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Introduction and Advice on Purchasing a Reed Organ

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  • #46
    Originally posted by ColoradoJoshua View Post
    There are screws on the sides to remove pieces of it at a time, but they're back in there so far that I can hardly (if at all) get a screwdriver between the wall of the case and the wall of the reed assembly, as you can see here.
    [ATTACH=CONFIG]28215[/ATTACH]
    Looks like a selection of long thin screwdrivers would come in handy... Are those pictured going into the foundation board - the part the works are mounted on atop and the bellows below? On my Kimball, the screws are from the top on the back and sides and up from the bottom under the keyboard area.
    -- I'm Lamar -- 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
    -- 1899 Kimball Parlor Organ (forum thread)
    -- 1999 Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - spare W5000C for spares
    -- Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112 - Roland RD300nx stage piano
    -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

    Comment


    • #47
      Update #3a

      Hello friends of the Organ Forum! Yes, I'm still working on the Hinners Chapel Organ. I haven't gotten loads done over the last couple weeks because life has been absolutely haywire! But now that things are at least partially slowing down, I'm bringing my attention back to the project.

      I finally received Horton Presley's book, "Restoring and Collecting Antique Reed Organs", from interlibrary loan a few weeks ago and have been slowly working my way through it. Unfortunately, it's due in a few days and I really can't adequately make enough notes from it without practically copying the whole book... so I'm probably gonna have to buy it for myself so that I have it when I go to work on the various components it covers. It really would be nice if someone could write a new book that covered more current, proper procedures (such as not using contact cement xD) though.

      So that brings me back to the organ itself... Be prepared for a very long set of posts and an insane number of questions!

      Since my last post, I succeeded in the rest of the disassembly so all that's left is the outer shell of the case.
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      I didn't realize the entire windchest and lower action came out with the reeds all at once so I appreciate Mr. Casey's heads up on the screws coming up from underneath. After I removed the four upper screws and all the lower ones, that whole assembly came out relatively easily.

      Here's what our living room looked like when I had finished:
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      Since I'm most likely going to be gone in the summer for three weeks to start production on a TV show I'm directing and then this fall I may be going out of state to attend a trade school for a year, I think I've decided that I'm going to wait on most of the refinishing work until I have more time and a better work area. My mom doesn't like the idea of me sanding and refinishing in her living room and I'm not sure I have the time to do it and finish the working parts of the organ before I have to leave either way. I want to be able to play it before then so I think I'm gonna do some touch up work on the stop board and glue the loose piece of scroll work and call that good until I can really get the chance to focus on it. For now, my mom is antsy to have her living room back.

      So a couple questions:

      First, I'm noticing that all of the other organs from this manufacturer have carpet on the pedals, but mine doesn't. I'm guessing it was so warn that the last owner removed it. I was thinking a nice plain red to match the new felt would look nice, but I'm not sure where in the world I could obtain such a thing. According to the book, the original carpet was a lot thinner than the stuff we have today. Any ideas?

      Also, it appears that the pedals themselves used to be much shinier with a more silvery look that has since mostly tarnished / darkened. Is there any way I can bring back the old shine?

      They appear to be made out of cast iron and there is one small crack on the side of the right pedal (left in the picture).
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      Comment


      • #48
        Joshua - I think I see an outline of feet on those petals. Those horizontal ribs might be the usable surface. A good general purpose polish is Eagle One "NEVR-DULL." It comes in a tin filled with cotton wadding and is available through Amazon. I'd try a spot on the back first, as you might decide that the weathered look was appropriate.

        There's something "Home Alone" about your middle picture with your looking so innocent surrounded by destruction.
        -- I'm Lamar -- 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
        -- 1899 Kimball Parlor Organ (forum thread)
        -- 1999 Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - spare W5000C for spares
        -- Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112 - Roland RD300nx stage piano
        -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Silken Path View Post
          Joshua - I think I see an outline of feet on those petals. Those horizontal ribs might be the usable surface. A good general purpose polish is Eagle One "NEVR-DULL." It comes in a tin filled with cotton wadding and is available through Amazon. I'd try a spot on the back first, as you might decide that the weathered look was appropriate.

