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The process of repairing one Pianolodeon
Written by Arnold Landvoigt

Following our exchange back in January, I wanted to give you an update.

First, the motor bearings were also the problem on the Piano Lodeon which I was
working on. As far as removing the bushings to clean them up, I would advise folks
to try to reach in and pry on the actual bushings, not on the pot metal housing.
Using a combination of tapping on the end of the shaft, cushioned with a block of
hard wood, while prying on the bushing, I was able to get everything apart. After
cleaning up the shaft with a very fine (1200 grit wet/dry paper), and soaking the
felts in the pot-metal housings with sewing machine oil, as well as oiling the actual
shaft & bushings, it ran fine.

Next I pulled the various vanes free of the plenum and blew everything clean.
I put it all back together with powdered graphite on the pivot points.

My next step was trying to address closing the gap between the fan and the felt
on the plenum. However, I found it easy to create too much drag between the
two. It was at this point, while observing the motor/fan/plenum assembly in
operation from the side, that I realized that the fan shaft had a LOT of end play.
This is when the light went off and I realized that the fan-felt interface was acting
as a thrust bearing surface, limiting the movement of the shaft/fan assembly
up against the plenum felt. The vacuum of the fan is pulling it into contact with
the felt washer. With this in mind, I realized that I needed to minimize the friction
between the two. The felt surface on mine was fine, so it had to be the fan which
to address.

The fan surface which had been in contact for decades was a ring of black deposits, 
rough and scored. I then removed the fan (yet again), and polished that area with a
folded 600 grit wet/dry paper, well wetted. I followed this with two steps of plastic
polishes my wife had picked up at The Container Store. In the end, the surface of
the fan was quite smooth and only a few deep scores remained.

I then put the fan back on the shaft, but with a #10 flat washer on the motor shaft
clip which the fan mounts against. This closed the gap between the fan and the felt
surface of the plenum. I could still see daylight between the two. However, when
I turned on the power, I could watch the motor spin up, and the fan pull up against
the plenum felt. I have come to believe that minimizing the friction of this dry bearing
surface is key to getting one of these operating well. I don't remember seeing this
addressed by others.

The last piece was to replace the belt with one listed on e-bay (seller - george1780),
for $5.50.

The instrument now runs well, and I believe the fan noise is reduced. I'm attaching
a few pics from my fan polishing process.

Thanks for your encouragement and putting so much information on-line.

Arn Landvoigt

EDITORS NOTE: The correct size tubing for the trackerbar is 1/4" ID (#8) player piano tubing -click here. You will need 20 feet of tubing.

Here are links to all the information I've collected
about the Piano-Lodeon Toy Player Piano:
Page 1 - Rebuilding Chein PianoLodeon By Mike Kitner
Page 2 - Piano-Lodeon Rollography Update By Jack M. Conway
Page 3 - Piano-Lodeon's Lost Potential By Mike Knudsen
Page 4 - Piano-Lodeon Rolls & Imperial Ind. Co. By Douglas Henderson
Page 5 - Extra information about the PianoLodeon
Page 6 - Piano-Lodeon: Repair Information by John A Tuttle
Page 7 - Piano-Lodeon: Colors and Years by Dale F Rowe
Page 8 - Repairing the Pianolodeon by Arnold Landvoigt
Page 9 - Rebuilding Chein PianoLodeon By Jim Quashnock
Page 10 - Replacing Tubing and Drive Belt

Player Piano Reference Materials - Click Here

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This page was last revised March 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.
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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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