Organ build

Carol Reed

In Memoriam
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5,535
Location
Coolidge, AZ
I was indeed fascinated with Jay's street organs.

So much so that I emailed John Smith regarding plans.

Now I need to decide whether to tackle the original Busker or the Senior. I am not clear exactly what the differences are.

Jay, or anybody else, did you build either or both? I know they are both 20-note organs, with the Senior weighing more. I'm assuming a bit more complexity, and maybe I'm wrong.

I have posed the questions to John, but his reply was a bit vague. There appears to be some assumed knowledge before going in. Can anyone enlighten me on that?

Also, he told me that he is handing off the sale of plans to his son on April 1, FWIW.

If anyone else is contemplating this, http://www.melright.com/busker/jsmenu.htm has tons of builder information, and I am sorting it out.

Also, looking for a little stuffed monkey with a cute little red hat. :D
 
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Frank Fusco

Member
Messages
12,234
Location
Mountain Home, Arkansas
Good luck Carol. I saw Jay's organs and can tell ye, they are complexcated thingys, indeed. No doubt, the finished product is a labor of love. If/when you start this project pictures of the process would be fun, interesting and educational to see.
 

larry merlau

Member
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18,267
Location
Delton, Michigan
Good luck carol and i would suggest gettin back with jay, he definatly has it figured out:thumb: lokin forward to seeing the whole process,, even if we have all had the cake before the main meal:)
 

Carol Reed

In Memoriam
Messages
5,535
Location
Coolidge, AZ
I am planning on visiting Jay around the end of May. The camera batteries will be charged. :thumb:

And, yes, if I tackle this, I will document it.
 
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Alllllrrrrightttyyy Carol

That makes two people on here that are building Carol I will be here to help in every way I can when you start. As far as which to build I jumped in with the Senior 20 as it is a more robust organ and I feel it is no more or less complex than the Busker. It may even be easier as its not as compact and it opens to a lot of different ways of casing it up as you have seen in the picture site of Melvyn's.

I have a few things that will help in the build and am working on getting pictures for Dean. One is a pipe building board and another is how to build up the crankshaft with out having to weld it up. Anytime you get stumped I'm just a USA phone call away and I use Skype a lot so can call you and talk all day if you want. :rofl::rofl:

To me the hardest thing to make work its the rewind and I have figured out how to make it work easer also.

Cant wait to see some work from both you and Dean.

Be sure to have someone there with a camera to take a picture of the silly grin on your face when it plays for the first time. :rofl::rofl::thumb::thumb:

Jay

Oh Carol the differents between the two is the Busker is smaller and can be carried by a leather strap and hung around the neck while played and is a smaller organ with smaller pipes and a higher pitch. Hope that explains it OK
 
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Messages
194
Location
Atlanta, GA
Hmm, maybe 3. Assuming the "Senior" model, clearly the plans are required and it looks like getting the "kit of essential parts" would be smart. Probably the wheels could be turned with a lathe (?). The empty spool? The crankshaft looks tough- maybe worth buying for a first timer?
 
Hmm, maybe 3. Assuming the "Senior" model, clearly the plans are required and it looks like getting the "kit of essential parts" would be smart. Probably the wheels could be turned with a lathe (?). The empty spool? The crankshaft looks tough- maybe worth buying for a first timer?
Charlie you for sure need the plans and the DVD and then the head scratching will start :rofl:
I am glad to help anyone build one of these and I also know which things are confusing on the plans and can send pictures as I have parts for these things all through the shop :thumb:

If you have a descent drill press and know how to tap a hole I can show you how to build up a crankshaft with steel rod and aluminum that works great I like it better than the welded one. The hardest part to build is the tracker bar but just take your time and you can get it.

Don't forget to tell John I sent ya :wave:

Jay
 
Jay, What is the cost to build one of the easier designs with the plans and DVD? Are we talking several hundreds??:huh: I find these very fascinating and real would like to do one if the cost isn't too far out there!:rolleyes:
Royall they are not that expensive to build. Its a lot of small parts and the time involved. You can build one from about a half sheet of Baltic birch ply thats half sheet 1/4 and half sheet 1/8 or solid stock what ever you have. I resaw 8/4 pine on the table saw to 1/8 for the pipes. The rest of the parts are out of the scrap pile.

Not sure of the price of thing over there but here you can get real fancy for less than $100 plus the plans. Again anyone wanting to build I will be glad to take picture of anything that stumps you.:huh:

Just so you know when I started on these I had only seen an organ of this type play for about 15 sec some 20 year before John came out with this Organ. It is designed for the hobby woodworker.:thumb:


Also keep in mind that John Smith built the prototype out of old doors and anything he could get form the dumpster. :rolleyes::thumb:
Jay
 
The first one took over a year but I did have my woodworking business going then so didn't get to work on it very often. If you can devote full time to it you should have one done in a little over a month. Figure at lest 300 or more hours on it and around 450 parts

Jay
 

Carol Reed

In Memoriam
Messages
5,535
Location
Coolidge, AZ
Another thing for other would-be builders. Do go look at this:

http://www.melright.com/busker/jsmenu.htm

I am slowly, as time permits, downloading these tips tricks, etc. Once the plans are in hand. I will sort them out according to specific topic, print them and put them in a three ring binder. I am accustomed to designing and building complex things. Also I make notes as I go along and the sheet go into the binder as well.

