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by Dr. Bill Black

In order to join the parts of the metal valve unit together, Wurlitzer used a paper gasket similar to blotter paper. They apparently had a die which they used to punch out these gaskets. Lacking the die, we will have to make them the hard way. Using an ink pad and the metal part as a stamp, an imprint of the gasket is made on the blotter paper. PHOTO A. Then the gasket is cut out with an exacto knife and a punch. PHOTO B shows the finished gaskets. These are rather fragile and took some time to cut them out..

In PHOTO C these gaskets have been placed on the middle section on the metal valve. I used SOBO glue diluted with water to make a thin mix. This was applied with a light coat to the metal piece and the gasket put in place. The purpose here was just to hold the gasket in place when the valve pieces are assembled later.

PHOTO D The movable part of the valve is not adjustable and the valve clearance will be determined by the thickness of the leather facings on the top and bottom of the movable part of the valve. After placing the facings on the valve, the bottom and middle metal pieces are assembled to see what travel clearance is present. In this case the clearance is too small because the leather is a bit too thick. To increase the travel we will use a cardboard shim shown in PHOTO D which has been cut out to the lower ink pattern. This is placed at the joint between the bottom and the middle piece. The effect of this is to raise the middle piece in relation to the bottom which allows for more travel of the movable part of the valve and thereby creating more clearance. The amount of travel we are looking for on the stack pneumatics is about .030 to .035. Too much travel will waste vacuum and too little travel will cause weak action on the pneumatics. Larger pneumatics will need more vacuum to operate and is achieved by more travel of the valve.

PHOTO E Rather than try to trim the pouch leather to the shape of the valve, we will punch holes in the correct places and apply the whole piece to the metal using the thinned SOBO glue to hold it in place. The excess will be trimmed after assembly.

In PHOTO F the lifter pads have been glued to the pouch leather, gaskets placed and the parts are ready for 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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