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Aeola hook action


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I have a tenor Wheatstone Aeola sn:35364 that I picked up a few years ago and have had fully restored. This unit was made in 1942 and has hook instead of riveted action (see photos). I have played a hook action New Model for years and have played numerous riveted Aeolas in the past. I have no problem with the hook action but am wondering how the flat type levers on this EC compare with the last Edeophones that Lachenal made before they went into bankruptcy. I have heard that Wheatstone used Lachenal parts during this period. Can anyone confirm that these flat hook levers are similar to the last Edeophones made? They are not like the hook levers in my New Model.

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8 hours ago, ttonon said:

While on this topic, is there a consensus among makers which action is superior, if any, the hook or riveted?  Thanks.

 

IMHO the Wheatstone riveted levers cut from flat sheet metal are the best of the vintage actions. Several modern makers have made further refinements.

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10 hours ago, Syncopepper said:

I have a tenor Wheatstone Aeola sn:35364 that I picked up a few years ago and have had fully restored. This unit was made in 1942 and has hook instead of riveted action (see photos). I have played a hook action New Model for years and have played numerous riveted Aeolas in the past. I have no problem with the hook action but am wondering how the flat type levers on this EC compare with the last Edeophones that Lachenal made before they went into bankruptcy. I have heard that Wheatstone used Lachenal parts during this period. Can anyone confirm that these flat hook levers are similar to the last Edeophones made? They are not like the hook levers in my New Model.

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20210113_101634.jpg

 

I think this style is a slight improvement over the common Lachenal type where the post has a rectangular hole punched in it. These posts support the sides of the lever over a wider area, and it's possible to reduce side play a little by carefully squeezing them with pliers. They can be prone to developing a 'lumpy' feel if the lever wears around the pivot point (more likely if the lever doesn't have a straight run).

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This kind of hook action has one obvious major advantage over rivetted; that removing and refitting the levers is much easier. What is the disadvantage?

 

As yet another possibility, how about a post similar to these, with two flat sides that can be squeezed tighter together if necessary, but with the lever pivoted on something like a split pin, giving a mechanism very smilar to a rivet but with the pin much easier than a rivet to remove and replace?

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4 minutes ago, Richard Mellish said:

This kind of hook action has one obvious major advantage over rivetted; that removing and refitting the levers is much easier. What is the disadvantage?

 

It relies on the spring to hold the top of the lever up against the pivot. There is a tendency, particularly on short levers, for the lever to overpower the spring and pull away from the pivot when you push the down button quickly, causing a loud click and a delay in pad opening. Often when setting up the action you are forced to use more spring force or even a second 'helper' spring on short levers to try to overcome this problem. Designers may choose to use a lower action ratio (i.e. place the pivot near the middle of the lever rather than closer to the button end), which reduces the clicking flaw but slows down the feel of the action because the button has to move further to open the pad far enough for the reed to start sounding.

 

15 minutes ago, Richard Mellish said:

As yet another possibility, how about a post similar to these, with two flat sides that can be squeezed tighter together if necessary, but with the lever pivoted on something like a split pin, giving a mechanism very smilar to a rivet but with the pin much easier than a rivet to remove and replace?

 

There are quite a few ways of doing it, e.g. at least one maker uses a cylinder with a slit cut in it and a removable pivot pin bridging the slit. Several makers use some variation on a screw that either bottoms out or has a lock nut on the other side of the post. There are pros and cons to each style.

 

Dana Johnson invented a unique design that is sort of like a hook lever turned upside down; it cleverly avoids the clicking problem because pushing the button presses the lever down against the pivot.

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There is a significant advantage of riveted actions over the Lachenal style hook and aperture action.  Not on lever arms that are following a straight path between key, pivot, and pad, but on those where the arms are cranked to pass around other keys or pivots. In these circumstances the action suffers a twisting force (torque) which causes wear in both the pivot post's aperture and on the corners  of the arm where it touches the pivot. The outcomes are that the key height drops,  the key tries to move on an angle, and the pad tends to a slicing path as it hits/ rubs on the pad board. This can be a particular issue on Edeophones. Riveted actions do not suffer in the same way, certainly not to the same degree. 

 

The hook action shown by the OP was a later Wheatstone innovation, which I have found consistent and reliable.

 

 

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8 hours ago, d.elliott said:

There is a significant advantage of riveted actions over the Lachenal style hook and aperture action.  Not on lever arms that are following a straight path between key, pivot, and pad, but on those where the arms are cranked to pass around other keys or pivots. In these circumstances the action suffers a twisting force (torque) which causes wear in both the pivot post's aperture and on the corners  of the arm where it touches the pivot. The outcomes are that the key height drops,  the key tries to move on an angle, and the pad tends to a slicing path as it hits/ rubs on the pad board. This can be a particular issue on Edeophones. Riveted actions do not suffer in the same way, certainly not to the same degree. 

 

The hook action shown by the OP was a later Wheatstone innovation, which I have found consistent and reliable.

 

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8 hours ago, d.elliott said:

There is a significant advantage of riveted actions over the Lachenal style hook and aperture action.  Not on lever arms that are following a straight path between key, pivot, and pad, but on those where the arms are cranked to pass around other keys or pivots. In these circumstances the action suffers a twisting force (torque) which causes wear in both the pivot post's aperture and on the corners  of the arm where it touches the pivot. The outcomes are that the key height drops,  the key tries to move on an angle, and the pad tends to a slicing path as it hits/ rubs on the pad board. This can be a particular issue on Edeophones. Riveted actions do not suffer in the same way, certainly not to the same degree. 

 

The hook action shown by the OP was a later Wheatstone innovation, which I have found consistent and reliable.

 

 

My extended treble New Model, circa 1890, has round hook levers and several are long and convoluted. The longest and most convoluted one fell victim to this "Cranked Arm Syndrome" a few years ago (a problem that has been discussed here in the past). The solution was to replace that key with a riveted action and I have not had any problem since. When I first examined the action on the hook Aeola I immediately thought the design change would alleviate this problem.

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9 hours ago, d.elliott said:

The hook action shown by the OP was a later Wheatstone innovation, which I have found consistent and reliable.

Thanks, good to know that they weren't left-over Edeophone parts. Are these hook Aeolas very common?  I wonder what design changes, if any, Lachenal made post 1900? 

Edited by Syncopepper
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