Three Bellows Instead of Two?

by John Hutchison

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Three Bellows instead of Two
I made my John Smith Busker Organ as well as I possibly could.  To my frustration I found that, no matter how much I adjusted everything, I could never get the beautiful sounds that appeared on the video.

It was due to a pulsating air flow from the resevoir.  The reasons for this were no doubt many (bad workmanship?).  I decided to tackle one of the possible reasons, and to my delight struck success.

I changed the two bellows to three.  Three bellows of course never have a momentary "off" position like two do and the result is a much smoother air flow into (and out of) the reservoir.  I then found that the pressure of the spring which closes the resevoir was much easier to adjust.  I also found that tuning the pipes was easier due to the smoother sound that was being generated.

Building the bellows with three pumps proved no more difficult than building two. I just made them narrower (64mm rather than 98mm). The resevoir then had to be a little bigger to cover the three valves. That I imagine only helped my cause.

All the best for your building - John Hutchison

(Although smoother, 3 bellows will not provide as much air as 2 bellows in the same space. This is due to the wasted space in between. This is the reason why most commercial organs only use a single double-acting bellows to get the maximum amount of air from the minimum space. If space is not a consideration, then more bellows will indeed provide a smoother wind supply - MW)

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