eNotes — October 2015

Tubing in Daykin!

Totally tubular in Daykin

We spent some time in Daykin, Nebraska this summer. We started with a project at Immanuel Lutheran, and continued with St. John’s Lutheran. St. John’s has a tubular-pneumatic Estey pipe organ from the early Twentieth Century. There weren’t many of them built after the 1920s, and these instruments are pretty rare. We spruced up the pneumatics in the console. These pneumatics were originally sealed with zephyr (thin, tanned animal intestines), which dried and cracked over time. We replaced the zephyr with thin leather, planed to .005 inches thick. We did most of this work in our shop. Some replacement parts were not commercially available, so we manufactured many by hand. See more photos on Facebook

You can see in the photo below, these tubular-pneumatic actions have a maze of tubes for moving air. At the time, Sir John Stainer called them a “triumph of mechanical skill.” But they had their limitations. W. T. Best called it “a complete failure; you cannot play a triplet on the Trumpet, and I consider it the most damnnable invention ever placed inside an organ.” Each tube is a potential air leak, so these projects involve meticulous work. But it is an investment in the future. In the words of our own Ryan, “I think it’s great when congregations decide to preserve their instruments and keep them original whenever possible. This piece of musical heritage is now preserved for future generations.”

St. John’s Lutheran is having a dedication service for their Estey pipe organ on Sunday, November 15, at 9 a.m. Willa Foster Jones is the guest organist.

It’s time for seasonal tuning

Cone tuning by BedientAdvent and Christmas are fast approaching. This is the time to schedule your fall tuning and maintenance. Our calendar can fill up quickly, so contact us now and we’ll get you scheduled before the holidays rush by.

As temperatures in the worship space change, so will the pitch of the pipe organ. Adjusting your sanctuary temperature gradually over a number of hours before worship will help keep the instrument sounding beautiful throughout the season.

Schedule maintenance

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