DIYAPASON-L Digest #981 - Saturday, March 27, 2004
 
Re: [Residence Organs]  Tuba 16/8 playing!
  by "Kelvin Smith" <KelvinSmith@UntraveledRoad.com>
Kelvin's Console, My progress
  by "Frank Vanaman" <fvanaman@speakeasy.org>
Re: [Residence Organs]  Kelvin's Console, My progress
  by "Kelvin Smith" <KelvinSmith@UntraveledRoad.com>
Saw one Dennis none.
  by <Pipewheezr@aol.com>
Re: [Residence Organs]  Saw one Dennis none.
  by "Bob Loesch" <rrloesch@jps.net>
 

(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] Tuba 16/8 playing! From: "Kelvin Smith" <KelvinSmith@UntraveledRoad.com> Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 09:48:09 -0700   Hello list,   John asked for a recap of my project. For some this will be redundant, but the years fly by and maybe the story is worth retelling about now.   I bought my first pipe organ in 1993, a seven rank moller that was reinstalled into a large catholic church in Albuquerque by amateurs (I guess I would say), with 3 ranks added to it. I installed this organ in my garage where we were living with 6 ranks playing. It was surprising specification, six straight ranks plus a 97 note unit flute (Gt: Dia, = dulc; Sw: dia, str, cel; Pd: 16' fl). I never hooked up the 16' pedal flute there. The additions were a 4' octave, 8' trumpet and an unusable 4' clarion.   Then I decided that I needed more room and with other considerations, we decided to build a new house. We chose a county which has not adapted the uniform building codes, because I am a bureaucracy-hater, and self-built this house, which is still not totally finished, even though we've been living here for 6 years now. But the finished parts are finished and it's serving us well, and we keep on making progress.   The organ room/living room is the front part of the house excluding the basement and the garage. The garage is under the organ loft. Overall it is 50 feet long, 20 feet wide and the ceiling peaks at 30' tall. The organ loft is 8' higher than the floor, and is 20' deep, so the room appears to be 30' long.   While we were still building the house I had a chance to buy a 16-8' Tuba and a vox Humana. Before the roof metal was even on, it was stored up on the organ loft. Not too long after we moved in, I bought a 19 rank Johnson-Hillgreen Lane organ from Ohio. It had a large swell division and = a divided great, with 4 ranks enclosed and a 4 rank diapason chorus unenclosed.   When I got it home I promply set it up, using the enclosed part of the great in the choir along with the moller chest. The moller unit flute became the great flute and I found a unit chest to put the Albuquerque trumpet on in the swell chamber. I moved the moller great diapason to the great because the Johnson one was too bright for the room. I moved the moller swell diapason to the swell for the same reason.   Before we even started building the house I bought 3 1/2 ranks of pipes that used to be in the Salt Lake Tabernacle before the 1948 = Aeolian-Skinner rebuild. This included a violin diapason and 4' octave from the choir division. I put those in the choir in the holes where the two 8' diapasons had been. I set up the tuba in the choir chamber, but I didn't have a = chest for the bottom octave. In the pedal I had 2 16' flutes and a wood = diapason. Two of these extended up to 8' pitch. I put the Johnson 8' diapason on the pedal and the Albuquerque 4' octave also, but the voicing proved = unsuitable and I didn't have a goot chest for the basses; so I never completed this, although they are still hooked up. Then I had about 32 ranks playing, plus and minus a few parts of ranks.   I thought that I had some pretty good pipework, but the windchests started to really bug me as well as the console. It was a 3 manual Klann from Albuquerque. (3 manuals for 10 ranks, seven of which were on pitman chests?!?) So I took an opportunity to buy a 4 manual Moller drawknob console, which is a beauty. I installed an artisan control system which = has given me great flexibility to make changes and eliminated all switchng concerns. Then I replaces all the stops with Syndyne because they were not reliable. They keyboards still give me troubles and the toe studs, but it is survivable.   But the windchests are my big problem now. None of them are reliable and I have kept buying more pipes and there is no room for them all. So I = finally tore out my two choir chests and have started building a 12 rank electric slider chest. Before I set that in place, I wanted to get the tubas going (I don't know if it would be possible afterward.) I had an excess of 16' flutes in the organ (great, swell and 2 in the pedal), so I removed the least effective of these, the bottom octave of the Johnson bourdon on the pedal. This freed up a 15 note chest that was just perfect for the tuba. = It also left an independant 8' flute for the pedal which works very nicely. (Actually some of the tubas would not have quite fit on the chest, except for the fact that they had gotten slightly flattened in many years of storage, plus the shipping.)   Now that the tubas are playing, I need to get back to work on the electric slider chest. I confess I feel a little bit daunted by the project. But = the real problem is that I have just had a lot of demands on my time, and unfortunately the organ doesn't put food in anyone's mouth.   I also bought a residence organ from Tennessee which had about 23 ranks of pipes. This included 2 mixtures. Some of these ranks are destined for the positiv division.   The most recent set of pipes I bought was a 16' principal from Denver. My facade is currently made of the great and pedal 8' diapasons, but I am going to rebuild the facade with these 16' principals as soon as I can get around to it. It will play on the great and pedal, and is a narrow scale, bright toned rank, which will contrast with the wood diapason.   Now I don't know how to end this story. I'm not sure what the moral of the story is. But my wife and I have seven children, the oldest of which is turning 14 next week. They are all very fascinated by the organ and love = to help with it (except the tuning gets tedious), and we love to sing = together with the organ, which we do every day. (I work at home, and we homeschool, so we are quite outside of what is considered normal these days.) But as far as promoting the pipe organ goes, we've got seven children covered. = And I manage to keep up many of my pieces that I used to play back in college days, but they don't sound as good as they did on certain organs I used to play (although I must say, they sound much better than on many other = organs that I used to play.) Since there doesn't seem to be much demand for organists these days, it seems as good an outcome as I can think of.   Kelvin   PS. This pipe organ is currently funded by The UntraveledRoad (http://www.UntraveledRoad.com), my home-operated business where you can travel the world (OK, parts of it) in Cyberspace. For relavence to pipe organs, you can look at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (http://www.UntraveledRoad.com/USA/Parks/Monuments/PipeOrganCactus.htm). I am shopping hard for additional traffic to boost my revenue these days.      
