Having completed my part in wiring a 15 rank Wurlitzer theater organ, I wanted to make something small. In addition to wiring the Theater organ, I also leathered most of the primary valves and much of the percussion. This project has occupied the bulk of my time three days a week for six months.
A new goal is to have a small busker organ playing in one week, by May 16 2009. This was prompted by a friend making me the tracker bar out of an aluminum block as per the design of John Smith, of England.
Since I had to make some replacement pneumatics for the Wurlizer xylophone, I decided to start the busker with the bellows assembly. Compared to covering the percussion pnuematics and the swell shade pnuematics and bumpers, the bellows are not much different. With only three units to cover, most of the time is spent on the preparation work
When I made the Caliola, The pipes were constructed with extra thick walls which were sawed down then planed true. This left me with a number of 6.35mm to impossibly thin 2mm sheets of pine. The thicker sheets were joined using a router table, glued up and planed to 1/4 inch (6.35mm) these are now the bellows feeders and pressure box.
More importantly some time ago, a small pear tree was cut down. This tree was an off shoot sapling from a parent tree, which did not produce tasty fruit. It did make pears which were a bit tough. This tree was split in half for quarter sawing while still green. The wood has been aged some time. The tree was somewhere around 20 to 30 years old about 2 inches (50mm) across. These fruit trees grow slowly and are quite dense, which makes pear a premium wood. The languids and the caps of the pipes will be made from this wood.
A Monterrey pine tree was also trimmed a few years ago. Some of this wood was milled for later use. This wood will now be used for the fronts of the smaller pipes visible on the front of the instrument.
I also have a large collection of short 2 inch thick blocks of cherry wood. This has been re-sawed for gluing up to make the sides of the case and the pressure box. By making the bellows, pressure box and case first, The pipes can be set to wind as they are constructed.
There is an estimate online that it should take 52 hours to build one of these organs. So far about 16 hours have been spent on the setup.