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How much trouble...

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  • How much trouble...

    Ok, so there is this church which is REASONABLY close to me that needs to sell it's organ (due to church merger). I have no idea how they would want, but I am just curious. How much work would it be to remove a 15 rank organ and put it in my basement or someother place here on our farm. Ok, stupid question I know, but I am not a 'newbie' and I have taken courses in organ history and design along with years of organ,e tc. But I have no practical knowlege of anything and often take on projects that just sometimes get a bit overwhelming. Anyone out there tried this? Is it as big of a pain in the ass as I imagine? How much would one pay for a 1959 Wicks? Well, just curious.

    NYC famrboy you probalby have done this sort of thing.

  • #2
    that, for me, is a manageable endeavor even though I spent about U$ 1700 to go to California in late 2003 to pick up a MIDIfied three-manual and pedal organ console (for U$ 1500) and bring it back to Ohio by myself. It was fun for me even though I was alone, and I'd spend every cent again because it was my heart's desire.

    Do it if you want to, and please, pay no attention to anything I've said.


    • #3
      Re: How much trouble...

      email me at nycfarmboy at yahoo dot com for my thoughts on pricing/costs with the pipe organ.

      as to the previous post how the organ sounds when you play it will depend on where it is placed.

      I was very very very lucky in that my house where the organ is installed has very tall ceilings, (it is a AFrame style house shaped like the letter "A" so I have very tall areas at the tallest point of the house in which to put the pipes.

      go thru the photo section of http://www.reuter822.com for details on that.

      Lesson #1. when cutting the wires between the console and the pipes LABEL them. There are numbering labels made for just such a thing sold at like Home Depot or a good electrical store. This will make rewiring the organ much simpler and save you a nightmare on rewiring. I make a pretty big deal out of this only cause I know first hand of a church in Iowa that is installing a pipe organ in their church that they purchased from another church..the wires were cut without being labled so they have to go thru and use a doorbell hotwired to each wire to determine where each and every wire goes which is very time consuming, especially on a 15 rank organ like you may be dealing with, and if it is unitized..multiply that grief by 3 or 4!

      Some people have told me its actually easy to rewire a pipe organ but in my case with the unitized design where each pipe can be used by 4 different stops (such as the Bourdon 16, Gedeckt 8, Flute 4 & Flautino 2 that all use the same pipes) the rewiring becomes well a nightmare that I just don't want to get into... so LABEL and pray the wiring is in good shape and doesn't have to be replaced.

      Lesson #2. Prepare wood floors wherever the organ will go. (mine is sitting on carpet which I know is the stupidest thing on earth but thats another story and was my biggest mistake.... some will laugh on hearing this but we just had no idea how big the organ would be in my house compared to how "small" it looked in the organ chamber at the church it came from. (I'm a artist/designer, not a technical person and had ZERO experience in organs whatsoever previously). I got rushed into installing the organ as a friend of mine was in town and available to move the organ from the church to my house so I had to strike while the iron was hot and get the thing moved with about 2 weeks notice..anyhow I'll go on to other areas but that was a big mistake on my part. >>>we are going to releather the bellows possbily very soon and when we do I'm going to install wood floors and fix this mistake..but it will NOT be fun to move that console around to do it.

      Lesson #3 Price of the organ. Email me on that.

      Lesson #4 Cost of installing: email me on that.

      In my case I was VERY lucky, the organ was exactly just taking it down (carefully) and reassembling it, reconnecting the wires on it and turning the power on and playing.

      getting into moving the organ itself:
      1. take extra care with each pipe. don't get rushed, the pipes will dent & crush very easily , I think we have about 477 pipes on the Reuter 822, of those, just one got broke in moving..a oboe... the reed pipes are especially very delicate around the base, be very very gentile & use a box to move these..they will actually "wilt" if you carry the tallest pipes from end to end drooping like a flower and breaking if you are not careful.
      Also the wilt because they are lead. Lead is very dangerous when you handle it you should wear gloves etc.

      With 15 ranks you are looking at A LOT of moving of pipes...it will be time consuming more than anything. (It took 4 days to physically move the pipes & console of the 5 rank Reuter from the church to my house which is 5 miles from where the church is located... using a van for the pipes.

      2. the console will be harder to move than you think and it will be heavier than you think. It will take 4 very physically fit men to move the console at the least.

      Plan on moving the console & bellows with a group of very physically fit men.

      This could be the biggest mistake (well as you can see of many mistakes I made) one of the biggest I made is installing the console on the Reuter 822 right next to the pipes. The Reuter was designed to be in a expression chamber, but I wanted the pipes exposed and for space reasons and having a livable house I put the console in unused eve area right next to the pipes. The sound from the pipes at full organ is nearly deafening. The reeds & diapason stops on the 8 & 4' stops will damage your hearing if you play them too long.

      I have some options, I can voice the organ down to be a quieter instrument or I can install a 2nd console downstairs where I can play the "loud" stops and not hurt my hearing. I like the organ loud so am planning on installing a 2nd console downstairs which I obtained originally to use as a parts source. As it turned out we didn't need any parts off it except the nameplates! So I have a prefectly good 2nd console, so since I have that I'm going to install that downstairs so allow the organ to be played from two locations....I'll have the orginal console upstairs to practice on & play the softer stops and still "feel" the pipes being played.. plus the 2nd console downstairs for playing the Reeds & Diapasons...

      also we are toying with the idea of MIDIfying the 2nd console which will make the organ more fun without destroying the integrity of the original console which I want to preserve as built.

      some other thoughts:

      If you can install it in your house at least partially I'd recommend doing so. It will hold its tune better if its in a climate controlled home versus in a barn and if you have easier access to it you will play it more often and enjoy it more.

      so...the big question

      Is it worth the incredible effort...

      Y E S

      It is not describable how it sounds to sit down to a actual pipe organ in your house and play it. To feel the 16' Bourdon's thunder never fails to bring goosepimples to whomever I demonstrate the Reuter to. It is just amazing to FEEL the organ, and on the Reuter you actually feel it just as much as you hear it.

      Again please feel free to email me any specific questions and about pricing & costs.