(back) Subject: Kelvin's Console, My progress From: "Frank Vanaman" <fvanaman@speakeasy.org> Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 13:04:35 -0500   Hi all--   Thanks, Kelvin, for the recap of your project. I'd be *very pleased* to = have the studio space you've got! :-)   For those of you who might be amused by extra knowledge, Kelvin's 4 manual Moller console actually came out of a house within walking distance of = mine here in Baltimore. The previous owner, Steve Scott, was planning on = putting together a substantial house organ, and had 6 ranks going in the Swell, = when he decided to abandon the house organ concept. He eventually moved to the west coast.   The original location of the console was a church in either Frederick, Md = - or Hagerstown, Md, although at this point I can't actually remember! When Steve got it, it was acutally a three manual console, and he quite nicely added a fourth manual. The console already had 5 divisions worth of drawknobs, so the fourth manual 'looked' convincing from the get-go!   As to the 'my progress' portion of the subject, I've got my chamber space cleared of the miscellaneous junk which was being 'stored' there, and am = in the process of painting the walls and ceiling. The shades are already installed in both walls (12 blades worth of Wurlitzer shades into the main hallway, and a little three blade set into the living room right above the console), and once the floor goes down, I'll be putting up the shade = motors, and setting the 49 note Kimball harp -- the biggest single piece going in = -- in place. Slow but sure. I'm pushing to have *something* operational = before the year ends! :-)   Frank Vanaman Baltimore      
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] Kelvin's Console, My progress From: "Kelvin Smith" <KelvinSmith@UntraveledRoad.com> Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 13:00:32 -0700   Hi Frank and the list,   >The original location of the console was a church in either Frederick, Md = - >or Hagerstown, Md, although at this point I can't actually remember! When >Steve got it, it was acutally a three manual console, and he quite nicely >added a fourth manual. The console already had 5 divisions worth of >drawknobs, so the fourth manual 'looked' convincing from the get-go!   I never realized that it was Steve that added the fourth manual, I always thought it had been added by the church before he had it. He did do a very good job. The console is not quite as big as many 4m consoles. Since it already looks plenty big in my room, I don't mind that, although when I = get carried away dreaming about all the stops I want to add, sometimes I do wish there was more room. When it gets down to the ones that actually = play, it's quite spacious.   Thanks, Kelvin      
(back) Subject: Saw one Dennis none. From: <Pipewheezr@aol.com> Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 21:16:31 EST   Electric organs are looking more enticing. I decided I needed to build a = new wind trunk feeding the swell chest. Carefully I picked my lumber at the yard, dutifully I measured my cuts twice remembering the old adage measure = twice cut once.   Once again the right hand attempted to kill the left hand. I spent the afternoon in the E.R. after being bit by the table saw (Ironically, I was = reaching for the push stick when the accident occurred). Happily, the bone stopped = the blade from cutting all the way through. Looks like organ winding will have = to stop for a short time. Damn it!   I had it all figured out too. If only the best laid plans worked as well = in real life as they did in my head!   The last time I screwed up this bad I drilled a 5/16 hole in my palm, stopping short of the tendon. I showed up for my lesson and they told me = GO HOME. They were afraid I was going to bleed on there new Allen Organ. Lesson = went very well!   Tomorrow I will feel more enthusiastic about my project -- vicadin will assist that motivation!     Dennis -- 9 working fingers and not counting the rest in San Diego.    
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] Saw one Dennis none. From: "Bob Loesch" <rrloesch@jps.net> Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 18:42:26 -0800   My sincere condolences, Dennis! Wishing you a rapid and COMPLETE = recovery!   At 06:16 PM 3/27/2004, Pipewheezr@aol.com wrote: >Electric organs are looking more enticing. I decided I needed to build a =   >new wind trunk feeding the swell chest. Carefully I picked my lumber at >the yard, dutifully I measured my cuts twice remembering the old adage >measure twice cut once. > >Once again the right hand attempted to kill the left hand. I spent the >afternoon in the E.R. after being bit by the table saw (Ironically, I was =   >reaching for the push stick when the accident occurred). Happily, the = bone >stopped the blade from cutting all the way through. Looks like organ >winding will have to stop for a short time. Damn it! > >I had it all figured out too. If only the best laid plans worked as well >in real life as they did in my head! > >The last time I screwed up this bad I drilled a 5/16 hole in my palm, >stopping short of the tendon. I showed up for my lesson and they told me >GO HOME. They were afraid I was going to bleed on there new Allen Organ. >Lesson went very well! > >Tomorrow I will feel more enthusiastic about my project -- vicadin will >assist that motivation! > > >Dennis -- 9 working fingers and not counting the rest in San Diego. >   Regards, Bob   northern California http://home.jps.net/~rrloesch/index.htm