May 5, 2008

Preliminary early summer 2008 stoplist.

Several of these ranks will be swapped out as soon as pipes arrive to replace the 8' Bourdon, 8' Dulciana and 8' Melodia on the Swell organ...(Spitzflute 8' w/ celeste to replace the Bourdon & Dulciana pipes & French Horn 8' eventually planned to replace the Melodia 8'.

A future change will be taking the 412's Dulciana rank and making it a celeste rank with the 822's Dulciana but I need to find a chest for that first.

Winding issues may preclude being able to use the opus 195's Subbass pedal extention. If so I'll put in the opus 412's complete 32 note pedal Bourdon rank in its place which is on lessor wind (6 inches versus 10 inches possibly on the 195).

The blower issue will dictate which ranks get used.

WHITE: Reuter opus 822 (exposed, 5 inches wind).

RED: Reuter opus 638 (exposed), 4 inches wind.

CYAN: Reuter opus 195 (Tibia/Vox in the swell, Viole Celeste above fireplace in main room) 10? inches wind.

ORANGE: Reuter opus 412 (swell) 6 inches wind

Yellow (non-Reuter)

Lime Green - Unitized combination Stop


16 stoptabs

32' Gravissima (Gedeckt Resultant)
16' Subbass (SW), OR 32 note pedal Bourdon 16'
16' Gedeckt
16' Lieblich Gedeckt
8' Diapason (46/45 sc, 5 in)
8' Montre (46/45 sc, GT, 4 in)
8' Tibia Clausa (SW)
8' Bass Flute
8' Cello
8' Dolce
4' Flute
4' Octave
16' Trumpet
8' Oboe
4' Clarion

Swell to Pedal

20 stoptabs

8' Diapason (46/45 sc, 5 in)
8' Montre (46/45 sc, 4 in)
8' Tibia Clausa (SW)
8' Gedeckt
8' Salicional
8' Viole Celeste (TC, 57 sc, exposed)
8' Dulciana
4' Octave (SW, 6 in)
4' Flute
4' Violina
4' Dulcet
2 2/3' Nazard
2' Spitz Principal (SW, 6 in)
2' Flautino
Mixture IV
8' Oboe

Great to Great 16'
Great Unison Off
Great to Great 4'


20 stoptabs

8' Horn Diapason (42 sc)
8' Violin Diapason (52/48 sc)
8' Tibia Clausa
8' Melodia
8' Bourdon
8' Echo Salicional
8' Vox Celeste (TC, 62 sc)
8' Echo Dulciana
4' Tibia Flute
4' Flute D'Amour
4' Violina D'Amour

4' Dolcissimo
2' Flautina Dolce
8' Trumpet
8' Clarinet
8' Vox Humana

Swell to Swell 16'
Swell Unison Off
Swell to Swell 4'
Swell to Great

Minor update: I moved all the metal opus 822 pipes from the swell chamber to my "den" area temporarily while we are working on drywall in the back room and begin to install wind lines.

This is nearly every pipe of the metal ranks except for the 2 largest diapason and 6 largest oboes.

As you can see the condition of the pipes while structurally very sound, is showing signs of aging, but it is purely cosmetic paint flecking off. There is one oboe with a torn tuning scroll that needs to be resoldered at some point as well. I'm not sure if I'll want to have these pipes repainted someday or not.

May 2, 2008

Afternoon update

The flooring is done!

Now just going to have to work on drywall removal. All done for a while until Tim & Ed return so no updates until May 9th.

I will be removing the carpet runners underneath the chests & console and replacing them with adhesive scuff protectors (little round and oblong shaped pads meant to protect wood floors from scratching during moving things.

I have them under the Gedeckt 16' extention and you can sort of see a shadow below the floorframe...this is where the pad is causing the frame to sit up about 1/8th inch high.

Those will squish down after the pipes get in place so I would never attempt moving the organ while the pipes are on the chest, but with the pipes off the chest scoots across the floor actually pretty easily.

An interesting bit of information: The studs above the bathroom upstairs are not structure supporting, so they very well may be removed entirely.

In this photo you can see that we have started removal of the drywall in places. We are putting down a plywood floor in this area so that we can walk around up there to tune the various ranks placed adjacent to that level (The Tibia 4', Octave 4' and Spitz Principal will all be mounted next to that area if we can figure out how to do that.

The area highlighted here will be removed to make way for either a swell screen or perhaps just exposed redwood shutters. Short term we will just have the space cleared completely.

May 2, 2008 Morning update

Just about done on the flooring! Should be done today with the floor. Preparing to rip out the drywall for the swell shade areas and working on installing 220 electric lines for the various blowers going in.

