Steve Dibble
Pianola Restoration.


Melville Clark ‘Apollo’ 58 note push up player:

The pedal and reservoir assembly before and after restoration with some alterations to the flap valve arrangement.

The clockwork ‘Metronome’ transmission system which I believe is unique to this player.

With panels removed to reveal pumping bellows, reservoir and pneumatics.

An overview of the valve actuators that serve the purpose of pouches in later players.

The valves and actuators in detail. These are tiny pneumatics covered in pouch leather and remain in excellent condition considering their age.

The pneumatics had been recovered a few years ago, unfortunately the grade of cloth was too thick making them very stiff and sluggish.

The pneumatics removed from the deck, a tricky process as the deck is made of softwood and as can be seen, much damage was done on the previous removal.

Detail of the return spring arrangement. While there will always be some leakage of air where the pushrod travels through the pneumatic, this is minimised with a felt bush on the inside and pouch leather punching on the outer surface.

The lower tier restored and glued back in place on the refurbished deck.

Final assembly and retubing.

The finished instrument was very powerful and easy to pump. Well able to cope with the Rogers baby grand action that is it’s companion.



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