September 12, 2010

Anatomy of a pedalboard

The fellow I got it from told me he figured it had come from a Möller, based on the key ends, if I recall correctly. We live in a second-floor apartment. Getting back home that night, I hauled it up into our front stair until the next day, when I would figure out how to get it up to our attic.

Next day, I took a look at it. I knew it would be impractical to lift the whole thing, so I decided to remove the pedal keys to lighten the load. This also gave me a chance to see the way the pedalboard was constructed - a bit different from the ones I'd seen detailed on other folks' websites.

(I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures; I haven't yet installed decent lights up in the attic.)

Instead of riding on a pin in the front end (the one behind the organist and farthest from the body of the console), the keys are dadoed, and a thick strip of metal screwed into the key and the front key bed. This also serves as the return spring, as opposed to other pedalboards I've seen, which used a separate torsion spring, just like pallet springs.

In the middle of the keys is a knife-like piece of metal...

...which shorts out the wire contacts on a board spanning the width of the pedalboard. These'll need some love. If I understand correctly, the multiple contacts allow easy coupling in pre-solid-state wiring. The camera is looking at the pressboard plate screwed to the top of the rail, covering the solder joints and cabling.

In the rear (console) end of the keys is a felted slot (well, it once was felted...) which slides over pins sunk into the frame of the pedalboard.

Interestingly several of the sharps were chipped; they are apparently made of some plastic-type material. Where'd I put that Bondo...

I was able to get my shoulder under the frame of the pedalboard and carry it upstairs with only about the top octave removed. And here it is! (With a random board resting on the end)
Next time: my pathetic proto-console.

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