Steve Dibble
Pianola Restoration.
Detail pictures of a Hupfeld player action and wind motor.
Higel pneumatics undergoing
removal from the back of the pouch board.....................................................................and replacement after recovering.
A repolished Rosewood Steck.
A 65 / 85 note tracker bar mechanism from a Kastner action undergoing restoration:
These pictures show the complex tubing arrangements from tracker bar to changer mechanism.
Refitted to the spoolbox.

The completed Rachals can be seen by clicking here

* These valves are from an Autopiano that was recently ‘restored’ in the UK. I had to remove, clean, reface, seal and adjust at great expense to the customer who had already spent a large amount of money to have the original job done!

*** And from the same restorers - enlarged bleeds - an interesting solution and most likely an attempt to correct two cyphering notes.

on a Steck.

** An unusual aluminium stack that I worked on recently. It’s design allowed for the removal of individual valves and pneumatics without major dismantling, as shown in the picture above. The valves were in remarkably clean condition belying their outward appearance. Believed to be a ‘Metalnola’ Action.

A very inventive place to hide a secret note. Inside the tracker valve box from an Aeolian.

Pictured below is an Ernst Kaps of Dresden Grand piano.

Finished in burr Walnut veneer. Prior to repolishing it had been hand painted in black enamel.

Apologies for the poor photographs, I couldn’t stand far enough away to fit the whole piano in!


An alternative valve arrangement from a Farrand Aeolian,


This arrangement makes it very easy to adjust valve travel by simply turning the seat up or down. I have set these fairly tight as the pneumatics are quite small on this model and the valve facings are ‘fluffy’ and likely to compress with use.

Higel Transmission

The remains of a cast metal transmission from a Higel that had seized due to distortion. It completely disintegrated when I tried to dismantle it. I fitted a spare Aeolian transmission to replace it making only some minor adjustments to spool height and tracking.

                                                       APPA  Expression box

This way up it all looks very familiar but the picture below shows a very different arrangement to those I have restored in the past, and there have been many! The rest of the action looks Aeolian made but not to their usual standard, the action is stamped APPA.



Sames Autopiano

This decorative Oak cased instrument can be seen and played at the Wellingborough Museum, Northants.

This recently restored Aeolian  pedal  or ‘Half’ Duo Art can be seen at “The Mayor’s Parlour” a cafe and well known art gallery in London’s East End. The owner decided he wanted the pianola to be a permanent feature at the venue and asked me to restore the player action in July 2013.

Unusual stringing on a Cramer upright.

My Steck PEDA on loan to the Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh for the Ross Birrell and David Harding Exhibition  ‘where language ends’ that ran in May 2015. The music roll was cut especially for the show, which has been to Mexico and Switzerland, by Julian Dyer in 2012.

“Copyright Talbot Rice Gallery. Photos: Chris Park”.

My Weber Duo Art on stage at the Dorfman Theatre. February 2018.

Steck Half Duo Art

Unusual hingeless stack pneumatics from an Autopiano player action installed in a small Trumph Autopiano.

Before and after recovering with new extra thin rubber cloth.

Steck PEDA