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Speaker Screen Pipe Facade Design Opinions Sought

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  • #16
    A scale 43 rank will have a 6 & 1/4" diameter low C ( going from memory, but over 6" anyhow ), and will be at least 110" tall or so. The tallest pipe in this facade space can be only 87" tall. I'm not adverse to cutting them obviously, but then you get into the length to diameter proportion issue again. I won't use tin / lead pipes of any type to build a largish display only facade. They have to be zinc, and most standard 8' ranks have only have 17 to 21 zinc bass pipes. So if you don't start with low C, you run out of pipes to fill the width.

    No ! There will be no PVC pipes here. I would never build such a thing for any church.

    The stained glass windows are staying right where they are. They were bought and installed only a year and a half ago ( for a goodly chunk of money, I'm sure ), and the church is very pleased and proud of them. I agree that it is not the best design to put them there, but the church architecture dictated that placement. The remodeling of the back part of the balcony was prompted by the new windows, The former speaker shelf was going across the window openings, abut two thirds of the way up. And it was not centered.

    Anyhow....., I think I may have come up with a suitable design that I will be reasonably pleased with. Got it laid out in the shop, and need to consider it for a day or two now. I'll update this thread pretty soon with more photos and so on.

    Thanks again to all who shared their ideas so far. It really does help to hear everyone's ideas, when one is trying to do a project with less than ideal raw materials.
    Regards, Larry

    At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), FX-20, EL-25 ( X 2, 1 chopped, 1 not ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Baldwin 626. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755.

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    • #17
      Well, it's been a few ( quite a few ! ) months now, and I have finally got back to working on this facade job. As of today it is all built, and standing in my shop looking pretty darn nice in my opinion. Considering some of the design constraints I have been working with on this one, I think it is turning out really nicely.

      There are many more things that need to be done yet to get it ready to install, but most of them are minor putzy type detail finishing ones. Next week the guy who is funding the job will be over to decide on options for finishing everything. What finish to use on the woodwork, what exact color the pipes will be, and so on. We will also go over the installation specifics. He and his crew ( he owns a HVAC Co. ) will be doing the install, with my supervision.

      The base of the platform will go up on the underside of the existing speaker shelf. I made the platform in two sections for a couple of reasons. One is to make it easier to install. The second reason that in the year of Covid, finding anyone who stocks 12' wide 3/4" hardwood veneer plywood was pretty much impossible. At least here in WI. So I made it from two 8' sheets. This was required because the shelf is 10' - 6" wide. The pipe racks are in two sections as well, but I have them indexed with framework, so they will fit together again just like they are now.

      I left a 1-1/2" space between the front edge of the shelf and the rear of the pipe rack framework. This is so that a frame with speaker grille cloth can be built and installed in the future behind the pipe racks, and in front of the speakers, if they should desire.

      The church service I was supposed to play for in the morning got canceled due to a snow event we are expecting overnight ( has not started yet, and the heavy snow will be south of us, but not my decision ), so I'm sorting photos tonight. I thought you all might want to see an update on this job. I was not too fond of the rank of pipes I had to work with, but I think I am on the way to making something pretty nice out of them. I'm getting excited now about seeing it done, and installed. And out of my shop !
      Attached Files
      Regards, Larry

      At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), FX-20, EL-25 ( X 2, 1 chopped, 1 not ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Baldwin 626. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755.

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      • myorgan
        myorgan commented
        Editing a comment
        Larry,

        It looks nice with the exception of the blue mouths. However, that does give me an idea. Is it possible to paint a design on the pipes (especially because they are not functioning)? Organ Clearinghouse probably has several samples you can choose from.

        Michael

    • #18
      I think it looks nice just the way it is. Are you going to paint mouths on the metal pipes? What is the blue tape for? (Especially on the backs of the wood pipes.)

      David

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      • #19
        Pretty cool! The church folks will certainly be proud of their new "pipe organ" when it's all installed!
        John
        ----------
        *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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        • #20
          I guess I did not bother to explain all the procedures that need to be done yet - this is still a job in progress. The tape over the mouths is there so they remain silver when the pipes are painted. The current plan is that the pipe bodies will be painted gold of some variation, and the silver mouths and ears will be a contrasting color. Along with the silver ( aluminum actually ) tuning slides, that are not on the pipes in these photos. I think the slides are shown in previous photos in this thread. The last photo shows some of the gold paint formulations on test pieces that the client can choose from when he visits.

          Personally, I don't really like facades that are all one color, particularly when the mouth parts are merely painted the same color as the pipe body. Larger pipes always have soldered in mouth parts, and I think they should show up that way in a facade as well. Making everything the same color is obviously easier to do ( masking the mouths is pretty putzy, time intensive work after all ), but it also seems like a quick and cheap way of doing things. Kinda lacks class and imagination, to my way of thinking.

          The blue tape on the wood pipes is temporary shop ID also. I have to know which pipe goes where when they are out of the racks. The foot holes in the racks are different dimensions for most of them. I've already made the permanent labels for the backs of the pipes ( I love my Brother label maker for these sorts of jobs ! ), but have not installed those, since the wood pipes might get a fresh coat of finish yet. The metal pipes have their ID labels inside the top ends already.

