Universal Player Piano Co.
...of California has been out of
business for over 20 years.
I found an outlet for replacement valve lifters and proceeded to refurbish the
With the expert help from Mr. Omiatek, QRSmusic.com, what follows are highlights of some very intricate custom manufacturing:
Inside are two "stacks" (aluminum colored boxes) which house the valves that control the pneumatic actuation:
Here are the valve "pouches" which move the pneumatic valves which
port the vacuum to each of the key-bellow lifter shown above:
(27 of the 43 pouches were leaking)
Here are the replacement "pouches":
The original pouches had neoprene spacers which pushed up on the ends of push-rods
that were guided by a strip of drilled wood, which were then fitted with neoprene valves :
Since the original Zephyrę skins are no longer sold retail, I had
to use replacement leather
which was 0.010in thick, very pliable and tanned to make a good seal against air leaking.
The butt end of an LED flashlight with a domed button made the EXACT dome shape needed for the pouch.
Here you can only partially see the
entire stack with new
(Pouch installation tool - wooden shovel handle cut off at the proper diameter of the pouch)
Then the new valve pushers and valve seats need to be installed:
To get here, there were a bunch of steps:
There was a quality test - to see if the pouches had the reaction time along with the durability.
This Movie clip pretty much explains the reaction time plus the longevity of the leather pouch.
This movie clip pretty much demonstrates
what steps were in the process:
(reload the page to restart the movie clip if you missed it)