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  • Cutting the umbilical cord



    Hi,




    I purchased a church organ last week. Its a 1958 electrical action Laukhuff, Unit organ.




    Moved the pipes to my home, but need to now remove the windchests swell shutters and playtable.




    How do I keep track of the 400 plus wires? The are 328 pipes and the cable from the playtable is probably about 30 meters long running along the ceiling of the church.




    The pipe chamber was very dusty and the pipes are dirty. How do I clean the pipes? They all fit in the swell chamber, so I am not concerned about looks, but rather making sure they sound right. I can see that the reeds needs to have their little tongues polished, but that is fairly easy. Do I push a duster down the pipe, a vacuum cleaner? Or do I just clean out the dust from the mouth?


  • #2
    Re: Cutting the umbilical cord



    Label the wires before cutting them:

    http://www.reuter822.com/reinstallation.html

    or better yet jsut rewire..if it is old cloth wire you should rewire anyhow. I very very very seriously recommend rewiring with new wiring. I went to alot of hassle and was quite proud of myself for carefully labeling all the wires but now wish I had rewired from the start. :) good luck and keep us posted, would love to see some pics!!!!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Cutting the umbilical cord

      If you decide to replace the cable, be sure that the junction boards in the console and in the pipe chamber are labeled with both stop names and pin numbers. If so, you can cut the cables without further ado.

      If the organ's original installation has sufficient cable and you decide to use it, then each end of the cable must be labeled. A less time-consuming way then individually numbering each wire is to lace each cable, as follows.

      Supplies:

      1. Heavy weight cotton cord used for crocheting -- do not use the light-weight variety -- (available from Michael's in the USA). If you have access to the real thing from a pipe organ builder, lucky you! Do not use nylon cord.

      2. A large curved upholster's needle.

      Directions:

      Locate the junction board in the console. It contains separate rows of pins for each rank of pipes (32 pins, 61 pins, etc., depending on the number of pipes for each rank in the pipe chamber), swell shutters, crescendo, etc. Each row should already be labeled.

      Examine each row. Identify and mark (blue masking tape) the cables from the pipe chamber (as opposed to wires originating from the console itself). The former must be laced before cutting. The latter will not be laced nor cut.

      Identify the wire to the first pin on the left of the row you want to lace. This is usually pin #1.

      Apply masking take around the wire to pin #1 and label it with the name of the rank or device. You can also mark the cotton-covered #1 wires with red fingernail polish.

      Take as long a section of cord as you are comfortable working with (at least the length of the junction board) and thread it through the needle.

      1. Wrap and tie the cord to the cable at the point were the wire #1 leaves the cable.

      2. Pass the needle and cord in front of the wire leading to pin #1, then around its right side, behind the wire, and finally forward around the left side of the wire to the front. Lock the cord in place by looping the needle and cord around the segment of cord which extends between the cord's anchor site (on the cable) and wire #1.

      3. Pull the needle and cord as tight as possible. Keep the laces as close as possible to the cable -- and as far away from the pin as possible.

      4. Repeat Step 2 and Step 3 above, this time passing the needle and cord in front of wire #1 and #2, and then wrapping the cord behind wire #2.

      5. Continue as in Step 4 until you have tied off the entire row of pins.

      6. Finally tie off the end of the cord by working it into the last few wires (which are easily spread apart), by knotting and tying it frequently.

      7. Cut the laced wires close to the pin so that a short segment of wire is still attached to the pin. This segment only needs to be long enough to hold onto with needle-nose pliers while you desolder it from the pin. This will aid in cleaning up your junction boards before soldering on new wires when you reinstall the organ.

      Notes:

      You will have to use several segments of cord to complete a row. Be sure to tie the cords together with square knots. Be sure to keep the expended lacing cord taunt while your are tying on the new cord segment. To facilitate this, you may want to loop the expended cord several times around the cord in front it, instead of looping it just once. Then as an extra safety measure, use masking tape to hold the loose end in place while you tie on a new piece of cord. If you still have difficulties keeping the lacing in place while attaching a new segment of cord, lace backwards one wire and then forwards. Now apply masking tape and make your tie.

      Practice the lacing technique before you have to actually do it on the worksite. The secret is to 1) constantly pull the cord tight after wrapping each wire and 2) keep the lace as close to the cable as possible and as far away from the pin as possible. You must take these precautions to prevent the lacing from falling off the end of the wires after the wire has been cut off the junction board pins.