          The blue tape on the toeboard for the metal pipes is temporary also. That was put there to draw all the layout lines on, so I don't need to be concerned about erasing them from the wood. That will come off before the final finish is applied to the wood. No one will ever see the toeboard once it is installed in the church, but leaving layout lines visible is sorta lazy workmanship. Ya, I use a LOT of 3M blue tape, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. I'm not sure if they will want it painted some color, or shellacked, or stained, or what.

          I have many more photos of the entire build process - lots of layout, hole drilling, hole sawing, gluing, and so on. I can upload them somewhere if you folks would like to see all the work that goes into creating a facade like this. I know that video is the "thing" nowadays, but that does not really work well for documenting a job like this one. That is mainly because it is being done in stages, over many days and months. It's quick to snap photos when working - making ( and editing ) videos not so much.
          Last edited by Larrytow; 02-01-2021, 12:31 AM. Reason: Added a word so it reads correctly
          Regards, Larry

          At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), FX-20, EL-25 ( X 2, 1 chopped, 1 not ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Baldwin 626. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755.

          Comment


          • myorgan
            myorgan commented
            Editing a comment
            Originally posted by Larrytow
            I have many more photos of the entire build process - lots of layout, hole drilling, hole sawing, gluing, and so on. I can upload them somewhere if you folks would like to see all the work that goes into creating a facade like this.
            Larry,

            I'd love to see the process. Perhaps you could post them here in this thread (the ones you haven't already posted) along with narrative text? Just a thought. You do good work!

            Michael

          • Larrytow
            Larrytow commented
            Editing a comment
            I might do that when I have lots of time to devote to such a project. If you just look at a start to finish series of photos, everything is pretty self explanatory I would think. But then too, it might not be for some folks.

        • #21
          Regarding patterns painted on the pipes: lots of façades have painted pipes. To do a good job would require a lot of very detailed work, though, and I doubt you want to go to that much trouble.

          Here's an example:

          DSC_0206.jpg by David Casteel, on Flickr

          David

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          • Larrytow
            Larrytow commented
            Editing a comment
            That style would not be a good fit with the era of the building that it will be installed in. It's early 1960s, I'm pretty certain. The style you have there is more late 1800s I'm thinking. It's cool in it's own way I guess, but I have never been a fan of that much "busyness" on pipes. I'm more of a Schlicker / Holtkamp style fan for the "pipes in the open" styles.

          • myorgan
            myorgan commented
            Editing a comment
            YAY! Mid-century modern!;-) Just leave them square and make something of the angles, and you should be good.

            Michael

          • Larrytow
            Larrytow commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, exactly so. That is why the front projects out at a 15 degree angle. With that angle projecting out, and the pipe tops following the roof-line angle ( as close as possible, with the pipes being C / C# chromatically cut ), it should fit well with the architectural style of the building.

        • #22
          I certainly agree with the others that your project looks GREAT and does represent a lot of time, dedication, labor and excellent craftsmanship. A very neat idea and design. Yes, please post additional photos! And adding to John's remark, many people will think it IS a real pipe organ that they are listening to and "speaking" pipes they are seeing from a distance.
          Lloyd

          Happily retired organist/pianist from the Church of the Brethren...Allen ADC-4300-DK.
          Home...Wurlitzer (ES) Orgatron Series 20 Serial #11608 (retrofitted with MIDI and VPO-Hauptwerk) with Leslie 44W (shorty).
          Hammond BC Serial #5070 with Leslie 31A (tallboy) tone cabinet
          A.L. Swan antique pump organ (C.1852) Cherry Valley NY
          Member of the Lutheran Church (LCMS): traditional worship. Cleveland Clinic Spiritual Care volunteer with the chaplain's office.

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          • #23
            I haven't read all of the previous posts, so I apologize if this has already been covered, but here's my two cents... I would actually raise the speaker shelf so that you can build a "wind chest" like box to hide the shelf supports. At that point you can either cut the pipes to fit on the surface, or mouth the facade to the front of the box. I doubt you will need to worry about needing cloth because from the able that most people will see this they won't likely be able to see the speakers. I would arrange the pipes to match the roof line. If you're really concerned about people seeing behind the pipes, I would build a frame that goes as high as the shortest pipe and cover the entire thing in grille cloth, and attach the pipes to the front. By attaching the facade pipes from the back, you can play with the height and arrangement of them.
            Mark
            At Church: Allen MDS-15
            At Home: 3 Manual Hauptwerk VPO

            Comment


            • Larrytow
              Larrytow commented
              Editing a comment
              Mark, a lot of planning and design work went into this project so far, and a lot of ideas were considered and rejected for various reasons. The space from the bottom of the shelf framework to the bottom of the building's center beam dictated the length of the longest center pipe That then dictated the lengths of all the rest of the pipes. The pipes do match the roof line, as much as possible, and will still look like an actual rank. Well, parts of two ranks actually with the wood pipes on each side. If you go back to look at the photos in my first post in this thread, you can see that I had the roof outline laid out on my shop floor for planning and design purposes. Considering the pipes I had to work with, I'm confident that this is the best design that can be made from them. And with that full size layout, I KNOW it will fit !

