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WURLITZER CALIOLA RESTORATION (Part9)
REPAIRING THE WINDCHEST


by Dr. Bill Black

PHOTO A shows the unrestored windchest, channel board and pallet pushrods removed from the organ.




In PHOTO B we have removed the bottom of the windchest exposing the pneumatic cloth seal and the pallets. Examination shows the seal in good shape and the leather on the face of the pallets also in good shape. Happily this means the windchest will only need cosmetic work.



In PHOTO C we have reinstalled the bottom of the windchest with a new gasket and will check the various channels in the chest for crossover leaks. Duct tape has been placed over the holes leading to the pipework. Vacuum is applied to each pushrod hole one at a time. The duct tape covering the corresponding hole for the pipe on that channel will be seen to visibly get sucked downward from the vacuum. If the tape covering the adjacent hole also is sucked downward this indicates leakage between the channels. This leakage could be between the wooden dividers between channels, leakage at the joint between the top of the windchest and the channel board or leakage in the channel boards. If this leakage is great enough, when the organ plays a particular pipe, the pipe on the adjacent channel will also play due to wind leakage over to the adjacent channel . All the channels check out ok with no leakage between them.



PHOTO D shows the refinished windchest and channel board.



PHOTO E shows the new leather applied to the wind connector. This is attached to the bottom of the chest and connects to the pressure pump.This is designed to be a flexible joint between the windchest and the pressure pump. There is some movement of the pressure pump as it operates and without the flexible connection to the windchest, the connector will work loose from the windchest.



In PHOTO F, the windchest is installed in the Caliola.



In PHOTO G, the pallet pushrods have been cleaned and new felts applied to the leather nuts which limit the pushrod travel. The holes in the windchest are covered with duct tape to prevent me from dropping something into the windchest during further assembly.



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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