made.  First the bowl parts were painted with several coats of shellac to seal the wood.  Then the gluing face on the edge, made deliberately wide on the blank, was trimmed off by spinning the cup against a router blade.  The face of the cup was cleaned to bare wood with the belt sander, and the hole for the tenon piece was drilled 3/8".  Finally the tenon piece was welded to the bowl with thick shellac.  I have several more completed sets of cups for sale, in case someone else needs them.

    Pouch leather is cut into roughly shaped pieces.  Leave at least 1/2" all around, so one can get a grip on the excess when the edge is pulled up around the rim.

    First the narrow front edge of the cup is glued to the pouch.  I could not brush the glue onto the rim without getting glue inside the cup.  It was easier to brush a thin layer of glue onto some scrap paper, and quickly dip the cup rim into this.  Although the picture can't show it, the "dipping tool", a 1-1/4" organ valve disk, is under the piece of leather waiting to be glued, in the first picture.  The glued cup is pushed down hard over this, trapping the setting disk inside the hollow part of the cup.  The protruding edges of the leather are pulled taut while pressing the rim of the cup down on the table.  This sets the edge glue joint and at the same time establishes the dip.  Just like dipping an ordinary pouch, only in reverse.

    After this joint has set awhile, apply more glue to the margin of the leather and the side rim of the cup.  Pull up the leather around the rim, and roll the edge against the table top.  A 3/16" drill makes a handy handle.    Grab the cup between the thumb and forefinger, holding the dipping disk inside the cup so the thin edge won't come loose.  Pull the edges of the leather up and tight, frequently rolling and rubbing the edge against the table. At  first the turned up lap looks ragged and wrinkled, but the pouch leather will stretch and mold to the rim, producing a nice, smooth result.  Finally poke a thin stick up into the cup through the foot hole, stretching the active part of the leather to make sure it is not stuck anywhere inside the cup.

    A tool was made to trim the leather just above the bare wood on the sides.  The completed cup is rolled along the blade, and the excess leather and glue peels off the shellacked part of the cup easily.

    9/16" pouch follower disks are glued to the center of each pouch, and the cups are inserted into their holes with hot glue.

    The elbows and nipples are installed with thick shellac.  Blowing the pouches up into a hemisphere shows that the follower disks ride flat on top of the bulge.  This proves that the followers are properly glued on only at the center, and that any edges of the disks are not stuck to the pouch surface.

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