Author Topic: Hi I'm New Here!  (Read 311 times)

Offline christine1117

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Hi I'm New Here!
« on: September 22, 2021, 02:10:02 PM »
Hi everyone Christine here,
I've been an avid fan of all older keyboards, (because I grew up with them), LOL, and happy to be here. I think I've had every electric piano known to man at one point or another, but what I have left is what I think is a Wurlitzer 145 that has been sitting in my basement for at least 30 years that was given to me. (Kinda like the Minimoog Gary Neumann found in the upper part of his garage all covered with debris and Vines). And of course when I opened it up it was in pristine condition...NOT! But, it's not too bad, except for the enormous mouse nest on one side. So I cleaned it up, threw it on a variac to reform the caps and voila, it fired right up! So I need a little help... (you knew I was going to say that)... I have unfortunately 1 broken Reed, key 42. Well I can't find one anywhere, and I was wondering if any one has taken a similar sized one from another era and modified it to fit. I'm not afraid to do the modification, this girls has all the tools. So what do y'all think, and thank you! Christine.
Keyboards are my middle name...
Wurlitzer 145 Piano
Hammond RT-3 Organ
Hammond A-100 Organ
Hammond M-3 Organ
EML Electrocomp 101 synth
Minimoog S/N 1338 synth
Memorymoog synth
Memorymoog+ synth
VOX Continental (Italian) Organ
VOX Continental (American) Organ
1995 Fender Stratocaster (American)
Glock G44 Firearm.

Offline gacki

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Re: Hi I'm New Here!
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2021, 04:22:19 PM »
AFAIK Vintagevibe has reeds for the 145.

Offline jam88

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Re: Hi I'm New Here!
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2021, 01:47:20 PM »
Or, if you have a spare #21-#41 reed, it can be used for #42 by shortening it to fit (diagonal cutters, bench grinder or whatever) then adding or removing solder and shaping the solder until it is in tune.

It would be slightly shorter than your installed #41 reed. As described here, the #42 should be about 1/20" shorter than the #41.

https://ep-forum.com/smf/index.php?topic=9643.0

https://paleophone.net/?page_id=1896

https://www.tropicalfishvintage.com/blog/2020/5/7/how-to-tune-a-wurlitzer-electronic-piano-reed

You'll find that Steve Espinola ('paleophone' & 'Doc Wurly') and Jon Borducci ('Tropical Fish') are great resources.
120, 206 Chop, Baldwin, Gulbransen, Nord & Yamaha digitals, Antigua Strat, Selmer Mk VI, 10M Naked Lady, etc...

Offline christine1117

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Re: Hi I'm New Here!
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2021, 09:25:21 PM »
Or, if you have a spare #21-#41 reed, it can be used for #42 by shortening it to fit (diagonal cutters, bench grinder or whatever) then adding or removing solder and shaping the solder until it is in tune.
It would be slightly shorter than your installed #41 reed. As described here, the #42 should be about 1/20" shorter than the #41.

Thanks for the tip. Damn those reeds from vintage keys are $$$! I used to have tons of them, my dad was a piano tech, and we fixed a lot of these during the 60's 70's. But of course, who knows what happened. I'm also a former piano tech/tuner, and I still have my tools so the regulation should be a snap. I wish there were some other options for reeds. If I knew what kind of steel they're made of, I'd give it a shot at making my own. Right now I have it torn down and just ordered parts for the tube amp refresh and a balanced output. Thanks for the help!



« Last Edit: September 27, 2021, 09:28:29 PM by christine1117 »
Keyboards are my middle name...
Wurlitzer 145 Piano
Hammond RT-3 Organ
Hammond A-100 Organ
Hammond M-3 Organ
EML Electrocomp 101 synth
Minimoog S/N 1338 synth
Memorymoog synth
Memorymoog+ synth
VOX Continental (Italian) Organ
VOX Continental (American) Organ
1995 Fender Stratocaster (American)
Glock G44 Firearm.

Offline jam88

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Re: Hi I'm New Here!
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2021, 08:14:37 AM »
Yep VV reeds are expensive, but there when you need 'em.

Check Ebay. Someone usually has NOS reeds ror less. Right now, someone has NOS reeds for $7.50 + $3.25 shipping.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/372653110355?hash=item56c3db3453:g:vTsAAOSwqSJbWNZF
120, 206 Chop, Baldwin, Gulbransen, Nord & Yamaha digitals, Antigua Strat, Selmer Mk VI, 10M Naked Lady, etc...

Offline jam88

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Re: Hi I'm New Here!
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2021, 09:40:11 AM »
If I knew what kind of steel they're made of, I'd give it a shot at making my own.
I understand your comment about wanting to make reeds. I'm a retired mechanical engineer/metallurgist and have owned a number of Wurlitzers, continuously since the 1960's. Before the resurgence of interest in these pianos, I decided to make my own reeds. Identified Wurlitzer's original steel supplier and alloy, plotted the geometries, and pursued the process to shape the reeds that would prevent stress-raising/decarbing/annealing. Wound up making hundreds of reeds of all styles. I considered selling reeds as a cottage industry in my retirement, but decided against complicating my leisure.

