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Wurlitzer 146 Restoration
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WURLITZER CALIOLA RESTORATION (Part 16)
COMPLETION OF THE KEYBOARD UNIT


by Dr. Bill Black

When the Caliola is playing from the music roll, the keyboard is always active. You could play along with the music roll if you desired. If you want to mute the music roll and just play the Caliola by hand there is a means to do this. Basically the set of pallets operated by the keyboard are teed into the tubing between the transfer block and the stack valves. Thus the valve is triggered by the signal from the keyboard pallet. The transfer type block is inserted between the tubing from the trackerbar and the stack valves. The air flow from the trackerbar to the to stack valves can be interrupted by the transfer block which mutes the music roll. There is a mechanical linkage on the speed control which pulls the drive disc away from the leather wheel, activates the transfer block which mutes the music roll and stops the music roll so that you can play by hand.

The Caliola keyboard has ivory covering on the keys which is in fair condition. We will preserve these and attempt to clean them. After some research on how best to clean ivory, the method which worked the best was the use of a white plastic eraser. The particular brand was Staedtler Mars plastic eraser purchased from Staples. It worked well to remove the surface dirt but was not able to correct the slight yellowing of the ivory. The black keys were refinished with black lacquer. PHOTO A


In PHOTO B the keyboard is placed upside down on the work bench so it can be attached to the pallet and tubing unit.



The final part to be restored is the transfer block. In PHOTO C the cover of the block has been removed. There is a slider valve connected to the nipple on the left side of the block in the photo. When atmospheric air is introduced to the nipple, it is routed to the pouches in the cover through the hole marked with a X on the block. The air inflates the pouches and blocks off the holes in the block. The connection between the tracker bar tubing and the stack valves is interrupted and the music roll is muted. In this mode the machine can be played with the keyboard. Note there are several groups of holes where there are three holes instead of two. This is where the octave coupling is done.



PHOTO D shows the recovered pouches. The access hole for the air to the pouches has not been opened yet in the picture.



In PHOTO E the pouch board cover has been attached to the transfer block. The restoration of this part of the Caliola is completed.



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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