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Building a console

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

Re: Building a console

Postby vidarf » Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:26 pm

Yeah.... well, I don't think my console should look like a woodturner/sculpturer vomited all over it... :P
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Re: Building a console

Postby engrssc » Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:03 pm

Sorry 'bout that. Even my wife can't deal with my weird sense of humor at times. Actually, your project is taking shape very nicely and you can be proud of your efforts. Enjoy and even more when it's finished. :) In my case, many times, the doing is as enjoyable as the finished result. I think with your project, it is the same. Many of us are watching (and learning). 8)

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Building a console

Postby vidarf » Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:44 pm

Don't worry - my sense of humor is probably more weird than yours. :P

I really enjoy the process, but since the end product is something that I use every single day, I want to finish it ASAP.

Hopefully I can inspire someone to realize their dreams. Woodworking is not hard to do, and the necessary tools aren't that many. I do mill my own lumber to desired dimensions since I own a planer / thicknesser, but any good wood-store can help you out just fine.
My best tool-tips for anyone considering this:
1. Buy a high-quality plunge router; it is the most important tool of them all. It should have micro-adjustment knobs on the height setting and on the side fence add-on, so that you can dial in the cut precisely.
2. A set of router bits. You'll need a copying bit, a few groove bits, a 45 degree bevel bit and perhaps a roundover bit or a shaped bit (your preferance goes here).
3.You'll also need a battery-powered drill (a great asset in any home anyway) and a bit set
4. A hammer
5. A set of 2-3 flat chisels (different width, one very narrow and one very wide is sufficient, but get that middle one as well)
6. A screwdriver set (el cheapo works great)
7. A square (plus a big one too, if you want to)
8. A pencil (doh!) - or preferably chalk, it is easier to remove
9. A measure tape and a caliper. The caliper should be of good to professional quality. Digital ones are great, but for woodworking it's overkill. A protractor is a great asset, although not that necessary.
10. A miter saw, preferably electric. Do not go low-budget here, but you do not need professional grade tools if you want to save money. The miter saw is a must-have for any home owners that want to do some maintenance themselves.
11. A Japanese pullsaw. Expensive, but cuts fast and accurate. You can actually do most of the cutting with it!
12. A set of files and a card scraper, and some sanding paper for finishing.

Other tools that might be handy - or in some cases necessary:
- a hand planer. As expensive as you can afford. Lee Nielsen or Stanley. There are different types out there (smoother, jack plane, planing planer, dado planes...). I would get a semi-big one; it can be used for a lot of tasks.
- Band saw. For almost every kind of cutting. But it is expensive, and you should get the biggest one you can fit in your shop / workspace.
- Table saw. Could be VERY expensive, and you can do most of the cutting with a band saw or even hand tools. But a good quality one will make your life as a woodworker much, much easier...
- Random orbit sander. Great tool, but you can use sanding paper and a block of wood if you want to save money. And sometimes you need to sand manually anyway!
- Planer and/or thicknesser. Get a combo model, you'll need both. You can't mill a board with parallell and square sides with one or the other. Bigger is only better for longer boards. I get my rough boards planed on two faces at the wood-store and then do the rest of the work at home since my planer/thicknesser won't do any good for boards longer than about 100cm / ~3 feet.

But here's a warning for you: woodworking is highly addictive, and you can spend a LOT of money on tools that you just have to get. :) In many cases you will save money buying furniture from a store, but knowing that you built that table yourself....

Anyway, before I ramble on here too much: if any of you have questions I am more than happy to answer them providing I know the answer.
If you want to learn (a lot) about woodworking in general, I highly recommend that you download iTunes and subscribe to the woodwhisperer video podcast. There's a few other video podcasts as well, but the woodwhisperer is by far the best - and the most entertaining as well! Another great podcast is the woodtalk online podcast (mostly audio). One of the guys is the woodwhisperer, and you'll get a lot of laughs listening to the two wood-heads! :)

So take the plunge and become a woodworker! Remember that if you look for obstacles rather than ways around them, you'll get nowhere in life!
Comprende? :)
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Re: Building a console

Postby engrssc » Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:57 pm

Wow! That was a college level cram course. Good stuff and thanks. :)

