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Home Drawknob Console

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Home Drawknob Console

Postby JimE » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:23 pm

I probably have the longest build time for an organ. I decided to build an electronic organ in 1979 and started to draw up plans for the console using the book "The Art of Organ Building" by George Ashdown Audsley as a guide. I designed and etched my own circuit boards based on circuits from books and magazine articles. I designed the organ as a hybrid of Top Octave Generator circuits and individual oscillators.

The building of the console commenced in 1979 and progressed rapidly. (The reason I know the year is because I took time out to build a harpsichord and the date on it is 1980.) I ordered the 3 keyboards with single contacts from Pratt, Read & Co. The pedal board with no contacts, the toe studs and swell pedals were ordered from Organ Supply Industries. I added 4 magnetic reed switches to each pedal. I turned all 86 drawknobs on a lathe. I also made the rocker tabs. Within a year I had the case completed. So now I had a great looking case with no insides.

Naturally interest waned with the daunting task of making hundreds of boards and thousands of wires to be soldered. Over the years I would work here and there on the project. It became a running joke in the family when I would complete the organ.

30 years later... I came across Hauptwerk in the fall of 2010. After downloading the free version and playing with the software for a short time and investigating what it would take to convert, I decided to make the switch to a computer based organ. To start anew, I ripped out all of the PWB's and wiring. Myself imposed deadline of having a playable organ by Christmas 2010 loomed only 5 weeks away.

I converted the keyboards, pedalboard, pistons and toe studs to 8x8 diode matrix versions. (I had a lot of diodes laying around.) After some investigation I found that all these could be controlled with one PWB from Midi Gadgets Boutique, the hwce2x. This board has the added bonus of also being able to control the 3 expression pedals. For the interface between the computer and the hwce2x I used a MOTU Micro Lite.

The week before Christmas I had the keyboards, pedal board, toe studs and pistons working. It only took 30 years but for the first time I was able to play the organ. I had the family over and surprised them by playing a few Christmas carols on the organ. My oldest sister and her husband were so impressed they insisted on having a friend of theirs John, who is an organist come over to play the organ.

Well, if I was going to have a real organist play the organ there were a couple of more items I wanted to add.

The first was to hook up the expression and crescendo pedals. I designed a mechanism to interface with 10k slide pots. Using linkages from the R/C department of the hobby shop. Also, I needed to construct a music stand. The hardest part was trying to match the wood stain from 30 years ago.

I told my sister to have John bring sheet music that he would like to play because I did not have much of a selection. When John, my sister and her husband arrived I noted that John had brought a small folder of music. John confided that because it was a home built organ he was not expecting much when he first visited. He was taken aback when he first saw the console that looked like a real organ. I had an English cathedral organ loaded and after demonstrating a few stops John said that it certainly sounded like a pipe organ.

John then sat down to play. My wife said later that the organ sounds ok when I play but it sounded great when John played. After a few numbers John was a little surprised when I told him that we could load a different organ. I showed him the list of instruments to chose from and he immediately pick out a French cathedral organ. After loading the organ and playing just a few notes John regretted not having brought some French pieces to play. He then said that on his next visit he would bring a larger selection of music!

Since then I have added a light stand made from an IKEA picture frame LED light and also pedal board lighting adapted from IKEA's under counter LED strip lights.

I have modified all of the draw knobs so they fit the Syndyne Solenoid Draw Knobs. Future plans are to hook up the Syndyne SDK’s and Rocker Tabs. They will be controlled by 2 Midi Gadgets Boutique mdec128br boards.

Here are some photo’s of the console. If interested I’ll post some more detailed photos.

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Thanks to the Hauptwerk community for continued inspiration.
Jim E
Last edited by JimE on Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Home Drawknob Console

Postby jkinkennon » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:34 pm

Beautiful work! I love the shallow console and have often thought of how much depth I'm wasting with my repurposed Allen consoles.
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Re: Home Drawknob Console

Postby profeluisegarcia » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:51 pm

WOW¡ I would like to have more that two thums to express my admiration for your work.
And it was OK waiting 30 years... until Hauptwerk became ripe and as well invented and reliable as airplanes
(V .4)
Regards
Luis
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Re: Home Drawknob Console

Postby sonar11 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:21 pm

Very stunning! I wish somebody on this continent (North America) would offer such polished cabinetry / hauptwerk organs for us poor fellows who can't cut a piece of wood to save their life. There is Magnus in Europe which by the pictures does fantastic work but shipping I'm sure is going to drive the cost up too much.
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Re: Home Drawknob Console

Postby Antoni Scott » Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:22 pm

Your shallow depth console is beautiful. I have often thought of taking an Allen/Rodgers/etc. console and making it half as deep as it was originally since the digital conversion boards don't take up any room at all. But I don't have the woodworking skills. Your console will fit anywhere.
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Re: Home Drawknob Console

Postby OrganoPleno » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:11 pm

sonar11 wrote:Very stunning! I wish somebody on this continent (North America) would offer such polished cabinetry / hauptwerk organs for us poor fellows who can't cut a piece of wood to save their life. There is Magnus in Europe which by the pictures does fantastic work but shipping I'm sure is going to drive the cost up too much.


