Reed Organ Repair: A generic approach (4)

When this bottom joint of the reservoir cover is thoroughly made, take a break! Take an especially long one, if the springs are to go on the inside. One way to be sure a joint is "done" is to feel it with a sensitive part of your hand: if it is "cold and clammy", it is NOT ready. If possible, leave this overnight - then you will be sure!

Working through the still-open ends of the reservoir, insert the springs *carefully*: you will have marked them earlier to know which one is which, and which point impinges which part of the reservoir. Wiggle these a bit to be sure they are well "dug in".

You will now remove whatever contraption you made up to hold the reservoir open; it will now *stay* open because of the springs, and will stretch the rubber-cloth tightly. But if the springs are outside, you'll need to move your props "around the corner", being careful NOT to punch any hole in the new material (except on the glue joint itself).

The next step is pretty obvious: you'll wrap first one end, then the other, gluing both surfaces first. First, without glue, pull the flap of material into place, moving the free end to and fro until both corners pull tight. Use a piece of masking tape to indicate where the fabric will lie *after* gluing. Then apply ample glue to both wood parts, and pull the cloth back into position in such a way that it contacts the glue where it will actually lie, avoiding contact elsewhere. Work the joints down carefully, and apply the strip of wood over the joint (if there was one). Leave the excess on the movable part for later.

With both *ends* done, and well set up, you can begin the trimming operation. A *fresh* razor-blade, applied from the outside of the cloth, and run quite flat along the wood will trim off the excess neatly. On the other hand, if the material is folded over on to the face, this can be done now, working the joint down tight, and mitering the corners. Then trim the excess, using a *sharp* blade against a straight-edge, and taking off excess glue with a rag and hot water.

Lastly, "close" the reservoir where the ends of the cloth fold over, using your notes to guide you on how it was done originally. There is usually a seal strip over the hinge, though this *may* go on *after* the exhausters are covered: again, your notes will tell you how to proceed.

Applying the outside springs and any small wooden guides for them will complete the covering of the reservoir. Be proud to show your friends what a neat job you did, and how much it looks like the original.

Continued in Part 5.

Revised 01/2001; Copyright 2001 James B. Tyler