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See the organ being built for the recital hall
and show room of
Here are some pictures of the console:
First of all I should say why the organ is being built in the first place. It is my hope that by building this recital hall and then placing one or two nice concert grand pianos in it as well as a nice pipe organ, that I can attract many area teachers to my facility. The hall will be open to the public for free use for rehearsals, lessons and recitals. By so doing, I will be bringing people who own pianos into my restoration facility to see my quality work first hand.
It is rather interesting how the idea of building an organ got off the ground in the first place. I had hoped to put in a small Moller Artist that a friend and business associate owned. I was going to trade him the organ for rebuilding his Steinway L grand piano. That deal was by no means finalized. In fact, his wife was very much against the idea of parting with the organ. Who can blame her! Then, while visiting my brother in Newark Delaware, a friend of his asked me if I wanted his old organ. Well, I assumed he either had one of those old electronic toy organs with the minimal short pedals on one corner or else he had an old pump organ. Well, I wouldn't mind restoring an old pump organ (provided it was elaborate enough and relatively rare) so I agreed to go take a look at it. Imagine my surprise when I discovered a 14 rank church pipe organ! I'll include the original stop list of the organ shortly.
The organ was originally installed back in the 20's by the Moyer organ company of Utica, NY. It was blown by a 1 horse Spencer Orgoblow with 4" of static pressure. It therefore used no curtain valve. The only thing between the blower and the reservoirs was a large copper box about the size of an 84 Lumber prefabed tool shed. I assume the purpose of this box was to help block the noise of the blower from making it up the wind lines into the sanctuary. Here is the neatest part: The organ was still located in the Kennett Square Baptist church of Kennett Square Pennsylvania up until shortly after the time my current pastor was ordained in that very church. Up until the gift of this organ, I had no idea that my pastor had been ordained there. But he was and the old Moyer organ was still in use at that time. It is also interesting to note that one of the world's largest organs as listed in the large organ page at theaterorgans.com is actually in Kennett Square Pennsylvania.
This is what the organ had originally:
Vox Humana Tremolo
It occured to me immediatly that the organ was rather lacking in the Principal chorus and in smaller stops and reeds. Not to mention the biggest problem. Both 8' Principals had pipes in the fašade. The church didn't want to part with the fašade pipes so I was faced with the challenge of replacing them. Thus I started seeking out a few ranks of pipes that would suppliment the organ and enrich its sound and versatility. My first attempts at finding pipes were very disheartening. An organ company that will go nameless price quoted me $100 per pipe for a used 8' Principal! As it turns out for the same price that they wanted me to pay to get just a few Principal fašades, I was able to buy about 20 full ranks; including many reeds and three 8' Principal ranks! A good friend and a wonderful man by the name of Paul Fischer (an organ builder here in Erie, Pa) has taken me under his wing and helped me out along the way. He showed me how to repair the pipes of the original organ that had been dented or squashed. He is also helping me with all the other aspects of the organ installation and with pipe selection as well. For instance, he called me one day and asked if I would like a 12 note 16' open wood diapason! I have managed to put together a much better diapason chorus and it so happens that this was a perfect addition to my organ. No charge, just come get it! The Bourdon of the original organ had the bottom octave of pipes double air fed. One stream of air was voiced weaker than the other and called a Lieblich Gedeckt. However, all this really would have been was a slightly quiter (and probably slightly flat) Bourdon. Paul asked if I would like to have a free rank of a nicely thin scaled Lieblich Gedeckt! Both sets of pipes were hand made here in Erie, PA originally for a tracker organ. Both sets are very nice sounding pipes that will match up with my existing stuff very nicely and were made - get this - in the 1840's to 1850's! Sold!
In addition I've found many other bargains and give aways. Normally, I would expect give aways and cheap pipe deals to yield junk pipes and parts. But I've been extremely blessed throughout the project. I have gotten quite a bit of "junk" but it's good junk that can be brought back to life pretty easily. For instance, I was sold a 4' Moller Clarion that went with a corresponding 8' Moller Cornopean and 16' Moller Trombone. The Clarion turned out to be incomplete by several pipes. But the Trombone and Cornopean are complete. With a few repairs and some cosmetic work they will be wonderful. I'll send the Clarions off to Erie's own Organ Supply Industries to have replacements special made. All in all it is coming together into quite a nice organ. Below you will see my stop list as it now exists. Some of the things are still to be found but most of it is now accounted for.