It can be done. You might take a look at http://www.martindigitalorgans.com to get an idea of what is now possible.
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Re: Home Drawknob Console

Postby organtechnology » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:39 am

OrganoPleno wrote:
sonar11 wrote:Very stunning! I wish somebody on this continent (North America) would offer such polished cabinetry / hauptwerk organs for us poor fellows who can't cut a piece of wood to save their life. There is Magnus in Europe which by the pictures does fantastic work but shipping I'm sure is going to drive the cost up too much.


It can be done. You might take a look at http://www.martindigitalorgans.com to get an idea of what is now possible.


Professionally built, I estimate that this console wood work alone would be around $12,000. That may be the reason they are so rare in the Hauptwerk community. However re-purpose opportunities do come along. We have a Rodgers 330E three manual draw knob console available now.

Pax,

Thomas
Complete VPO systems powered by Hauptwerk™. Real Wood Consoles, PC or MAC Computer Sound Modules, Audio for Home or Church.
info (at) organtechnology.com http://www.organtechnology.com

Authorized Hauptwerk Dealer; Milan Digital Audio Dealer..
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Re: Home Drawknob Console

Postby pat17 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:31 am

Hello Jim,

It's a wonderful console coming out from a wonderful story! 8)

You can and must be proud of your exceptional achievement!

As for additional photos, yes, please do! 8)
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Re: Home Drawknob Console

Postby JimE » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:33 am

Thanks for the complements guys!

Here are some more pictures of the case.

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Without the music rack you can see the Birdseye maple front panel. Also notice the two stainless steel pegs in place ready to accept the music rack. There are springs in the bottom of the holes that the pegs are in connected to a 12 volt power supply. The music rack has an LED strip built into it wired to stainless steel end pieces. When the music rack is mounted it completes the circuit to light up the rocker tabs on the front panel.

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Here is a close up picture of the music light I built from the IKEA picture frame light.

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Here are the original blueprints I drew in 1980. Blueprints! that’s how long ago I started. There are a few minor changes from this original concept to the final form.

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Here is the block diagram of the organ as it stands today.

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I have some of the speakers temporarily set on top of the console. When the weather gets warmer I will be building a permanent case for them.

Regards,
Jim E
Last edited by JimE on Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Home Drawknob Console

Postby 1961TC4ME » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:49 am

I really have to stop looking in this section of the forum! Every time I see a beautiful console like this it makes me want to tear mine apart and start all over. :twisted: Outstanding work Jim, your joinery is top shelf!

Marc
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Re: Home Drawknob Console

Postby JimE » Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:25 pm

Thanks Marc! Here are some more pictures of the construction.

The top two keyboards are mounted on a plywood base. These assemblies then slide into the key cheeks from the back side. This makes it easy to service the keyboards outside the console.

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The piston wiring is routed through a groove in the key cheek. The rails that the pistons are mounted on can also be removed from the console for servicing.

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Here is the final assembly of the swell/crescendo pedals. The slotted arc metal parts run through a Teflon washer/screw assembly that can adjust the tension of the pedals. These are linked to 2¾” travel 10k slide pots mounted vertically. This system utilizes about 90% of the travel of the pots so they never bottom out. Also the whole assembly can be unbolted from the console for servicing.

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The original drawknob that I made 30 years ago is on the top. The modified drawknob that will fit into a Syndyne SDK is on the bottom. The problem was how to modify 86 of them to the 3/8” diameter. The thought of turning down 86 of them in a lathe was daunting.

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Modern technology to the rescue. I grew a plastic nest for the knobs in a 3D printer. This nest allowed me to hold the part square while they were cut off and drilled with a 3/8” hole. Then it was just a matter of gluing in a 3/8” dowel of the proper length.

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The knobs were completed in just a few hours!

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Regards,
Jim E
Last edited by JimE on Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Home Drawknob Console

Postby Marco » Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:48 pm

never thought you could 3d print jigs for woodworking, very nice idea!
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Re: Home Drawknob Console

Postby cvmoreau » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:29 pm

Jim, I won't even begin to try to express my admiration for what you've done, because I just don't have the proper words. I'll just say that I read your post with interest and then when I scrolled down to the photos my jaw dropped to the floor. This has to be at the very top of the most beautiful home built HW consoles ever made. Although envious to the max, I'm so thrilled for you. Be very, very proud of yourself!

-Chris
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Re: Home Drawknob Console

Postby JimE » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:35 am

Thanks Chris for the kind words. This project has definitely been a labor of love.

Here’s one more shot of the modified drawknobs fitted to the Syndyne SDK’s.

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The next step will be mounting and wiring the Syndyne SDK’s. (A lot of wiring!)

Thanks again to everyone,
Jim E
Last edited by JimE on Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Home Drawknob Console

Postby brooke.benfield » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:06 pm

A lot of wiring?

Tell me about it. :lol: I just did 110 of them plus 26 Peterson PowerTabs for the HW installation at my church. Ok...I did have some help, but it was still a lot of wiring.

You've done a Great Job. I promise you my home HW organ won't look anywhere as nice as yours.
Brooke Benfield
Organist, Gethsemane Lutheran Church
Portland OR
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