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Kimball Valve Seats

For the first time since the 1920's era Kimball player system ceased being manufactured, replacement valve seats are now available. These are the 'screw-in' type seats that were originally molded out of Bakelite or some other type of early 'plastic-type' material. The replacement seats were made by two different private companies. The seats without the cross bar were machined from Delrin. The seats with the cross bar were printed with a 3-D printer.

Kimball Seat with Cross-Bar


Original Seat from three views


3-D Printed Seat from three views


Lapping the valve seat
NOTE: In the video, I call the part a valve facing. But, it's actually a valve seat!

The reason I made the video is because the new valve seats with the cross bar are being sold "as is". They must be lapped before they can be used. If you want me to lap them for you, the additional cost is $1.50 per seat. Sold 'as is', the cost is $6.25 per seat. FYI, I also had a few of these made by Shapeways, and they charged me $6.46 per piece plus $4.99 shipping. I only had 200 of these parts printed. To place an order for this part, click here and type 'Kimball Seat w/ Bar' in the Item box.

Kimball Seat without Cross-Bar


Delrin Seat from three views

The Delrin seats could not be printed because of the shape of the area where the valve facing seats. Notice that the surface is rounded. And, while a 3-D printer can print the rounded shape, the area was rough like it is in the video. That being the case, a 3-D printed version of this seat would likewise have to be lapped, which would make the area where the facing seats 'flat' instead of 'rounded'. This was deemed unacceptable and explains why the part was machined instead of printed. The cost for this part is $10.00. I only had 50 of these producted. Also, the man who made them said it was unlikely that he would do the job again. To place an order for this part, click here and type 'Kimball Seat w/o Bar' in the Item box.

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This page was last revised May 14, 2018 by John A. Tuttle, who Assumes No Liability
For The Accuracy or Validity of the Statements and/or Opinions
Expressed within the Pages of the Player-Care Domain.
Cartoon Graphics by E7 Style Graphics (Eric Styles)


Since "Player-Care" is an internet business, I prefer that we correspond via E-Mail (click here to fill out the 'Request Form'). However, if I'm not in the middle of some other activity, you can reach me at 732-840-8787. But please understand that during the hours from 8AM-5PM EST (Mon-Sat), I'm generally quite busy. So, I probably won't answer the phone. If you get the answering machine, please leave a detailed message stating the reason for your call. Also, repeat your name and phone number clearly and distinctly. By necessity, I prioritize everything in my life. And, if you call and just leave your name and number, and ask me to call you back, it might be a day or two before I return your call. Why? Because I don't know why you want me to call and I might not be prepared to assist you in an effective and efficient manner. If you leave me an E-Mail address (which I prefer), spell it out phonetically. The more you do to help me, the more I can help you in return. Don't rush. You have four minutes to record your message.



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