Regards moving the organ: As noted below in previous blog updates, the organ was set into the carpet and would not budge..but once we got it out it moves very well. It is up on "carpet" runners.....upside down pieces of carpet to allow the chests to be moved across the wood floor with ease without scratching the new wood floors.

Once the floor gets done we will be moving the organ to the middle of this room to allow access to all sides of the organ. Tentative date for getting the 822 part of the organ winded up and playing again is May Friday. I'm not sure if there will be many updates until then but might do some on the drywall removal.

Note the white PVC pipes in the background outside. These are large 8" diameter PVC pipes which will be used as windlines on the 822 from the relocated blower.

It is up against the far railing for the time being while the floor goes in underneath where it used to sit. Once the flooring is done on that side we will slide everything back across it and finish the other side.

These photos were taken in the room that will become the "swell chamber" for the opus 822...using most main ranks of the opus 412 and the 2 opus 195 theatre ranks.

(insert laughter)....Nathan points out it looks like I knocked a hole in the wall to get the insulation to stack the pipes on...actually those are where some built in bookcases were located. I had those taken out to make room for some auxilary little windchests in that location, and perhaps even a mixture chest!

Also the wind lines will be going back there if possible.

Got the pipes unracked and stacked very very very gently between layers of insulation. The photos show all the pipes from the opus 822 which is going to be moved today (IF ALL GOES WELL).

This is going to be a stressful day moving the chests forward as it weights LOTS even with all the pipes off of it. Also the wiring of the old console to the chest makes moving it much more difficult as there is very little slack between the console and chest:

Important lesson: When wiring up things leave LOTS of slack so things can be moved down the road!

A.M. Update: Good news..the chest moved! It appears that everything will be fine with the move. It took some heaving to get the chest to move off the carpet indentations where it had set down over the years and became basically ingrained into the carpeting, however after we got it pried up it moved actually pretty easily. So the wood floors are going in and at least that part of the changes on the 822 are going ok.

Still MANY issues on the blower. Trying to figure out whether to install a separate blower housing onto the side of the house to encase a HUGE large blower to handle all the ranks, or whether to use several smaller blowers installed inside the house.

I think for noise operation reasons perhaps a organ blower "addition" to the house would be best.

April 29, 2008

BIG News: The historic Borchers St. Paul's Lutheran Church has been SAVED.

The congregation voted on Sunday to move the chuch rather than tear it down. I will post more details on that as the plans on it progress. This is wonderful news and I hope someday it will allow for the Reuter Opus 822 pipe organ to "return home".

A new church is being built next to the old church

The historic old "Borchers" church will be placed next to the cemetery where it can be used for weddings, private services, funerals etc.


Last weekend I went to Lawrence, Kansas to the Reuter factory to pick up the various offset chests...2 built new and one rebuilt as well as the reworked/repaired pipework from the Opus 195 Reuter Theatre organ.

The factory was humming with activity, I am very thankful they made the time to do these projects & repairs for me and I greatly appreciate it..thank you Reuter!!!!

The next morning after the quick pickup of chests at the factory was to pick up the entire Reuter Opus 412 pipe organ from Ryan Robinson who had carefully removed and stored the 412 from the church in Nevada, Iowa where it was originally installed. We started at about 9 in the morning and had the truck loaded up by 1:30 in the afternoon.

I did not need the 412's console which was built by Reuter in the 1970's and in almost new condition. So we did save some room on the back of the truck for it and I dropped it off in St. Louis, Missouri on the way home where I donated the console to Trinity Episcopal Church of St. Charles, Missouri...(arranged by Ryan, thanks!!!!!!).

They plan on using it as a replacement console for a worn out Wicks console. The console is a very typical modern 1970's stoptab console which does match the church's interior very well. I'm so VERY happy the 412's console has found a new home where it will be used!

I got the truck with the opus 412 home about 1:30 a.m...was a long drive and the truck was VERY VERY heavily loaded..was quite a chore to keep it on the road in fact as it was wanting to sway around so much. Note: Rent a BIG truck when moving a organ I guess...I had rented a 16' Penske Van truck which worked great size wise but was probably overloaded weightwise. But the organ did make it home safely. The next morning (Sunday) I was able to make it to church and afterwords came home to unload most of the truck (everything but the large unit chests and a few of the larger offsets).

The next morning the flooring guys arrived to start installing wood floors where the opus 412 will be going. I learned my lesson the hard way on that subject. I'm installing wood floors where the 412 will go to 1. add structural support for the HUGE weight of the 412 and for accoustical reasons.

