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Estey Military organ WWII plans and drawings.

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  • Estey Military organ WWII plans and drawings.

    Hello:

    I am a deacon in the Anglican Church in North America. In the past few years I have grown a summer ministry of conducting church services for WWII and Vietnam Era reenactment events. During WWII Estey manufactured a small portable reed organ for military use in the field. Please see the attached picture of the type I am writing about. I have been searching to purchase one in working order or that can be brought up to working order but have not yet found one. However, the organ appears to simply made and I have the notion that I could simply make the cabinet and then slip in a small electronic keyboard and program it to sound like the original. Then my wife will be able to play at the summer services and we could have music during worship.

    I have searched for plans or drawings of the organ but I cannot find such. I wrote to the Estey museum but they do not have the plans either. Does anyone out there have the plans or at least drawings? At the moment I have in my possession one of the organs that a friend owns so I can measure it. If I have plans then I can write down all the measurements where they belong. I know a priest who is a cabinet maker and he is willing to make the organ cabinet for me, but he lives a couple of states away so I cannot link him up with the actual organ. If I can get the plans with measurements and pictures of the organ to him, I think I can make this work.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. And, if anyone out there has one of the WWII Estey organs for sale, please contact me.

    Thank you,

    Fred Schwarz

  • #2
    Hello and welcome to this Forum.

    Interesting and ambitious project. I doubt very much if you will find any drawings or plans anywhere, especially since the little organ was likely produced in wartime for a specific purpose, although... one never knows. If you have a specimen at your disposal, the only way to get the details would be to duplicate them from that specimen. However, to build a copy from scratch would be the only way to have such a little gem to cart around and may be difficult due to the skills and general knowledge of pump organs necessary for the task. If there is such a person in your vicinity it may be a proposition, but since you have asked the questions, this is unlikely.

    Casey might know and if possible, try the Reed Organ Society. (https://www.reedsoc.org/) They will certainly be able to give you more information.

    To build in a small keyboard into a case might be easier but to reproduce the authentic sound may be less easy, however, music there will be and the hymns could then be sung with its accompaniment.

    I sincerely hope that you will be able to get something together for this noble idea.

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

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    • #3
      I found one on local Craigslist a little while ago. I didn't get it. But after finding that, I noticed that they do sell on eBay now and then, and not for a ton of cash. I don't Facebook, but I expect there are some available there too. I expect that in the time it takes to build a replica, you should be able to find one.

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      • #4
        Fred, I am aware of one in Dayton OHIO that is identical apparently to the one you displayed. It is available .. please contact me directly if interested (using the conversation button or my email if it's on the profile there). Michigan isn't far from Dayton Ohio me thinks .. to save shipping costs at least. (Assuming they'd even be shippable). thanks!

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        • KC9UDX
          KC9UDX commented
          Editing a comment
          Considering what they were designed for, they should be shippable. And considering that waxed accordions generally survive shipping, and that the reeds in these organs aren't waxed in, I'd expect them to survive.

      • #5
        Originally posted by John Edelmann View Post
        Fred, I am aware of one in Dayton OHIO that is identical apparently to the one you displayed. It is available .. please contact me directly if interested (using the conversation button or my email if it's on the profile there). Michigan isn't far from Dayton Ohio me thinks .. to save shipping costs at least. (Assuming they'd even be shippable). thanks!
        John: PM sent.

        Comment


        • #6
          Fred (aka Blackcloud6),

          Your post made me think of a possible alternative project. Once you secure your organ, I wonder if it could be completely disassembled into its discrete components, and 3d scan each part to obtain CAD drawings and perhaps even a complete set of schematics for assmbly? A local high school or college student may be able to help with the project.

          In our State, one University was able to print a perfectly functional boat. I can't imagine the cost of filament for that!

          Welcome to the Forum! I once had the option to pick up one of the functional oak versions of this organ for $5.00, but passed on it. Never found it again!

          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)
          • 10 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

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          • #7
            The plan as it stands, is that Deacon Fred and the owner of the organ in Dayton OH will be meeting on 2/24!

            Comment


            • myorgan
              myorgan commented
              Editing a comment
              Great to hear–another transaction of history from one generation to another!

              Michael

          • #8
            Originally posted by myorgan View Post
            Fred (aka Blackcloud6),

            Your post made me think of a possible alternative project. Once you secure your organ, I wonder if it could be completely disassembled into its discrete components, and 3d scan each part to obtain CAD drawings and perhaps even a complete set of schematics for assmbly? A local high school or college student may be able to help with the project.

            In our State, one University was able to print a perfectly functional boat. I can't imagine the cost of filament for that!

            Welcome to the Forum! I once had the option to pick up one of the functional oak versions of this organ for $5.00, but passed on it. Never found it again!

            Michael
            As to reproducing parts, a reed organ is pretty much all flat parts with holes in; so getting a complete set of blueprints would be achieved most efficiently with a steel rule and a pair of calipers.

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            • #9
              I have a Bell Traveller, which is essentially the same thing. It is only 29 1/2" wide. I'm not sure you could get any reasonable electronic keyboard to fit inside that measurement without expensive work.

              They do come up on kijiji or craigslist from time to time. Look for "portable pump organ" and "portable reed organ" or "folding pump organ" and "folding reed organ". They are terrific little instruments.

              Re: shipping - I've actually taken mine on Greyhound buses with no problems, and they're small enough I could carry one in each hand (for a short distance) if I were lucky enough to have two of them!

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