One other thing I decided to do with this organ was brought about with the help of Kurt Schlieter. You can check out his "Mammoth Moller" elsewhere on this web site. He hired me to move his historic Moller theater organ console from Wilmington Delaware to his home in Waukeshau. While I was there I got the opportunity to hear and play the Kimball 3/66 at the Dickerson Theatre Organ Society! I was immediately hooked! I've decided to take the choir portion of the organ and make it into a 10 rank theatre organ. By adding special theatre organ tremulants into the rest of the organ as well as the classical tremulants, I hope to be able to make the entire organ sound authentically theatre or classical as needed. Well, here is my stop list in progress. I'd love any input any of you may have about the organ and the stop list. I'm learning as I go so I'm eager to hear every tiny bit of data anyone has to impart. Whether it be fact, opinion or hooey; I'm dying to hear it.
I can be contacted at: Quality@pianorestoring.com.
Come visit my web site at: www.PianoRestoring.com as well!
Rodgers' Piano Restoration's 3/43 recital organ stop list:36 Actual Ranks
71 Ranks with Unification (adding up each device in the Toy Counter)
99 Currently planned draw knobs stop tabs and coupler tabs
118 Draw Knobs and Couplers plus touches and presets
You will note as you read through this that I'm attempting to make a good Romantic organ that can also be used as a passable theatre organ.
I want to be able to trem the organ for all types of music. I intend to construct it with two types of tremulants.
Type A is a unit attached to the top of the reservoirs that is a motor attached to a pulley that is weighted. The motor will spin the weight and pulse the regulator. Here is where you come in. I want to be able to have the speed of the motor adjustable from the console so the organist can set the trem speed to his liking.
Type B is going to be an ordinary dump trem that will be pulsed electronically. I'll need you to supply me with the trem driver. I would hope to have something that can be adjusted from the console so the trem speed can be adjusted by the organist again.
The pedal chests will receive a common reservoir that is not pulsed rather than being ganged in with the divisional chest. (wouldn't that be a rather interesting sound to have the 16' Principal tremulating!) However, the 16' Trombone is on the swell chest and as such will receive tremulant air. That will require some discretion on the part of the organist.
I would also like to find out what is involved in adding second touch to one of my manuals. Also I want you to figure out which items in the organ would best be attached to the second touch and set up a scheme for doing that.
One offset chest of 12 notes for 8 principal
One offset chest of 12 notes for 16 Gamba
one mixture chest
one multiple rank chest (I may use a ventil or a pitman for this main chest I haven't decided which one will fit best yet. The ventil is 61 notes and the pitman is 73.)
Chime action of 20 notes
16 Gamba (bottom octave on separate chest)
Type A Tremulant
One Pitman chest of 73 notes
One Ventil chest of 61 notes
One mixture chest with 49 magnets
One Vox Humana chest with 61 magnets
The offset chests for this division are all tubular pneumatic so no wiring is needed for them.
I have now got an entire 73 note Lieblich Gedeckt!
Vox Humana Type B tremulant
Pitman chest of four ranks and 73 magnets
Unit chest three ranks 73 magnets per rank
One single rank Tibia chest of 73 notes
One Tibia bottom octave chest with 12 notes
One 85 note unit chest contents TBA
Vox Humana chest with 61 notes
Player assembly to run a reed chest out of a pump organ which I am going to label something like "Harmonium" on the console. It should require 73 magnets to operate.
16 Tibia (Unified from Tibia chest bottom octave slotted
into Lieblich Gedeckt or Bourdon)
Divisional Tremulant Type A
Tibia Tremulant Type B
I have an "O" roll style player piano with all of the non-pitched percussion inside it. I intend to attach a series of magnets to its player device to activate its percussion. Therefore most of the instruments below will only require a single additional magnet. The piano will have 61 playing notes. The mandolin simply drops a rinky tink rail between the hammers and the strings.
The chimes are 20 notes. I'm note positive on the note count for the harp. It is a rather good sized Deagan Chrysoglott that came out of a Page organ. The glock and xylophone are also both Deagan.
I'll need to have a sustain pedal for the piano and the harp.
The only ranks dedicated to the pedal at this time is
the Principal and
There are an additional 44 DE magnets that will be placed under the feet of the Trombone inside the swell chest so that it can be borrowed to the pedals. There will be an additional 20 magnets under the toes of the Gamba pipes in the great chest so that the Gamba can be borrowed to the pedals.
16 Open Wood Diapason (On its own chest)
Great Unison off
Great Swell to right shoe (I thought this better
than cutting the