Organs of distinction  JohnPage, Organ Builder



Restoration of the Emmett 89-keyless Gavioli

Main chest

This is a conventional bar-chest containing 86 channels. It was in remarkable condition, with German printed newspaper glued inside. I treated the channels with a water-based glue designed to never harden like hot glue. It should continue to seal joins while the wood moves with atmospheric changes. The sticky mess caused by neoprene tubing was dissolved and cleaned off, and the top surface treated to a generous coat of shellac polish, sanded smooth.

The channels had been covered and sealed using newspapers of the day, and Carl Frei had glued on a sheet adverising his business, dated April 1978, evidence of the time he was entrusted to carry out an overhaul, the last before my own efforts. I kept these historic features intact. Bizarrely, the pallets had been individually numbered (as were the push-rods), although being all of identical dimensions. They were re-leathered after removing the original leather which had been worn completely through in some cases by the action wires.

The restored pallets were glued back onto the chest (in original numbered order) with over-length leather acting as hinges. Their spring slots were cleaned out and lubricated with graphite from a soft pencil in preparation to working with new springs made from phosphor-bronze wire, and new stainless-steel guide pins.

The paper covering the channels were re-sealed with shellac. I left the interesting advertising bits, and Carl Frei labels showing the precise date this job was done before (16th April, 1978).

Once tested for leaks, the chest was re-installed into the case and connected to the leather wind manifold. Pipe holes were covered with masking tape to keep out dust until the pipes were ready to install.

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