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Estey Number 429048 - Restoration Project

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  • SubBase
    commented on 's reply
    This is called "breaking back" and you would run into it most commonly on pipe organ mixture stops, where there are no higher notes to be had, the same octaves of high pipe repeat and repeat.
    In the case of this Estey, the bass reeds break back because those lowest 5 reeds are longer than could be fitted, or just too expensive. On the top-end F-scale Philharmonic Esteys, the bass reeds don't break back, they go down to the 32ft (or more precisely, 24ft) F.

  • nutmegct
    replied
    As you know, I'm certainly no expert. But the 13 note C to C Sub Bass is the same on my 1874 George Woods. And the 16' clarinet "drop" you describe matches exactly the Smith American organ I played recently at the Pease Collection museum.

    Another of Life's Great Mysteries.

    Tom M.

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  • WestAussie
    replied
    Playing around with individual stops, (one Stop at a time), the Sub-Bass (the box at the rear with the Serial number on it) starts at C and runs the 13 notes up, not from F at the start of the keyboard.

    When the 16ft Clarinet Stop only is out, it starts at F and then at C drops an octave to the C below F and goes up in order from there, therefore by pressing F and the octave above F gives the same note/frequency. It does not do this with any other Bass Stops, only the Sub-Bass and 16ft Clarinet.

    As I said previously I learnt on electronic organs. What is going on, is this a feature or a flaw and when playing Bass Clarinet and Sub-Bass forget the first four keys and start at C?

    Over to you maestro's

    Terry

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  • WestAussie
    replied
    A short video of the Vox Humana sort of working. Note that the activation arm actually mechanically starts the device turning. Lots of leaks so it only turns slowly, but that is a start.

    Terry


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  • WestAussie
    commented on 's reply
    Tom,

    The swell control opens the shutters on the reed boxes and the Venetian shutters at the rear.

    Terry

  • SubBase
    replied
    The white leather flap valve atop the VH is shot, probably why it was disconnected. Note how it has small slices in the free end so the metal pin is woven through it, put it back with pneumatic leather (sheepskin) of the same thickness. It has to be quite soft so when open it arches up over the air hole.

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  • myorgan
    commented on 's reply
    That's an odd mechanism I've never seen before. Normally, the piece of leather at the end of the box is on a circular piece that allows the air to flow through it, or the leather stops the air to keep the vox from turning. I don't recall ever seeing a square box at the end, but that could be how Estey did it at the time.

    Also, I've used *wiffer dry wipes to get rid of a lot of dust on my instruments. They don't harm the finish, yet are quite effective.

    Michael

    Other threads are here: https://organforum.com/forums/forum/...a-tremolo-unit
    and here: https://organforum.com/forums/forum/...502#post382502
    https://organforum.com/forums/forum/...640-vox-humana

  • nutmegct
    replied
    Terry - that left knee control is often called "Full Organ", "Forte", or "Plein Jeu". It *gradually* opens all the stops, to allow a gradual increase in ranks and timbres without having to use the stop knobs.

    The right knee control is usually the "Swell", gradually opening the covers which lie over the reed sets. On mine:

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/B7xUVxR2tdjc8SLPA

    Say, how do you activate the swell shutters on the back of the instrument?

    Tom M.

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  • WestAussie
    replied
    Interesting discovery, When the bass (left) kneeboard is activated every stop is activated except the two Harp Aeolienne's. I thought that it was stuck initially but now realise it has a lot of work to lift everything in one action.

    Terry

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  • WestAussie
    replied
    Originally posted by myorgan View Post
    For the parades, I play Saxophone. For the concert, I'm the percussion section leader.

    The wire mesh is actually original for an Estey. Personally, I don't like it much, but I prefer keeping my organs original. To replace the cloth, I've just used broadcloth, but others might have better ideas (Casey?).
    Michael, it was late when I wrote the message you have crushed my dream... All my life I believed that every American parade had a crazy guy dressed in red white and blue playing the organ on the back of a truck. Good on you for getting involved, everyone loves a good parade, smartly dressed bands and the sound of massed wind, brass and drums.

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  • Valiant Farmer
    commented on 's reply
    Personally I would get it fully functional inside, because that's what counts. Really. Yours looks quite good but if you wanted to I have seen another Bell that the restorer had completely refinished the French Polish, but I have been recommended to sand mine down with steel wool etc, but not sure if I will.

  • WestAussie
    commented on 's reply
    Thank you. I hope I can do the instrument justice in completing a restoration.

    A question: Should I try and restore the original finish of the case, or do a full strip and recoat? I really would like to pay homage to its age.

    I will probably bequeath it to the local Museum when it is my turn for a plain timber box.

  • WestAussie
    commented on 's reply
    Tom,

    I am here so that I learn from your collective mistakes

    Terry

  • WestAussie
    replied
    Originally posted by SubBase View Post
    I don't see the need for the form; every rank and every reed need to be removed. cleaned, and returned to its slot even if it is sounding for the moment, it's dirty with a century of dust and pollutants.
    OK... all 440 reeds will be removed and spit-polished, one set at a time...

    Terry

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  • WestAussie
    replied
    Originally posted by myorgan View Post
    My small glance at your Vox Humana makes me wonder if the lever has come unattached from the stop, but the picture doesn't show the entire action. The other common failure is the leather flap that stops the hole in the circular section of the mechanism. They're generally simple repairs if you have the materials at hand.

    Michael
    Michael,

    The action rod had been disconnected by someone in the past, Fortunately, they turned the screw around and screwed the action rod to the case. I reconnected it and took these pics.

    Here it is with everything back in place.

    Stop out lifts action rod
    Click image for larger version

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    Lever moved to 90 degrees - Open
    Note that the leather strap at the top has become unglued at one end
    Click image for larger version

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    Lever moved to 45 degrees - closed
    The end of the timber creates some friction that stops the Vox Humana turning.
    Click image for larger version

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