Hi all, In response to Bill Finch's post in 01-28-01 MMD regarding
tuning stability, I too have encountered the same problem. I am not as
lucky to be able to store the band organ indoors where the temperature
is constant. Its home is in the garage, here in Washington state.
I have kept the garage heater set to 58 degrees F. in an attempt to
hold temperature and humidity. We are now facing an electricity
crisis, so last week, I turned off the heat. The garage would then
cycle to about 45 degrees overnight, and top out around 58 degrees by
I turned the organ on the other day, and it sounded horrible. So I
left the heat on for 24 hours to maintain the old 58 degrees. Guess
what, the organ STILL sounded horrible, with the flues and reeds not
returning to their original tuning.
To make things more confusing, a friend nearby stores his Wurly 153 in
an unheated garage all year round, and the organ sounds great every
summer when he rolls it out! Could it be that his pipe work is
sealed a bit better, or?
I have been thinking of putting my little home-made Bruder in a
trailer, anyway. Then maybe I could use a thermostat with a small
space heater inside the trailer to maintain the temperature all winter,
without having to heat the whole 500-square-foot garage. Would this be
a good idea?
I have not owned the organ long enough yet to see what will happen when
it hits the summer heat in the garage. I cringe at the thought of
having to do a tuning before I throw the organ on the truck and take it
places this summer. Any thoughts?
[ If the tuning adjustments don't shift, because the wood expands and
[ contracts and may allow slides and stoppers to move, then the organ
[ should be in tune again after both the temperature and the relative
[ humidity inside the organ have _stabilized at the same conditions_
[ as when the organ was previously tuned. The builders and maintainers
[ of portable organs take special care so that the tuning adjustments
[ don't shift position due to vibration and the cycling humidity.
[ The organs enjoyed most at public events are the organs which play
[ in tune and all the pipes work properly. When the organ is in good
[ repair usually only the reed pipes must be tuned to match the flue
[ pipes as the temperature and humidity changes throughout the day.
[ The ranks of flue pipes should need no attention unless vibration
[ disturbs the adjustments. It seems that your friend's Wurlitzer 153
[ organ has been well restored and maintained. -- Robbie