Messages
6
Hello Everyone,

I have spent the last week trying to read through all the pages of this thread. I first came across this organ watching Ronald Waters great videos on youtube. I knew I had to build one of these things. From that point until now I have moved half way across the country, taken a woodworking class and redone my garage to turn it into a part time woodworking shop.

This Last December I felt I was ready to buy the plans and did so. Fortunately I was ready for the fact that the plans are...shall we say... hmm...opaque. Since this is the first thing I will be building outside of class I decided to make cad drawings of the major parts (bellows, reservoir, pressure box). Once that is done I will be ready to build. I have the first two done and am half way through the pressure box. Doing the cad drawings for me has forced me to come to grips with how the organ works and how to approach the build.

So besides just saying hello I have this question. I have been saving some money to buy tools. What do you all think are the basic tools needed to build the organ?

Also I'm planning on building the bellows reservoir and pressure box out of quarter inch Baltic birch ply. Anyone disagree with that?

N.B. I have more experience as a musician than a builder, so if anyone has a question about music, tuning I would be happy to give a snobby pedantic answer in long form essay.

I'm too excited.
 
Hello Everyone,

Also I'm planning on building the bellows reservoir and pressure box out of quarter inch Baltic birch ply. Anyone disagree with that?

I'm too excited.


Glad to see you joined up Spencer and yes that is the size of choice for most of the organ with 1/8" for the pipes I did use 1/2" for the hinge end of the pressure box and for making the frame of the lid all else 1/4"
 

Tom Baugues

Member
Messages
2,699
Location
Lafayette, Indiana
Welcome Spencer. It only takes very basic tools to build the organ. I used a band saw for most of my wood cutting because I didn't have a table saw at the time. So understand that just about any saw that will give you straight cuts will do. As far as building the organ from the plans. ALL the information is there...somewhere...either in the video or the plans themselves. Sometimes it just takes longer to find it.
Jay is your go-to guy for parts.
I look forward to following along with your build....it takes some time.....but is totally worth it.
 
Messages
6
Does that mean we get to tell bad musician jokes. I mean they're all bad but do we get to tell them?

What's the difference between a viola and an onion.....No one cries when you chop up a viola.
 
Messages
6
Hi all,

I am trying to figure out the dimensions of the tracker bar mechanism as it sits in the pressure box.

The tracker bar sits on a slightly large piece that sits on the piece that is inside the pressure box. Pages 15, 17, 25,

Any help one the dimensions would be welcome. Specifically the offset of the piece that is inside the pressure box.

Thanks.
 

Paul Douglass

Member
Messages
4,272
Location
S E Washington State
Anyone miss this thread as much as I do? We need something else like it. I don't want to build another organ, mine now sits and no one in my family wants it after I go... I really don't know what to do with it. But building it and this looooong thread was one of the fondest memories of my woodworking life...
 

Mione Hill

Member
Messages
164
Location
New Jersey
Know what you mean - I have been trying to sell my 100 note Topsy for 3 years not one serious inquiry.

I would love to build another organ, had so much fun building the 4 I made so far.
 

Tom Baugues

Member
Messages
2,699
Location
Lafayette, Indiana
I could build another organ in a heartbeat but like the rest of you having a place for it is difficult. Building them is probably the most fun part. I have two, enjoy them both but finding events to get out and enjoy them is few and far between. Especially since this virus disrupted everyone life.


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Clive Thorpe

New Member
Messages
1
Happy New Year 2021!

Hi everyone I’m Clive, I live in the UK and am an amateur organ builder.

My inspiration for building organs came as a result of a visit I made 40 years ago to Keith Harding’s Mechanical Museum where I heard all these wonderful instruments. In recent years I have been out to events and heard and seen many instruments played and been able to talk to their makers and designers including John Smith on several occasions who not only gave me the confidence and reassurance that I was doing things correctly but was generous in giving his time and attention to explain technical details.

I have built the Senior 20 (over a three year period) and play it every single day although I still have to complete the bandmaster figure and never did put the viewing window in. My bellows are blackout cloth and certainly at the low end of the pressure scale but this allows me to play the organ inside with no problem.

I have just started a Universal build and nearly finished the woodwork for the bellows/reservoir. I will use liquid hide glue this time to secure the leather to the frame. I have the vast majority of the remaining wood cut and have purchased the crankshaft, wheels and leathers etc. from Peter Hood’s website at rollcutter.com. I also picked up 15 rolls of music from eBay but cannot collect them yet as it would be illegal to do so under current restrictions!

I also have a MIDI organ which I bought off eBay many years ago which uses a solenoid windchest and blowers which I have modified into modules and extended with a bass windchest and percussion and Bluetooth capability. Unfortunately the heavy November rains penetrated the covers and caused considerable damage throughout so it is all indoors now and I spent the winter rebuilding and renovating it - still a way to go on that one. It is 42 keys ( 37 chromatic and five bass) and plays music on the John Smith/Raffin/Frei 20-note scale and John Smith 26-note and Topsy (alternative) 31-note scales

I’ve also built Melvyn Wright’s double acting bellows, his pipe voicing machine and one or two elements of street organs - a tremulant and a ventil and hope to build a register box this year.

I am also the very proud owner of a player piano (pianola) which lives in my garage and although I started with one roll it somehow grew to 650 with a good selection of rags and some jazz. I confess I never rated Beethoven until I played his compositions on the pianola and was bowled over by them.
 

Tom Baugues

Member
Messages
2,699
Location
Lafayette, Indiana
Hi Clive, these instruments are a real joy to build and play. Taking them to an event and sharing the music with the public is always fun. Glad to have you here on the forum.


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