Saturday, 19 May 2012

Chamber organ update

Time flies when you get down to nitty gritty of a restoration project. Rebuilding an organ that has key bits missing - bellows, most of the lower case work and building frame, as well as having the solid mahogany that is left painted a garish colour - was always going to take a while. So far, a new set of bellows and feeders has been made and the frame and lower panels have all been made. The wind chest has been totally disassembled. I found that patches had been put over patches, so there was nothing for it but to get back to the woodwork. Having done this - taking the action apart and stripping out the pallets which had been recovered in 1921 - the frame, bars and upperboards were found to be in good condition, i.e. no worm or serious cracks. It seemed a good opportunity to make detailed measured drawings as the details of the construction could be clearly seen. Furthermore, I decided to make a copy of the chest for a new chamber organ - there is no point in reinventing the wheel if a competent builder like Flight and Robson has already devised a compact layout that works. In addition, building a copy when you have the original to hand helps to sort out problems as they arise. In my case, discovering that an accurately made rectangular frame went out of square overnight. Getting it square again was not a problem and a few diagonal temporary braces keep the whole thing is shape while I begin to put in the bars.

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