Anatomy of a WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ


Following on from the Glock the obvious next part was the Xylophone. This is much the same action, slightly rearranged to have the bars horizontal instead of vertical, with re-it contacts added for each note. There are also 37 notes instead of only 30 so there are a few more parts.

This time I stamped a number into each side of each pneumatic and its spring plate as I dismantled it. Re-assembly was much easier.

I did retune these bars to be much closer than they were but it is not possible to get them as close as the Glock because they seem to vary considerably with how they are struck and with the temperature. The bars were washed off, sanded very lightly to get off the rest of the dirt and given a coat of shellac.

The hammer heads were originally dipped in shellac after they were mounted on their springs. The result was a very uneven thick coverage on the wood and a tide mark up the spring. Sanding the heads back was very fiddly but the result of a few carefully applied fresh coats of shellac is worth the effort.

The re-it contact wires were replaced, in the original blocks, and new wiring run via the re-it contacts as it was originally done. An additional cable has been provided directly to the magnets so that single or re-it action can be selected by re-plugging the cables, or by an extra switch on the switch stack. Although the WurliTzer standard for their Xylophones was to have them reiterate that is no longer fashionable, although most live percussionist still seem to do it. There are various methods used to disable the reiteration but keeping the operation as it was intended while adding the option of single stroke use is a more reasonable compromise.

Time for the Xylophone was about 290 hours.



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