Case Restoration

The first part of the restoration of the case required copious amounts of Cupernol wood worm treatment. The next part of the restoration was basic structural repairs to the case. The pedal assembly was rebuilt. The parts were 'biscuit jointed' back together and the central rail which was missing was replaced using one from our Bell 'donor organ'. The pedals were stripped of their old carpet.

(Click on images to enlarge)

Pedal assembly glued and clamped

The front parts of the case were also 'biscuit jointed' back together. This method gives a good and lasting stable joint. Originally, the parts were just butted up against each other and glued. The back rail on the bottom of the organ was eaten by something which left a 2mm exit hole. Frightening! It was taken off and burned immediately. It was replaced by a solid piece of oak -  nice upgrade from just soft wood.

New back rail

Newly turned casters(turned on the lathe by my brother Diarmuid)

The back panels were replaced with birch plywood, stained and varnished.

The 'guts' removed and wood treated to kill any remaining woodworm

Gluing part of the pedal assembly

Pedal assembly back together for the first time

The front of the case glued and clamped

Originally this organ had three wooden casters; on each of the front corners and a single one in the middle back. Since they were seized and needed to be replaced I took the liberty of replacing them with four casters. As a result there is now a caster on each corner with a more even distribution of weight.

Four new casters with clean axels

The crack in the lid needed to be cleaned out, re-glued and scraped flush. 

Broken corner of case

Repaired by John Kenny

Beautifully French Polished

With structural work done and the case solid again it was time to turn attention to the finish. At some time in its life it was treated to a coat of some kind of varnish/stain. This meant that the finish was not restorable and needed to be stripped and refinished.

The case all back together

 Originally I was not going to do this myself but have it done by a professional restorer. The first restorer I approached would not be available for some time because of surgery. I turned to John Kenny who suggested that I learn how to French polish the case myself at a class he was going to run. I thought about it and started. John was a pleasure to have as teacher and I had the satisfaction of refinishing it with his advice and guidance.

 The case was stripped, sanded, stained using a walnut stain and French polished using traditional methods.

 The molding on the key-slip detached 

The lid and part of the music desk ready for stain

The replacement oil lamp stands ready for French Polish

Case parts getting first coats of French Polish

Stripping the panel over the pedals

The key-slip and music desk stripped

 The music desk looking radiant in its new French Polish

The music desk looking radiant in its new French Polish

The side of the case in the sunshine

A finished case

Beautiful in new French Polish