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    Building an Organ Platform

    Folks,

    When I purchase a new (to me) organ, I build a platform so I can move it easily from venue to venue, or within a venue. I thought I'd share my latest experience with building a platform (and the design).

    Considerations
    The platform needs to:
    • Fit inside my trailer for transport, which only accommodates a platform that is 66"-68" from one side to the other.
    • Roll easily over various types of terrain.
    • Fold and/or separate so it will go through smaller doorways.
    • Be padded so mindless people walking into it can't sue (what a litigous society we have!).
    • Be padded so the sound from the pedals isn't amplified in the cavity below the platform (that happened on an organ in Ohio).
    • Have enough ground clearance to clear the ramp-door of the trailer without fetching in the middle.

    With that in mind, I scrapped the old platform (available to purchase now) because it did not meet many of the criteria above, in that:
    • The wheels were too small.
    • The platform was 78" wide and 68" deep.
    • It separated in the middle, but wouldn't re-connect without new hardware.
    • The platform did not have enough clearance for outdoor terrain.

    So, I've started this thread to share my endeavors.

    Materials List
    Quantity Item Price Extension
    8 5" Swivel Wheel Casters $14.97 $119.76
    4 2"x4" Aluminum Hangers $0.76 $3.04
    1 Box of 50 3/8"x3" Zinc Carriage Bolts $0.42 $21.00
    1 Box of 100 3/8" Hex Lock Nuts $0.14 $14.00
    35 3/8" Lock Washers $0.14 $4.90
    3 Brass 4" Door Hinges $2.38 $7.14
    1 2"x4" Pine Board (8') $2.78 $2.78
    4 2"x6" Pine Boards (8') $4.78 $19.12
    1 2"x8" Pine Board (8') $6.89 $6.89
    2 19/32" 4'x8' BC Pine Plywood $32.47 $64.94
    8 Lancaster Granite Carpeting (8'x12') $6.00 $48.00
    1 6'x6' Felt Carpet Pad $1.70 $17.60
    Total $294.73
    Of course, everyone will have opinions on the materials, but I'm just putting what I used out there for your consideration.

    The basic pattern I used was as outlined in the picture below:

    Michael
    Attached Files
    Last edited by myorgan; 11-02-2014, 02:46 PM.
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

    #2
    So, here are the destructions!

    Design Considerations
    Frame ConstructionClick image for larger version

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    Plywood Surface
    • NOTE: The flush side will be where the hinges are mounted.
    • Mark where the hinges will be mounted on each frame. Take into consideration where the pedals will lay on the platform and make sure the side hinges are not interfering with the pedals or the pedal frame. DO NOT attach them yet.
    Click image for larger version

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    WheelsClick image for larger version

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    Finishing the Surface

    Adding the Organ
    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

    Comment


      #3
      Unfortunately, I can only attach 5 pictures per post, so here are the rest:

      Platform Surface & Completed Platform Note the carpet flaps for the hinges.
      I'm thinking that on this platform that I'll only cut the carpet flaps on one side of the hinge, and tuck the other side under the carpet of the opposite side. That will make the hinges invisible to the audience if I cut the right side. I'll let you know how that works out.
      Click image for larger version

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      Last edited by myorgan; 11-02-2014, 02:24 PM. Reason: Clarification & Addition.
      Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
      • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
      • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
      • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

      Comment


        #4
        At last, the organ platform is placed inside the trailer for fit, and then the organ is transferred from the old platform to the new.

        In the middle picture, note the difference in width between the old platform and the new. When on stage and in various venues, real estate is at a premium, so the smaller platform is definitely useful.
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        Other discussion points regarding the platform design may include:
        • Some may prefer wood rather than carpet showing along the frame. My views based on experience are:
          • Carpet is padded, and thereby reduces injury on the part of those who cannot look at where they're walking for one reason or another.
          • Carpet can be easily replaced.
          • Carpet helps deaden the pedal sound for someone who is heavy-footed.
          • I chose grey because it is generally considered a neutral color.
        • Some may prefer smaller wheels, but that depends on whether you're going only on the pavement or off-roading it!
        • Why not use 2"x4" frame construction (or even 1"x4")? I believe I did on one of my previous platforms, and I've noticed it holds up as well as the 2"x6" frame. Only time will tell how long it lasts.


