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Organ Bellows Under-winded - any fixes?

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    Organ Bellows Under-winded - any fixes?

    Hi,

    There is currently a pipe organ which I am allowed to play that has been damaged for some years now and not in tune at all but it won't get fixed and that's the end of that. My question is - Will adding more weight to the main organ bellows provide more wind to the organ, or will too much added weight strain the blower and deplete the whole organ wind supply so it will not be able to float? I have played once before with all the stops out and when I played a rather large chord (9 notes with 15 stops) it gave a 3 second solid chord then it started to make the notes noticeably quieter and flatter. I was able to watch the main bellow slowly fall down until it created that bad chord. If I add more weight will this solve the problem, and by how much more weight if so? I don't have a great view of the bellow but it looks about 1m/0.5m rectangle and rises about 40cm... if this helps at all!

    Kind Regards,

    Sam

    #2
    My first reaction would be that you have too much organ, and not enough blower. With the blower running, check the wind line between the blower and the main bellows. If there are any significant leaks, patch them up. Also, if that same windline has flexible rubber cloth sleeves, check to see if the material is seeping air.

    The condition you describe would not be helped by adding weight to the top of the reservoir. The bellows would collapse just that much faster with added weight.

    Comment


      #3
      There are 2 variables determining wind supply: pressure and flow (volume/time). The ventilator delivers both to the reservoir. The reservoir and the valve just ahead of it determine the pressure. And the pressure is what the pipes are voiced to. So you should not change that, it will problably get worse as you suppose already.

      Now there can be many reasons why there isn't enough flow as Jay already mentioned. Some you can check and patch yourself, others might be "by construction" and out of question of helping there.

      - supposing the design was right, then leaks are the most common. Check as already suggested all joints. Very often they are covered with leather (sometimes paper) and that can be loose or torn. In that case you have a possibility to repair but please, do it properly. That means hide glue, new leather if needed etc. Yes, it is harder but it gives the organ more chances to get properly repaired later instead of more time and money for the builder.

      - tears in the bellows are also common. But that is specialist area, I suggest to stay out.

      - maybe the regulator valve isn't working properly. There are many types, but the most common is a roller curtain that is connected with a piece of string to the bellows. See that it is clean, can move freely and so on. Going around with a clean paintbrush to get dust out of the way can help.

      - is the ventilator running well? Nothing congesting its intake or outlet?

      There are other possible leaks but those will be better left to specialists. If you have a design problem like to narrow wind channels there is little you can do except keeping it in mind and register accordingly.

      Comment


        #4

        Comment


          #5
          ceiphers in most electro-pneumatic chests are dirt related...>sometimes, but not always< the pipe can be carefully lifted off the toe hole of the chest and the note tapped rapidly a few times >might< dislodge the dirt and stop the ceipher. Usually ceiphers are the repairs domain of a professional, as are any repairs to the reservoirs in the organ.
          Our of curiosity, who built the organ? Knowing the maker can sometimes help to troubleshoot the organ (sometimes not). It is unfortunate that some of the pipes have been damaged. Most can be repaired, but again this is a job ONLY for experienced pipe makers or those trained in pipe making and repairs.

          Rick in VA

          Comment


            #6
            One thing that nobody has mentioned which could cause the condition you describe; make sure the blower is turning the right direction. American blowers turn clockwise, European the opposite. Sometimes blower motors begin turning backwards after electrical work is done on the building - sometimes even out on the street.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by VaPipeorgantuner View Post
              ceiphers in most electro-pneumatic chests are dirt related...>sometimes, but not always< the pipe can be carefully lifted off the toe hole of the chest and the note tapped rapidly a few times >might< dislodge the dirt and stop the ceipher. Usually ceiphers are the repairs domain of a professional, as are any repairs to the reservoirs in the organ.
              Our of curiosity, who built the organ? Knowing the maker can sometimes help to troubleshoot the organ (sometimes not). It is unfortunate that some of the pipes have been damaged. Most can be repaired, but again this is a job ONLY for experienced pipe makers or those trained in pipe making and repairs.

