Pipe Crates

There are a lot of people that are new to the "Pipe Organ Moving and Storage" hobby, and many don't know where to start. I'm going to try to share a little knowledge on dismantling, packing, and moving a pipe organ. I'll be using my current project for reference.

The first step in removing the organ is removing the pipes. Before you can do this, you must first have something to pack the pipes in. Here are the basic componets of a pipe tray that I use.

1-2ft. by 8ft. sheet of 3/8 in. or 1/2/ in.OSB (you may choose to use 1/4 in plywood)
2-8 ft. long 1X4 (or 6 or 8 depending on how deep you want the crates to be)
2-22.5 in. long 1X4 (or other )
3- 27 inch long 1X3,1X4, 2X3,or 2X4 your choice.

Start by drilling holes in the bottom board for the screws. I space them 8" on center, and put one extra at each end, 2" from the end. The red marks indicate the locations. The holes should be 3/8 in. from the side edge. If you are making a large number of crates, make one board as a template, and use it to drill multiple boards at a time.

Put your bottom board upside down on some blocks, then place the two long side rail boards next to it. I usually put a thin bead of wood glue down the upper edge of the side rails.

Place your screws in the pre-drilled holes, carefully align the side and bottom boards,and drive the two end screws first. Then align the board in the middle, and drive it's screw, followed by all remaining side screws.

Repeat this process with the two end boards, with the addition of glue on the sides of the board, and two additional screws on the ends.

Place the bottom braces in position. I place them 2 1/2 inches from either end, and right in the center. Secure with long screws (I use 3 inch drywall screws) Some prefer to use a smaller board so that the crates will stack with the brace inside the crate below. I prefer my method, as I believe it is stronger, and also allows the full depth of the crate to be used.

A stack of finished crates.

Here is a Moller solo string rank packed in the crate.

This page created by Kurt Schlieter and last updated March 21, 1999

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