Street Organ

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Project by tallshipsailor posted 12-16-2018 03:26 AM 947 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The Making of my Street Organ;

Beginning March 2018, finished October 2018
Built from John Smith Senior 20 Street Organ plans.

The plans I purchased were meant as guidelines as they were not very detailed. I was able to revise and add missing details. In some places I totally redesigned some of the parts to simplify installation and efficiency.

The plans called for all moving parts, such as the offset blocks and various wheels to be made of wood. I opted to make them all out of metal. I drew up engineering drawings for all the parts and had a machinist friend fabricate out of aluminum. I felt considering the time and detail put into this project I want it to last through out several generations.

The woods I used were; ¼” marine plywood, sepele, bass wood, maple and maple veneer.
This was my first attempt at any veneering and inlay work.

In order to have something to set the organ on, I built a triangular base with the same maple veneer, inlay, and sepele wood stair spindles for the legs.

5 comments so far

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3967 days

#1 posted 12-16-2018 10:15 AM

Wonderful work and a very interesting project.

If you take photos from your phone with it in a vertical position your photos will always be rotated to the side, so to get them right side up you need to keep the phone in a horizontal position when you take photos.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

717 posts in 3414 days

#2 posted 12-16-2018 10:39 AM

The beauty of John Smith’s design is that it can be used to make a simple, rough-and-ready organ such as would have been used by buskers in the streets of villages and towns, or a precision instrument such as you have produced, Mike. With its extremely high standard of construction and finish, you have indeed created an heirloom which will be treasured by its owners in future years. Congratulations! (from a rough-and-ready maker!)

BTW – download free Irfanview and you will easily be able to rotate your pictures – and manipulate them in many other useful ways.

-- Don, Somerset UK,

View EarlS's profile


3484 posts in 2981 days

#3 posted 12-16-2018 01:54 PM

Brilliant!!! That is really an amazing piece of woodworking. Great Youtube video too.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View swirt's profile


4736 posts in 3605 days

#4 posted 12-17-2018 03:23 AM

Wow That is quite amazing.

-- Galootish log blog,

View tallshipsailor's profile


28 posts in 2410 days

#5 posted 01-24-2019 12:20 AM

Thanks for the complements and tips on my photography stefang and Don. Thank you EarlS and swirt for your compliments.
I wanted to make this with all moving parts machined from metal. I thought if I’m going to spend this much time on the woodwork and details, I want this thing to last for generations. Along with the organ, whom ever inherites this, will be given the plans and details in order to maintain it. Some of the cuckoo clocks I restore have been around for 100 years plus. No reason this street organ can’t last as long or longer!

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