      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Cutting the umbilical cord



        [quote user="Ferdinand"] How do I keep track of the 400 plus wires? The are 328 pipes and the cable from the playtable is probably about 30 meters long running along the ceiling of the church.[/quote]




        I don't know much about this stuff; but I recall some pictures on the Phoenix Organ website showing a large bundle of wires being replaced with a single cable (cat 5?). It looks like a much easier system to work with; and may be worth looking into.




        http://phoenixorgans.com/installatio...nstallation=69

        2008: Phoenix III/44

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Cutting the umbilical cord



          Thanks. The response so far has been overwhelming. I have had more information in the last day than the last month, searching on my own.




          I understand what you mean about the cording. Currently the cable is about 30meters long, butI will probably only use 5 meters of it.




          Instead of removing the wires from thejunction boards, can I not connect the wires again via some kind of join?




          I had to cut smaller cablesfrom the offsets to remove those wind chestsand afterwards discovered that they are not colour coded! But the offsets does not have that many wires and I'm sure it wont' take that long to see which wire operates which solenoid.




          Your advice makes sense. As I understand, check each junction board to see that they are marked correctly. The colour coded wires should be simple as long as I reconnect the swell with swell and not the swell to crescendo. Unfortunately the organ is 240km from me and I only have Saturdays to collect it in bits and pieces. What I forgot to mention originally is that the controls for the organ is in the consol - 30 meters from the junction board in the pipe chamber. Your idea of using nail varnish may help, but armed with this new information I need to inspect those junction boards again.




          Which brings me to my next question ( althoughI may be running ahead of myself here): How doI clean the phospor bronze contact points? And with what?




          Looking forward to the wealth of advice!





          Ferdi

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Cutting the umbilical cord



            Ferdinand - -

            1. "Can I not connect the wires again via some kind of join?"
            My nephew, who wires upscale California homes for security devices, movie theaters, and low-voltage switches, uses short white stubby crimp connectors. To use these, you hold the two wires side-by-side, insert then in the connector, and then crimp the connector. Obtain them from any wholesaler who specializes in low voltage (security) wiring. Although I have not yet gotten around to installing my Moller, I was planning on soldering the wires. Age has taught me that newer is not necessarily better. So I thought I would stick with soldering: I know by sight that a permanent connection exists.

            2. "I had to cut smaller cables from the offsets to remove those wind chests."
            Same problem I was faced with, same solution I will use.

            3. "What I forgot to mention originally is that the controls for the organ is in the consol - 30 meters from the junction board in the pipe chamber."
            I am confused. There is only one junction board -- and that is in the pipe chamber? Is there no junction board in the console? Should this be the case, proper labeling of the wires before cutting is going to be a time-consuming challenge.

            4. "How do I clean the phospor bronze contact points?"
            Have you actually checked the keying mechanism to determine how the electrical connection is made. Many organs use silver "whiskers" under the keys which brush against a bronze bus bar. You may not even need to clean the bus bar. I am not aware of any way, because of their fragility, to clean the whiskers. I had a PM from a forum member who said he used Brass-O on the bus bar. (If you use Brass-O, I would make certain no oily residue was left on the bus bar. You might try lacquer thinner for removing any oils produced by cleaning -- but do not get lacquer on any plastic-coated wiring, etc.) There are other much more-knowledgeable members of the forum who can help you with this question. One thing that can enhance the bounce problem caused by dirty or worn contacts is to trying to use lower voltage in the chests and console than your organ was originally designed for!

            5. Bonus Answer:
            A wealth of helpful information, if you have not found it yet, is available on the diyapason site:

            http://www.diyapason.pipechat.org/

            Click on "Articles from Archive" in the Table of Contents on the left side of the page. (Fearing this site may not be available at a future date, I downloaded all these articles to my computer.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Cutting the umbilical cord



              Apologies. My ignorance in organ building shows! There is a junction board in the playtable.




              The church gave me a detailed quote from an organ builder about what needs to be done. This was in 1995. The work was not done and the organ has not played since then.The work required was as follows:




              1)Clean the keys and regulate the keyboard




              2)Regulate the pedal board and replace felt




              3)Crescendo and swell contacts to be adjusted




              4)The pipes needs to be cleaned as they are very dusty and then regulated




              5)Reservoir leather needs to be replaced




              I chatted to the organ builder who did the quote and he told me the contacts was phospor bronze and will probably need cleaning. But he services an enormousarea and has a waiting list of nearly a year. No ways I am going to wait that long! I want this organ playing by December at the latest.




