Forum Top Banner Ad

Collapse

Ebay Classic organs

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Garage Organ

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Garage Organ

    Hello all,

    For years I've been toying with the idea of building a fairly large virtual organ using Hauptwerk, MIDI, and a custom console. It would be a lot of fun to play, but I also know there's no substitute for the real thing. I've had the pleasure of playing a couple of small organs locally (Finger Lakes area, NY) - a 1906 Pilcher (9 ranks) that has been recently restored, and a 2002 Parsons (11 ranks) and really enjoy it. For the expense of the software, speakers, console, power, etc. I could probably have a pretty decent acoustic instrument.

    I'm considering the possibility of putting together something in my garage. I have a workshop space 25'x15' with a ceiling peak of about 15 feet. While not heated (yet) I think acoustically it could be "ok" - better than a carpeted living room, for instance. The outer walls are concrete block, and the inner wall is Type X drywall. I'm envisioning a possible footprint for the instrument of 14' wide and maybe 6.5' deep. My hope would be to have two manuals, plus pedal.

    I would very much like to do a tracker action; but what concerns me about that are the windchests. If I understand correctly, slider chests need to be wide enough to handle an entire rank. Obviously, I could offset the largest pipes if need be, but I suspect I would still need a fair amount of width. Any pointers on how wide a 61 note slider would be for, say, 8' pipework? I've read and watched several of those creative folks who have built their own organs from scratch, including the pipes I'm okay with purchasing used pipes when I get to that point. I couldn't imagine trying to build metal pipes, for instance. A Bourdon, on the other hand, I could probably manage to build.

    I am also considering a third division in the attic that would be exposed into the workshop space. This presents no issues structurally as I'm the one who has done all the drywall, so I know what's there. :-) This would be a tiny Choir division, probably, probably only stopped pipes, unless I laid an open pipe sideways. Because of the distance from where I envision the console, it would almost certainly have to be direct electric. Maybe some chimes, since I have the space. :-D

    If it makes more sense in the available footprint to do direct electric throughout, that's no problem. I have enough electronics background to make it go. With a electric action, I suspect that I could go vertically and have lower and upper windchests in a division, and spread things out a bit (i.e. maybe cram some additional ranks in).

    Thanks for any pointers and thoughts about what is - for now - just a nugget of an idea! If there any suggestions on ranks that would be appropriate, I'd appreciate it.

    -Adam
    1965 Allen 3D6 Custom
    Unkown Kawai Reed organ

  • #2
    The primary consideration is the environment. For best results, you would need an insulated garage with a reliable source of heat, preferably always working. Ideal would be to remove the garage door and replace it with a smaller door if an exterior door is necessary. Hard surfaces such as wood or stone are the best for pipe sound in my opinion, (though many debate this!), so I would finish the surfaces in this way.

    I don't think it makes sense to put any pipe work in an attic or closet type space. Pipes rarely sound inspiring in this way. Usually they absorb a lot of sound and character, and sound diffuse no matter what you do. Better to build and mount an upper cabinet high in the space (like an echo division).

    I wouldn't worry about use of space, even for an 8' division. There are lots of ways to make it fit, even with a tracker action. A wind chest can be staggered up to three pipes in depth. Past this, there isn't much benefit to staggering. Even then, it's only really the bottom octave of a 8' rank that really takes up any space. Even with a tracker action, you could always put the bottom 12 pipes on an offset chest. That's the beauty of trackers, you can orient the pipes any way you want. You just need a direct mechanical linkage to them.

    Direct electric seems convenient, but there are a lot of problems and tricks to getting a good action, so I wouldn't rule out tracker action, especially if you are going to build it yourself.

    Current: Allen 225 RTC, W. Bell reed organ, Lowrey TGS, Singer upright grand
    Former: Yamaha E3R
    https://www.exercisesincatholicmythology.com

    Comment


    • #3
      I installed my Estey 2/8 in my garage. The electro-pneumatic chests are very long, but being an Estey, all the longer pipes are either Haskelled, or metered, so everything fit fairly well.
      However, the garage is not heated. As soon as winter came.... the pipes all went out of tune. I don't want to go through that again, so we have plans for heating the garage this winter.

