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Wurlitzer 146 Restoration
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WURLITZER CALIOLA RESTORATION (Part 14)
RESTORING THE KEYBOARD UNIT


by Dr. Bill Black

The keyboard unit consists of the keyboard with pallet valves and a transfer block arrangement which serves to mute the tracker bar if you want to play the Caliola from the keyboard. The keyboard and the transfer block are mounted on the shelf which holds the roll frame.The roll frame is removed but the wooden block for the tracker bar and metal tubing remain conected to the transfer block. (PHOTO A).


PHOTO B shows the unit from another view. The control mechanism also pictured in the photo consists of a unit valve to operate the rewind trip pneumatic for the roll frame and a manually operated slider valve to control the transfer block. Wurlitzer used metal tubing from the tracker bar wood block to the transfer block. They also used this metal tubing to connect the other associated parts.



The Caliola plays a 65 note music roll but only has a 44 note pipe scale. The transfer block also serves as a means to use octave coupling to allow the machine to play these additional notes on the music roll. This is shown in the close up PHOTO C.



In PHOTO D, the unrestored keyboard is still attached to the shelf.



In PHOTO E, the tracker bar wood block, the transfer block, a wood strip serving as a junction between the tubing from the transfer block and the tubing from the keyboard pallet valves are all joined together with the metal tubing and removed from the shelf as a unit. The wood strip also contains brass nipples on the bottom which will later connect the unit to the stack valves with rubber tubing. Care is used to prevent damage to the tubing and the connections.



The metal tubing is in excellent shape and it will be preserved. There has been one minor repair to a leak in a tube by joining the area of a break together with a piece of tracker bar rubber hose (this can be seen in PHOTO C). Over the years, the tubing has become discolored and doesnąt look nice. To dress up the appearance we mask off the tubing from the other parts and apply a light coat of spray paint using our EASTWOOD detail gray which was also used on the metal valve units. Only the portion of the tubing which will be visible after the restoration was painted,. The tubing not visible was not painted. The portions sprayed now look like new. PHOTO F.



Dr. Bill Black is one of the nation's most knowledgeble Wurlitzer band organ experts. He has made recordings of many band organs and other mechanical music machines which are available for purchase in our Gift Shop .

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