We sold our home pipe organ in 2010...it was time to move on to a new phase of life.
People occasionally inquire as to how to get starting on building a
home pipe organ. Here are my thoughts, and I'm not talking to the purists that
desire to build a pipe organ from scratch...I'm looking at realistic and practical
ways to obtain a working pipe organ that can be used for making music.
- Start with a used pipe organ or at least the major portion of one.
You can add used ranks after you have a base.
- Look at www.pipechat.org which is a very
helpful discussion group. You can subscribe to receive individual email contributions
or to receive a single daily collection of all emails that day.
- I found I was "reinventing the wheel" each time I began constructing a new windchest.
I finally committed to paper some of the practical aspects and techniques I've found
useful. Pipe Organ Windchest Construction is a PDF that
contains step-by-step instructions and drawings for electro-pneumatic and direct
electric chests. This is "hobbyist level", not professional grade.
- I designed a belt-driven unit to replace the Century
motor in a Spencer blower at
Christ Memorial Church
in Williston, Vermont, USA.
It was literally 100 years old and had sporadic starting problems. My replacement
is an example of realistic substitutions that obtain a working outcome.
This is the nine-rank pipe organ installed at Christ Memorial Church.
I led a 40-person crew in organ renovation, facility preparation,
and organ installation. 12 weeks, 1000 man-hours.
People have asked where I found 40 people who would all work
toward the common goal of bringing this project to very quick completion
without letting this project languish for several years.
Here's my thoughts...
- These were people who recognized that while a pipe organ would facilitate
worship, it wasn't the only instrument to accomplish
this, nor were hymns were the only type of acceptable music genre for the church.
Indeed, this church is rich in both classical and contemporary music, the
common thread being that the sung words preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We skip certain hymns and much of contemporary "happy clappy" music that doesn't
contain the Gospel message. Overall, the pipe organ expanded the
boundaries on one end of the musical spectrum; drums and bass guitars did the same
on the other end.
- These were people who were involved in different phases, some with more
time, some with less. Some only helped restore wood parts, some helped in
electrical renovation, some helped on readying the building and
balcony, and some helped in all the phases.
- These were people involved in a church that hits projects with energy and
tenacity, but in a way that prevents the project from "killing the troops."
To God be the glory!