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166658 "P J McBride" <pjmcbride@o...> 2007‑01‑19 organs again

Last Tuesday night was our tool club meeting ( HTPAA) with a speaker I
was really looking forward to hearing. The speaker was John Lacey, a
maker of metal organ pipes, and former employee of the G. Fincham organ
making company, who I met at their closing down auction I attended last
February. (where I spent WAY too much and purchased many tools.)

I set out some of the mystery tools and was able to have most of them
identified and their use explained. One of the real surprises was the
mitre planes. www.petermcbride.com/fincham/images/finch_buck_mitre.jpg
www.petermcbride.com/fincham/images/nelson2.jpg John had a larger cast
miter plane himself, and a Stanley #220 block plane, with a throat
closer braised in front of the blade. He picked up one of mine, the
older one by NELSON, ( Richard Nelson, 122 Edgewater Road. (London) 1831
- 1852, pre takeover by George Henry Buck) and said it was the one he
used when he first started as an apprentice in 1948. Remember this is a
metal worker…these are used to plane to thickness the “spotted metal”
used to make the organ pipes. 50 % lead, 50 % tin. He also had a wooden
body plane with a narrow blade sharpened curved like a scrub plane for
the same purpose. I have seen pictures of the Holtzapffel infill plane
with a vertical blade for metal and always wondered about it…all now is
revealed! The metal is slowly poured from a large ladle onto a large
steel plate table just as it starts to solidify. When solid it has a
spotted appearance that can be seen on the "scabbard" for the burnisher
in this picture, which is just like the parallel part on some smaller
pipes John brought with him.

The process of pipe making can be seen here...
www.ruffatti.com/ruffatti_pipes.html Like John they now use a rotating
drum planer, but when John started they used only the hand planes. The
metal has to be different thicknesses for larger and smaller pipes. The
narrow throat on mitre planes is important so the metal shavings don't
fall back and get rubbed back into the surface under the plane. The
metal is scored with the V hooked scraping tool in the picture
www.petermcbride.com/fincham/images/finch_misc1.jpg Then rolled by hand
onto 2 types of former, a parallel one for the upper part of the pipe,
and a tapered one for the lower part. The mouth opening just above the
tapered section is marked out with proportional dividers
www.petermcbride.com/gallery1/images/prop_dividers.jpg cut with a knife,
and formed onto another former placed inside the pipe using single
handled burnishers in the picture above . The double handled burnisher
is used on a wooden jig with a clamp at one end to curl a brass reed for
a reeded pipe. The knife at the front of the picture, with the nicely
tapered handle is used to trim the end of the pipe, and the sharpish
point on the handle end is used round it up. Some of the other tools
were a user made lead pipe cutter, much like those with wheel cutters
rolled around the pipe, but with a steel blade inserted into a wooden
block, seen on the front left here
www.petermcbride.com/fincham/images/finch_misc3.jpg There are some small
washer cutters for leather parts, tools to adjust the keys on the consol
( the keyboard) nickers and scrapers etc.

Hope this is as interesting to other galoots as it was for me,

Regards, Peter, In Melbourne, Australia where...to quote Bindi Irwin on
Letterman....it's stinking hot! And BTW, Bindi might be the name for a
baby croc, but where I come from a Bindi is prickle you get in your bare
feet from some lawns, including ours. Google... Bindi Prickles, and find
out how to eradicate em!


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