The Deleika 20/31 “Joy”

Joy Simpson playing the Deleika in the early 1990’s

Late in 2023 I acquired Stephen Simpsons second organ that he owned; a 20/31 Deleika built in the late 1980s

Most of the 20 note music available from Stephen was arranged and tested on this organ.

The organ had been stored since the late 1990’s and a family of mice had set up home inside!

Its all there …I think… Fury squatters evicted..

Amateur organ builder Ian Dickinson kindly offered to take a look at the organ and after disassembly it was found that the bellows would need re-leathering.

Mouse food……

While the bellows were apart, it was decided that an improvement in the style of flap valve would be used rather than the original design, as this type of organ suffers from issues with the valves not seating as the leather gets older, especially on the bottom feeder.

Vastly improved from the original design!

The bellows were then recovered after being carefully cleaned and prepared by Ian.

Stunning work by Ian

Once the bellows were reinstalled it become apparent that the main action was not working very well – so it was decided to strip the main chest down.

Upon inspection it was noted that the bleed adjustment screws had seized and were rusted – as were the push-rods.

The motors are covered in a very thin leather called Zephyr, this had become crispy and like baking paper – Zephyr leather is usually very elastic and supple.

Crispy —
Replacement precision parts made by Ian

All parts were cleaned and new parts were made by Ian, new zephyr skin and push-rods were obtained from Dean Organs, stainless cheesehead screws for the bleeds were sourced locally.

Hours of fiddly work ahead for poor Ian – that stuff that looks like cling film is Zephyr leather.
Two newly covered motors – note the jigs!
Releathered motors in place !

Once the chest had been reinstalled all the pipes on the underneath of the organ were put back and secured.

The pipes were individually securely secured with a special tape – you can see the two ink Stamps of Stephen on the base board!

It was decided that the organ should have midi capability and while the organ was still in parts it would be a good time to install it – this would allow the organ to have a large amount of music without the bulky rolls – but would retain the use of the roll frame so rolls could be played if so required.

Parts were sourced and a design was made by Ian – the system would be wireless (Bluetooth) and house the battery internally so nothing would be seen of the electronics – except for a small hidden on/off switch

The The MTP-7 board was chosen for the job and supplied by J-Omega Electronics – The Bluetooth is provided by a Wemos ESP23 CH340G Board.

The solenoids used were sourced from an online retailer – and were chosen for their compact size.

The MTP-7 board
The Wemos ESP23 CH340G Board (Bluetooth)

Parts for the midi chest were laser cut and others were made with a 3D printer.

Top view of roll frame – spot the on/off switch
Bottom view of frame
Electronics secured in place

New signal tubing was used throughout (supplied by Dean Organs)

Everything was then refitted and tested and adjustments to the action were made.

All back together — the eagle-eyed among you might be able to spot the on/off switch under the tracker bar!

The organ has now been reassembled and the tuning has been tweaked – and I am looking forward to taking her out!

Melody pipework before and after some TLC!

I have decided to name the organ “Joy” after Stephens beloved wife.

With grateful thanks to Ian and Sue Dickinson for all their help.

Also thanks to Nick Williams and Richard Dean for their advice during the rebuild.

West Germany, gives an idea of what year this organ was built – pre 1989.
Stephen and Joy Simpson with Deleika Circa 1993/4
Playing Stephens arrangement of In The Mood from the roll.

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