Updates

For up to date news on what is happening in and out of the workshop, please visit our Facebook Page

New Specifications for City Hall Pipe Organ

Click for the full specifications of the Brisbane City Hall project.

News: All Saints’ Anglican Church Murwillumba

The new movable drawstop console has been made for 1926 C W Leggo organ in All Saints’ Anglican Church Murwillumbah and will be installed in July. This console has a new relay system and will be positioned at the front of the church which will be a better position to see the organist during the frequent concerts they hold in this church and will be a better position for the organist to hear this splendid organ.  Recently a new Clarinet 8′ and Twelfth 2?’ was added to the Great which has added a new dimension to the sound of this organ. Derek Smart has also made a new Tasmanian Oak  music cabinet and table for the front of the church which matches the design of the console.

News: Brisbane City Hall Pipe Organ Restoration

The main news of 2010 has been the dismantling and storage of the of the 5-manual Brisbane City Hall Willis pipe organ. The City Hall is in need of some much needed restoration and it was decided to remove all of the organ to protect it while the auditorium and organ chamber are being refurbished. It is a monumental task to completely dismantle an organ this size but we were able to achieve this in only six weeks. It is now neatly stored in a Council property at Tingalpa.

Normally, restorations leave the main standframes, casework and even some of the larger pipes in position. In this case all the large woodwork of the frames and the casework had to be carefully marked and dismantled.  This required a large amount of manpower and some heavy lifting.  Even the removal of the 32′ pipes from the showfront required a great deal of planning.  The organ is now carefully laid out in the storage area with all the smaller pipes in labelled crates and the larger pipes standing in racking.  The large 32′ pipes can be carefully laid out on the floor.  Even the bellows have been fitted with small wheels to make them easily movable.  The soundboards and action parts are all stored in air conditioned rooms to keep them in first class condition.

News: First Church of Christ Scientist in Brisbane

We have carried out maintenance work on the 1940 Whitehouse 3-manual organ in the First Church of Christ Scientist in Brisbane. The original Great and Swell action magnets were replaced after 70 years of service. The original cotton-covered wiring was also

replaced with P.V.C. covered wiring. When the cotton and varnish decays on this old wiring it can start to play two or three notes depending on how it feels.  The PVC wiring will last for far longer.   The Great and Swell bellows were releathered and the pneumatic pedal chests and action was electrified.  This organ is now working far more reliably and quietly.

News: St Andrew’s Anglican Church South Brisbane

The first stage of the restoration of the 1884 JW Walker organ in St Andrew’s Anglican Church South Brisbane has been completed.  The double-rise bellows have been completely releathered and windtrunking refurbished. The bellows have been set to their original wind pressure of 3½”.

Both the Swell and Great Soundboards have been restored.  They required over 150 screws each to secure the splits in the mahogany tables.  The 1960’s plastic slider seals have been replaced with the more efficient felt seals.  These plastic seals had been faulty and were jamming the slides.

Often the pipes were not getting enough wind and were sounding out of tune and woolly.  The careful restoration of these soundboards are now receiving their full requirement of wind.  New lead conveyancing was made to wind the showfront pipes. The pipework was carefully cleaned and the Dulciana was restored back onto the Great soundboard and a new  mahogany cheek made for the 2′ Fifteenth.  This work has faithfully restored the original Walker sound back to the organ.  It is really sounding magnificent.

News: Peace Lutheran Church, Gatton

The Great soundboard of the 1978 Walter Emerson organ in Peace  Lutheran Church, Gatton has been overhauled and the pipework cleaned.  It is always remarkable how maintenance on an organ vastly improves the sound.  This is because the pipes receive the proper amount of wind at the right time.  Just like a human choir if the attack is ragged and uncoordinated then the music is feeble and loses its beauty.

When all the pipes play at the same time with a full breath the sound and tone is so much better.  Good organ action always improves the sound of the pipes. This organ is a good example of Emerson’s work and interesting baroque specification.  This work has now allowed the Great pipes to speak to their optimum and this organ is now a pleasure to play.

News: St Peter’s Anglican Church, Southport

The organ in St Peter’s Anglican Church, Southport is now sounding spectacularly improved after recent maintenance and revoicing.  This organ has had a varied history with a major rebuilt by Walter Emerson in 1976.  Whilst only a small organ with 9 speaking stops it was not adequate for the building.  This was surprising as it had a complete principal chorus with a mixture. Just because an organ is small, does not mean that it can fill the building adequately if it projects properly.

This was our task.   New polypel puffers were installed throughout the organ and a new larger blower fitted. The pipework was cleaned and revoiced at the new wind pressure of 4″.  With careful revoicing the sound is not forced but blooms in the body of the church. When it was first played after the revoicing the whole congregation noticed the difference.  This organ now has a power and beauty that it did not have before.

In the Media: Funds make pipe dream a reality (Tweed Daily News)

Today, The Tweed Daily News published an article about installation of the new console for the All Saints Anglican Church in Murwillumbah.

It was a musical marriage like no other that has ever graced All Saints Anglican Church in Murwillumbah.

Read the full article : Funds make pipe dream a reality