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Re-bushing pedalboard

Building organ consoles for use with Hauptwerk, adding MIDI to existing consoles, obtaining parts, ...
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sb1982

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Re-bushing pedalboard

PostFri May 12, 2023 6:01 am

Hello!

I'm new to this forum - I'm really a pianist (sorry!), but I used to play the organ when I was a teenager for church services. I'm just beginning to build a DIY console for Hauptwerk with a view to hopefully getting my organ playing back up to scratch!

I have a set of pedals that I've MIDI-fied with reed switches. I was just fiddling with it yesterday and I thought I really should sort out the slight lateral wobble the pedals seem to have now rather than after everything is built!

Looking at the pedals, each pedal seems to each pass between 2 vertical dowels at very the toe end which keep the pedals straight, and I can see that each pedal is wrapped in some sort of bushing material where it passes between these dowels (it feels like thick PTFE tape to be honest, but it can't be - it's far too old for that!). Anyway, I presume this is what needs replacing. I was wondering about what to use and I see that you can get piano bushing felt in different thicknesses, which seems like it might be the sort of thing to use.

Do you think piano bushing felt is a reasonable material to use, and - if so - has anyone got any ideas as to what sort of glue to use to attach it to the pedals?

Thanks ever so much for any tips you're able to give me!

I'll hope to put a bit of a build blog together as I go!


*edited to add: to be absolutely honest, there's a part of me that's wondering about trying duct tape as a bushing material, although I feel guilty on some level for even suggesting using such a thing :twisted: :shock:
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NickNelson

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Re: Re-bushing pedalboard

PostFri May 12, 2023 10:02 am

sb1982 wrote:Looking at the pedals, each pedal seems to each pass between 2 vertical dowels at very the toe end which keep the pedals straight, and I can see that each pedal is wrapped in some sort of bushing material where it passes between these dowels (it feels like thick PTFE tape to be honest, but it can't be - it's far too old for that!). Anyway, I presume this is what needs replacing. I was wondering about what to use and I see that you can get piano bushing felt in different thicknesses, which seems like it might be the sort of thing to use.


My suggestion, for a fairly traditional approach, would be to use thin leather. There would be no harm in applying a generous dose of powdered graphite as a lubricant as well. Evo-stick would be a pretty permanent adhesive, but possible to remove, with some difficulty, if necessary.


Nick
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Mixtuur4st

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Re: Re-bushing pedalboard

PostFri May 12, 2023 10:18 am

Just use felt of appropriate thickness: I never saw something else on pedalboards for electronic organs.

Jack.
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sb1982

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Re: Re-bushing pedalboard

PostSat May 13, 2023 5:31 am

Thanks for the replies! I think I'll probably try felt in the first instance, since I have no experience of working with leather! The evostick seems a good idea - I'll get some of that. Fiddling with the pedalboard again yesterday, I noticed a couple of the pedals were able to twist more than I'd like as well, so I'll have to have a good old poke around when I open it up and see what I can do!
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robsig

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Re: Re-bushing pedalboard

PostWed May 17, 2023 8:40 am

I would put the felt/leather on the uprights rather than the pedals. If you’re using yellow or white liquid glue (Elmer’s, Lepage, etc) don’t use too much, otherwise the felt will get hard. (Put glue on both mating surfaces, but lightly. Don’t push the felt hard onto the wood, just firmly enough for it to stick. It’s better to make the contact between pedal and uprights tight but not enough to interfere with the movement. The felt or leather will wear down over time, or if there is friction you can rub the pedal hard against the uprights to open up a little breathing room. There might also be noise where the top of the pedal contacts the rail above it, often that felt needs replacing. Also the felt beneath the back of the pedals.

Organ supply stores have appropriate felt, leather, rubber for these adjustments. It’s important to find materials of the right thickness, hardness and durability. Different felts are made for specific applications. An organ-builder friend of mine brought a piece of felt for fixing my pedals. As it turned out, I didn’t like the feel of the material and switched it for the original material. If you don’t like the feel of the pedals you can turn the screws at the back to make them more or less resistant. (Too little resistance might be easier to play but you will make audible mistakes when you graze a pedal unintentionally). Organ-makers use weights on the pedals to gauge the resistance and make the settings uniform, but your own judgement will do just fine.

Good luck!

RS

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