It is every craftsman’s dream to have a nice workshop and good tools. It makes it so much easier to work in good conditions. Over these last few years I have worked in the garage at my house and the dining room. Not ideal circumstances I’m sure you will agree. The garage is cold and damp and the dining room is taken up for months on end with organ entrails all over it. Don’t you just love the imagery? Sounds like an abattoir! I live alone so that isn’t as big a problem as first might appear.
Since I completed my last restoration, the Estey Model O, I have been preparing to move my workshop to a place where I will have two rooms. One will be the ‘dirty’ room for sanding and sawing and the other will be the ‘clean’ room for rebuilding. I have plenty of cabinet storage and big windows. I can’t believe it. I will include photos in the next blog.
I have also decided which will be the next restoration project. The circumstances of this decision are rather exciting. If you don’t’ know already I play the Uilleann Pipes and am fortunate to have a low pitch half set from a very skilled pipe maker called Martin Preshaw. A half set? I hear you ask. Yes, a half-set. In Uilleann pipe terms that means having a bag, bellows, chanter and drones. The other half of the set is what we call regulators. I won’t go into the details of what they are but handmade instruments of this nature take a lot of time and as such are understandably expensive.
So, what are these exciting circumstances? Martin has very graciously agreed to take a fully restored reed organ in exchange for the three regulators which will make my low pitch set a full set. I will be restoring the Estey Model H and please God, by the end of 2017 Martin will be the owner of a newly restored reed organ and I will be the owner of a new set of regulators. This barter system is fabulous!
Many of you receiving this email do not live in Ireland but a lot of you do. Many of you are interested in reed organs. It is my long time hope to see others in Ireland restoring these instruments. As such I issue the invitation to one and all to visit my new workshop and see the process of dismantling the Estey Model H in preparation for restoration. It is my firm hope that by seeing the dismantling process the fear a person might have about tackling the restoration of a reed organ might be dispelled. There is already one person signed up. If you are interested, please fill in a contact form and a suitable date will be arranged.
Looking forward to great things in the world of reed organs in 2017!