emmanuel episcopal church: Rushford, mnThe 1933 Kimball organ, opus 7121, at Emmanuel Episcopal Church suffered flood damage during the Summer of 2007. The original electropneumatic relay system, blower, and static reservoir, which were all in the basement, were destroyed. The water level did not reach the main floor, so none of the chests or pipes were damaged. The console suffered numerous warped, curled key tops, but was otherwise fine. The original electropneumatic combination continues to work flawlessly.
This organ was originally installed at Calvary Episcopal Church in Rochester, MN. When the Noehren-Harris organ was installed in 1974, this organ was moved to Rushford. The organ had already been releathered and restored in 1960. The replacement leather continues to be in pristine condition today.
I worked with three other technicians on the project during 2011: Jeff Daehn, Neil Wiegand, and Tom Specht. The original electropneumatic relay system was replaced with a modern solid state system. The new (used Orgoblo Sr., 1924) blower was salvaged from Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, MN. Brian Williams and all of Calvary Episcopal Church were a wonderful help during this project. The console was moved to the choir room at Calvary for travel convenience.
Below are some of the photos taken during the process of the rebuild, along with a narrative of the process.
Console Front: Before. Here, the console is seen without all of its access panels, before work commenced. The Great, lower keyboard, can be seen with its numerous missing keytops. Below the keyboards, the console portion of the original electropneumatic relay system can be seen.
Console Back: Before. Most of the electropneumatic relay system has already been removed in this photo, but the "puffers" can be seen dangling from their wires at right-center.
Blower Room: Before. Original Spencer Orgoblo Jr. It had been completely submerged causing an extreme amount of rust inside.
Kimball Pipe Organ, Opus 7121.
Autograph: Frank Brey, 1933. This autograph was found on the side of one of the muffler boards on the bottom of the main chests.
Inscription found on the side of an offset chest:
Mar 7, 1933
Wind 6" (6 inches of water)
Spare magnets & holder. The build quality throughout the organ was very impressive. Instead of just leaving three spare magnets loose inside the console, Kimball made a small box for them.
Original Sforzando mechanism. The original Sforzando mechanism was left intact for historical purposes, but is no longer used. The brown wheel at right is turned by a pawl which moves when the hitch pedal is pressed.
New relay cabinet in Sacristy. Most of the work in this rebuild revolved around installing a new relay system. This is a view of the inside of the new relay cabinet. At right are the new circuit boards of the new relay system. The original junction board is at left. The wires running from the circuit boards to the junction board can be seen in the middle, with extra length curled for future use. The wires running to the chest are brought through the back of the junction board.
Syndyne driver boards. A closer view of the circuit boards housed in the relay cabinet. Each board controls one rank. There are a total of 10 ranks in this organ.
Closer view of the junction board wiring. The large gray cables come from the Syndyne driver boards. Each of the 50 wires per cable has a specific color code (25-pair telephone) so we know which wire does what. The chest wires are the red wires coming through holes below each cable. As is a sign of a quality installation, the telephone wires are overwrapped over the spreader strip and this serves as a sneaky way of providing extra wire length (for future purposes or mistakes [gasp!]), and as a form of tie-down.
Keys after being recovered. Note the ivory-like striation in the white naturals. They are actually plastic.
Recovered keys, after they have been installed
Console brains. The console processor board is the large green board at upper-right. The two smaller boards are connected to the keyboards and they tell the processor which keys are pressed. At left is the console junction board for all of the stop controls and the combination action.
Refinished pedalboard. Calvary Episcopal has had a wonderful history of superb organists. Both the sharp and the natural caps have now been replaced--not because of neglect or flood damage, but because of many years of extreme use. The naturals had been replaced before this project. We replaced the sharps and refinished the naturals.
Console Front: After.
Blower Room: After. Tom Specht installed walls and a ceiling inside the blower room for noise control. The big 1924 Spencer Orgoblo Senior was salvaged from Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, MN. The motor, while not original to this blower, is of the same vintage and is a repulsion start-induction run motor, an antique. Above the blower is the new static reservoir. The black wind line coming out of the reservoir runs to the console to supply air to the combination action.