Friday, 28 October 2011

1811 Flight & Robson chamber organ - Restoration from the bottom up!

Access to the action is at the rear of the organ. The transmission of the action from the keys to the pallets is through a set of splayed backfalls with curved ends that engage with sloping ramps at the rear of the key lever. This simple mechanism is identical in many respects to that developed by Samuel Green in the second half of the eighteenth century but certain features indicate that it is based on Green's work rather than being by Green himself.

In order to gain access to the rear of the chamber organ to adjust the mechanism it is likely that the lower frame would have been fitted with either wooden rollers or wheels (of wood or metal) to allow the whole instrument to be moved away from a wall. As the whole of the lower frame of this organ needs reconstructing it seemed logical to begin from the bottom up.

Having drawn out plans of the lower frame so that it will support the upper case and windchest, as well as providing room for the feeder and bellows. I decided to make a set of four rollers from beech and to use iron pins for axles. The rollers are 100 mm long and 50 mm in diameter. The pins were made from 8 mm iron rods to which I threaded half the length so that they can be firmly fixed into blocks at either end. It is not very sophisticated but the rollers only have to allow for a limited movement of a few feet or so once in a while. As the frame itself is taking shape the rollers will be fixed on and I will be able to move organ around in the workshop while I make the lower panels and the bellows.

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