There is a big problem with the Bergerault pedal glock; it falls apart if you move it. Besides from being highly irritating, this self destructive characteristic also causes things to break, fall off and get lost. This is a shame, because the instrument sounds nice. So what happens is that they get sent to me to be sorted out!
In explanation of what the problem is I’ll use an analogy with our old friend Paul the Porter:
Paul the Porter is playing on the see saw, in the park with Preschool Paul. When the two Paul’s are sat at either end, Preschool Paul gets flung high into the air which he loves.
After a little while Paul the Porter’s nerves have been sufficiently jangled so he moves towards the centre. Preschool Paul is amazed that they now balance and he begins to understand the mechanical principles of leverage.
So returning to our glockenspiel and looking at the base of the instrument, it is immediately apparent (to me) that there are serious design flaws which mean that there will always be problems with this instrument falling over. Thus the Bergerault Pedal Glockenspiel appears in my top ten bad designs, which includes a detailed explanation of what is happening.
In brief, the picture above shows the main offender – the bottom bar has an adjustment on it to alter its length. This facilitates removing it from the glockenspiel when it is being folded down, but also now means that the legs are not fixed at the bottom. So when the glock is being wheeled along, this bottom bar offers no structural support. Returning to our analogy of the see saw, looking from directly above, the two wheels move about this point like a see saw, compressing the adjustment shorter so it actually falls off immediately prior to the instrument collapsing!
My solution, which applies to just about every instrument I look at, is to sort out the very bottom of the instrument. It is only when the four wheels are fixed firmly in place that there is any hope for the rest of the instrument to be stable.
A large part of the job is getting the attachment of the new frame to the existing working well. All of my designs keep the number of wing nuts for the player to remove to the absolute minimum; I spend time making it properly to save my customers time every time they set the instrument up.
In the first picture the screw is soldered in place so that it cannot rattle loose and fall off. The second photo shows the screw and a bolt holding the metal in place. In this instance I have used two points of contact (usually I have three) so that the see saw effect cannot occur. The third picture shows the cutout around the peg onto which the pedal arm will rotate; the cut out enables the subframe to be lifted off the glockenspiel.
Once both ends are complete they can be joined together with a bar of fixed length. The two legs cannot now move apart, but the entire strength is still reliant on the welded joint in the centre, and the screws holding the frame onto the glock. One of the reasons why I extend the connection to the transom as wide as possible is so that I can triangulate between the two points, and therefore massively increase the strength of the frame.
Bergerault have already got diagonals from the note bed to the legs, but because the instrument is height adjustable they come down from the top to ensure that the uprights (theoretically) remain parallel. However they have built a castle on sand, like all the manufacturers (and me) instruments are designed from the top down, but I build instruments from the ground up making sure that the foundations are solid. Therefore I make sure that the uprights are triangulated to the (now) solid base frame.
With all the metal work complete, I can send the frame to the powder coaters and resolve the other problems which irritate the customer in 1239: Bergerault pedal glock (pt2)