Hi all, Kim Bunker here from http://www.playerpianos.com/
When I started in the player rebuilding business it was with my partner,
Mr. Thomas Sheen. Tom is well known in the A.T.O.S. (American Theater
Organ Society) as a theater organist with several known recordings.
Over many years Tom and his good friend, David Junchen worked on
theater organ installations and repairs. I also knew David and had
the opportunity to work with several organ restoration projects.
My best friend of many years, now deceased, was Mr. David Sacre, who
was taught by the finest pipe organ voicer in the world, Mr. Alan Van
Zorin. David later became the number one pipe organ voicer and builder
for Franchesco Raffati in Cremona, Italy. David's work brought him
great notoriety. Some of his greatest achievements were the final
tonal work of the Crystal Cathedral organ, Spieve Hall organ, the
San Francisco Symphony Hall and Saint Peters organs of San Francisco.
David and I together worked on some real basket case organs and
orchestrions where pipes were flattened, smashed and virtually
Most metal ranks on pipe organs were made of a mixture of lead, tin
and zinc. Some of the ranks are made of wood, and specialty ranks like
trumpet and saxophone were made of brass, but not all these pipes were
originally made of brass: earlier ranks were made of wood and had a
metal frein or beard, and in many classic organs they were made of
lead, tin and zinc.
If the only choice is to repair and not replace the lead, tin and zinc
pipes, then you need wood dowels in various sizes from 1/8th inch round
up. Depending on the inner diameter of the pipes, make sure that the
wood dowel you insert into the pipe is of a smaller diameter than the
inner part of the pipe so as not to split the seam of the pipe. You
will need a cobbler's mallet, wide flat steel round flat surfaced head.
This is a somewhat small hammer.
Round off one end of the wood dowel; this will make insertion easier.
Also, in the larger dowel, like 5" on one end, drill in the center
a 1/2" hole and insert and epoxy a 1/2" drill rod to be used as a
plunger effect. On the longer and larger pipes remember never to push
the dowel all the way to the bottom or mouth of the pipe; this area is
the speaking part of the note.
Glue a piece of leather to the rounded end of the dowel to protect the
pipe as you insert it. Be very careful in this process not to push the
dowel to the bottom of the pipe and be sure not to harm the tongue.
The tongue must always remain flat.
Be sure the mouth of the speaking part of the pipe is exactly angled as
it should be. When the dowel is inserted to the dented area carefully
tap, not pound, with the hammer against the metal until you achieve the
desired round. This is the way these type of pipes have been repaired
Thanks for now
Sincerely Kim Bunker