              Rick in VA

              Comment


                #8
                As far as I know Martin Cross only built one School Pipe organ and that is currently at St Thomas the Apostle School in Nunhead. That had some major works done in 2010 and is a reasonably substantial organ so it would be a shame if it is no longer in good condition after such a short space of time. There are not many schools in the area that still have a decent size Pipe organ so you are quite fortunate, even if it hasn't been maintained lately.

                I'm afraid I can't offer you much advise to resolve the issues beyond what else has been said, however if you look on npor.org.uk you should be able to find the details of the builder for your particular organ.
                Church Organ: Monk & Gunther 13 Rank Pipe Rank
                Home Organs: Technics SX-GA1, Technics SX-GX7

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by GrowlingDog View Post
                  As far as I know Martin Cross only built one School Pipe organ and that is currently at St Thomas the Apostle School in Nunhead. That had some major works done in 2010 and is a reasonably substantial organ so it would be a shame if it is no longer in good condition after such a short space of time. There are not many schools in the area that still have a decent size Pipe organ so you are quite fortunate, even if it hasn't been maintained lately.
                  I don't think it can be this organ as it's got electro-pneumatic action (it's a 3-rank extension instrument, see: http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=E01596).

                  Martin Cross died in 2017 but his firm is still going. See: http://www.cylex-uk.co.uk/reviews/vi...anyId=13276009

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hallo
                    die meisten Ursachen von Windproblemen sind nicht genannt worden: Dass das 380 Volt gebläse möglicherweise rückwärts läuft. Dies passiert, wenn Elektriker in der Kirche arbeiten und die Phasen vertauschen.

                    Comment


                    • myorgan
                      myorgan commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Rolf,

                      Welcome to the Forum! I hope you continue participating here for years to come.
                      Willkommen im Forum! Ich hoffe, Sie werden auch in den kommenden Jahren hier mitmachen.

                      The solution you recommend is actually referenced in post #6 above.
                      Auf die von Ihnen empfohlene Lösung wird oben in Beitrag 6 verwiesen.

                      Michael

                    #11
                    I would certainly check the regulator/supply valve between the blower and main reservoir as Havoc suggested. On several occasions I have found the cord connecting the floating reservoir top with the valve to be broken or jammed, either by being trapped against something or displaced from a pulley. Also if a safety relief valve (usually a simple hinged flap tripped by a lever) is fitted to the reservoir top, make sure this is not jammed open or suffering from split leatherwork. Not that I would publically admit this but I have successfully repaired one of these with "Gorilla" tape - still OK after 6 years!

                    Comment


                      #12
                      Originally posted by nsa66 View Post
                      I . Not that I would publically admit this but I have successfully repaired one of these with "Gorilla" tape - still OK after 6 years!
                      I know what you mean. Lol
                      Sometimes we just got to do what we have to.

                      Michael

                      Comment


                        #13
                        Hi everyone,
                        I sort of fell away from this forum - thank you for all your replies.

                        GrowlingDog The organ was this one: https://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=P00043
                        It was maintained by Martin Cross, and possibly built by them (Bryceson Bros was also mentioned)

                        I found out underneath the organ (it’s on a stage, see NPOR photos) was being used as storage, primarily for exam desks. Little did the caretakers know there are pedal trackers exposed above which were snapped by the desks explaining why some pedals stops didn’t sound, but there was also a chain with a weight on it connected underneath the reservoir. It was lodged in place and meant the reservoir could hardly rise, limiting wind to the organ. I dislodged it and now although there are still leaks through the trunk/reservoir it works better (still not great)!

                        I uploaded a couple of photos of the console. I put names on the missing stops! Two don’t have them on because they’re spares (mixture/trumpet in great and 2ft gemshorn in the swell were going to get added while at St. John’s (previous location)

                        Thanks for your answers anyway, they helped a lot!

                        Comment

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