Anatomy of a WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ

TOOLS

A variable speed cordless drill is very useful. There should not be much need to drill holes during the restoration of an instrument but during installation there is likely to be many chances to use it as a drill.

The other function these tools were designed for was as a power screwdriver. There will be plenty of opportunities to use this function. Certainly helped during the removal process. The problem with power screwdrivers is the ease that they can, if the operator is not perfect, cause damage to the timber and the screws if the screwdriver blade slips out of the screw slot. They also have the ability to over tighten the screws very quickly and strip the threads. Generally I have used a normal screwdriver during the rebuild to reduce the risk of me causing damage to the timber, especially after it has been refinished.

A very useful thing it can do is disassemble and assemble valves. Holding the valve stem in the chuck makes it easy to hold and the drill can do all the turning for you. The small duck-bill pliers hold the wire nuts with much less wear on the fingers.

Another use is for cleaning the heads of the screws ready for painting, particularly the round head screws. Spinning the screws in the drill and applying sandpaper is a lot quicker, safer and less damaging to the fingers than trying to grip the screw and rub it on the sandpaper. With a keyless chuck it is quick to insert and remove the screws and they can be held quite tightly enough without damaging the threads.

It makes a nice change to take the drill outside, sit on the lawn under a tree, and work over a set of valves or some screws.

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