Once the floor is finished in the swell chamber where the 412 is going I plan on placing all of the opus 822 pipes back there temporarily so that we can move the 822's chest and console forward to allow for the wood floors to be installed underneath where the 822 is installed. I very much imagine the accoustic will change VERY much as a result of all this additional wood flooring.

Ed Bruenjes is doing all the onsite organ wiring/unwiring and has been a great blessing in getting that taken care of. Thanks ED!!!!!!!!!!

We hope to have at least the original 822 back up and running in 2 weeks or so. It is possible it might be up and running again next week but I'd say more likely the week after.

We are moving the blower from direclty underneath the 822's chest to a back room and piping the air via PVC rather than furnace ductwork to HOPEFULLY alleviate some of the blower noise issues. We are going to try installing the original 822 blower back on the 822 to see how it works as then we can use the Zephyr blower for some of the additional ranks. I'm working with Jay Mitchell on getting new correctly sized blowers for the opus 412 as well as a 10" inch higher pressure blower for the theatre ranks I'm adding from the opus 195 which was located in El Paso (The Tibia, Vox Humana & Subbass).

Regarding the theatre ranks: I found out something unexpected: The Vox Humana is on 10 inches of wind, thus a separate winding system for that rank and most likely the Tibia will also have be be allowed for.

If all goes well the 822 MIGHT be playable in a few weeks. I do not expect the 412 to be functional until late May, June or who knows when.... most likely late June at the VERY earliest. Some of the additional ranks may get installed before then..just depends on how things work out in terms of blowers etc.

April 20, 2008 update:

I start taking down the 822 pipes off the main chest to prepare for wood floors in a week. If that goes well the organ will be up and running again in a few weeks.

Aside from the updates/additions in the works I am hopefully going to be preserving the Reuter opus 412 pipe organ by adding select ranks of it to the Reuter opus 822.

The preliminarly plans call for most ranks of the opus 412 ranks to become part of the "swell" organ for the Reuter opus 822, whose 5 original ranks will now serve as the "great" organ along with several other addtions as planned earlier including the theatre ranks from the Opus 195 Reuter organ in El Paso, Texas (photos below) and the soft Diapason 8' from the Opus 638 from Kahoka, Missouri (link:

I picked up the 8' Diapason rank from the Reuter opus 638 about 4 years ago along with a spare console that I never used, and am finally getting around to getting that rank installed on the 822 as a "Facade/Montre" rank. It is a lower pressure rank (4 inches of wind) so it should sound much gentler than the very strident 822's Diapason and offer a pleasing contrast for softer registrations.

This is taking the Reuter opus 822 from a 5 rank unit organ and adding an additional minimum 5 ranks to a total of approx 12 to 15 eventually..... plus the additional pedal offset operable via the Holtkamp console downstairs. Mostly duplicating the same stops of the 822 but now expression of the similar voices will be possible. I'm particularly interested in having the 6 ranks of strings (counting the two celestes) going at the same time, with the 16' and 4' unit stops, this will bring a total of 16 string stops to the 822.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The original 822 console will remain and control ONLY the original 822 specification pipes with NO changes to any voicing or rank placement. It is very important to myself and others to maintain the integrity and functionality of the original console for long term historical reasons. The "Swell organ" will only be controlable via the Holtkamp console downstairs and the 822 console itself as well as the original 822 chests and ranks willremain as originally constructed by Reuter. The 412 is a nearly identical but larger unit organ of the same type as the 822. Basically a bigger has everything the Reuter 822 has PLUS a celeste and a Melodia stop as well as two pedal offsets and an additional diapason rank. The 822 only had one offset for the pedals. With the additions of the opus 195 to the 822 and the select additions of from the 412 to the 822 the "house" organ is growing indeed.

As noted however, and very importantly, the 822 will remain 100% functional as built via the original console which will remain in place after wood floors are installed (IF I can get the flooring installed..we are going to try but who knows).

The planned addtions for 2008 will leave the opus 822 layed out something like this.

click to enlarge

This is a prelminary drawing and is being revised as the situation dictates but does give an idea of what we are preparing to do.

The Reuter 822 pipe organ will be taken down on April 22, and dissasembled, in preparation for moving it forward about 18 inches so that we can more easily maintain the 822 and work around the entire organ... as well as the LONG delayed installion of wood floors. (MAYBE!!!...wiring issues of the original 822 may require keeping the carpeting upstairs, but I'm going to TRY to get wood floors put in). What a headache this will be.

Last recordings of the 822 will probably be made the weekend of April 19th before I start packing up the pipes for moving the 822.

Tim Neal and myself hope to have at least the original 822 5 ranks back up and running by mid-May, but that is a BIG "if"....getting the additions of the 412 wired in along with the other additions from the 195 will be quite some may be silent for quite some time while these additions are being installed.

