I've recently completed building a John Smith 26-note organ which
plays 26- and 20-note music rolls. This is a fantastic organ with
70 pipes, a glock, and 4 ranks of pipes controlled by stops. The
plans detail many different types of pipes from which to choose for
the ranks, depending on what type of sound the builder prefers.
I found the plans to be accurate with John's comments, suggestions
and building techniques included. John also includes a helpful video,
almost a training course for building an organ.
This is a serious organ, which takes time to build. I worked part-time
on it for about a year. Others have completed theirs in 6 months. It
surely is worth every minute as this is the best sounding organ I have
The organ is very responsive and powerful because it is valve operated,
which I thought might be tough, but turned out to be easy to construct.
Cranking power is smooth with air from the three pumping bellows.
All in all, it's a great project, fun and satisfying to build and great
to listen to in the end. I was so excited upon completion, I called
John Smith, across the pond, and played mine for him over the phone.
If you are interested check out John Smith's web site:
My wife is a bit worried about what John is working on next because
she knows I'll want to build it. Don't sit back and dream, go for it
-- mechanical music is in your future.
[ Descriptions of the John Smith busker organs are at
[ and http://www.melright.com/busker/jsmith.htm
[ Construction plans may be purchased from
[ The 26-note organ plays 110 mm wide paper music rolls, including
[ "Raffin standard" 20er rolls and also extended 26-note rolls.
[ -- Robbie