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Thread: Introduction and Advice on Purchasing a Reed Organ

  1. #41
    ppp Pianississmo ColoradoJoshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silken Path View Post
    Well, let me flaunt my ignorance... I thought "sub-base" had to be, um, sub to the base. Since one can't add keys, either they sound with some notes or sound instead of some notes.

    Years ago I knew of a fellow in Canada that built a room outside big enough to put a travel trailer in, and he made it of PVC pipe and thick greenhouse plastic roll.

    Another guy rented a storage room, found it had an electrical outlet, and disassembled, repaired, and repainted an old motorcycle there.

    MANY things are possible.
    The sub bass is actually a stop of it's own. Usually has some of the biggest reeds and makes the deepest (or close to the deepest) notes. Part of what makes the instrument have such a depth of sound. Those reeds are located in that box to the right (looking in the back) of the Vox Humana. Not all reed organs have one, but I am blessed to have one that does.

    This is true. But neither of those people were working in their mom's living room. XD

  2. #42
    ff Fortissimo Silken Path's Avatar
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    Thank you. Mr. Milne says that sub-bass is often 13 notes linked to the lower keyboard notes by a movable lever that is pulled up to uncover the reeds in a... box in the back.
    -- I'm Lamar - 1999 Rodgers W5000C - Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112
    -- 1899 Kimball pump organ (forum thread) -- Allen TC 4 Project (forum thread)
    -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

  3. #43
    ppp Pianississmo ColoradoJoshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silken Path View Post
    Thank you. Mr. Milne says that sub-bass is often 13 notes linked to the lower keyboard notes by a movable lever that is pulled up to uncover the reeds in a... box in the back.
    Yep! Mine is 13 notes from C to C.

  4. #44
    ppp Pianississmo ColoradoJoshua's Avatar
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    Update #2

    Time for another update.

    Soooo... I have run into a bit of a predicament. I've removed everything down to where the reeds themselves are located, as you can see in this picture, but I'm kind of stumped as to where I should go from here...
    IMG_8865.jpg
    Attachment 28196

    I need to get to the lower action to clean it and to fix whatever is causing that A to be so hard to press, but I'm not sure how to get to it. Is the part with the reeds a full sub assembly that I can remove all at once, and if so, where are the screws? There are screws on the sides to remove pieces of it at a time, but they're back in there so far that I can hardly (if at all) get a screwdriver between the wall of the case and the wall of the reed assembly, as you can see here.
    IMG_8864.jpg

    Also, I need to take the stop assembly at least partially apart so I can replace the felt behind the stops and give it a good cleaning, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to do that too... I'm guessing at the very least, the pins in those pieces of wood that connect to the metal rods and the small metal rods that act as stoppers need to come out to get the stops out, but both are very difficult to remove. Any tips?
    IMG_8878.jpg
    Attachment 28197

    Speaking of felt, I need to replace the felt on a couple of the round wooden pieces under the keys (seen in first picture) and possibly the felt under the top action that touches the keys (second picture) because it's really dirty and bleh. I was thinking if I'm gonna replace some of the visable felt, it would be best to do all of it just so it's all in good order and all matches. Are there different weights and thicknesses of felt for different components or are they all the same? Where do I purchase this felt the most cost effectively? And I'm guessing once I have it I reattach it with hot hide glue just like everything else?
    IMG_8881.jpg IMG_8886.jpg

    Thanks again!

  5. #45
    ff Fortissimo SubBase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColoradoJoshua View Post
    Time for another update.

    Soooo... I have run into a bit of a predicament. I've removed everything down to where the reeds themselves are located, as you can see in this picture, but I'm kind of stumped as to where I should go from here...
    IMG_8865.jpg
    Attachment 28196
    There are screws around the perimeter of the upper action, some of them will be driven up from below. I have never seen one where all the screws were from beneath, but not impossible. Then you will see the inside of the windchest and the pallet valves.

    I need to get to the lower action to clean it and to fix whatever is causing that A to be so hard to press, but I'm not sure how to get to it. Is the part with the reeds a full sub assembly that I can remove all at once, and if so, where are the screws? There are screws on the sides to remove pieces of it at a time, but they're back in there so far that I can hardly (if at all) get a screwdriver between the wall of the case and the wall of the reed assembly, as you can see here.
    IMG_8864.jpg

    Also, I need to take the stop assembly at least partially apart so I can replace the felt behind the stops and give it a good cleaning, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to do that too... I'm guessing at the very least, the pins in those pieces of wood that connect to the metal rods and the small metal rods that act as stoppers need to come out to get the stops out, but both are very difficult to remove. Any tips?
    IMG_8878.jpg
    Attachment 28197
    You apparently pull those small pins, undo the screws that hold the forks, and pull out the stop rods. It is tricky but doable to replace the felt discs between the knob and the rod if so equipped. The regular felt linings of the holes are straightforward, but scrape out the old material carefully so as not to chip the black finish. You can use rubbing compount to clean up the black, or touch up with new paint/lacquer, (mask off the name or buy new decals) then clearcoat with shellac (wiped on) or spray lacquer (color-sanded and rubbed-out).

    Speaking of felt, I need to replace the felt on a couple of the round wooden pieces under the keys (seen in first picture) and possibly the felt under the top action that touches the keys (second picture) because it's really dirty and bleh. I was thinking if I'm gonna replace some of the visable felt, it would be best to do all of it just so it's all in good order and all matches. Are there different weights and thicknesses of felt for different components or are they all the same? Where do I purchase this felt the most cost effectively? And I'm guessing once I have it I reattach it with hot hide glue just like everything else?
    IMG_8881.jpg IMG_8886.jpg
    For the rebound/name board felt, use the thicker name board felt strips from the piano supply house of your choice. You can make a very elegant presentation by using velvet doubled over and tacked in.

