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Steve Weiss Mallet Workshop

 

I came across this vibe without bars and without the foot pedal or the foot pedal assembly. Motor, mercury switch and speed controller all work. Does anybody know what the foot pedal / foot pedal assembly look like? Thanks.  

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tonymiceli Fri, 09/09/2022 - 13:46

that's a deagan i'm pretty sure. but i'm not an expert.
I'm going to send this link to Randy Sutin who knows a lot about this.
I thought it was a Century (Musser) at first but it looks a little smaller to me.

Let's see what randy says.

You probably could talk to Century Mallets in Chicago about the pedal.

Randy_Sutin Fri, 09/09/2022 - 19:30

In reply to by tonymiceli

I did a fair amount of poking around the internet today to see if I could find anything like this. I’m comfortable saying it’s not a Deagan because of the decorative metal on the front rail… the motor looks like a Bodine, which means maybe Musser, but it’s not a Century based on the cross bar and the side panels. Maybe that is a replacement motor.

Whatever the case, if the motor and controller work, that’s the most valuable thing you have. That frame is shot (needs new posts even IF the rails aren’t warped, which they likely are). The damper bar itself looks in bad shape, pedal or not. And, of course, the bars and resonators are missing, so it really is just a frame.

Whose frame? I have no idea.

Whoever did the paint job should be tarred and feathered at the next Vibes Congress. 😎

chunkycat Tue, 09/13/2022 - 10:06

In reply to by Randy_Sutin

It's a Jenco. I found the manufacturers ID plate under 3 or 4 coats of the paint. Bodine motor but as you suggest it could be a replacement. The wiring for the motor, speed control and mercury switch raises questions; doesn't look like an original installation, but all 3 work. I have the resonators, although they need TLC; loose tubes but no serious dents, bends, etc.

As a coincidence, I picked up a traveler / portable Jenco that was stored in an outdoor shed; metal legs and foot pedal are not salvageable for restoration, neither is the frame but the graduated keys may be. I cleaned them and removed some material as needed from 180 to 400 grit; they look OK considering the journey. One or two have moderate localized pitting and the tuning app indicates they may be brought back into tune; I just don't know how to do it; Professional help here.

"That frame is shot (needs new posts even IF the rails aren’t warped, which they likely are)". Does that mean there is no choice from a restoration point of view but to replace the posts and rails? Right now the frame is solid. No signs of moisture or any sort of mold rot, etc. All the posts are solidly in place. The rails are one assembly and could be broken down to individual rails, motor, etc., the lower metal brace is a one piece and then there are the two ends. If the keys are salvageable I could see moving forward with the project but to replace the rails and posts???

Originally gloss black as I found underneath the manufacturers plate. All the decorative trim is present with no damage to the wood parts. I can strip the paint. I can refurbish the resonators and have them sandblasted then painted; do they and the bars need to be tuned together???

Foot pedal / foot pedal assembly doesn't look complicated. Eric from Century Mallet, Chicago doesn't have anything that would help other than fabrication. He mentioned the has an old Jenco catalog around somewhere in the shop if it shows up we may have an image of it.

Too many thoughts and is it worth it???

Thanks for your response. If you have other info or advise it would help.

Randy_Sutin Tue, 09/13/2022 - 13:05

In reply to by chunkycat

you may have enough parts to assemble one working instrument. I would definitely trust Andy's opinion at Century about the cost, etc and whether it is worth it. A Jenco is only going to be a modest instrument, even in perfectly refurbished condition, so you won't want to spend as much as you may on an old Musser or Deagan. That said, you don't have that much invested for now and you are willing to do some of the work yourself, so you may have some slack.

As to the issues with the rails... if they are ruler straight, then all you may need to do is repair/replace the posts. Truth told, you can even compensate for slight warping in the rails by adjusting the post height, so if you replace them a slight warp may still be okay. It is the posts that hold the bars, so if they are held evenly in aspect to the damper bar, the instrument will dampen properly.

Bottom line here is cost. Andy will give you a price. If you think it's worth it, go for it.

Best of luck with it!

chunkycat Tue, 09/13/2022 - 10:22

In reply to by tonymiceli

I found the manufacturers plate under a few coats of paint. I'm in touch with Randy Sutin. I'm in touch with Century Mallet. If there is a practical restore, I would go for it. Randy thinks it needs a lot of consideration to be brought back. I have a set of graduated bars for this model. I have the resonators. Foot pedal / foot pedal assembly although it does not look complicated, one picture would be worth alot.

Thanks.