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Marxophone/Autoharp repair query

Katherine Rhoda 16 Feb 14 - 01:03 PM
GUEST 16 Feb 14 - 01:39 PM
GUEST 16 Feb 14 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,hg 16 Feb 14 - 05:31 PM
Bill D 16 Feb 14 - 07:52 PM
GUEST 17 Feb 14 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,leeneia 17 Feb 14 - 09:27 AM
Bill D 17 Feb 14 - 11:11 AM
Katherine Rhoda 17 Feb 14 - 05:43 PM
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Subject: Marxophone/Autoharp repair query
From: Katherine Rhoda
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 01:03 PM

Seeking repair advice: The hitch pin guard to my instrument (which is a Marxophone, structurally similar to an autoharp) has pulled off. A vertical crack had developed where one attaching screw goes into the hitch pin block, allowing the screw to escape unnoticed. When I, unawares, picked up the instrument, putting tension on the guard, the second screw pulled out, bringing a bit of wood with it. How to repair the crack and to reinforce the second screw hole so I can reattach the guard? Thanks so very very much!


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Subject: RE: Marxophone/Autoharp repair query
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 01:39 PM

I'd think it best to get the opinion of a luthier. It sounds like the kind of thing that needs to be looked at, especially with older wood. YMMV.


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Subject: RE: Marxophone/Autoharp repair query
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 02:41 PM

"It sounds like the kind of thing that needs to be looked at, especially with older wood"

hmmm.., yes, that's a problem affecting a lot of aging male mudcatters...



Right then, the Marxophone, facinating instrument - just checked out your youtube demo.

I've only ever seen such an instrument about 20 years ago, played by a busker
on the Charles Bridge in Prague.

If memory is correct, I'm sure his translation from czech to english
described it as a "Piano Harp"
I'm not certain but I think the keboard arrangement looked more like an ancient typwriter ?

If so, variations on the same patent ?

The sound certainly predates the midi synth keyboard era of the 1980 / 90's - lush chorus and echo effects and all !!!

Oscar Schmidt really ought to consider manufacturing afforadable reproductions.


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Subject: RE: Marxophone/Autoharp repair query
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 05:31 PM

Ask Andy Cohen for his advice. He plays both Marxophone and Dolceola and will give you good information. He has a website and can be found on Facebook under Andrew Cohen. love, harpgirl


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Subject: RE: Marxophone/Autoharp repair query
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 07:52 PM

As a woodworker, I know how to reinforce screw holes by either inserting new wood, as with a small dowel or chiseling out a rectangular segment and gluing in new wood. It all depends on the exact location and the size.

If you are in a city, there 'should' be instrument repair people who would find that a fairly easy fix.

(I have a Zimmerman autoharp from about 1900 which I have done some work on... one must decide how authentic the repair must look.)


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Subject: RE: Marxophone/Autoharp repair query
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 06:59 AM

I also met the busker on the Charles bridge and confirm typewriter keys arrangement. A cheap solution would be to fill the gap with wood filler and stain it. Or use a thin ply patch over the top.


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Subject: RE: Marxophone/Autoharp repair query
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 09:27 AM

When my beloved guitar suffered an accident and developed small cracks in the top, my brother the expert told me the following:

1. The first question is, does the crack go over a GLUED JOINT? If it does, you need a professional. If not, go to step 2.

2. Chances are, the cracks are following grain lines in the wood. If so, stop them from propagating by drilling rounds holes at the ends of the cracks. Make the smallest hole you can. (My husband and I did this together, using a sewing-machine needle for a drill bit.)

If you wish, you can then buy wood putty and patch the crack.

3. We did this to my guitar ten years ago or more, and it's been fine ever since.

==========
For the other screw, try Bill D's 'small dowel' solution. Bear in mind that the smallest dowel around is a toothpick.


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Subject: RE: Marxophone/Autoharp repair query
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 11:11 AM

In the case of an instrument, I should clarify that a dowel would probably need to be pretty shallow... almost like a thick button. There are dowel rods for sale in hardware stores, and drill bits of the same sizes. I would make a hole only as deep as needed, then cut off a piece of dowel a tiny bit longer and carefully tap it in, then file/sand it flat. (If I was doing it myself, I'd make a dowel of some color matched wood- but stain is probably fine.)
Mind you, all this is speculation based on general principle, since I have not seen the exact situation.


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Subject: RE: Marxophone/Autoharp repair query
From: Katherine Rhoda
Date: 17 Feb 14 - 05:43 PM

Thanks, one and all!

For the screw hole that is simply stripped, the dowel idea sounds good. As for the screw hole that has a crack running right through it the situation is more complicated, as the crack crosses a glue joint and propagates a few inches along the underside of the instrument. I'm awaiting advice from Andy Cohen, but I may well resort to professional help. The hitch pin guard also houses the Marxophone keyboard, so I am eager to resolve this. For now, I have found I can clamp it on as a temporary fix.

There are indeed very similar related instruments, the celestaphone among them.

Thanks again, and be well!


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