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Source for engraved pistons

Building organ consoles for use with Hauptwerk, adding MIDI to existing consoles, obtaining parts, ...

Source for engraved pistons

Postby dcaton » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:32 am

I'm going to be converting a 4 manual console to HW in the near future. However, I will not be getting the keyboards or pistons, so I'm going to have to get new ones.

The only source I've found thus far is Classic Midi Works. However, the price difference between the pistonless and pro versions is $3000 ($750/each). That's more than the keyboards themselves! I'm thinking that I can make my own piston rails for less, and I also get to customize their layout to match the original.

Anyone know of a source for pistons? I don't necessarily need "real" organ pistons that are going to last for 50 years, but I definitely want the look and feel of real ones, to the extent that's possible without spending $3000. They don't need to be lighted. Would need engraving as well; I don't want to use stick-on labels.

I've contacted a few organ suppliers, but they don't sell to the public. I'd need 90.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Source for engraved pistons

Postby flydeltajets » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:03 am

I am doing something very similar and purchased a bunch of pistons from e-bay. There is a seller that has some old Rodgers lighted pistons, typically 20/$100 or thereabouts. HESCO, Inc does excellent engraving for around $2/piston depending on character count...just send an e-mail or give them a call, and I'm sure they'd be happy to send you their catalog & pricing details.

HESCO also sells "true" organ pistons if you know how to build the spring & contact assembly behind the rails.

Feel free to PM me if you need additional information.
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Re: Source for engraved pistons

Postby dcaton » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:51 am

Thank you!!! I had checked recently on eBay and came up empty handed, but sure enough I found the ones you mentioned. Perfect.

I had not heard of HESCO; will contact them regarding engraving. I'm guessing the button head pops out of the piston assembly, or do you have to send the whole thing to HESCO for engraving?

Any advice on keyboards? The CMW boards seem to be popular and a pretty good value, esp. as the midi encoder on the board has inputs for up to 24 boards (per CMW).
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Re: Source for engraved pistons

Postby Andrew Grahame » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:09 am

I used Syndyne pistons when building my console. I can’t speak highly enough of the pistons themselves and of the service. From their website you can download an interactive order form which allows you to specify everything including engraving details. Not cheap but not super costly either, and extremely easy to fit and wire up. In my view well worth the money.

Andrew
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Re: Source for engraved pistons

Postby magnaton » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:10 am

I'd recommend Custom Organ Works. Their piston rails are reasonably priced and you can customized them as need be. Oh, and they sell keyboards too.
http://arnoldorgans.com/category/piston_rails

If you just need engraving, try Arndt Organ Supply.
http://www.arndtorgansupply.com/products.htm


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Re: Source for engraved pistons

Postby flydeltajets » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:26 am

dcaton wrote:I'm guessing the button head pops out of the piston assembly, or do you have to send the whole thing to HESCO for engraving?


You can remove the piston from its body by poking a very small & thin screwdriver/pick through the back to release the clip that holds it in place. While they were apart, I removed & replaced the bulbs with LEDs so that I hopefully never have to open them up again.

dcaton wrote:Any advice on keyboards? The CMW boards seem to be popular and a pretty good value, esp. as the midi encoder on the board has inputs for up to 24 boards (per CMW).


My console already had nice manuals that I'm in the process of restoring (new felt, keycheeks, replace a few keytops, & small adjustments for alignment & tension). I personally don't care for the CMW/Fatar keyboards, but I know a lot of people like them. I played an electronic organ with them and the pivot point felt strange compared to a traditional console. Try to find some in your area to see if you like them. On the spendier side, you could contact P&S or Laukhuff for authentic keyboards to your specifications, but be prepared to shell out a bit of $$.

Occasionally, you can find used manual stacks online...churchorgantrader.com is a decent resource among others (currently an Ivory 3-manual stack available), but their website requires a membership.
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Re: Source for engraved pistons

Postby dcaton » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:26 am

Thanks guys. I was aware of Syndyne and Arndt. Coudln't find any pricing on their web sites but I emailed for info. Was not aware of Arnold. Looks like they have the same/similar keyboards as CMW and their piston rails look much more affordable. And as I'm in the US, much cheaper shipping.
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Re: Source for engraved pistons

Postby ArnoldOrgans » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:01 am

magnaton wrote:I'd recommend Custom Organ Works. Their piston rails are reasonably priced and you can customized them as need be. Oh, and they sell keyboards too.
http://arnoldorgans.com/category/piston_rails

Danny B.


Thanks for the recommendation. For anyone interested we sell Klann thumb pistons with engraving for $15 each (LED pistons are $20). Unlike some other pistons on the market they have concave faces like most American organs. Color options are White, Off White (best match for Fatar Plastic keys), Ivory, Black (my personal choice) and Red. You can also choose between the standard sharp edge or modern rounded (our standard).

These pistons use a standard .1" press on connector so no soldering is needed (unless preferred). This also allows you to change a piston for different engraving in the future. All of our thumb pistons include a 10 year parts warranty.
Matt Arnold
http://www.customorganworks.com
info@customorganworks.com
Authorized reseller of Hauptwerk, Milan Digital Audio, Inspired Acoustics, CLR Resources and Sonus Paradisi.
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Re: Source for engraved pistons

Postby engrssc » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:06 pm

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