Reply To: Juliett Pianola Project

Alan Brinton

Replacement of key stop strips, reassembly of keyboard:

I have decided to use Vacuum Gasket Tape For Clamping, 3/8″ x 1/8″, from Veneer Supplies, cut into narrower strips, to replace both the reed chamber main gasket and the key stop strips. It is easily applied. In this case, I used the short steel ruler to push the adhesive side evenly and securely into place.

Remounting of the keys involves positioning the key so that its pad meets its air hole and then reattaching the spring. The configuration of each key mechanism is fitted to its place on the keyboard. So keys should be kept in order. Reattaching the springs is a bit trickier with this melodica since it has relatively high spring tension (adjustable, but not in need of adjustment in this case).

The next two photos show a white key that is higher than the other white keys. It was one of two. I don’t Try to address this issue unless it is fairly significant, since it requires bending the key mechanism, which is easy but does involve some risk. With this instrument (and most Italian models), the metal arm on which the key pad is mounted has to be bent slightly inward toward the front of the key. It looks like it wouldn’t bend that way, but it does. Once the key is remounted, the front of the key will probably be too low, in which case it needs to be pulled up very slightly and gently, a small bit at a time, until the key top matches the others. The key mechanisms of other melodicas are different, but some such adjustment is often a way to even up the keys. While we’re at it, if spaces between keys are uneven, this can almost always be easily fix by depressing the closer adjacent key down and pushing the offending key slightly in the other direction.

And so here is our cleaned, newly cushioned and neatly remounted keyboard.

Next: Main reed chamber gasket replacement.

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