          There's something "Home Alone" about your middle picture with your looking so innocent surrounded by destruction.
          The position of the pedals in the picture is actually backwards from how I took them off as I wasn't paying close attention when I laid them out. The "feet" outline is from my cleaning off what surfaces I could get to easily with a vacuum and also any disturbance of dust I made when I played it before disassembling. If I keep the rubber intact as the main surface, I may or may not want to actually replace it entirely... there are (albeit small) chunks of it that are loose and damaged. I was just thinking a red carpet might compliment the felt nicely since all of the other organs I can find on the ROS database have carpet (some of which are that red I was referring to).

          Thanks for the polish recommendation! Yeah, I'll have to decide about that. I'm curious what the various members think about whether I should make it all shiny or keep it the way it is.

          Also, haha, yeah about the Home Alone thing xD

          Comment


          • #50
            Presley's book is rife with bad practices, like contact cement for bellows work. Nitrocellulose lacquer for refinishing, etc..
            Wherever he mentions a material or product that did not exist when the organ was built, discount it.
            Casey

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by SubBase View Post
              Presley's book is rife with bad practices, like contact cement for bellows work. Nitrocellulose lacquer for refinishing, etc..
              Wherever he mentions a material or product that did not exist when the organ was built, discount it.
              Casey
              Yep, the main reason I would get it is to have a guideline on procedure, not so much the actual supplies he uses. That's one reason why it's nice to have this forum I can go to and ask about the latter. That's a good rule of thumb.

              Comment


              • #52
                Update #3b | Cracks!

                Over the last few weeks I've been discovering more and more that needs repaired. First and foremost, I've found a ton of large cracks in pieces of wood that are supposed to be airtight and hold a vacuum. I guess that's what I get from living in an extremely dry climate.. instead of warping I get cracking.

                First off, the foundation board (also known as the platform?) has several fairly large cracks and, of course, since it's the base for the windchest, it needs to be airtight. It's also badly warped and bowed and parts of it are splitting and starting to come apart.

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                Secondly, the bellows itself has multiple very large cracks in the back of it, some of which were patched at one point with an unusual kind of fabric tape that has since mostly come off.
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                Third, the reed pan / upper part of the wind chest itself has (at least) three extremely large cracks, two of which have been patched with that old tape that is now starting to come up. The crack that hasn't been patched is so wide that you can see through it (see the picture to the left). It's a good 1/16th of an inch wide. You can also see several other cracks near the hole where the sub bass assembly sits.
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                Is there a way to fix or seal these cracks in a way that will be totally airtight and won't be likely to come apart again or will I have to totally replace the pieces of wood that are cracking? It's basically guaranteed that I need to replace the foundation board though... On top of being cracked and splitting, it's so badly bowed that it's presses down on the swell lever which keeps it from even being able to move without really jamming it. What kind of wood should I use to replace it?
                Last edited by ColoradoJoshua; 01-14-2018, 07:13 PM.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by ColoradoJoshua View Post
                  First, I'm noticing that all of the other organs from this manufacturer have carpet on the pedals, but mine doesn't. I'm guessing it was so warn that the last owner removed it. I was thinking a nice plain red to match the new felt would look nice, but I'm not sure where in the world I could obtain such a thing. According to the book, the original carpet was a lot thinner than the stuff we have today. Any ideas?
                  Rather than carpet, I have used some heavy upholstery material on a couple of my pump organs. I can't tell you how it will wear because it hasn't worn at all yet. I'm not sure if that's a good practice, but it's a means of getting a design on the pedals rather than plain carpet--of any color.

                  For the grilles, I seem to remember my mother and one of her sisters attaching red broadcloth to the back of the grilles with some sort of glue--I don't remember what it was.

                  Hope that helps, and others, please correct me if I'm off here.

