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!
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.
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.
The bellows were then recovered after being carefully cleaned and prepared 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.
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.
Once the chest had been reinstalled all the pipes on the underneath of the organ were put back and secured.
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.
Parts for the midi chest were laser cut and others were made with a 3D printer.
New signal tubing was used throughout (supplied by Dean Organs)
Everything was then refitted and tested and adjustments to the action were made.
The organ has now been reassembled and the tuning has been tweaked – and I am looking forward to taking her out!
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.