Senior Organ Rewind Hex Drive

by Ronald Walters

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Senior Organ Rewind Hex Drive
My design simplifies the hex shaft installation, provides smooth rotation and engagement ,and it is easy to make.
Modification of the rewind mechanism to use a Eureka Vacuum Cleaner O-ring drive belt was originally done by Jay Caughron.

Pictured are the pieces for the rewind mechanism. The belt shown is a Eureka vacuum cleaner drive belt. A suitably sized O-ring could also be used. The t-nut shown is a 10-24 thread. The pulleys were grooved on a lathe. This could also be done on the drill press using round files.

I used standard 1/4" oilite bushings, which are 3/8" outside diameter and 1/2" long. Drill the rewind base and support arm as shown using a 3/8" brad point bit. Insert the bushings and grind the top bushing flush with the support arm.


The standard plastic music spools, like those supplied by Melvyn Wright, have a 5mm hex socket on the end, which will accept a standard 5mm ball end hex wrench. The ball end makes it much easier to engage the rewind mechanism with the music roll. I cut my wrench 3-3/16" long. You will also need a 2-1/4" length of 1/4" KS brass tubing.  The brass tubing acts as an adapter, allowing the hex shaft to turn and slide smoothly inside the bushings.

My pulleys are made of oak. I drilled the small pulley cross-grain and tapped the hole 10-24.  A set-screw is tightened against the brass tube while aligned with a flat on the hex shaft (see photo). This depresses the brass and locks it onto the hex shaft. The 10-24 threads in oak provide a strong thread however care must be taken not to over tighten the set-screw, which could split the wood or strip the threads. The threads could be strengthened by a light application of cyanoacrylate (super glue) followed by careful re-tapping, however I have not found this to be necessary.

I have chosen to utilize the full 1/2" depth of the 5mm socket on the music roll. My support arm has a 1-3/16" gap providing a 5/8" side-to-side travel for the small pulley. Quite possibly only 1/4" of engagement for the hex ball end is necessary. This would allow for reduction of side-to-side throw and the corresponding support arm gap. In any case, the rewind mechanism needs to be built according to the drive belt available and dimensions of the pulleys you make.

Simulated engagement and disengagement with the music roll accomplished by sliding the small pulley in and out. The gap shown is 1/8" after the pulley moves a total of 5/8".

I also have two YouTube videos on making this:
Video 1
Video 2

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