    For the little button discs of felt, you can buy them or use a 5/16" Arch punch to make them. A set of arch punches is a great investment.

    Thanks again!
    Hope this helps, there are felts available here: http://www.howardpianoindustries.com...leather-parts/
    Casey
    Last edited by SubBase; 12-16-2017 at 02:13 PM.

  6. #46
    ff Fortissimo Silken Path's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColoradoJoshua View Post
    There are screws on the sides to remove pieces of it at a time, but they're back in there so far that I can hardly (if at all) get a screwdriver between the wall of the case and the wall of the reed assembly, as you can see here.
    IMG_8864.jpg
    Looks like a selection of long thin screwdrivers would come in handy... Are those pictured going into the foundation board - the part the works are mounted on atop and the bellows below? On my Kimball, the screws are from the top on the back and sides and up from the bottom under the keyboard area.
    -- I'm Lamar - 1999 Rodgers W5000C - Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112
    -- 1899 Kimball pump organ (forum thread) -- Allen TC 4 Project (forum thread)
    -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

  7. #47
    ppp Pianississmo ColoradoJoshua's Avatar
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    Update #3a

    Hello friends of the Organ Forum! Yes, I'm still working on the Hinners Chapel Organ. I haven't gotten loads done over the last couple weeks because life has been absolutely haywire! But now that things are at least partially slowing down, I'm bringing my attention back to the project.

    I finally received Horton Presley's book, "Restoring and Collecting Antique Reed Organs", from interlibrary loan a few weeks ago and have been slowly working my way through it. Unfortunately, it's due in a few days and I really can't adequately make enough notes from it without practically copying the whole book... so I'm probably gonna have to buy it for myself so that I have it when I go to work on the various components it covers. It really would be nice if someone could write a new book that covered more current, proper procedures (such as not using contact cement xD) though.

    So that brings me back to the organ itself... Be prepared for a very long set of posts and an insane number of questions!

    Since my last post, I succeeded in the rest of the disassembly so all that's left is the outer shell of the case.
    IMG_8986.jpg

    I didn't realize the entire windchest and lower action came out with the reeds all at once so I appreciate Mr. Casey's heads up on the screws coming up from underneath. After I removed the four upper screws and all the lower ones, that whole assembly came out relatively easily.

    Here's what our living room looked like when I had finished:
    IMG_9009.jpg

    Since I'm most likely going to be gone in the summer for three weeks to start production on a TV show I'm directing and then this fall I may be going out of state to attend a trade school for a year, I think I've decided that I'm going to wait on most of the refinishing work until I have more time and a better work area. My mom doesn't like the idea of me sanding and refinishing in her living room and I'm not sure I have the time to do it and finish the working parts of the organ before I have to leave either way. I want to be able to play it before then so I think I'm gonna do some touch up work on the stop board and glue the loose piece of scroll work and call that good until I can really get the chance to focus on it. For now, my mom is antsy to have her living room back.

    So a couple questions:

    First, I'm noticing that all of the other organs from this manufacturer have carpet on the pedals, but mine doesn't. I'm guessing it was so warn that the last owner removed it. I was thinking a nice plain red to match the new felt would look nice, but I'm not sure where in the world I could obtain such a thing. According to the book, the original carpet was a lot thinner than the stuff we have today. Any ideas?

    Also, it appears that the pedals themselves used to be much shinier with a more silvery look that has since mostly tarnished / darkened. Is there any way I can bring back the old shine?

    They appear to be made out of cast iron and there is one small crack on the side of the right pedal (left in the picture).
    IMG_9510.jpg

  8. #48
    ff Fortissimo Silken Path's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Joshua - I think I see an outline of feet on those petals. Those horizontal ribs might be the usable surface. A good general purpose polish is Eagle One "NEVR-DULL." It comes in a tin filled with cotton wadding and is available through Amazon. I'd try a spot on the back first, as you might decide that the weathered look was appropriate.

    There's something "Home Alone" about your middle picture with your looking so innocent surrounded by destruction.
    -- I'm Lamar - 1999 Rodgers W5000C - Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112
    -- 1899 Kimball pump organ (forum thread) -- Allen TC 4 Project (forum thread)
    -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

  9. #49
    ppp Pianississmo ColoradoJoshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silken Path View Post
    Joshua - I think I see an outline of feet on those petals. Those horizontal ribs might be the usable surface. A good general purpose polish is Eagle One "NEVR-DULL." It comes in a tin filled with cotton wadding and is available through Amazon. I'd try a spot on the back first, as you might decide that the weathered look was appropriate.

    There's something "Home Alone" about your middle picture with your looking so innocent surrounded by destruction.
    The position of the pedals in the picture is actually backwards from how I took them off as I wasn't paying close attention when I laid them out. The "feet" outline is from my cleaning off what surfaces I could get to easily with a vacuum and also any disturbance of dust I made when I played it before disassembling. If I keep the rubber intact as the main surface, I may or may not want to actually replace it entirely... there are (albeit small) chunks of it that are loose and damaged. I was just thinking a red carpet might compliment the felt nicely since all of the other organs I can find on the ROS database have carpet (some of which are that red I was referring to).

    Thanks for the polish recommendation! Yeah, I'll have to decide about that. I'm curious what the various members think about whether I should make it all shiny or keep it the way it is.

    Also, haha, yeah about the Home Alone thing xD

  10. #50
    ff Fortissimo SubBase's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Presley's book is rife with bad practices, like contact cement for bellows work. Nitrocellulose lacquer for refinishing, etc..
    Wherever he mentions a material or product that did not exist when the organ was built, discount it.
    Casey

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