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Hinge Points On Pedals


martin_greenwood
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I've recently acquired a second hand console which I am adapting to use as a practice instrument at home. Unfortunately the pedal action on the "new" pedalboard is very flimsy compared to my previous pedalboard, the latter which is slightly too large to fit in the new console.

 

Looking at my old pedalboard, the rear of each pedal has a 10*5mm vertical slot drilled down through each pedal. The rear of the pedalboard itself has a series of short steel vertical rods sticking up from the base of the frame, onto which the vertial slot in each pedal is seated. Thus the pedal is not permitted to twist, though the slight change in angle from raised to depressed pedal position is accomodated by the rod being in a slot as opposed to simple drilled hole. This seems to work very effectively.

 

The "new" pedalboard uses altogether different approach. Extending along the base of each pedal is screwed a 20*60mm steel fixing plate; 1/2 on the pedal, 1/2 extending beyond the pedal. The 1/2 that extends beyond the pedal has then been screwed onto the rear frame of the pedalboard. Thus the hingeing effect is achieved by the fixing plate having to bend slightly each time the pedal is depressed. In practice this isn't 100% restricting movement to just the vertical plane, since the spring effect of the fixing plate is also allowing a small amount of lateral twist. I do also worry about metal fatigue, and whether one day a fixing plate will just snap in two. I'm really not convinced by this particular hingeing method.

 

I'm considering how to improve the hingeing on this "new" pedalboard, and would be interested to hear of any other approaches that are typically used.

 

Thanks.

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The "new" pedalboard uses altogether different approach. Extending along the base of each pedal is screwed a 20*60mm steel fixing plate; 1/2 on the pedal, 1/2 extending beyond the pedal. The 1/2 that extends beyond the pedal has then been screwed onto the rear frame of the pedalboard. Thus the hingeing effect is achieved by the fixing plate having to bend slightly each time the pedal is depressed. In practice this isn't 100% restricting movement to just the vertical plane, since the spring effect of the fixing plate is also allowing a small amount of lateral twist. I do also worry about metal fatigue, and whether one day a fixing plate will just snap in two. I'm really not convinced by this particular hingeing method.

 

I'm considering how to improve the hingeing on this "new" pedalboard, and would be interested to hear of any other approaches that are typically used.

 

Thanks.

Hello 'Squinius',

Without seeing your actual pedal board it is difficult to offer advice. However, the sprung steel hinge you have is a very common method of pedal board construction that has been in use for well over a hundred years. I've never found a broken one. Certainly the amount of movement the plate undergoes is very unlikely to cause cyclic fatigue. Metal fatigue can also be caused by corrosion and other factors but I am assuming you were referring to fatigue caused by repeated tension and compression.

If the amount of twist affects your playing you should first check that the screws holding the plates to the pedals and frame are tight. Then investigate the other end of the pedals where they should pass through a register of either wood or metal. If it consists of metal rods separating each pedal, there may be leather around the pedal at this point, or sometimes felt, to reduce any sideways movement (and twist). This also limits noise. There will also be thick felt pads beneath. If the leather is absent, you may be able to improve things by adding some. With a wooden register, excess pedal 'play' is usually rectified by glueing shims of hard wood to the sides of the register reducing the space between the register bars and the pedals.

It is often the case that pedal boards supplied with electronic organs are not always as robust as those built for pipe organs.

It was not clear from your post which type your practice organ is.

 

Hope this helps.

David

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David

 

Thanks for your response and suggestions. Being from a decommissioned pipe organ, my original pedalboard is as you predicted very robust.

 

The "new" pedalboard and console were, I gather, built a number of years ago in Scotland by an amateur organist / joiner / electronic engineer. There is some nice solid oak in the console and good joinery, and from the quality of workmanship he was clearly a talented chap. I've stripped out the insides and am replacing it with my own 3 manual stack and control system so that I can use it as a home practice instrument with the Hauptwerk digital system (I failed to persuade my wife to let me install a house pipe organ).

 

As you suggested I've checked the mounting screws for tightness and they seem OK, so I think that the wobble on some pedals is probably a wear and tear issue on the felt and leather at the console end of the pedals. I'll have a look at renewing this and/or including the hard wood shims that you mentioned.

 

Any suggestions for where I could source the felt/leather from?

 

Many thanks.

 

 

 

P.S. I am really impressed with this forum. Whilst it is clearly frequented by highly experienced organists and organ builders, I appreciate the tolerance and support shown to those such as myself, who though far less experienced, are no less enthusiastic about pipe organs.

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Any suggestions for where I could source the felt/leather from?

 

It might be worth paying a visit to your nearest organ builder. When things are going well in the works they can be very friendly people and you may well be given a few off-cuts of both felt and leather, or be able to buy what you need from them. Felt can be bought from craft shops, but you may have difficulty finding the right thickness.

Again, I stress, that without seeing the actual design of the pedal board it is difficult to say exactly what material you may need in order to prevent the wobble and if it was, as you say, a non-standard design the wobble may be inherent.

 

I agree with you that this forum has a wide range of talent, but most have a specific field and that may just be an interest in the organ. People are free to offer whatever advice or opinions they want, and usually will be 'corrected' if somebody has a different view!

 

Good luck with your wobble!

 

David

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  • 2 weeks later...
squinius,

 

It would be interesting to hear about your Hauptwerk project. E.g what sort of problems have you had? Are you using drawstops or tabs, or a touch screen for control? What about thumb and toe pistons etc? Have you managed to find suitable amplifiers and speakers?

 

I am considering a similar project, and it would be very interested in any advice. If you prefer, please send me an e-mail.

 

Regards.

Will send you a PM.

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squinius,

 

It would be interesting to hear about your Hauptwerk project. E.g what sort of problems have you had? Are you using drawstops or tabs, or a touch screen for control? What about thumb and toe pistons etc? Have you managed to find suitable amplifiers and speakers?

 

I am considering a similar project, and it would be very interested in any advice. If you prefer, please send me an e-mail.

 

Regards.

 

Hi

 

You also might like to consider joining the Electronic Organ Constructors' Society (www.eocs.org.uk) - there are people there with planty of experience of Haupwerk, and there is also an alternative (and very impressive) system available only to members.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Thank you squinius for your PM. I hope my reply has reached you OK.

 

Hi

 

You also might like to consider joining the Electronic Organ Constructors' Society (www.eocs.org.uk) - there are people there with planty of experience of Haupwerk, and there is also an alternative (and very impressive) system available only to members.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

Thanks Tony for your suggestion. I shall investigate.

 

Best regards,

 

Janner.

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