Getting Inside a Harmonium

Remove the 8 screws shown in the picture below. On most harmoniums there is a Top Piece of wood above the keyboard attached to wood Side Blocks in either side of the keyboard. It’s usually best to remove the screws on either end of the top piece and the screws holding the blocks on either side, though sometimes just removing the block screws are enough to remove the whole assembly. Key track of the screws as you remove them. It helps to take a “before” picture. Some screws have finishing washers. Keep the washer on the screws help to identify them.

Them remove the two screws which hold the Front Trim Piece in front of the keyboard. Those are almost always longer screws then the ones holding the top piece of wood so that is a way to tell them apart.

You now can see the whole keyboard mechanism which might be enough to diagnose and solve sticky keys, loose key springs or missing pivot pins. On the style of harmonium shown in the picture, you can easily remove a key at this point to sand or file the edges to keep it from rubbing against an adjacent key.

The two large screws in the back hold the keyboard/reed tray down…it is hinged in the front. If your remove those screws then you can tilt the whole tray up towards you to see the reeds, the stop blocks and the manifold in the back connecting the rear bellows to the lower bellows. Whenever I have a harmonium open, I always grab my vacuum and remove any dust or small pieces of wood that might get into a reed.


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