                  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)
                  • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    I use baltic birch plywood for replacing the bottom windchest boards. Getting all the old hole locations transferred perfectly is nerve-wracking, even though I work to the tolerances of cabinetmaking all the time.
                    If the soundboard splits are wide enough, fit pieces of veneer into them. If not that wide, fix them when you have suction; pull yellow glue (Titebond II) into them. It has enough gap-filling ability for this. Avoid the valve seating area; don't glue down the valve leather inadvertently. You can use a glue spatula for those tight quarters.
                    A shopvac works in lieu of having the bellows connected; hold the nozzle underneath and apply glue from the top. Wipe up the excess of course.
                    Last edited by SubBase; 01-15-2018, 07:38 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      I've read that small cracks can be sealed with strips of bellows material and hide glue. That's what the Kimball factory did. Of course, Casey's advice is a hundred years better.
                      -- I'm Lamar -- 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
                      -- 1899 Kimball Parlor Organ (forum thread)
                      -- 1999 Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - spare W5000C for spares
                      -- Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112 - Roland RD300nx stage piano
                      -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by SubBase View Post
                        If the soundboard splits are wide enough, fit pieces of veneer into them. If not that wide, fix them when you have suction; pull yellow glue (Titebond II) into them. It has enough gap-filling ability for this. Avoid the valves eating area; don't glue down the valve leather inadvertently. You can use a glue spatula for those tight quarters.
                        Casey,

                        In a matter of months, I'll have a space to begin working on the pump organs I have that don't work well. I've often wondered if there was a way to inject glue into various cracks--like a syringe. Or, is the viscosity of the glue too thick to use a syringe? If so, where would someone find something like that? I've often thought it would allow for more precise delivery of the glue and create less of a mess.

                        What think ye?

                        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)
                        • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Silken Path View Post
                          I've read that small cracks can be sealed with strips of bellows material and hide glue. That's what the Kimball factory did. Of course, Casey's advice is a hundred years better.
                          I prefer making the soundboard solid again if possible, because it should vibrate and move as one. A leather strip is pneumatically effective, but may have some unknowable effect on the acoustic property.

                          - - - Updated - - -

                          Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                          Casey,

                          In a matter of months, I'll have a space to begin working on the pump organs I have that don't work well. I've often wondered if there was a way to inject glue into various cracks--like a syringe. Or, is the viscosity of the glue too thick to use a syringe? If so, where would someone find something like that? I've often thought it would allow for more precise delivery of the glue and create less of a mess.

                          What think ye?

                          Michael
                          I like the bellows-effected technique best for getting the glue into a crack. You need two things, glue and a rag/sponge to clean up.
                          Casey

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Quick question:

                            I've heard of using an ultrasonic cleaner to clean reeds. What kind of solution is best to use in said ultrasonic cleaner and how long should they sit cleaning? Is the method shown in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7g20850Z8M) adequate or is there a better way?

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Hi, Josh. I used one. Casey suggested using watch cleaning fluid. I discussed it in my famous Kimball thread. Please look here:

                              http://www.organforum.com/forums/sho...or-Organ/page4
                              -- I'm Lamar -- 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
                              -- 1899 Kimball Parlor Organ (forum thread)
                              -- 1999 Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - spare W5000C for spares
                              -- Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112 - Roland RD300nx stage piano
                              -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Update #4

                                Sorry for the long delay since my last post! Life has happened and I haven't gotten the chance to get to the organ much since March. However, yesterday I was able to pick up some supplies and today I spent the late morning and early afternoon working on touching up the stoprail. It's far from perfect, but it's a huge improvement on what it was before. I didn't want to go to the effort of refinishing it yet because of time and the sheer amount of work involved, so as long as it's presentable, I'm happy. (also getting a replacement Hinners decal would be easier said than done)

                                Here are some before and after pictures, albeit not very good.

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                                ^ After

                                What I ended up doing to cover the big problems was filling a couple holes with wood filler, painting over the bare wood with semi-gloss paint, and then using an ebony stain marker over that to get back the deep black and the shine. I simply went over all the scrapes and scratches with the stain marker to cover them up. The difference is night and day so at least it's presentable now. Maybe one day I'll go to the work of refinishing it totally, but right now I just don't have time.

                                I'm planning on making a video about the stop action specifically and hopefully you'll be able to see the difference better in that when it comes out.

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