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Toe Piston Construction

Building organ consoles for use with Hauptwerk, adding MIDI to existing consoles, obtaining parts, ...
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  • Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:48 am
  • Location: Hampshire, UK

Toe Piston Construction

PostMon Jun 08, 2020 4:06 am

Here's an idea for a DIY toe piston if anyone is struggling with how to build one and avoid paying large sums for new ones. I tried all sorts of combinations, but this one works really well and looks the part too.

The base is a 54mm plumbing copper stop end. The switch is a 40mm diameter momentary bellows switch made by Herga and used in medical equipment applications. The switch can be screwed to the top of the stop end with the wire out of sight inside the 'pipe'. The whole unit can be let into a nice timber piston panel into which the correct size hole has been cut (a challenge unless you have the right tool). The copper looks great when polished up.

The switch doesn't have any significant travel, but is sturdy and completely silent. The action is more of a tap than a push so extremely quick to operate. Here are some links to the components. I used RS components for the switch as I am in the UK.

Contact me if you want a picture.
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  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: Toe Piston Construction

PostMon Jun 08, 2020 5:51 am

For an older (and rather clunkier) approach, you could look here:





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Re: Toe Piston Construction

PostTue Jun 09, 2020 12:57 pm

Another approach is to use guitar pedal parts. My old Wurlitzer toe studs had fractured and and were not salvageable. I bought guitar pedal switches for about 3 dollars a piece and pedal caps which vary from about 7 to 10 dollars a piece and mounted them on sites of the old ones. Image
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David Baldwin


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  • Location: Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, UK

Re: Toe Piston Construction

PostWed Jun 10, 2020 3:33 am

I have built Nick Nelson's design with 7 piston either side of the swell pedals. With the addition of a teensy board, they work very well.
(Dr.) David G. Baldwin

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