I will be posting back here updates on when the organ will start to become functional again. However as noted, it could take some time.


Early Spring 2008 update

March 16, 2008.

Yesterday I placed the diapason pipes which will make up the 2nd diapason rank on the 822 once installed, placing the 12 large pipes for the 8' bottom octave in front of the gedeckts upstairs. They make for a very handsome "montre" for the 822, and indeed I'm thinking of using that french term "Montre" which is the French term for Diapason, which literally means "for show" on the stoptabs. Have had some very interesting ideas on stoptab names, be sure to check out the organ forum for those!

These are ultra wide angle photographs so there is some distortion.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Note the wood pipes on the floor to the right, those are some of the Tibias which will be going along that back window and in that area beneath that eve of the roof.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

the 4' octave (61 notes) will be above the downstairs fireplace to the left.

click to enlarge

Winter 2008 update:

Some exciting additions are coming to the Reuter Opus #822.

I have recently obtained 2 ranks of Theatre type stops and a celeste to add to the 822....from the Reuter Opus 195 pipe organ which was originally built in 1926 for the Hotel Orndorff in El Paso, Texas.

Hotel Orndorff, (renamed the Hotel Cortez in 1935).

A history of the hotel is at

The Opus 195 was originally a 4 rank unit organ which was at the hotel until the 1970's until the building's conversion to that time the organ was moved to a series of churches in the El Paso area until it was finally sold after being unused for several years at Restoration Fellowship Church, El Paso, Texas.

The organ was played somewhat intact for a last recording made before removal by myself on January 25, 2008.

Link of last recording of the Opus 195

The original ranks were a Gedeckt, 16/8/4/2 2/3/2, Subbass 16, 12 note pedal extention, Diapason 8/4, Gamba String 8/4, Celeste 8', Tibia Clausa 8', and Vox Humana 8' as well as chimes and xylaphone. The organ had two pedal offset chests (Subbass & Gedeckt @ 16').

The ranks to be included on the 822 are:

8' Tibia Clausa (will be unitized to be at 8' and 4'

8' Vox Humana

8' Viole Celeste to the left above the fireplace.

This is the UPSTAIRS fireplace (same chimney as on the downstairs fireplace, just reversed facing the back of the house.

8' Viole Celeste, to work with the 822's Salicional)

and a large scale 16' pedal Subbass 12 note offset, to work with the 8' Tibia (?) rank giving more "bottom" to the organ.

The downstairs fireplace, where a 4' Octave will be located.

Also in the works is the addition of another 8' Diapason rank to the organ from the Reuter opus 638 pipe organ as of this writing I'm planning on just having the 4' Octave pitch of this rank used (placed on the fireplace mantel downstairs)...with the 8' 12 notes placed elsewhere to make this a independent 8' diapason on the swell as well as importantly a 4' Octave on the Great. I'm leaning against placing the entire 8' rank on the fireplace mantel for weight/structural reasons although space wise it would fit.

In the photograph with all the pipes lined out the 4' Octave starts with the pipes with the black tuning bands and works its way down. The photo of the single 8' diapason pipe is just to give some scale of that fireplace. It would fit, but I don't like the idea of having that much weight on the fireplacemantel. It is reinforced somewhat, but it would be questionable to put the largest 8' octave of pipes would require a very wide double row of pipes and although it would look nice I think, I also think it would be structrually quite questionable....for for now sticking with a single row Octave 4'.

The 4' Octave on the Great will be a UN-Unitization......the present 4' Octave works just fine but the opportunity to have a lower pressure 4' Octave will produce better results in the house I hope...the Reuter 638 diapason rank in the photo above was voiced on 4" of wind versus 5" on the opus 822. The Opus 822 Octave 4' is quite unpleantly loud in person (but for some reason the 2' super octave is ok so I'm leaving that alone..unitized from the original 822 Diapson 8' rank.

The Oboe is a capped oboe made by Moller, the rank & chest which came from the Reuter Opus 195 in El Paso was a LATER addition to that organ, most likely 1970's when it was moved to a church for the first time. I plan on substituting another rank of Reuter or E.M. Skinner reeds on this individusal one stop chest in the future...either a Trumpet, possibly a clarinet, english horn or French horn. I have located a Moller vintage 1920's Clarinet which SHOULD work just fine on this chest to fill in as a different reed to contrast with the 822's oboe and the 195's Vox Humana until I am able to replace it with a vintage Reuter rank, or the E.M. Skinner French Horn. Have any leads? If so please email me!

LINK of older previous updates (2004 thru 2007).

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