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Thread: Estey O project

  1. #1
    ppp Pianississmo Neighmond's Avatar
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    Estey O project

    Aloo! First post here,

    I've had a number of Reed organ projects that for one reason or another never got their due, now I am where I can make it happen, I hope. I have a line on what I think is an estey style O or z. Due to the lack of louvers in the case opening on the back and the two-section fall board that lays flat, and the action that has reeds just under the top of the cabinet with the tremolo fan below I am guessing that it's an O. It has had indifferent treatment, aside from being kept inside and more or less out of rodent reach. Many of the stop draw knobs are AWOL, As is the outside hand pump handle and lower case rear panel. The upper stack looks good and the shutters are all drawn shut. Is there any"estey curse" I need to take care to look for or avoid while referring, recovering exhaust pneumatic and such? Also, how does the hand pump go together? It has a pipe top which may or may not be original. Thanks for any help!

    Cheers!
    Chaz

  2. #2

    Hi,
    You know me from wavyglass and thehistoricdistrict. lol
    With the inverted chest above the main chest, you have a O. If it has the Violina/Wald Flute 2ft reeds it is the big one, the O-83. If not, it's the O-81.
    Aside from the extra chests and wind trunks limiting accessibility and adding work, it's as good as any 1920's Estey. The materials are fantastic, but the actions can tend to be heavy on the fingers.
    There is just a lot more material to replace, and bigger pieces of everything.
    They are really loud.
    If the keyboard divides at b/middle c, I am envious. (it's f-scale, right?)
    post some pics if/when you can.
    Casey

  3. #3
    ppp Pianississmo Neighmond's Avatar
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    Well, here goes with some photos....looks like the big boy, the 83 action.
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  4. #4
    ppp Pianississmo Neighmond's Avatar
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    Let me know if more photos are needed. What are my odds of finding stop knobs and the missing Dipasen 8' face? The finish doesn't look too bad when all is said and done! Is there a chance that pipe facade is original to the instrument?

    Thanks!
    Chaz
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  5. #5

    1 members found this post helpful.
    The pipe top is original, yup.
    The style of knob is typical for that era Estey, so keep an eye on ebay.
    Casey

  6. #6
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Nice piece. Is it working? Those pipes are something. Do try and get it restored. It may be worth having.
    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

  7. #7
    ppp Pianississmo Neighmond's Avatar
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    It don't work a lick, the poor old beast! Needs lower bellow and cleaning at the very least..... Even if I overpaid but I have wanted a real good instrument that can play sans electricity, so here it comes. At risk of sounding like a fool, I based my offer on about half of what a restored one on eeeeeevilbay was listed at, and we arrived at another hundred fifty for the pipe fašade because I wasn't sure if it was originally with this one.... should I be for giving the folks who sold it to me more or is that close to right? I don't want to rob them either.

    Thanks!
    Chaz
    Last edited by Neighmond; 12-05-2016 at 09:43 AM.

  8. #8
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    In my experience these old ones are worth what the prospective buyer is willing to pay. Among my treasures there are specimens that are probably worth half of what it cost me - in strictly economical or utility terms. But when we are talking instruments made with much dedication more than a century ago and sufficiently preserved to allow us to see and fondle and even own them so many years later is nothing but a privilege. It is up to us to preserve them further to outlast our lifetimes for the ones that will succeed us and enjoy them for their sheer beauty and craftmanship.

    So do not feel guilty if you paid what you consider too much or too little. The sellers had the option to decline your offer and likewise you had the option to make it.

    Enjoy - and please do keep us updated on your efforts and progress.

    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

  9. #9
    ppp Pianississmo Neighmond's Avatar
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    Update! Went and got the instrument last Friday-named her Bessie, as she is a heavy old brown heifer that can bellow loudly!

    As the fabled elephant graveyards of yore, too there are rodent graveyards. Any unexplained rodential disappearances from about 1970 onward were instantly resolved upon the removal of case parts from the poor organ! The jury is still out on the probability of the organ housing any corporeal remains of the presumed late James Hoffa. An empty tuna can full of peach pits and three dirt devil bags, and a whole lotta stank later, the organ became a good deal more acceptable for polite company. Thank God all the swell and mutes were closed-it probably saved the reeds. Couple of artifacts showed up, though!
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  10. #10
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    Great find! I also like some of the artifacts these beauties reveal when one ventures into their innards. It is something like a safari, especially when the mammal skeletons emerge from the sacred burial places among the evidence of supreme craftmanship and skills of the old folks. That key now - perhaps a secret key to the hidden door leading to the inner chamber of a loved one - even the very one who used to play sweet melodies on the keyboard..... Now my imagination has taken off again.... .

    I have found many objects of interest in some - from old used train tickets to modern day measuring tapes. Screwdrivers are a common find. Old family pictures whispering thousands of secrets and even some of the missing stop faces that had come off and disappeared into the abyss.

    Do be careful when cleaning out the animal carcasses. Some of the rodents may have displayed very unacceptable toilet habits and the dust, droppings and solidified pee may contain the risk of the Hanta virus. Wear a breathing mask and gloves when vacuuming or brushing out the dust....

    Enjoy!

    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

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