        Bottom line, I hope this thread helps someone else, should they choose to make their own platform.

        Michael

        P.S. I can't help with stairs--you're on your own there!
        Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
        • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
        • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
        • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

        Comment


          #5
          I am impressed at your attention to detail. Nice drawings and photos and love the fact you gave a parts lists. Need more posts like this!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Pipeorganbuilder View Post
            I am impressed at your attention to detail. Nice drawings and photos and love the fact you gave a parts lists. Need more posts like this!
            Thank you. I'm OCD in real life, so making partial posts doesn't come naturally to me.

            Michael
            Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
            • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
            • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
            • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

            Comment


              #7
              I also am OCD. Same name also. Lol
              Michael

              Comment


                #8
                I'm not sure I understand why the platform hinges. From the photo's I get the mipression it folds "double". But if the organ is on it, you cannot fold it double. So I'm missing something obviously.

                Much more luxurious that what I made. But then mine only is used to move the organ in the room to be able to get at the back like for tuning.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Havoc View Post
                  I'm not sure I understand why the platform hinges. From the photo's I get the mipression it folds "double". But if the organ is on it, you cannot fold it double. So I'm missing something obviously.
                  I do make the platform so it folds double with the hinges, so that works for moving the platform alone easily. However, with an organ on it, it allows me to lift the bench/pedal half for the purpose of moving it through doors, and so it doesn't take up too much floor space when moving (i.e. on stage). The hinges also add stability between the platform halves so the pedals will always line up.

                  On the other hand, I sometimes wish I had made the platforms without hinges, and attached only at the sides with latches. That way, half of the platform could be disconnected, thereby reducing the amount of material to go through a doorway. The drawback I've found to making a disconnecting platform, is that when I need to move the organ, I'm pushing on it and not the platform. Consequently, if the incline is enough, the organ moves on the platform rather than the platform moving. I've nearly lost an organ that way.

                  If the organ is to be moved within the same space, I'd probably opt for the detaching platform with smaller wheels and ground clearance. If the organ is to be moved between buildings and transported over long distances, then I'd opt for the hinges.

                  There's a lot to consider when making a platform. Everyone's situation is unique, and they need to make the best decision for themselves.

                  Michael
                  Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                  • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                  • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                  • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hinged platforms are for getting the platform through doorways, which are invariably NOT 7 or 8 ft wide! If properly hinged, the console could be moved to one part, and the other part folded up to get through the door (assuming proper dimensions for the parts and the console).

                    Quite a while ago I made a platform: I used 2 solid core, oak veneered doors, and added a lot of wheels from Harbor Freight (22 if I remember right)-I think they were 3" casters. I tied the two doors together with mending plates (if you don't know what these are, they are just flat pieces of steel with hole drilled in them, about 1/8 to 3/16 thick by 12 inches long). These were on the bottom side of the platform. By using so many casters, I didn't have to do any bracing to the bottom of the platform.

                    I finished the doors, and they looked good, but a broken furniture glide gouged them, and so later I carpeted them.

                    Not as fancy as yours, but quick and easy to make. I like the idea of folding, and the side attachment clasps.

                    My mending plates allowed for detachment for navigate doorways, but is not nearly as easy as a hinged arrangement--but it also made the 2 individual parts easier to carry as each was only 1/2 the weight of the platform, and, of course, the console can't be on the platform when detaching.
                    Last edited by toodles; 11-05-2014, 10:26 AM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thanks Michael for sharing your platform plans. I can imagine the folded platform could be pretty heavy but I guess one would use it folded with the casters to roll it wherever.
                      I am looking to put the AP-9 on a platform just for ease of access but it is in one room only and I will not be transporting it anywhere.....
                      The 5 inch casters should roll easily on thick carpet.. The Allen in the photo, is it your newbie 5400?
                      Rob

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                        I do make the platform so it folds double with the hinges, so that works for moving the platform alone easily. However, with an organ on it, it allows me to lift the bench/pedal half for the purpose of moving it through doors, and so it doesn't take up too much floor space when moving (i.e. on stage). The hinges also add stability between the platform halves so the pedals will always line up.