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Building a console

Postby vidarf » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:36 pm

Yeah, now you know how. Go out and do! :)
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Re: Building a console

Postby engrssc » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:41 pm

I did run it by the good lady I married and she replied with one word - Budget (and that wasn't a reference to a car rental company). :o

A good friend of ours is an excellent cabinet/custom furniture maker, has his own shop - 12 employees. Everything I will ever need, that what friend's are for, yes? :) He has invested heavily in computer controlled machines that work with many different types of materials, not only wood. At times, when I have the time, I watch - fascinating. I do his electronic stuff, he, it turn, does the stuff he does best. 8)

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Building a console

Postby dflick » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:12 am

My problem is I cant wrap my head around what the dimensions for a console case should be!
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Re: Building a console

Postby pat17 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:45 pm

Nice progression, Vidar, it takes shape! I guess you will have the whole console in the same finishing than your 3-manual console?
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Re: Building a console

Postby vidarf » Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:25 pm

The finish will be as pictured - my dad came up with the idea of natural colored framework and the inlay panels stained dark oak. This will prevent the case from dominating the room - a big, dark brown box is certainly not a good idea in a small living room.

As for the dimensions: As big as the available space allows, but not so big that the organ will dominate the room. Then you need to decide which design you want. A "simple" classic console, or mimicking a small pipe organ (like my design)?
The dimensions I came up with was determined by the available space and the dimensions on the pedal board, the keyboard stack and the touchscreen. The finished organ will be 170cm wide, 210cm high and 60cm deep (not including the pedal board).
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Re: Building a console

Postby engrssc » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:46 pm

vidarf wrote:As for the dimensions: As big as the available space allows, but not so big that the organ will dominate the room. Then you need to decide which design you want.


Then, too, it has to fit thru the entry doors or at least be able to be dismantled enough to do so. (Can learn not to build a boat in the basement idea).

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Building a console

Postby dflick » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:45 am

I'm looking to go the classic style route. I have classic keyboards and a the pedalboard. Iv seen some really great designs on here but no one ever seems to talk about where they got the measurements. I do have a copy of the AGO specifications though it seems to only help a little!
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Re: Building a console

Postby vidarf » Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:00 am

The IMPORTANT measurements are only related to pedal-to-manual placement. Build around that. And plan the design so that the organ can be dismantled in sections that will fit through a normal door.
The typical american style console could be made in two parts; the lower cabinet and the upper cabinet with the manuals.

Or you can follow the real organ builders approach: the case is often just a set of decorative panels fastened to an inner framework. The framework is very easy to construct around the "knock-down" principle. IKEA style organ, anyone? :)
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Re: Building a console

Postby vidarf » Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:06 am

PS: be sure to subscribe to the woodwhisperer video podcast, especially the episode covering relative dimensioning! That's my approach, and it is SO much easier to work with. Basically, you have a few dimensions you need to follow. You then adjust all the parts as you build so that everything fits together taking dimensions directly from the piece itself.

For instance: when I'm going to build the panels surrounding the keyboards, I'm getting the measurements from the console as it stands today - no plans needed! I just measure, cut the raw panel and then modify the various cutouts and adjustments until I get the desired fit. MUCH faster than having to follow a set of strict plans which never takes errors into account.

For my project, the only dimensions I worried about was the total width of the case, the height and the measurements of the parts I had already built. The rest is purely woodworking by the side of my pants. 8)
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Re: Building a console

Postby vidarf » Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:16 pm

Another update for your amusement and my embarassment:

Image

See? I am a power tool user! And if you click on the image, you can read about it too at my website. Enjoy! :)

PS: I speak Norwegian, not English. If you spot any spelling mistakes or I'm using wrong names - or bad language (that would be without my knowledge!), please let me know.
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Re: Building a console

Postby vidarf » Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:36 pm

A few posts ago I said that you should look for the way around obstacles? Here's the more accurate saying (my own saying actually, so it is good.... 8) ):
"If you are looking for obstacles in your life, not the way around them, how to jump over them or the best way straight through, you'll get nowhere fast!"

With that in mind, here's the latest update:
Image
(click on the image to enter my website for the full story)

And yep, that's REAL organ pipes. Doomed to a life where they will only listen to the sound of pipe organs, not play themselves. And in general being admired! :)
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