I just picked up an old Deagan model 30; the budget vibes that they made in the late-1930s/early-'40s. It has 2-1/2 octaves, cardboard resonator tubes and a single-speed motor. It needs a bit of work, but I'm not too intimidated by it. However, I could use some advice! Here's what I know needs to be done:
1. Unstring the bars and polish them; they're pretty tarnished. I have a motorized buffing wheel with a variety of mops and rouges, but I could use advice about what specifically might work best.
2. Maybe replace the post insulators while the bars are off. Silicone surgical tubing?
3. Replace the felt dampening strip, which has gotten flattened from compression. Any suggestions for the ideal material?
4. Disassemble the fan shafts, clean out all the accumulated crusty gunk and relubricate. Possibly polish the fans themselves. What is the ideal lubricant for the bearing blocks that hold the shafts? Some kind of silicone or lithium grease? Graphite?
5. Restring the bars. They're held on now with some kind of braided synthetic cord. What would be the best material to use, without getting too exotic?
6. Two resonator tubes are missing. I suspect that I can find the appropriate 1-3/4" OD cardboard tubing somewhere, but I'll need help in determining the correct lengths.
7. Adjust all of the resonators tubes; a number of them are loose or crooked. Again, I'll need guidance for determining the optimal positions.
8. Replace the old (original?) Signal Electric gearmotor. (I tried rebuilding it but there's an alignment problem with the halves of the motor shell that suggests that I'd do better with a newer one. I picked up an old motor controller unit that will regulate the speed of the motor, but I'm still not settled on the actual motor. I'm considering a Bodine KCI-series parallel-shaft AC gearmotor, or perhaps the equivalent Oriental Motor version. Thoughts?
9. Replace the belt.
10. Replace the locking casters; the rubber treads have turned brittle and are crumbling. Soft rubber treads? -polyurethane?
Bonus project: make a custom bag for carrying it between my truck and clubs without endangering the resonators, etc. Apparently these came with a bag (or perhaps it was an accessory). I'd love to buy or borrow one to use as a pattern. Fortunately, my wife's a whiz with the sewing machine.
I'd greatly appreciate any advice on this project!