PipeChat Digest #3455 - Friday, February 14, 2003
Liking to sleep at night. (Warning: LONG!). .
  by "Richard Schneider" <arpschneider@starband.net>

(back) Subject: Liking to sleep at night. (Warning: LONG!). . From: "Richard Schneider" <arpschneider@starband.net> Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 03:42:36 -0600   Alan B wrote:   > Just this week I serviced two organs that were in completely unplayable = condition, riddled with > ciphers and wind leaks. The Allen salesmen had visited both churches. = "Oh that old pipe organ > isn't worth bothering with, it will cost you more to repair it than it's = worth." For under > under $200.00 I put both of them into 100% playable (and tuned) = condition simply by adjusting > primaries and tightening screws (it is cold and dry here in the North = East. Wood shrinks.)   <snip>   > I could have left those primaries out of adjustment and left those > = screws loose and told them to chuck > the organ. I could get a franchise from Albourn Galanti, Rodgers or = Allen but I like to sleep > at night.   Likewise.   Unfortunately, not all situations like this are foisted by non-pipe people.   Just last week, I was asked to come look at a pipe organ in a nearby United Methodist Church which was constructed by a now deceased local builder who did some simply outstanding work. We had been taking care of the instrument for years with nary a problem with the windchests until the church was re-roofed. Unfortunately, the roofers, heeding a "no rain" forecast, had left some of the church exposed and found an unexpected thunderstorm come up. You guessed it: the exposed portion of the roof was over the pipe organ.   There were several Pouchboards which needed re-covered in the restoration process, which was done by us in 1996 and the organ had been once again behaving flawlessly.   Due to politics when a pastoral change was made shortly thereafter, (a new pastor shortly thereafter had us replaced for reasons that were never made known to me!) we were replaced by the Service Department of a national, well known pipe organ company.   The recent call to us came seeking "a second Opinion" when the church was told that suddenly it needed to spend tens of thousands of dollars for "new windchests for the pipes". When the Pastor who contacted me (not the same one who replaced me-he's gone now!) described the problem, I immediately knew it had to do with the windchest that had been water-damaged.   We made the Service Call down and dropped the Bottom Boards and Pouch Boards and found that there were 3 or 4 Pitmans that had either gotten stuck or sucked down into the Pitman Cavity below. A quick replacement of the offending Pitmans brought the instrument back to perfect condition.   The Pastor and organist were in complete SHOCK when they realized how close they had come to allowing all of their windchests to be replaced with ones by this major pipe organ company over nothing more than a half-dozen offending Pitmans!   Guess who has the maintenance contract for this instrument now?   This upsets me completely because I feel as though there is more than enough LEGITIMATE organ work out there for everyone, but to take advantage of unsuspecting people in THAT kind of manner is simply deplorable.   There isn't a builder out there, if he's honest with him/herself, that hasn't had organ service or construction situations that they've been involved with in the past not come out in the way they would have wanted them to for a variety of reasons -oftentimes due to circumstances beyond their own control. Quite often, these frustrating scenarios become the topic of discussion and commiseration after-hours in the Bars at annual A.I.O. meetings!   However, in my book, there is a MAJOR difference between those unfortunate events and the DELIBERATE, wanton ploy on the part of an organ technician to be over-zealous, opportunistic salesmen for their employers when they fully know (or certainly OUGHT to know!) that a few moments with a screwdriver and a half-dozen 3/8" diameter leather punchings will put things right.   By necessity, churches need to be able to TRUST their organ technicians, and to the extent possible, we ALL owe it to our collective clients, consciences and the future survival of the Pipe Organ Industry to do our work with as much integrity as is humanly possible.   They say that it's never too late to "come clean" and if any of us is aware of any kind of situation that still has possibilities of being bettered by our speaking up, even if it means taking the risk of not being as profitable as if we were to take the road of an Opportunist, then I would hope and pray that there's not ONE of us who would consider any other option. Period.   I think in the end, what goes around comes around and those who try to consistently try to behave with honesty and integrity will be rewarded according to their deeds and will have done their part in perpetuating the survival of the Industry. Gratefully, I've not found myself on the wrong side of the aisle very often!   Faithfully,   G.A.   (Who, thankfully, has a problem with PIZZA keeping him awake tonight, rather than any profound sense of guilt!)   -- Richard Schneider, PRES/CEO SCHNEIDER PIPE ORGANS, Inc. Pipe Organ Builders 41-43 Johnston St./P.O. Box 137 Kenney, IL 61749-0137 (217) 944-2454 VOX (217) 944-2527 FAX mailto:arp@schneiderpipeorgans.com SHOP EMAIL mailto:arp@starband.net SHOP SATELLITE EMAIL mailto:arpschneider@starband.net HOME OFFICE EMAIL http://www.schneiderpipeorgans.com WEB PAGE URL