Tag: modify

Premier Elite Timps (Job No: 1208)

A set of four Premier Elite Timps in for an overhaul.
After checking the range, I dismantle everything so that I can work on the parts at the bench.  At this point the chassis go out to have the heel blocks welded in, so whilst they are away, I can still work on the mechanism.


Everything is stripped down and cleaned, inspected and repaired, modified or adjusted.  Attention to detail is essential for the drum to sound good and play nicely over the long term.  An example of this approach is the pedal.


Missing parts are replaced or made. These are the spacers that act as the fulcrum inside the pedal. They should be held solidly in place in the pedal arm, and the pedal moves freely, but on virtually every drum I see they are loosened to enable pedal movement. This causes a whole  host of problems.


The root cause of the problem is the pedal casting, which varies in size due to the nature of casting. The width of the pedal is reduced with various metal working tools, but provides a good opportunity to get the cheeks perpendicular to the hole.

However the hole being too small (or the barrel too large) is a manufacturing error by Premier.  The easiest way to rectify it is to ream the nylon spacers to the correct diameter.


Above are all the bits ready to go back in the chassis.

1″ Chimes (Job No: 1063)

I think these are Viscount chimes, in for repair. The damper pedal doesn’t work, and there are missing parts; also one of the bells is missing a cap, and the whole frame needs a bit of TLC.
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The first thing I ask when I receive a broken instrument is, why did it break? In this case, it looks likely that the missing part snapped, but why? Probably because the design wasn’t that good to begin with, and that the force needed to damp the bells was too great for the aluminium that the part would have been made from.
Therefore, I need to re-design the part, and look at the damper bars to improve their effectiveness, and subsequently reduce the force needed at the foot pedal.

This is the new part I am making


New component made, now it moves in two directions; forward and back, left to right to ensure that the tension force is all inline and there is no twisting. Part made from steel for strength.


Measurements of the bell cap taken off a complete bell and a copy made:


The bell is keyed to both provide a clean surface and give the solder a surface to stick to:


The cap can now be soldered in.

Ross Vibraphone (Job No: 1064)


This vibe is in to fix a motor problem, however there are more problems; broken note rail, and a dreadful repair that someone has done to the frame which means that the diagonal braces don’t even reach the connection socket

Plus welding commonly known as “bird shit” which aptly describes its appearance and strength. What is more, whoever did it left sharp bits of spatter, and a sooty mess.

The electrical side:
The first problem is in the plug, the fuse is loose in its holder, the sort of problem that starts fires. Secondly, despite the speed control being housed in a metal box, there is no earth cable. I’m not an electrician, but I thought that this was illegal, common sense dictates that an earth connection would be a good idea, and the motor manufacturer does use an earth wire in their controllers.
Finally, the wiring in the mains connector to the circuit board is not soldered, so those wires could have come out at any point to make the casing live.
Whoever repaired this instrument before shouldn’t be trading!


The Frame Repair

I started by cutting away the bad repair to leave the two legs ready for a fixing bracket to be made.

At the same time I have to make a new square bush that prevents the leg from wobbling.

Then the completed legs were assembled, the frame jury rigged into position, so that the new bottom bar can be cut at the correct length.

Over the years I have done this countless times. My design has evolved, but the basics remain; the frame is the structural element, built to withstand the rigours of use. The keyboard bed just sits on top. The reason is simple – its more expensive to repair the keyboard bed.

Once the bottom bar is fitted, and the rest of the frame components made, everything is assembled ready for welding.


Finally I need to make a new rod to connect the damper to the pedal, to replace the sorry example that was on the instrument.


Job Completed
Here is the finished article; new base frame, new motor and controller, new damping mechanism.