Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Here is a picture of how we clean out the inside of the organ pipes. This brush is run down inside each pipe and scrubbed around to loosen stuck on dirt. Today we finished up running the new tremolo windline from the solo and then cleaned up the area beneath the choir stalls where the new Choir and Solo relays will go. Dad also gutted the old combination action cabinets which will now be used to house the new relays.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Here is a valve seat that has been sealed. The valve seat is the raised wooden part beneath the white valve pad.

All the windchests are vacuumed out before replacing the toe boards.
Here is the new electric expression motor for the Choir. It replaces a pneumatic motor. The new motor allows the shades to open fully. The old motor only allowed them to open about half way, plus the old motor spanned the entire distance across the shades from left to right. The new motors should allow more sound to exit the chambers. All the old motors in the organ are being replaced with these electric motors.
Today we continued cleaning in the Choir chamber. Just to give you an idea of the steps involved in cleaning a chamber like this, here they are.

1. Remove pipes from chests and store in cardboard trays.
2. Wipe down and remove the rackboards from the chest.
3. Vacuum off the toeboards and remove all screws.
4. Turn the toeboards over one by one to oil the Wicks valves and inspect/seal the wood valve seats
5. Reconnect the chest ground wire and replace toeboard.
6. Blow out and vacuum all toe holes
7. Replace rack boards
8. Wipe down all pipes, inside and out, and replace on the windchest
9. Disassemble all reed pipes (trumpets, clarinets, oboe, etc) and clean the reeds, clean the shallots, swab out the resonator, and reassemble.
10. Remove all non-organ related material from the organ chamber
11. Clean and polish all wooden parts of the organ.
12. Clean the floor.

Here is the console that is being built by the Wicks Organ Company.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

As you can see, the choir division is in need of some cleaning. Actually much of the organ looks like this or worse. We started in the choir today removing the pipes from the chest and tearing out the old expression motor. All the old pneumatic expression motors are being replaced with Peterson electric motors. Another thing we are doing that hasn't been shown yet is the inspection and sealing of the valve seats in the windchests. More pictures to follow.
Today we finished cleaning, oiling, and sealing the wind chests and putting back the pipes in the Solo division. No pictures yet, they'll be coming.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Here is a close up of the Wicks action and the oiling process.

Here we are in the Solo chamber. All the pipes have been removed and stored in cardboard trays. The rack boards have been removed from the chest and the toeboards have been turned over to expose the Wicks Direct Electric action which will be oiled and inspected.

Cleaning in the Solo chamber

Today we started cleaning in the Solo chamber which is located above the horizontal trumpets in this organ case.

Monday, January 21, 2008

All in place

Here are all 5 of the new 32' pipes in place. Their scale in comparison of Dad shows how huge they are. Sorry for the blurry picture.

"The Big One" falls into place

Here is low C of the 32' being placed on the chest.

Dad gets closer to Heaven!

Dad is in this picture. He is on top of the crown molding of the column to the right. He is positioning the wooden beam for the hoist cable to connect to.

Installing the Sub Bourdon pipes

Here we are installing the 32' Sub Bourdon pipes. We used an electric winch with a pulley on a beam stretched between the crown molding at the top of two columns. Click on any picture in the blog for a larger view.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New windline for the Solo

Here we have removed most of the pipes from the Choir division so we have room to work while installing the new 10" PVC static windline to the Solo Division which is located on the next level above the choir. The windline will run vertically just in front of where the white pail is standing. The old windline was removed to make way for the new ladder system.

Giant Organ Pipes!

Here are the five large 32' Sub Bourdon pipes which are going to be installed in the balcony. The largest is about 24" square and 16' long weighing in at about 400 lbs. In the background are the remainder of the 32' rank which was installed several years ago.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Here is another picture of the big pipe on the way up to the balcony.

32' Sub Bourdon Pipes

Today the truck arrived from Wicks carrying the bottom five pipes for the 32' Sub Bourdon which is installed in the balcony of the church. These five notes have been missing since the original stop was installed a number of years ago. The pipes were lifted into the balcony by a local contractor. The largest pipe is roughly 18' long x 24" square with 2" thick walls and weighs in at about 420lbs! Here it is on the way up into the balcony.

Basilica of St. Mary - Job overview

The Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, MN is home to a large Wicks organ of 4 manuals and 80 some ranks of pipes. The Wicks Organ Company of Highland, IL is providing a new 4 manual french terraced style console, new electrical system, and several new ranks of pipes. We are in charge of all onsite work including the installation of the new upgrades from Wicks, cleaning the entire organ, oiling of the Wicks chest action, plus other repairs to bring the organ back up to 100% playable condition. Please check back often for updates as work continues.