I had the advantage of being employed for decades by defense contractors, with access to CMM, solid modeling, FEA, FFT harmonic analysis, metallurgical laboratory, etc. Also, my position gave me enough weight with vendors to source small quantities of the alloy steel from the European steel producer. (I needed pounds, they like to ship TONS.)

So now I have hundreds of reed blanks, sitting on the shelf, both 120-style and 140/200-style. The unit cost was fairly negligible.

Where I'm going with this:
Reed steel is VERY hard. Not easy to effectively shape without serious capital equipment. Unless you have access to industrial processes, I'd advise against trying to make your own, just for a few reeds.

When you take this deep a dive into reeds, you begin to discover many, many things that Wurlitzer got wrong WRT reed longevity :'(.

120, 206 Chop, Baldwin, Gulbransen, Nord & Yamaha digitals, Antigua Strat, Selmer Mk VI, 10M Naked Lady, etc...

Offline christine1117

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Re: Hi I'm New Here!
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2021, 01:29:54 PM »
If I knew what kind of steel they're made of, I'd give it a shot at making my own.
I understand your comment about wanting to make reeds. I'm a retired mechanical engineer/metallurgist and have owned a number of Wurlitzers, continuously since the 1960's. Before the resurgence of interest in these pianos, I decided to make my own reeds. Identified Wurlitzer's original steel supplier and alloy, plotted the geometries, and pursued the process to shape the reeds that would prevent stress-raising/decarbing/annealing. Wound up making hundreds of reeds of all styles. I considered selling reeds as a cottage industry in my retirement, but decided against complicating my leisure.

I had the advantage of being employed for decades by defense contractors, with access to CMM, solid modeling, FEA, FFT harmonic analysis, metallurgical laboratory, etc. Also, my position gave me enough weight with vendors to source small quantities of the alloy steel from the European steel producer. (I needed pounds, they like to ship TONS.)

So now I have hundreds of reed blanks, sitting on the shelf, both 120-style and 140/200-style. The unit cost was fairly negligible.

Where I'm going with this:
Reed steel is VERY hard. Not easy to effectively shape without serious capital equipment. Unless you have access to industrial processes, I'd advise against trying to make your own, just for a few reeds.

When you take this deep a dive into reeds, you begin to discover many, many things that Wurlitzer got wrong WRT reed longevity :'(.


I certainly would like to talk to you about this. Depending on the cost, i'd like enough for a refresh, and some spares. I'm an engineer also, I'm good with my hands, and fully equipped with tools. We should talk about your stash. I'm retired and have lots of time on my hands. Right now I just need 1, #41 for a 145 piano to get this project off the ground. Would you be able to help me out? Blanks are perfectly OK. Thanks!
Keyboards are my middle name...
Wurlitzer 145 Piano
Hammond RT-3 Organ
Hammond A-100 Organ
Hammond M-3 Organ
EML Electrocomp 101 synth
Minimoog S/N 1338 synth
Memorymoog synth
Memorymoog+ synth
VOX Continental (Italian) Organ
VOX Continental (American) Organ
1995 Fender Stratocaster (American)
Glock G44 Firearm.

Offline drpepper

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Re: Hi I'm New Here!
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2021, 04:46:49 PM »
If I knew what kind of steel they're made of, I'd give it a shot at making my own.
I understand your comment about wanting to make reeds. I'm a retired mechanical engineer/metallurgist and have owned a number of Wurlitzers, continuously since the 1960's. Before the resurgence of interest in these pianos, I decided to make my own reeds. Identified Wurlitzer's original steel supplier and alloy, plotted the geometries, and pursued the process to shape the reeds that would prevent stress-raising/decarbing/annealing. Wound up making hundreds of reeds of all styles. I considered selling reeds as a cottage industry in my retirement, but decided against complicating my leisure.

I had the advantage of being employed for decades by defense contractors, with access to CMM, solid modeling, FEA, FFT harmonic analysis, metallurgical laboratory, etc. Also, my position gave me enough weight with vendors to source small quantities of the alloy steel from the European steel producer. (I needed pounds, they like to ship TONS.)

So now I have hundreds of reed blanks, sitting on the shelf, both 120-style and 140/200-style. The unit cost was fairly negligible.

Where I'm going with this:
Reed steel is VERY hard. Not easy to effectively shape without serious capital equipment. Unless you have access to industrial processes, I'd advise against trying to make your own, just for a few reeds.

When you take this deep a dive into reeds, you begin to discover many, many things that Wurlitzer got wrong WRT reed longevity :'(.

This sounds interesting, have you posted your findings somewhere?
Would love to learn more on what Wurlitzer got wrong.

But I agree the metal needs to be really hard, I hear people have had some success with hacksaw blades, but for a for a small number of reeds I would just stick with a vender produced reeds.
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Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335