Monday, May 13, 2013

Chapel car organ plays on!

In March Spike reported on the acquisition of an organ for the chapel car 5 Messenger of Peace.  In April Brian Tate and Wes Spore offered to rehabilitate the "new" organ by cleaning the reeds and repairing anything that wasn't quite right.  Wes put many of the rehabilitative hours into the organ and in the end even replaced the bellows, the heart of a pump organ.  The results are spectacular; check out the unique and awesome sound of this newly rehabilitated Estey pump organ!
The work that Wes has performed is truly remarkable.  Although the organ was functional when it was acquired, his work has restored its brightness and clarity to how we believe it sounded when it was new over 125 years ago.  His skill has prepared the organ for use during the chapel car's next 100 years!

Here is a brief description of some of the work Wes and Brian performed:
  • Dismantle and blow out accumulated dust.
  • Clean reed chest, action parts, keyboard, etc. to best remove old stains and previous tape repair gumbo.
  • Clean reeds (gentle brass brush) replacing one previously ruined.
  • Remove and clean all pallets – no insect damage noted.
  • Repair several wood/felt rod bearings.
  • Redo cloth hinges on front wood swell and back swell (two inner and two outer)
  • Rebuild Vox Humana – removing old cardboard from grooves in center stick and glue in new cardboard.
  • Replace broken drawknob end and replace action rod wood yoke.
  • New spring wire felt pads and two new spring wires.
  • Repair damage to two white key tops (hole carved into two adjacent keys).
  • Clean and remove old cloth from pump feeders and main bellows. Redo with new rubber cloth.
  • Redo flapper valves and main gasket. (This consumed half the labor!)
  • Casework – cut away portion of previously added plywood at lower frame to allow for normal pedal travel. Add felt stop for pedals. Glue down portions of pedal covering and oil pedal hinges.
  • Rework under keyboard front middle panels for correct alignment and removal.
  • Tune reeds that are out of tune with majority pitch (about 12).
  • Level keys – looks quite presentable but there is some slight twisting of a few keys.
  • Test drive organ to discover any problems (usual couple of reeds sucking in dust and going silent; one reed slow to speak; otherwise working fine).
Thank you Wes Spore and Brian Tate!