Pianolas, Pianola Rolls and Repairs - Pianola promotion

We have created this page to assist you in being able to repair those SPECIAL ROLLS so that you can keep enjoying your Pianola Music.


End Tabs (at the tip of the roll -hook the roll onto the Pianola)
FLANGES (rolls ends) Click onto the Pianola to hold the roll tube  in in place and allows the roll to turn  as it plays
TUBES - They are the cardboard tubes on which the roll paper is wrapped around.
ROLL LEADERS - First Section of the roll on which the end tab is attached, triangular shape
RACKER BAR PUMP:  works like a vacuum to safely remove fragments of roll paper from the Tracking Bar over which the roll paper moves during pla
ying. Keeps the note holes from becoming blocked.
MAGIC TAPE - For repairing of torn edges and other tears and general use in roll repairs.

FLANGES:  The Ends which clip onto the Pianola, as described above.


Tearing of the roll paper at the sides

Poor tracking,  as paper moves out of place


The LEFT HAND FLANGE is easy to replace. Just remove the broken flange and replace with the New Flange. Option : can roll  narrow width magic tape around the end of the flange and then roll it back onto itself so that the sticky side is up a little. Then slip into place. (Magic tape available in "Products"). This can prevent the left hand flange from slipping out.

Right Side Flange (Facing The Pianola Roll Window - this is the flange with the screw end)

This is usually glued firmly into the roll tube. To remove this Flange you will need to:

 If possible,play the roll thru to the end

While the roll is still clipped onto the Pianola move the lever to rewind and carefully  roll  up , when you reach the tube carefully detach the paper from the tube. If it is not safe to play the roll through you  can roll it up outside of the pianola, just have to use a solid surface where it does not roll off.

       You may need to trim the very end off the paper  if it is uneven so that it aligns with the tube later, but cut minimum amount possible.

     Take out the now empty  tube with the broken flange.

Stand it in a cup of  warm water for about 10 - 15 minutes until it slides out of the tube.

Do not leave soaking too long as it can damage the tube..

  Very carefully slip the flange out (which should now be loose)  If it is still firmly stuck soak for a little  longer.

    Once the flange is removed leave the tube to dry thoroughly. If it is a little frayed once dry  go over the WHOLE tube EVENLY with Scotch Magic Tape to strengthen, even and smooth the surface, but only if necessary. (You can purchase new tubes from out "Products" click on above Field). We also sell second hand Tubes.

 Once the tube is dry place General Purpose glue  around just  inside  the end of the tube. Then insert the  New right hand end Flange. Let the glue dry.

     Clip the empty tube now with ends onto the Pianola

Gently take the end of the Pianola Roll paper and adjust  to be straight and centered   in between flanges without overlap. Ensure that the tube has been inserted the correct way.  Option 1:  lightly glue  down from middle outwards  OPTION 2: Using magic tape tape :  tape across  starting from center of roll. Or  tape in 3 places -  one piece in the center,  and then tape onto tube  near the each end of the  roll.  

 let glue dry if used.

Rewind the roll carefully onto the  tube.

N.B. If the roll is damaged it needs to be repaired before rewinding it back onto the roll.

NOTE RE FLANGES - One customer actually carved their own flanges


These can be  a Major problem with rolls and are often damaged, broken or missing with older rolls.

Can cause rolls to slip out of place  and skip notes or sound out of tune when playing

If missing the roll should not be played at all.

  If  faulty  methods are used or the tabs are not centered properly when replaced can cause side tearing and note skipping.

End tabs can be purchased from our PRODUCTS, see field at the top of this page.

WHEN PLACING END TABS (can be purchased in "Products - Instant shopping")

 Cut away tip of roll where torn and damaged.Tape on (using Scotch Magic Tape) an extra piece of paper to end where piece of roll paper is missing (if missing). (can purchase pianola roll  paper, can also use paper from old  rolls no longer played)

Take a ruler  or set square and align with  each side of  top of angled section of roll, If only adding a small piece you can just draw a line with the ruler following the angle of the end of the roll to create a point on the newly added paper. 

  If needing to find the central point - measure the half way point across the roll. Extend a line downwards  to point where tab is to be placed and draw a pencil line. Place tab using the pencil line as a guide to ensure it is centered.

It is important that the end tab is centered correctly.


  This is often a problem in the older rolls, especially as the paper has become quite fragile. Sometimes the rolls can be so badly torn it is very difficult to rescue them but iif it is a special tune you want to save it is worth trying to mend it. Minor tears and slight side tearing are easier to repair. Never use standard cellotape. Magic Tape is non acidic and can be reapplied without tearing the paper so is ideal. This is available from our PRODUCTS STORE, or local stationary stores should stock this.

     Once torn the tears can catch and destroy the whole roll.

     Tears can also  prevent  rolls from playing correctly



 This is a tricky area to repair

DO NOT - Mend with heavy tapes, it will stop the roll playing correctly

DO NOT Cut uneven or torn edges away - this will stop the  flange guiding the roll and it will not play correctly.

 If taping be careful not to buckle the paper, this will  cause the roll  paper to lift and it will not play well, the notes will skip.

     To mend the sides you need very light tape and as narrow as possible. I do know customers who tape along the edges overlapping the tape as they go. They then go along with a blade and a ruler  over the edges of the roll and cut away the extra tape leaving the edges smooth and the tape just wide enough to mend the tears. This is a good method to use as long as the roll is on a firm surface and does not move.

  So most important is to flatten the tears down before applying the tape, keep it to the edges, any bunching will cause the roll to lift and the notes to skip.

  You can mend tearing of notes on the roll by using very small amount of magic tape, once again making sure it is very flat and not buckled.

 Magic tape is most suited to  roll repairs. It is non acidic and can be   re applied or  removed if necessary without  tearing the paper.


you can carefully cut out a  section of the side of the roll. you will then need a piece of roll paper which you can use from the end or beginning or blank parts - of an old unused roll *we do have the paper for sale. you need to fit the new piece into place very neatly and tape down with the magic tape without any buckling of the tape. Best to remove a small section of the side at a time, or as much as you can safely replace without it buckling.


TRACKER BAR - This must be kept clean, have your Pianola serviced regularly as this is part of the service (See "Pianola Repair Contacts" at the top of this page. There we have listed technicians around Australia, New Zealand and also Tasmania.  ). If the Tracker Bar becomes clogged  with fragments of roll paper some of your rolls will start to skip notes. You can test this by blowing onto the tracker bar holes (In the pianola roll window) if heavy dust comes out it is a sign it needs a clean. You can purchase a TRACKER BAR VACUUM PUMP from our "PRODUCTS - INSTANT SHOPPING" field at the top of this page. This will help to keep the Tracker bar free of excess paper fragments. If the tracker bar is not kept clean the fragments will eventually get into the tubes and cause major note skipping.