Monday, 18 July 2016

SPEED-X model 321 Straight Key by Les Logan 1937-1947 renovation

I saw this key on ebay.... as usual,... because I look on there at least once a day ! ! .. it had no information about makers name, or history, or anything... so , to me, that made it more interesting, and I just "had" to buy it...

When it arrived, it was in a filthy condition,

and so I boiled a kettle, put some washing up liquid in the bowl, and gave it a good bath ! ! ... Yes sir ! a good bath, and I also gave it a good scrub with a toothbrush to clean it up... After it was dried off, I put it back together again, and gave it a quick test... it seemed to be "O.K." and so, I took it apart again, to apply some black shoe polish to the black crackle finish on the base,

 and gave it a good brushing up. ... put it back together again. cleaned the contact point and "paralleled" them, to make a good contact.. and did the initial adjustments...  a couple of hours of testing and adjusting, and this key can really move along... it is a joy to use, and pleasing to look at... I am proud to have it in my collection.

I had to do some digging around for information , starting by just looking for similar shape keys on Google Images... These led me to the name of the present company that makes a "similar" key.. Wm Nye in the U.S.A.  the name of the key was Speed-X... but the keys I saw were not exactly the same as mine... as you can see from the key has a chromed edge, and a slight "lip" around the top edge of that chrome.  Other versions shown were all brass, all chrome, or had different knob and rocker pivot points...

The mystery continues...  I contacted a friend in the U.S. who did find out a lot more about the Speed - X keys, and some history,... eventually, after several emails between us, I found an exact copy picture  which finally identified the key as the title suggests

Speed - X model 321 Straight Key made by Les Logan from 1937 to 1947.

Here is a short video of me doing a test session ....  click on the [   ] bottom corner, for full screen... turn on your speakers, or plug in your phones...