      Comment


      • myorgan
        myorgan commented
        Editing a comment
        HP,

        Did you end up heating your garage last Winter? I'm curious how you chose to heat it.

        Michael

    • #4
      Thank you for your reply! I agree keeping the temperatures moderate in the space is going to be important. I have been using Rockwool insulation in all of my work in the space so that I can have a reasonable time of managing the temperatures, if only for my using it as a workshop. The floor is concrete and the space in general definitely has a little acoustic life to it. My little Kawai reed organ develops its bass tone quite nicely in there, not that it's a great comparison.

      I should clarify on the attic a little bit - essentially my garage is a two single-story bays plus one full height bay at the end. The attic is really more of a loft that overlooks the high bay/workshop. If a division did go there, it would be fully opened to the bay (pulling out some drywall and insulation) so the pipes should be able to speak well. Probably would box them in to help keep them clean and safe. It's an optional thing though.

      Thanks for your thoughts on the space for the tracker action. I'd really prefer to do it that way, and it sounds like it's possible, so I'm glad to hear that. I'll move in that direction. It means fewer valves in the end anyways. :-)
      1965 Allen 3D6 Custom
      Unkown Kawai Reed organ

      Comment


      • #5
        Welcome to the Forum! I hope you stick around for a while and share your experiences as you work on your project.

        Originally posted by Larason2 View Post
        I wouldn't worry about use of space, even for an 8' division. There are lots of ways to make it fit, even with a tracker action. A wind chest can be staggered up to three pipes in depth. Past this, there isn't much benefit to staggering. Even then, it's only really the bottom octave of a 8' rank that really takes up any space. Even with a tracker action, you could always put the bottom 12 pipes on an offset chest.
        The thing to keep in mind is that if you offset the larger pipes, it will add to the depth of the organ chambers. As Larason2 has already pointed out, you can choose to offset the chests with the larger pipes. Some can be spread across the front fa├žade, while others can be placed at either end of the chest (as long as you have room there).

        You can check out my own garage escapades here: https://organforum.com/forums/forum/...t-up-questions. It is constructed as you describe for your situation. I have a 12 or 13 rank pipe organ in storage at my house up north. Initially, I thought of putting it in the garage, but I have to see how much space there is left after the instruments you see in my signature below.

        I'm not sure if it is as necessary in a pipe organ as it is in an electronic organ, but you might do better with the lower pipes in the corners of the garage, speaking diagonally across your longest measurement (think-hypotenuse of a triangle). For the measurements you gave, I'm not sure exactly what wavelength that would be for the lowest 16' tone.

        Regarding heat, my heatpump was just installed Wednesday this past week. Now, we're having to avoid it while working on the attic. That's not a fun job, but at least we know it works (tried it out today). Temperature will be your biggest enemy, and if you're constantly tuning the organ, you'll turn into a tinkerer vs. a player very quickly.

        My best wishes on your project, and I look forward to the completion of your project.

        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)
        • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

        Comment


        • #6
          I didn't mean to kill the thread, Adam! Really, I didn't.

          Any more updates on your garage 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)
          • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

          Comment


          • adamsih300u
            adamsih300u commented
            Editing a comment
            No worries! I honestly haven't had time to pursue it this year. Someday it'll come about, either with pipes or reeds. At some point I'm considering, when finances allow, putting in an outdoor wood boiler here (we live in the country), and if I do that I can put in a 70k or 100k BTU water/air heat exchanger to keep everything very comfortable in our winter months.

        • #7
          Originally posted by myorgan View Post
          Any more updates on your garage organ?
          My son went off to college, which had 2 pipe organs, and got a job as a music minister at a church with another pipe organ. So we decided to not heat the garage for the winter since plenty of other access to organs. We also picked up a wonderful Estey 2mp reed organ, which is a great practice instrument, all year.
          Last edited by myorgan; 06-27-2022, 05:22 PM. Reason: Fix quote.

          Comment


          • #8
            Originally posted by hp_lovecraft View Post
            We also picked up a wonderful Estey 2mp reed organ, which is a great practice instrument, all year.
            Yep, I have one of those too. It needs some work, and I'm not looking forward to moving it to the garage. I think I'll find some young guys to do it.? There are several colleges around here, so I'm sure I can find a group of guys.

            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)
            • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

            Comment

            Working...
            X