Antique Mechanical Restorations
Restorations Since 1973

Link AX Coin Piano

    Very rare Link Model AX coin piano. All keyboard Link pianos are extremely hard to come by. The stained glass front is all original including the three dimensional lamps. This model contains piano, mandolin rail, 32 note reiterating xylophone, snare drum with three beaters, triangle, wood block with two beaters and combination tambourine/tom-tom. 
    The present owner purchased this machine after it had been fully restored. The mechanism failed within the first year. I was hired to restore the entire player mechanism again, as well as the piano action, the finish and stringing were left alone from the previous restoration.

    Everyone enjoys watching the endless rolls loop around on a Link. Andless rolls have advantages over rewind rolls in a number of ways. There is no down time as there is when a standard coin piano roll is rewinding, Link pianos are always ready to play a tune. In play/rewind type rolls, arrangers have to compensate for tempo speed up as paper builds up on the take up spool and changes its diameter, Link music is always arranged at a steady tempo. Fifteen songs can fit on one roll instead of ten. 

    Most Link music was arranged by Ray Deyo, it is very distinctive and enjoyable. 

     A flat leather belt drives the pump. Tension is held on the idler wheel, (shown in the center), by a spring and chain secured to the bottom of the key bed. The pump is made up of four rectangular bellows that reciprocate side to side.  

    Tubing runs from the spool frame located at the top right hand side of the interior, down to the bottom of the piano section to each note on the stack.
On the extreme left you can see the beater for the tom-tom effect on the drum head of the tambourine.

    On the left is one end of a valve box. These valves operate the mandolin rail, wood block, tambourine and other accessories. Next to the valve box is the mandolin rail pneumatic covered in wine colored cloth, directly above is the cancel pneumatic for same. On the right is the tambourine unit with tom-tom beater. The tambourine pivots on an axis when it is called on to shake. Just behind the tambourine you can see the two beater wood block.

    The snare drum has three beaters on the opposite side. The beaters are signaled from three separate holes on the tracker bar. The unit facing out is the snare muffler. When any one of the beaters starts to move, it triggers a pallet valve that signals a valve. A pneumatic on the snare muffler closes and allows the snare to function as long as the beaters are working. 
    The triangle is suspended from the frame of this unit on the far right. There are five valves on this drum unit, three for the snare beaters, one for the muffler and one for the triangle.

    Triangle suspended from the snare drum frame. Triangle beater is in the lower left corner. The right side shows the lowest rosewood xylophone bar and beater.

    Mechanical lock and cancel pneumatics for xylophone shut off. Below are the valves that operate each xylophone note. They get their signals from the valve chambers of stack valves.

    Reciprocating pump showing four bellows covered in brown leather. The original celluloid tag is on the distributor box.

    Electric motor, flat leather belt, idler wheel and vacuum reservoir.

    The chain comes from a gear on the back of the pump. By loosening the knurled knob, the friction wheel can be moved across the cone drive to change the speed of the music roll. The chain on the top of the drive mechanism goes to the top of the piano to the roll frame.

    A view of the stack. Each unit contains a valve, pouch and pneumatic, the screws and washers hold them in place. Each unit operates a note on the piano. If a valve malfunctioned on location, the operator replaced it with a spare. 
    Note, the previous restorer numbered each one, even though they are identical.

    The valves in the upper portion of the stack have extra tubes running from the valve chambers of the note pneumatics. These tubes signal the xylophone notes.
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