Forum Top Banner Ad


Ebay Classic organs



No announcement yet.

J Estey Cottage Gem reconstruction help needed

This topic is closed.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • J Estey Cottage Gem reconstruction help needed

    Hello all, new member here. I recently acquired a J Estey Cottage Gem reed organ. This organ is in need of extensive work. The organ came to me after a attempt at repair. I am wondering if anyone could give information regarding the materials used for the various hinges and bellows, and if anyone has suggestions for suitable substitutes, or recommendations as to what materials to use. I have also been unable to find an Estey specific repair manual, does any exist? Thanks, Vacuum Note.

  • #2
    This link is to a basic overview of reed organ repair. It covers everything your Estey would require.
    Another resource is the facebook group entitled Reed Organ Tech.
    If you're buying materials for just one organ, you will want to use suppliers like Johnson Music and Steve's Piano Service for smaller amounts of material. Even though it's cheaper to buy yardage, you'll have enough bellows cloth for 3 organs if you get three yards. (a six foot piece comes up short by inches.)


    • #3
      Sub base thanks for the reply and helpful information. My current obstacle with my organ is the pedal bellows we’re in a such grand state of discomposition I have no idea how these bellows are to be constructed or what they should look like. Do you know of any literature that would cover complete building of these bellows? I haven’t been able to find any pictures or drawings of these assemblies. This is my first major task among many I need to tackle. As always any help is surely appreciated. Vacuum note.


      • #4
        Hi and welcome to this Forum.

        In order to try and assist you may want to post some pictures. The more close-ups and detailed the better. Some here might even be able to advise more on disassembly and care etc, such as you will also find in the literature indicated by others. You need not take anything apart yet, just take some pictures and post them once you are allowed by the Forum to do so - I believe it is after you have posted about 5 messages.

        Ask questions, there are some very helpful and able participants who will gladly assist.

        We are a friendly bunch. Good luck!

        "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request... B-)


        • #5
          Hi. Can you take pictures of the back and front showing what's left of the bellows? I can't imagine the frames have disintegrated (my imagination is lacking sometimes), but somebody here may recognize it or may have seen a similar setup.
          -- I'm Lamar -- Allen TC-4 Classic -- 1899 Kimball, Rodgers W5000C, Conn 643, Hammond M3, L-102 - "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself." (Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest​ -) ​Paracelsus


          • #6
            Welcome to the world of reed organs!

            I retrofitted an air assembly in a Dominion organ a few years ago, and took some pictures along the way. Maybe they might be of some help as i think it would be similar to your Estey.


            You can find it by going to pictures, then click 'week 4', and it is on the second page of thumbnails.

            There are also other restoration pictures on my main website.

            Best of luck!

            To play a reed organ or harmonium, it helps to disconnect your feet from your brain and connect them to your emotions.
            Most of all, be creative, make music and have fun...



            • #7
              Thanks to all who have replied, greatly appreciated. I might be best off beginning with the history of my organ. I acquired this organ, after a previous failed attempt at repair. The organ was placed into storage approximately ten years ago, into a basement in this state of disrepair. there was, during that time a serious rodent infestation. In order to eliminate all signs and remnants of the rodents, the instrument needed to be completely disassembled. Any pictures I take now would simply be parts, and not much to look at. The various assemblies and all of the parts appear to be present, and in tact. That is the state its in currently.
              A bit of personal history about myself. I have successfully resurrected accordions and violins. The construction methods, materials, and adhesives are similar. My current organ project seems to be the most technical instrument project I've ever undertaken due to its scope and magnitude. I am hope full that with the various resources I have found, I can successfully resurrect this instrument, and have a working reed organ. Thanks, Vacuum Note.


              • #8
                Thank you for the brief history.

                You mention rodent infestation - exactly what did these pesky furry little devils leave behind? Pee blots and droppings no doubt but did they nibble at any of the parts? Were their nests still there? When cleaning out be very careful when dusting, vacuuming or brushing. Wear protective mask and gloves. The excretions of rodents can contain the Hanta virus which is dangerous to humans. Rodents somehow like electronic instruments better, probably because of the heat they generate - and they do more damage on those when they nibble on the protective wire coatings. Fortunately pump organs have neither of these potentially exposed elements - except for the sweating player when he/she pumps away at the pedals...:->

                But do not be discouraged by these comments. Just be careful.

                Pictures may still be helpful, even of the bits. And keep at it, you will not be sorry!

                "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request... B-)