                        On the other hand, I sometimes wish I had made the platforms without hinges, and attached only at the sides with latches. That way, half of the platform could be disconnected, thereby reducing the amount of material to go through a doorway. The drawback I've found to making a disconnecting platform, is that when I need to move the organ, I'm pushing on it and not the platform. Consequently, if the incline is enough, the organ moves on the platform rather than the platform moving. I've nearly lost an organ that way.

                        If the organ is to be moved within the same space, I'd probably opt for the detaching platform with smaller wheels and ground clearance. If the organ is to be moved between buildings and transported over long distances, then I'd opt for the hinges.

                        There's a lot to consider when making a platform. Everyone's situation is unique, and they need to make the best decision for themselves.

                        Michael
                        You're right that everybody's situation is unique. My platform carries a pipe organ that can't go through the door and had to be only 5cm tall otherwise the organ didn't even fit into the room. Also the organ doesn't come off the platform anymore. Only to be moved once a year or so. Maybe I have a photo somewhere.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by toodles View Post
                          Quite a while ago I made a platform: I used 2 solid core, oak veneered doors, [snip]My mending plates allowed for detachment for navigate doorways, but is not nearly as easy as a hinged arrangement--but it also made the 2 individual parts easier to carry as each was only 1/2 the weight of the platform, and, of course, the console can't be on the platform when detaching.
                          What a neat idea! You make me glad I started this thread to get other great ideas! Too bad about the scratching. Of course, 1/2 of the platform I made is empty when I move it because the bench and pedals move separately. The organ is on its own half.

                          Originally posted by robmcginn View Post
                          The Allen in the photo, is it your newbie 5400?
                          Rob, yes it is. It was used and abused by the previous owner, but fortunately, it doesn't show unless you see it from above.

                          Originally posted by Havoc View Post
                          You're right that everybody's situation is unique. My platform carries a pipe organ that can't go through the door and had to be only 5cm tall otherwise the organ didn't even fit into the room. Also the organ doesn't come off the platform anymore. Only to be moved once a year or so. Maybe I have a photo somewhere.
                          5cm? That's a short platform--the wheels alone are that high! I'm guessing you're referring to the pipes. Maybe I should save the old platform (78" wide) to use with my pipe organ when I finally get to that project. You've given me something to think of.

                          Michael
                          Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                          • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                          • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                          • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                            5cm? That's a short platform--the wheels alone are that high! I'm guessing you're referring to the pipes. Maybe I should save the old platform (78" wide) to use with my pipe organ when I finally get to that project. You've given me something to think of.

                            Michael
                            It's more a very flat platform. 2 pics of it: first is the platform upside-down. It shows the rollers used. They can bear 25 kg each used as this. The next is the organ on it in the room. The board itself sits about 1cm off the floor. There are nicer solutions like this http://www.aerofilmsystems.com/technologies/air-movers but the cost is too steep for accasional use. And with the tiled floor it might now even work very well.





                            If you would like not to have the pics in your thread, let me know and I'll start another.

                            EDIT: for those that don't know these rollers (the correct name is "ball transfer unit"): http://www.alwayse.co.uk/
                            Last edited by Havoc; 11-06-2014, 12:02 PM.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Havoc View Post
                              If you would like not to have the pics in your thread, let me know and I'll start another.
                              ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! I started this thread to have a discussion on Building an Organ Platform. I'd be insulted if you started another thread. I've received so many new ideas from this thread already! Now I have many questions for you too, Havoc.

                              Obviously, your system works best on smooth, flat floors. What did you use to mount the BTUs (ball transfer units)? Was it plywood, real wood, 2 pieces of wood? I also noticed the shims in the 2nd picture. Is that to keep it from moving, or to level it? Are the bench and pedals on a similar board, or do you have them elevated somehow? Have you run into issues with the BTUs when they hit the grout sections of the floor? Do you find that the (apparently) metal ball wheels cause damage and crack the tiles? So many questions, so little time.

                              Great conversation piece, Havoc. Thank you for sharing.

                              Michael
                              Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                              • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                              • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                              • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

                              Comment

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