Speaking of plans and the DVD, I contacted John last week and he promptly replied. I replied back to him on Wednesday night telling him of my final decision and asking for final price and a mailing address. He likes PayPal and I don't. This time I am waiting for a reply. I hope he is OK. :confused:

My actual build can't begin until this summer. Small matter of graduation first. :rolleyes: Then I return to Arizona and rest my arthritic knees and hips in the dry, warm sunshine of the desert. :cool:

Meantime, I will begin the build in my mind and on paper as I march toward graduation attending to all the study, paper writing, and testing. This will help me from going totally bonkers. :bonkers:
 

Carol Reed

In Memoriam
Messages
5,535
Location
Coolidge, AZ
Jay, you said you were using ripped pine for the pipes. What are you ripping it from? Dimension lumber? Is that dry enough? Is it wide enough? Do you think using a tonal wood (spruce) would materially make the organ sound better?

And then there is the front piece that is clad to the front of the pipe. Some of the videos I've watched of building the pipes, shows that piece of being a different species [for looks]. I wonder about that and how it and the face to face glue joint impact the sound.

Got any comments?
 
Jay, you said you were using ripped pine for the pipes. What are you ripping it from? Dimension lumber? Is that dry enough? Is it wide enough? Do you think using a tonal wood (spruce) would materially make the organ sound better?

And then there is the front piece that is clad to the front of the pipe. Some of the videos I've watched of building the pipes, shows that piece of being a different species [for looks]. I wonder about that and how it and the face to face glue joint impact the sound.

Got any comments?
Carol I find me a 8/4 or even better 12/4 board of something like Paraná Pine ( don't know how to spell it) Sugar pine will work also or if you can get Spruce cheep yeah go for it even poplar will work. My first two sets of pipe were of Hard sugar Maple because its what I had and they sounded great. I think the pine makes a little mellower sound but nothing you will really notice if you don't have anything to compare to.

The front of the pipes need to be a hard wood for best results (oak not so much) I have walnut front on the one you see in my avatar and Bubinga on the one that I had open to show how it works. The bass pipes in back I just use 1/8 Baltic birch on the whole thing. Thats the nice thing about this organ nothing is cut in stone heck John used crappy old particle board and MDF and his sounds great Just use what you have or can find and adapt. If you find something and not sure I'm just an email away.

Oh and I have cut some for dimension lumber but it needs to be drier than the fresh stuff from the Borg. But once you rip it it wont take long to dry you are mainly looking for good straight grain and if you can cut it to be qtr sawn so much the better but not necessary.

Keep em coming I love doing this :wave:

Jay
 

Drew Watson

Member
Messages
2,070
Location
Salt Spring Island, BC Canada
Another thing for other would-be builders. Do go look at this:

http://www.melright.com/busker/jsmenu.htm

I am slowly, as time permits, downloading these tips tricks, etc. Once the plans are in hand. I will sort them out according to specific topic, print them and put them in a three ring binder. I am accustomed to designing and building complex things. Also I make notes as I go along and the sheet go into the binder as well.

Speaking of plans and the DVD, I contacted John last week and he promptly replied. I replied back to him on Wednesday night telling him of my final decision and asking for final price and a mailing address. He likes PayPal and I don't. This time I am waiting for a reply. I hope he is OK. :confused:

My actual build can't begin until this summer. Small matter of graduation first. :rolleyes: Then I return to Arizona and rest my arthritic knees and hips in the dry, warm sunshine of the desert. :cool:

Meantime, I will begin the build in my mind and on paper as I march toward graduation attending to all the study, paper writing, and testing. This will help me from going totally bonkers. :bonkers:



Count me in as the 4th interested in building one too. Jay you hooked me on your presentation. I love the looks and the sound that it makes it is something just happy to hear. I tried contacting John last night with my request for the price of the plans but have not had a reply yet.
 
So Jay, as you are the resident authority here what did you last here John was selling the plans for? What parts can't be built and does John sell those parts too?
Actuly Drew there is no part but the plastic music spools that you cant make and you get those when you buy the rolls. You could also make those of aluminin if you had the right tools.:thumb:

And you can even set up to punch your own music rolls if you want to.

Jay

P.S. John may be out to an organ ralley for the weekend so give him time he will get back to everyone and if not let me know sometimes new email gets caught in spam filter and I know my will go through and I will contact him to let him know
 
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