How busy can it really be in the world of reed organ restoration? You’d be surprised. Over the last couple of months I have been contacted by several people about repairing or buying reed organs. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to restore all these organs and have none to sell at the moment. We need more people restoring them here in Ireland. I have a request for an Estey chaplain’s organ tuned to A440. So if anyone out there has one I have a very worthy home waiting for it if you are willing sell. Fortunately I have sourced a ‘folder’ which will need restoration and will hopefully fit the bill very well in the absence of an Estey. Of course you will hear plenty about that in the next few months.
I paid a visit to our old friend the Bell reed organ in Mayo. Unfortunately it showed signs of live wood worm despite having being treated for this before. So I treated it again. I’ll have to keep a close eye on that over the next few months. I have discovered that every organ teaches something new. The Bell taught me not to deliver an organ back too early. Even though it was restored completely it needed time to show what needed tweaking. Consequently I have brought home the coupler mechanism which was simply too tight. The organ is housed in a very cold and damp church so the surface rust which has accumulated on the linkages has left it too tight so the bushings will have to be replaced again with thinner cloth so that it moves more smoothly and easily.
I also returned the original restored organ stool for this organ which was in the church there for many years and which I only discovered when returning the restored Bell last summer. The organist reports that it is much easier to pedal the organ with the specially designed sloped stool.
One of the contacts I have received through the website of late was a request to give an opinion on a Mason and Hamlin reed organ. It is in sorry condition showing evidence of woodworm and is suffering from past incorrect adjustments. I have to consider seriously what to do with that one. We shall see.
You remember the big Doherty Cathedral Organ? There have been really exciting developments in this case. I’ll tell you more in the next few months. All I will say for now is that it is no longer in my garage. You’ll never guess what happened to it.
The final piece of exciting news is that I will be taking a trip to England in the next few months to bring back some future projects including a Smith of Boston Connoisseur organ. Does that sound familiar? I have already restored one and documented in on my website. Needless to say I will blog about that trip in due course.
Meanwhile I have continued with the restoration of the Estey Model O I blogged about last time. I have updated the story of the restoration at the link below. Click there for lots of new photos. It will keep me very busy for the next several months.