              I placed images of the junction boards and pipes on this forum, but I think there is a delay before they are approved and appear on this site.





              Ferdi




              p.s. I will have to empty out the playtable in order to fit the consul through an upstairs window. I think this is possible without too much damage - hopefully none.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Cutting the umbilical cord



                [quote user="NYCFarmboy"]

                Label the wires before cutting them:


                or better yet jsut rewire..if it is old cloth wire you should rewire anyhow. I very very very seriously recommend rewiring with new wiring. I went to alot of hassle and was quite proud of myself for carefully labeling all the wires but now wish I had rewired from the start. :) good luck and keep us posted, would love to see some pics!!!!!![/quote]




                Electrical supply houses sell inexpensivepads of self-sticking numbers for that purpose.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Cutting the umbilical cord



                  Thanks. That is a useful tip. I just hope the stickers stays on the wires when I pul the cable through the wall cavity!




                  Looking at NYCFarmboy's link the labelling looks scary.




                  Ferdi
















                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Cutting the umbilical cord

                    wow that looks VERY VERY VERY nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so glad the organ has found a new use!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Cutting the umbilical cord



                      Ferdi --

                      After viewing the pictures of the console and organ chamber junction boards, I think you will have to use John's individual wire-labeling method. The length of the wires between the pins and the cables is so short, that it will not be possible to use the lace-&-cut method I described. (The cables in the console show individually laced wires, ready to be cut. The cables in the chamber would have to be relaced individually wire-by-wire; the current lacing of these cables is sparse and used only to form a cable -- not isolate individual wires.)

                      You will have to cut the cables a foot or two in front of the junction boards. However, be prepared for some difficulties. These cables are wrapped with friction tape. At fifty years age the tape may be brittle and difficult to remove, but after removing the dust, the labels should adhere easily to the wires. If the tape is soft and easy to remove, the tape will leave a sticky, black, gooey residue all over the wires -- a situation in which is difficult to get labels to stick to the wires. Even if you use turpentine to remove the reside, the cotton-wrapped wire will still be oily, and the labels will not stick. You might try lacquer as a solvent, but be sure to blot the wires dry; do not get lacquer on finished wood or plastic surfaces!

                      And now, for the downside. Even if you worked 18 hours a day, I do not think you will have the organ installed by Christmas, especially if you have to releather reservoirs, etc. This appears to be a very nice pipe organ -- expend the time necessary to give it the type of installation it deserves. You will enjoy the organ all the more!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Cutting the umbilical cord



                        I am placing a few more images of the dirty stuff! What you cannot see is that the cables are colour coded. There are about 8 different cables joined into one so the colour coding is not for all 400 wires, but for each bundle.




                        There is no way I can wait till next year to have a playing organ. Tempus fugit!




                        Thanks for the information. It will all be very helpful when I go on Saturday to start cutting wires. I will only be removing the windchests for now as I need them to build the swell chamber.




                        Cheers




                        Ferdi




                        Back of consul







                        Cable running on the ceiling







                        Cable where it joins up to the consul







                        Swell stops







                        Pedal stops




                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Cutting the umbilical cord

                          nice pics! That organ appears VERY close to my home pipe organ when I first got it....4 or 5 ranks of pipes total?




                          Is the facade for show only or are they speaking pipes?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Cutting the umbilical cord



                            Hi,




                            I certainly hope that the sound it creates will be tolerable as it was so out of tune that it is impossible to tell.




                            The facade pipes are dummies. The entire organ is in the swell chamber - just as well, for practising late at night in the suburbs. However, I do not like the 1960's way of displaying the facade and will consider revising the facade one day. As you can imagine this is not a priority on my to do list.




                            The ranks are: Diapason, Flute, Salicional and Reed. It is just short of a mixture!




                            Ferdi

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Cutting the umbilical cord



                              [quote user="Ferdinand"]The ranks are: Diapason, Flute, Salicional and Reed. It is just short of a mixture![/quote]I'd say it is just short of a celeste! That is especially true for a home installation.




                              For years I practiced on an organ that had a Diapason, Flute, Trumpet, Viola, and Celeste. Although the derived upperwork was ratherpiercing I never missed the mixture.

                              Comment

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