              The metal pipe support framework is designed with a 1 -1/2" gap between the front face of the existing shelf and the rear of the framework. So a wood frame covered with grill cloth could be made to go in that space. That is not part of this job though, even if I planned for that possibility. If they would want one made, I will certainly do it, but that will be an additional cost item.

          • #24
            Howcum I can see but one picture of all the things you folks are discussing here.....what am I missing?

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          • #25
            The only pic I see anywhere in this topic is the stenciled facade. No links or inline pics anywhere else.

            Comment


            • myorgan
              myorgan commented
              Editing a comment
              Are you using a computer to view the Forum or portable device? Also, which browser?

              Michael

            • Larrytow
              Larrytow commented
              Editing a comment
              Sorry to hear you are having issues with the photos. They should show up as thumbnails that you can click on, at the bottom of some of my posts. They really do exist.

          • #26
            Macbook Pro i7 quadcore....won't show in Safari, nor in Firefox........they show in Chrome.....WEIRD!!! Have never had trouble with any other site. Have checked settings, blockers and even encoding. No idea what is going on, but at least I can see them in Chrome. Hmmmmmm.

            Comment


            • Larrytow
              Larrytow commented
              Editing a comment
              I'm not real computer literate, so I really can't be much help troubleshooting. I use Firefox almost all the time, and don't have issues. I use a PC, not a Mac, so perhaps a Mac user will have some answers for you. I'll post some more photos at some point, but we have a snow event on the way, and I'm still in that biz, so it may be a few days.

            • myorgan
              myorgan commented
              Editing a comment
              I've had to use Chrome because I've also run into issues with Safari and Firefox. Safari is rather simple, but easy to secure and program, but Firefox (Mozilla) likes to update itself constantly and reset all your settings in the process. Chrome ends up being the last best option for me. Other browsers like Opera, etc. aren't mainstream enough to be secure and kept up to date.

              Michael

              P.S. See, Otispit! We really aren't seeing things.

          • #27
            I guess it is about time for an update on this facade job. It is nearing completion now, with only a few more things to be done in my shop before installation in the church. The guy who commissioned the job finally decided what exact color the pipes should be, and he chose Hammered Copper. I thought the Bright Copper finish would look better, but it is not going in my church. Details like the color are a matter of taste, and everyone has their own. I did two spare test pipes with the Hammered Copper, and he likes it a lot, and he is of course the one paying for the job.

            Metal pipe painting will happen this week, along with a fresh coat of amber shellac on the wood pipes. The rest of the framework is also going to be amber shellac. Then I'll put it together one more time in the shop, label all the pieces that are not labeled already, and it will be ready to install.

            The installation should go pretty quickly, because the base is made from two pieces with the joint in the center. Way easier to install on the bottom of the existing shelf that way, than a single piece that is 10' - 6" wide. The pipes drop right into their spots just like any other facade.

            Here is a link to an album of construction photos during the process of building it. If you start from the first ones, it shows what the back peak of the church looked like before the "new" speakers, shelf, and stained glass windows. The photos then go on though the design and construction of the facade. If you step though the photos in order, most of the steps are fairly self explanatory. I just don't have the time these days to devote to putting captions on the photos to make it a true narrative. There are 89 photos in that album right now. I will update it as the job gets completed. I did not take any video of the construction process, as I work alone and that would be hard to accomplish. I might take some video of the installation, as I will be supervising the crew doing it.

            https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...Cz?usp=sharing

            I used Gdrive for the hosting rather than Gphotos, because when I uploaded the files last night, the Gphotos site put them all out of order. And it won't seem to let me re-order them by file names ( which I did number ). It should work just fine the way it is, but you need to manually step though each photo this way.

            I'm having no end of problems posting photos here on the forum. I guess I hit my 50MB limit from posting too many over the years, so I cant add any to threads anymore. The Gallery here is clunky ( seems to me anyhow ), and I can't seem to make my uploads show up.

            This job has taken way longer than it should have, but that was mainly due to the Covid situation, and other factors beyond my control. I'm getting real jazzed about finally getting it done, installed, and Out Of My Shop !
            Last edited by Larrytow; 03-07-2021, 12:32 PM.
            Regards, Larry

            At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), FX-20, EL-25 ( X 2, 1 chopped, 1 not ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Baldwin 626. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755.

            Comment


            • #28
              Wow Larry, everything looks great. Looking forward to seeing the finished product installed in the church.

              BTW, I love the "EX-42" license plate I spotted hanging on the wall!

              Joe

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              • Larrytow
                Larrytow commented
                Editing a comment
                Joe, thanks for the compliment ! That plate is from 1980 or so; the era when I bought my fist one. I have FX-1 and TX-1 currently.
                Last edited by Larrytow; 03-07-2021, 04:55 PM.

            • #29
              Thanks for sharing the photos, Larry. It has been interesting to follow your progress on this project and i look forward to seeing the finished job.
              Bill

              My home organ: Content M5800 as a midi controller for Hauptwerk

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