Back ] Home ] Up ] Next ]


Finally, the dust and drywall scraps were cleaned up and we were ready to install the windchests and pipes.


Professional riggers were hired to lift the heavy chests into the organ loft.

After removing the altar rail and placing plywood down to protect the tile, a small forklift was brought in.

Lifting the large chests on their side, they were slid in through the removable panel and were then mounted on their support legs.
Here are the two main swell chests being installed. One is already on its supports and the other is about to be turned horizontal. They were brought into the enclosed room through the full-size access door.

Even though the loft is quite spacious, the organ is so large it doesn't leave a lot of extra room.

With the main chests in place, it was time to start placing the pipes.

All pipes had to be passed up to the organ loft through the same access panel as the chests.

The largest pipes were installed first, since unlike the smaller pipes that just sit in rackboards on the chest itself, they had to be held by supports high up on the wall

The Pedal 32' Bassoon has up to 16-foot-long resonators that are mounted sideways so they fit in the enclosed Swell division with the rest of the Bassoon rank (otherwise the bottom octave would not match the rest of the rank when the shades are not fully open). Spring-loaded hooks keep the pipes snug against the vertical chest.

The swell chests are installed in this picture, but not most of the swell pipes yet.

Because the swell chamber in the original location was only about eight feet high, the pipes easily fit in our new chamber without change.

In fact, the only ones that came (very) close to the roof were the pedal 16' ContreBass. But as in the case of the swell division, no remitering was necessary.

The reservoirs sit directly under their respective chests. Large diameter air connections ensure rapid response to wind demand changes.

Some of the expression shades originally opened horizontally and some vertically. For best sound they are now all mounted so as to direct the sound properly from the new higher location.

The original Moller pneumatics opened the shades sequentially, causing the pipes at one end of the chest to sound louder when the shades were partially open.

These were replaced by Peterson RC-150 swell shade openers. Each of the 16 positions can be adjusted individually, and all shades open smoothly together.

One thing missing on the original organ was chimes. A set of 25 new Peterson brass chimes was added and placed in the choir chamber so the volume could be adjusted by the shades (although the drawknob is on the great division since that is where there was space available).

By this time, space was getting tight. One rank of wooden pipes had to be mounted on top of the enclosed division chambers, with the pipe mouths facing downward so as not to trap the sound.

With the chests in place, it was easier to do the wiring before installing the many smaller pipes.

To organize things, do initial system checks and make any future troubleshooting easier, the main chamber computer system was centrally placed and individual panels containing the rank magnet driver boards were made up for each division.

These were then mounted close to the chests they control, and neatly cabled all-new wiring was run from the individual driver outputs to the chest magnets. The heavy red and black wires are for the power common runs.

On the lower level is the blower room, with the two main reservoirs mounted above the blower.

The first reservoir regulates the pressure to about 9" and feeds the Trompette Harmonique regulator through a separate windline. It also connects to the second reservoir, which provides about 5" pressure through a 14 inch diameter duct to the rest of the organ.

The blower is powered by a Century 7-1/2 HP three-phase six pole induction motor. It is of heavy-duty cast iron construction (the motor alone weighs 240 pounds), with oil-ring-lubricated babbitted bearings.

Alhough the motor is designed to work on either voltage, the motor controller's contactor coil had to be changed since we have 240V rather than 208V power here.

Also, in order to meet current electric codes an overload trip had to be added for the third phase (in 1964 protection was only required on two of the three phases). Fortunately the Square-D controller had provisions for easily adding that since it was a common upgrade even then.

Now it was time to unpack the thousands of smaller pipes from the crates in the storage containers.

Here is the front of the organ chamber filled with pipes.

At this point the wiring is done, the windlines are connected, and testing can begin.

Using a simple test program (see hardware and software for details on the control system), each rank is tested to verify the magnet wiring.


Once that is done and the organ definition code is downloaded to the control system computers, the traditional art of voicing the pipework for the new building was started, followed by careful tuning. This is a precise, time-consuming process, especially for the mixtures.
Even though the chests are mostly on one level, some of the wooden pipes on top  must be reached by climbing a ladder.




In my opinion, Guzowski and Steppe did an outstanding job with this. The entire congregation is thrilled with the sound of our new organ.



Home ] Where it Was ] The Big Move ] The Big Move Part II ] The Big Move Part III ] The New Church ] Console Rebuilding ] Renovation ] Final Preparation ] [ Installation ] Credits ]

This page was last updated on 11/11/08.
All content copyright 2006 Brian F. Bailey, W4OLF