What do you do when the organ dies?

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Project by Bearpaw posted 08-29-2017 04:36 AM 1530 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Answer: You build a new one. Well, a new console for the keyboards.

About 2 years ago the church pipe organ died from old age. They are expensive to maintain and more to rebuild. We have nice keyboards that can reproduce any sound that the pipe organ could produce. There is no tuning or seasonal maintenance required. They were sitting on a metal stand that made the stage area look like a night club. They needed to have a nice cabinet.

I found an organ cabinet picture that had the style we were looking for. Decided it had to be made with mahogany, but that is expensive. So off to my favorite hardwood dealer. I buy wood from a local company that mills a lot of their wood for resale. They have pieces they cannot resale. It is used to fuel the fire in their kiln. Over the years I have made friends with them and they let me have what I want before it is burned. Most of the times it is twisted, warped, with knots and other defects. The timing was good and I came out with some nice pieces that I paid $-0- for.

The case is mainly panel construction using my door router bits. The end panels were a little tricky to make. The sides and front panels are joined with a 45 degree locking bit.

On the base unit there are disks that a 3” PVC pipe sits over to form the leg. There is a matching disk under the case unit to position the leg. There is a 3/8” threaded rod holding the two units together. The PVC pipe houses all of the power and audio cord with jacks mounted on the inside face.

I did a 1/8” inlay of purple heart on all of the vertical corners. Again, free wood. This gives protection for the corners and hides a couple of joints that had a little gap in them. I thought that it was a nice touch. I have not told anyone about the gaps. So, keep it quite.

In the 5th picture you can see the electrical and audio connections.

The music holder is made to slide off. I had some flat brass strips that I had bent and attached to an angle block of wood. Clear 1/4” Plexiglas for the upright. This is 33” long.

The finish is minwax stain with 3 coats of clear semi gloss catalyzed lacquer. Then it was pasted waxed and buffed.

There was actually less than $200.00 spent on this project.

Sometimes when I build something it will take on a meaning for me. That is the case with the wood in this project. You may remember that I said that the wood had a lot of twist, warps, knots and other defects. It was scheduled to be burned because It was not fit for resale. While I was installing the console in the church the thought came to me that that is how we are in our own lives. We have twisted thoughts, we have warped attitudes, we have suffered injuries that have left us with many knots and no telling what other defects that condemns us to a fire we call hell. But there is one person who worked as a carpenter that can remove those twisted thoughts, warped attitudes, heal those knots and correct our defects. Of course that Is Jesus Christ. Are you a twisted warped piece of wood to be tossed away or you the finished product of the Master Carpenter?

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thank you for reading. If you need to talk about what type of wood you are, please message me.

-- "When we build, let us think we build forever." John Ruskin

7 comments so far

View Grumps's profile


12 posts in 1519 days

#1 posted 08-29-2017 07:31 PM

Well done! I’ve been wanting to build something like this but collapsible for my midi keyboard in my studio.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4845 posts in 4352 days

#2 posted 08-29-2017 07:40 PM

Nice! Did they give you the old organ for hauling it away? I can imagine all kinds of projects to be made with the thing.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View Bearpaw's profile


270 posts in 4964 days

#3 posted 08-29-2017 07:42 PM

The old console has some good oak parts that I will keep for projects.

-- "When we build, let us think we build forever." John Ruskin

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4845 posts in 4352 days

#4 posted 08-30-2017 02:42 AM

Cool! They get the stuff hauled away, and you get wood. Win-win!

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1128 posts in 4674 days

#5 posted 08-30-2017 02:45 AM

Love it and the story.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View woodbutcherbynight's profile (online now)


10399 posts in 3652 days

#6 posted 08-31-2017 01:26 AM

Nice work. AND you get some project material in return, always nice.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Bearpaw's profile


270 posts in 4964 days

#7 posted 11-13-2017 04:24 AM

Dark_Lightning – I kept some of the foot petals that were hard maple with ebony wood on them. I had a pen turned by woodbutcherbynight to give to the lady that played the organ. She was very surprised and pleased.

-- "When we build, let us think we build forever." John Ruskin

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