Keyboard axle removal

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Glug
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Keyboard axle removal

Post by Glug » Thu May 17, 2018 12:20 pm

Hi folks, thought I'd share this in case it helps somebody.

I've got an old (1935ish) Santianelli 48 bass with some very minor keyboard problems. So I though I'd take a break from fixing the valves to see how easy it is to get access to the key mechanism. I've read AccordionRevival quite a few times and searched on here so after a poke or three I concluded the keys don't come off individually and it's a twin axle design. It's got 2 axle ends visible on the bottom end of the keyboard and no holes or axle cover at the top end.
Keyboard:
1 keyboard.jpg
Axles:
2 foot.jpg
The first axle (upper left one) had the 'loop' protruding just enough to get pliers on it, some twisting and pulling and it came out 2mm so I left it there for the moment. The second axle is the problem: the top of the loop is 2mm below the surface of the celluloid:
6 axles.jpg
So this is what I did:
1) Widen the hole slightly using a very small modelling scalpel, it's now 4mm diameter
2) Push picture wire into the hole and hook it under the cut end of the loop using a jewellers screwdriver
3) Use nail pullers to pull on the wire
The pulling setup looks like this:
7 pulling.jpg
And here's the result:
8 pulled.jpg
Which should be perfectly acceptable when I put an axle cap on it :)
Certainly better than drilling a hole in the top end, think I owe myself a beer or four.

Tom
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Re: Keyboard axle removal

Post by Tom » Thu May 17, 2018 12:23 pm

Great work!

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jozz
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Re: Keyboard axle removal

Post by jozz » Fri May 18, 2018 7:47 am

that was a brave move :tup:

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debra
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Re: Keyboard axle removal

Post by debra » Fri May 18, 2018 7:44 pm

Great start. Let us know how it goes once you go further. A small tip: put painter's tape over the white keys and over the black keys and then you can remove the axles without a great risk that keys will fly everywhere. (Of course you can also pull bit by bit to remove one key at a time, but pulling out the axles in one go is faster.)
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
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Tom
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Re: Keyboard axle removal

Post by Tom » Sat May 19, 2018 2:37 pm

It's the getting them back in that's the tricky part! Like when you want to fix a key way down here but you have to take the axle out all the way, then get them all back in.

Glug
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Re: Keyboard axle removal

Post by Glug » Sat May 19, 2018 5:23 pm

:) Think it's going to be easier than getting it apart.
Pulling the first rod out took more levering and blocks of wood. Fairly sure this hasn't been taken to pieces for 80 years.
Luckily the keys have all got numbers stencilled on.
9 White out.jpg
The pallets are a bit weird too, think it's Persian or Chamois Leather with no felt (judging by pictures on cgmmusical.co.uk)
10 Pallet side.jpg
11 Pallet bottom.jpg

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debra
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Re: Keyboard axle removal

Post by debra » Sat May 19, 2018 5:44 pm

Glug wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 5:23 pm
...
Luckily the keys have all got numbers stencilled on.
...
I hope you checked whether that numbering is correct? I took apart an old Crucianelli and keys 9 and 10 (as numbered) were actually swapped. Don't just believe that when there is factory-numbering it will be correct!
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl

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Re: Keyboard axle removal

Post by Geronimo » Sat May 19, 2018 6:01 pm

No felt at all gives you no equalisation. You can use air pressure for roughing up the leather. But the principal equalisation will have been done by the pallets getting fixed to the pallet levers by filling up with wax while both pallet and key are fixed in perfect position, taping the wax basin off afterwards. That process does not really work with old (stiff and indented) leather seals. If you are planning on using felted pallets, you should probably use the thinnest available and even then it might necessitate rewaxing. Otherwise, try not to change anything, particularly concerning the lever/wax/pallet combination, and pray that stuff will choose to fit fine again.

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Re: Keyboard axle removal

Post by Glug » Sat May 19, 2018 7:14 pm

Hmmm, I think I understand. So if I change the pallets I'm going to have to rewax them to make sure they're flat over the air holes.
Issues at the moment are some slightly stiff keys, one white key slightly operating a sharp, and some pallet clacking. Think I might leave the pallets for the moment and just do the mechanical issues with the keys, and maybe brush the existing pallets with an old toothbrush. If I'm rewaxing I may as well set the key height/action at the same time, so I'll maybe do that next time.
I did check the numbers :)

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Re: Keyboard axle removal

Post by Geronimo » Sat May 19, 2018 7:22 pm

Glug wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 7:14 pm
Hmmm, I think I understand. So if I change the pallets I'm going to have to rewax them to make sure they're flat over the air holes.
Likely. If you are changing the pallet covering, you are probably going to get felted leathers and the felt will be good for a bit of equalisation but not all that much, and you'll want thin felts anyway in order not to make too large of a difference.

So yes: messing in any way with the pallets and/or key level will likely imply a wax job. I don't have experience regarding how tricky or not this may be.

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