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Re-felting pedal board

Building organ consoles for use with Hauptwerk, adding MIDI to existing consoles, obtaining parts, ...
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fdewitt

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Re-felting pedal board

PostWed Dec 30, 2020 4:23 pm

I have purchased a roll of felt to do this. However, I am not sure how to go about it. I also need to adjust the tension on my pedal board. Thanks for any suggestions.

Floyd
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profeluisegarcia

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Re: Re-felting pedal board

PostThu Dec 31, 2020 6:57 am

Hello¡ Simple: take a look in YT at: diy organ pedalboard
Regards,
Luis
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fdewitt

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Re: Re-felting pedal board

PostFri Jan 01, 2021 7:44 am

Thanks for the suggestions.
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larason2

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Re: Re-felting pedal board

PostFri Jan 01, 2021 9:20 am

I’ve never done it myself, but I thought I would post my thoughts in case they are helpful! I would measure the existing felt, and cut the new felt to size first off. The old felt has to be removed. The old school way was to use horse glue, in which case all you have to do is heat the glue and the felt will come right off. If this doesn’t work, you can try a straight edge razor blade to scrape off the old glue and felt. For an easily replaceable glue, you can try fish glue. It is what some use now for glueing on pneumatic leathers. There are probably other glues that would work, but I have no experience with them. You need something thick and tacky to get into the pores of the felt.

For adjusting the tension of a pedal board, it really depends on what the design is. I had a Yamaha pedal board, where all your had to do was tighten some screws. Some pedal boards have a mechanism for tightening the springs that rotates. In others, you have to replace the leaf springs or coil springs to effectively tighten. There are other mechanisms too, if you post a picture of the pedal mechanism, we would be able to help you more.
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robsig

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Re: Re-felting pedal board

PostSat Jan 02, 2021 8:33 pm

I bought an old pedal-board from a church organ (Casavant, early 20th c). I just ripped off the old felt (measured it first), and cleaned up the stuck glue with a chisel and plane. (Don't take off any more than you need to.) I glued the new felt with carpenter's yellow glue. Try not to put on too much, as it will make the felt hard (and noisy).

On most pedalboards the tension is adjusted by turning the screw at the back of the pedal which holds it onto the base. The board across the back of the pedalboard unscrews to allow access to the adjustment screws. You will probably need to take the pedal keys off anyway to refelt them. The traditional manner of organ-builders for adjusting the tension is to use a standard lead weight to push down the keys. I had access to these weights when I rebuilt my pedal-board, but have given them back so I can't tell you how much they weighed. If the touch is too light notes will play accidentally when you graze the keys. Conversely, if the touch is too hard it will be tiring to play and notes won't play when you expect them to. It only takes a slight movement of the screw to make a difference in the tension. If you don't like the result you can fiddle with it ad infinitum.

You might like to change all the felts, wherever there is noise occurring. It's important to get the right felt which is durable, quiet and the right thickness/hardness for each place. There is felt under the keys for when the note is played, and above, for when the note comes back up. The felt may not be the same for both areas. Make sure the felt is the right thickness so the note goes down as far as you want for comfort, that all the notes play, etc. It sounds complicated but it's actually quite simple and is not difficult to do.

Good luck and enjoy your new quiet playing experience!
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robsig

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Re: Re-felting pedal board

PostMon Jan 04, 2021 11:58 am

I don't know what I was thinking; one doesn't remove the pedal keys to refelt them. In fact the felt goes on the boards above and below the keys.

Still the keys will have to be removed to access the felt…

I'm too used to working on harpsichords.

RS
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jkinkennon

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Re: Re-felting pedal board

PostTue Jan 05, 2021 9:19 am

Often it is just the felt above the pedals which is severely compressed leading to noise as pedals are released. In many cases that felt can be replaced without removing the pedals. It's a bit tedious to get the new felt snaked into place but easier than removing pedals. While hide glue or fish glue is ideal most of us do not keep expensive glue pots on hand to heat the stuff. I use the hot glue sticks that are common in crafting and sewing. It doesn't soak into the felt and does set up quickly. It can be removed with a little scraping if necessary.
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magnaton

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Re: Re-felting pedal board

PostTue Jan 05, 2021 5:59 pm

To get the proper tension, you can take a normal 750L empty wine bottle, fill it half way with water to use as a weight measure. Placed it on the sharps and the naturals close to the sharps, tighten the tension spring so the pedal is just able to support (lift) the wine bottle. I done a few this way and the tension is uniform and very close to standard.

Danny B.
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larason2

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Re: Re-felting pedal board

PostTue Jan 05, 2021 6:18 pm

I may be in error, but I don’t think fish glue requires heating, whereas hide glue certainly does. I have no experience with either, I’m basing this on what I have read in the past. Columbia organ leathers recommends fish glue for gluing on their pneumatic hides, so I would think it would work for this task. I have found fish glue at a local wood working supply store.

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