Fascination is the key to quality
June and November 2016
How it started
My fascination for the organ as a musical and technical instrument exists already for my whole life, as I described elsewhere on this site. But in 2013 I got a new idea. That year with a business partner I bought a business unit or warehouse to store my cars and work on them. But in fact it is a large space and, although this space got completely filled up with cars and parts much faster than I imagined, over the cars there is in fact a lot of free height. Why not build up an organ in my own warehouse?
In May 2013 I discovered an interesting neglected small pneumatic organ, offered for free in Flandres because the cloister chapel was soon to be redeveloped. It was exactly my style: very romantic, with only 8' and 4' stops. I believe that was the first time I considered acquiring an organ for my own. Not primarily to play on, but to dismantle, assemble, work on, play and enjoy all this. However, I feared the heavy work to get the soundboards and the console from the balcony, so I doubted and within a few days the organ was gone … But not as an interesting instrument: it was just robbed of its most interesting pipes …
A year before, in May 2012, an organ was offered in a Dutch organ magazine. Although partly renewed, it was still an interesting instrument. It could be considered as the small sister of the organ of my youth, the organ Pels (re)built for the Bonifatiuskerk in Alphen aan den Rijn in 1939. As I was involved in the process to realise a choir organ in this church, I proposed this as a candidate. Because of all kinds of reasons this was not to be.
Only in December 2014, the idea emerged that I could buy this candidate for myself and build it up in my warehouse. As this was not a large organ and more organs were said to be expected to appear on the market because of church closings, I decided to take my time to look around.
Reasons to acquire a pipe organ for my own
Why exactly would I aim at acquiring a pipe organ for my own and assemble it in the warehouse? Several reasons plead for this.
I got the opportunity to get two organs and a nice collection of organ parts. More on it on the following pages. In particular the page on the dismantling of the Verschueren organ is abundantly illustrated!
The idea is in the end to assemble the organs and organ parts to one single organ, not a good-looking one, but primarily an organ that works well and is put together in a more or less inspiring way. I cannot have high requirements, as I do not have the budget for that at all. (On the other hand, those who know me … when I told a friend that I wouldn't do a job on my house perfectly, he said: "if you say it will not be perfect, then it is still perfect". I don't think he is completelty right, but there is some point in it.)
On the next pages, we will see how this idea develops. I don't know what I will end up with …
Overview: acquiring and dismantling organs
The first find: a small organ with electropneumatic slider chests from Pels
What's next? And a swell engine and shutters, blower and windchests
Abundantly illustrated: the dismantling of an electropneumatic organ from Verschueren
A main reservoir from 1891