|Removing the keyboards is fairly
straightforward. First remove the trim boards under the
keyboards, each of which is secured with four brass screws. Set
these aside in a safe place until it's time to re-assemble the
organ. Then carefully lift the nameboard, and insert a spacer of
some kind on either side of the Swell keyboard (in the photograph, the
spacers were two rolls of electrical tape). From the back of the
organ, unsolder the keyboard wires from the terminal board.
Remove the screws which hold the Great keyboard to the key shelf.
To remove the keyboard, lift it only by parts that are made of steel. Be sure not to touch or damage any of the contact springs underneath the keyboard or exposed at the bass end. I usually place one hand at the front center under the the keys, against the frame and touching the steel key stops, and the other at the back center grasping the steel tails of the keys. The hand at front center carries most of the weight of the keyboard, so try to avoid putting force on the plastic key tops. It may be easier for two people to lift the keyboard, one near the bass end and one near the treble end, but always lifting by steel parts at the front and back.
Carefully slide and lift the Great keyboard out and place it on the table with the keys on top. Collect the screws and washers in a glass jar so they won't get lost.
When the keyboards are out of the console the exposed gold springs at the bass end are especially vulnerable, so always lift the keyboards by the steel parts at the front and back.
|Once the Great keyboard is safely removed, it's
easy to remove the Swell keyboard in a similar way. Remove the
screws from under the key shelf of the console, then grasp the key tops
to gently pull the keyboard toward you until there is plenty of room to
reach behind it for lifting.
Lift the Swell keyboard in the same way as the Great keyboard, and place it on the table with the keys on the bottom and the metal brackets facing upward. Remove the metal brackets, noting how the overhangs are positioned at top front, and set them aside. Gather the screws, washers, and nuts into a glass jar. Now you are ready to clean the Swell keyboard.
|It's not necessary to clean the entire length
of the gold springs, but only the area where they make contact with the
busses. This can usually be accomplished by depositing one drop of the
DeoxIT cleaner at the contact point with the contacts closed, then
operating the key a number of times. The DeoxIT cleaner
has a penetrating effect, and within hours or at most a few days it
spreads along the
entire length of the springs anyway. In fact, you will see red
dots of solvent (picture at left) surrounding the springs on the clear
plastic switch arms. Don't be alarmed, the solvent appears to be
compatible with the plastic. But if one or more dots don't appear
after a few days, check to make sure you treated those particular
|If the contact springs are heavily oxidized, you may not see much if any glimmer of gold at first. On my Swell keyboard, it seems that copper has migrated through the gold layer and oxidized. Initially it appeared that DeoxIT wasn't penetrating this layer, but after two treatments one week apart, gold began to show through. Don't worry if some parts of the gold springs or busses still look oxidized -- what counts is how clean they are in the small area where contact is made, and how well they work.|
|After cleaning, plug (or solder) in the keyboard and try it. If there are a few problem notes, try just playing the organ for a few days then checking again. Be sure to play in enough different keys so that you use all the notes! Also, use the 16 foot stops or coupler some of the time and play an octave higher so that you exercise the top octave. Play some chromatic scales to make sure you hit everything. If you still have a lot of bad notes after a few days of use, remove the keyboard and clean all the contacts again. If there are just a few bad notes, make a list and concentrate on those. Don't apply DeoxIT Gold until you are happy with the results; the cleaner is to get the contacts working, and DeoxIT Gold is to keep them working.|
|If there are problem notes that don't respond to two applications of
DeoxIT cleaner, strips of lint-free cotton cloth (available from Caig) can be
lightly buff the contact area. I generally cut these to about 3/8" or
1/4" width, then gently pull them through the contact area with the
contacts lightly closed. It may be necessary to apply more DeoxIT
cleaner and to do
this several times.
If desired, more oxide can be removed from the non-contact surface of the gold busses by wetting the tip of a cotton swab with DeoxIT cleaner, then rubbing it along the busses. Be much more cautious about cleaning the non-contact areas of the gold springs. If you attempt it at all, be sure to use lint-free swabs and to apply almost no pressure.
|When you are ready to apply DeoxIT Gold, start
by applying a single drop at the contact point with the contacts
closed. As with the cleaner, the contact treatment will spread
along the springs of its own accord. If desired, you can use a
cotton swab to apply a thin layer of DexoIT Gold to the non-contact
areas of the gold busses.
||DeoxIT 25cc needle dispenser
||DeoxIT Gold 25cc needle dispenser
||Accessory Sampler kit (swabs, lint-free cloth, etc.)