Church Organ Facade and Casework

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Project by JAAune posted 05-20-2014 04:11 AM 4149 views 2 times favorited 35 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Everybody gets a chance to learn something new and for me this project was one of them. I’ve done architectural work in the past but nothing quite on this scale and never before did I have to climb onto scaffolding to complete a job.

This project was completed December 2013 (excepting the organ console which was installed later) and was a collaboration between Remmert Studios, Altare Design, Allen Organ Company and a local electric contractor.

The organ itself is a digital/pipe combination so there were 12 speakers to place and they all needed to be unobtrusive. A couple of the photos show the placement of the largest speakers. Two small speakers were set in the far left and right cabinets and one under each of the angel statues.

The casework itself is mostly walnut plywood with some air-dried walnut sourced from a local sawyer. One of the pictures in the gallery was taken at the shop shortly before delivery day. Everything was built in parts, pre-assembled in the shop, then taken back apart for transport.

Looking at the pictures, what do you suppose one of the biggest challenges might have been? Anyone who can guess gets a bozo button and a pat on the back.

-- See my work at

35 comments so far

View mbs's profile


1717 posts in 4184 days

#1 posted 05-20-2014 05:24 AM

Amazing work. I’m sure the pics don’t do justice to the piece.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View a1Jim's profile


118258 posts in 4821 days

#2 posted 05-20-2014 05:30 AM

Wow this is one amazing project,unbelievable.


View DocSavage45's profile


9069 posts in 4087 days

#3 posted 05-20-2014 05:48 AM


-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View CaptainKlutz's profile


4902 posts in 2739 days

#4 posted 05-20-2014 08:48 AM

Nice work.
With that many involved, communication and design changes would be tough. IME – Complex installations NEVER goes as planned. So I am guessing it had to a real pain to make the onsite adjustments to cabinets for hidden control wiring and airlines for all the pipes, especially changes to that amazing hanging façade.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30646 posts in 3582 days

#5 posted 05-20-2014 09:33 AM

Incredibly impressive work

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 4270 days

#6 posted 05-20-2014 10:13 AM

Great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

View MrFid's profile


910 posts in 3149 days

#7 posted 05-20-2014 11:30 AM

Looks perfect. Lots of hard work I am sure, but well worth it.

Biggest challenge was standing up those pipes and one of them (a B sharp, I’ll bet) fell to the floor and dented making it a C flat. The choir was never the same but eventually they learned to sing off key for that one note in every song they sang. Also, all the air from those pipes blows the angels’ dresses up like Marilyn Monroe.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17533 posts in 3863 days

#8 posted 05-20-2014 11:41 AM

Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View Ken90712's profile


18067 posts in 4433 days

#9 posted 05-20-2014 12:47 PM

Wow , what a great project on a big scale…. Amazing work…. One to be proud of.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View oldrivers's profile


2728 posts in 2811 days

#10 posted 05-20-2014 01:00 PM

Beautiful work!

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1524 posts in 2878 days

#11 posted 05-20-2014 01:51 PM

Excellent work, on a huge scale.

How long did that take?
The landing in the foreground how did you make that?
Steamed laminations?
Kerfed Laminations?

How many helpers to lift that even in pieces?

Very impressive.

-- Jeff NJ

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4111 days

#12 posted 05-20-2014 01:59 PM

This is absolutely beautiful. You do fine work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Eli Adamit's profile

Eli Adamit

744 posts in 4534 days

#13 posted 05-20-2014 03:20 PM

Wow, amazing work.

-- Eli Adamit, Israel

View JAAune's profile


2038 posts in 3561 days

#14 posted 05-20-2014 03:43 PM

Design and aesthetics were handled by Remmert Studios and Allen Organ just worked on cutting and painting the pipes plus organ and speaker installation.

That left Altare Design to handle fabrication and installation of the cabinetry which we accomplished in approximately 5 weeks with two people. We had to recruit the help of the church custodian to lift the upper half of those large cabinets in the rear into place. Other than that, it was just two of us doing the install.

Yes, we do have CNC so we can work faster than most people.

We used bent laminations and 2-ply veneer for making curved plywood. The parts were placed inside the bag then wrapped around the form with band clamps.

MrFid, the big pipes are non-speaking and are merely decorative. Due to the way the organ specs were arranged, only the little pipes in the center are speaking pipes. Their decision was to keep the appearance of a full pipe organ even though they only ended up with one small, four rank set of pipes. The big pipes were re-purposed from an old church and they are real pipes.

CaptainKlutz is correct that collaborations like that always run into a hitch somewhere. In this job however, that didn’t cause any major problems as all the miscommunications involved minor adjustments. Nothing difficult.

I doubt anyone will figure out what the big hurdle was because it was one of those things that should be obvious, yet nobody working on the project thought about it.

-- See my work at

View Tomoose's profile


422 posts in 4618 days

#15 posted 05-20-2014 03:48 PM



-- “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso

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