|Pipe Stopper Lubricant
In John Smith's plans for the 20-note organ he suggests using talcum powder
to make the stoppers moveable until the final tuning when he seals with beeswax.
Fine, if you have talcum powder but who wants to buy a can for a few
pinches of dust? Someone mentioned that graphite was better but hard to come
by. No problem. Just get a 2HB pencil and scrub it on a piece of #80
sandpaper. Tap the sides of the stopper onto the sandpaper and maybe
a bit inside the pipe top may help.
For some really fine facade ornaments, if you are not up to carving your
own, go to http://www.decoratorssupply.com. They make a zillion different
ornaments that you can spray with gold or silver paint and stick onto the
case. I built over a dozen band organs, copies of Wurlitzer 125's,
one 150 and six 165's and used the curlicues from DecSupCo. I heartily recommend
In John's posting about leaks, he suggests a homemade stethoscope. After
some 40 years of pipe organ building, I have found that the surest way to
find a leak is to use a lit incense stick. You get a visible signal where
there is the tiniest leak. Also perfumes your workshop!
If you have trouble with the "U" shaped part of the crankshaft hitting the
idler bearing, just screw the idler wheel onto an upright piece of wood with
a guide to keep it in place inside the case, and skip the 18mm dowel rod.
Suspend the slider from a spring and make a hole in another piece of
wood glued onto the slide at a 90 degree angle. The pin of the clutch
handle will fit the slightly oversized hole in this piece. This is the simplest
way to make an idler wheel adjuster.
|Take Up Spool
Don't laugh, but I made mine from a Pringles Potato Chip can cut down to
141mm, with turned hardwood spool ends glued to the inside of the roll. The
cans are heavy paper with an O.D. of 70mm. A small hole at either end of
the roll allows a screw-driver to fasten the set screw from outside.
These sound crazy but are simple enough for me to do in my cell in the nursing
home where I live. The potato chips are a bonus!
|Making Pipes and Stoppers
I have been having a lot of trouble making the pipes for my organ. Living
in a small room in a nursing home, I don't have either room or lovely tools.
My problem has been in making the pipes square, without any jigs or
clamps. All the wooden pieces are cut square on a tiny table saw, but when
put together with PVC, as the glue dries, the 90 degree angles don't hold
up due to absorbing moisture.
What I do now is to apply the glue in patches, leaving a centimeter space
between the patches. Here I put a very fast drying cyano-acrylate glue in
gel form (SuperGlue in the UK, I believe). This holds the pipes together
square while the PVC dries. It would be nice to use the "SuperGlue" for all
the joining work, but here in Japan it is fiendishly expensive, requiring
a whole tube or more for the longer pipes, and a 10 gram tube is 3.93 British
And the easiest way to make stoppers for any but the tiniest pipes is to
cut a piece of hard balsa wood to the ID of the pipe. The handles I cut from
hardwood dowel and SuperGlued in. The soft wood is easily sanded down to
take the chamois, and does away with the need for card board shims which
are almost always necessary when you cut the stoppers from a harder wood.
Vic Searle in Tokyo
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