Steve Dibble
Pianola Restoration.
Steck Duo Art Restoration

The cloth on the exhausters is in near perfect condition and it seemed a shame to replace them, however the flap valves are leaky so they had to go. All bearings have retained their grease and are rumble free.

External flap valve arrangement showing the felt strip and leather base.

The 4 exhausters after fitting new flap valves, leather gaskets and recovering in heavy rubber cloth.

Refitting to the cast iron base plate and bearings, after stripping and packing with fresh grease.

Internal flap valve.

The motor driven box pump:


Similarly the cloth on the pneumatics is still almost like new. It took very firm pressure for that corner to tear. These instruments were often manufactured from very high quality materials.

After 8o years service these valves are in remarkably clean condition.

The expression box removed and looking pretty sorry for itself.

This one came apart very easily. It seems these later types were put together with long screws and gaskets saving a lot of work and potential damage.

Rebuilding commences and below

the original test date of 09/12/1928

The Duo Art Expression box complete and ready to refit. I have recovered the accordions with fine pneumatic cloth as an experiment after reading of others experiences. I can recover in quality pouch leather if required.

Destringing and.........................................

........................restringing with clean and level keys.

Above, retubing the refurbished stack and below, refitting the lower action.

Modifications made to the motor switch for electrical safety. The mechanical action of the original switch is used to operate a microswitch fitted with a spark suppressor. Similar to those pictured below.

Acknowledgements to John Farmer of and Paddy Handscombe at the Player Piano Group for their assistance with this.

I considered replacing the original motor with this new one but after discussions with the new owner decided to have the original professionally refurbished. It now runs very quietly and barely gets warm. I have replaced the leather belt with a modern ‘V’ belt as it was kinked and perished.

The original motor and mounting. I now use the new motor for testing purposes only.

The restored piano action includes new hammers and dampers along with all springs felts and tapes.

Below is a detail of the resprayed backplate along with new wrest pins and strings.

The casework has been completely stripped and  repolished by hand and the richness of the finish can be seen in these pictures above and below:

The finished article!

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