Link Moving Finger
Paper Guidance Mechanism

Front end of the Link moving finger paper-pusher mechanism.

(Photograph courtesy of Rusty King)

In the following series of pictures, the paper-pushing mechanism in Link piano #2264 is shown as viewed from the back of the piano. This picture shows the treble end of the mechanism. This is the end that sits below and adjoins the roll frame. The gear reduction system that powers the sprocket and chain is located on the front, which cannot be seen from this vantage point. Here the metal moving finger has been partially elevated from the horizontal by wooden guide strips as the finger (attached to a pivot point on the chain) moves very slowly along its lower level return track. The usefulness of the lever protruding downward from the base of the finger will come into play once it is time for the finger to be moved into a vertical position.

Front end of the Link moving finger paper-pusher mechanism.

(Photograph courtesy of Rusty King)

Treble end of the paper-pusher mechanism in Link piano #2264. As the chain sprocket rotates, the attached metal finger reaches a point whereby the protruding lever at its base contacts the sprocket's drive shaft, whereupon any further movement of the chain causes the finger to be elevated to a vertical position. At the same time the finger gradually becomes vertical, a new loop of paper is being formed as it is slowly fed out of the spoolbox. The finger fits next to the loop before the following loop is formed, falling neatly between loops without damaging the paper.

Front end of the Link moving finger paper-pusher mechanism.

(Photograph courtesy of Rusty King)

Treble end of the paper-pusher mechanism in Link piano #2264. In this view the moving finger is standing fully erected, and it will stay thusly as its protruding lever drags along the central chain-way depression at the bottom of the music bin. Now the moving finger is in a position to push the music roll paper folds and loops through the roll bin. The chain drive system is designed in such a way that the chain makes one complete circuit or revolution coincidentally with the playing of an average length music roll, usually consisting of 15 tunes.

Link roll frame designed for use with a moving finger paper-pusher mechanism.

(Photograph courtesy of Rusty King)

Link roll mechanism in keyboard piano #2264. There are two distinctly different roll frames used in Link pianos. The earlier style is pictured above and is designed to fit around the space requirements of the Link "paper-pusher" moving finger conveyance mechanism. Thus the feed roller and tracker bar are high up toward the top of the mechanism, so that they adequately clear the gear driven moving fingers. The later style roll frame has the feed roller and tracker bar situated lower and more centrally located, because the moving finger device was abandoned, circa 1916, and a simple sloping roll cabinet floor was used instead.

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(Photograph courtesy of Rusty King)

Bass end of the paper-pusher mechanism in Link piano #2264. In this view from inside the piano and looking outward, the point at which the moving finger is connected to the chain has passed about half-way over the upper chain sprocket, whereupon the protruding lever at the base of the moving finger has cleared the chain way slot, allowing the finger to fall backward due to the weight of the protruding lever. At this point the moving finger is retracting and so no longer has any influence on the movement of the endlessly looped music roll.

Back end of the Link moving finger paper-pusher mechanism.

(Photograph courtesy of Rusty King)

Bass end of the paper-pusher mechanism in Link piano #2264. As the moving finger's attachment point moves down toward the lower chain sprocket the finger is almost fully retracted, and can be seen to be slipping downward into a cast iron yoke held in a vertical position by means of a coiled spring.

Back end of the Link moving finger paper-pusher mechanism.

(Photograph courtesy of Rusty King)

Bass end of the paper-pusher mechanism in Link piano #2264. Here the moving finger attachment point has moved it all the way down into the cast iron yoke, whereupon it is fully retracted and below the bottom of the music roll bin.

Back end of the Link moving finger paper-pusher mechanism.

(Photograph courtesy of Rusty King)

Bass end of the paper-pusher mechanism in Link piano #2264. As the attachment point for the moving finger continues along the bottom part of the lower chain sprocket the cast iron bracket is forced to tilt, thereby flipping the moving finger into a somewhat horizontal position level with the chain. In this position the finger can move along underneath the bottom of the music roll bin and back to its starting point.

Back end of the Link moving finger paper-pusher mechanism.

(Photograph courtesy of Rusty King)

Bass end of the paper-pusher mechanism in Link piano #2264. Here the newly flipped moving finger is lying in-line with the chain as it slowly moves on its way back to its starting point. The cast iron yoke is now upright again, ready to receive the next moving finger. The cast iron yoke pivots on a metal shaft, and is returned to its upright position by a coil spring (visible to the left of the cast iron yoke's pivot point).

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