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Discussion Starter #1
So what do you do when you have alot of extra wood, scrap materials, and bits & pieces left over from other prop builds??? Why...make a Pipe Organ of course.

I always thought a Pipe Organ is be a great Halloween prop and in seeing all the awesome ones that are created and posted here I decided to go for it. I didn't start from a real piano, since I don't have one, so I used 1X3's to build the frame.

Here are some pics of the build in progress so far;
The frame (which is built in two sections each small enough to fit in a crawlspace for storage)...
Organ Base picture by Coldshivers - Photobucket

The internal supports....
Pipe Organ Frame picture by Coldshivers - Photobucket

The external panels and keys support shelves...
Organ picture by Coldshivers - Photobucket

A pic of the keys cut and the exterior wood after staining. I used some black garden farbic between the keyboards shelves and along the bottom to allow the music to flow straight out of the organ. I also started the bench build which you can see off on the left of the pic.....
Pipe Organ picture by Coldshivers - Photobucket

This is a pic of the organ with most of the black keys painted and of the completed bench....
Organ and Bench picture by Coldshivers - Photobucket


The bench was made from a 3' 1x10 I had and some old kitchen table legs I saved that were cut down to size. My next step is to finish the black keys and cut differnt PVC sizes which will insert 5" through the top and rest on a shelf so they stand up, and can be removed for storage.

I'm not going to have the time to automate the keys (this year) but someone, or something, will be "playing it" to Bach in the direct path of the ToT's (ha).

The best part of this entire build up to this point is that the total cost so far totals $3.74! That cost was just for some disposable paint/stain brushes and a can of black gloss spray paint. Everything else below I had on hand.

So far I have used;
ORGAN
5 - 8' 1x3's for the frame
4 - 8' 1x3's for the keys
2 - sheets of 3/8 plywood

BENCH
1 - 3' 1x10
4 - old table legs painted red
1/4 yard of black material left over from BoF build
1/2 8oz. bag of fiberfill left over from BoF build


P.S - Thanks J.D. for your help with cutting down the 1x3's into keys!
 

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It looks awesome, HP! I especially like the different levels of keys. Good thing you had some help cutting. love the bench with the faux fur, too. Can't wait to see it complete.
 

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The Goddess of Screams
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WOW! you guys are just WAY to smart for me!! LOL I would never be able to do that!!

It looks amazing!
 

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Devilishly Dutch
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What a great way to use up scraps of wood! Looks great :) Now where are the pipes? :D

MsM
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks. It came together nicely and looking forward to finishing it.

Yeah, I hear ya MsM, those pipes have to be next. I picked up 10' lengths of 2", 1.5", and 1.25" PVC tonight so they should be made in the next few days. I do have a dilemia though. I cannot settle on the color of the pipes. I keep going back & forth between silver, brass, or copper. Any thoughts????
 

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Devilishly Dutch
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My dutch husband had no doubts what so ever.....the pipes had to be copper. Guess that's the advantage of growing up in a church in europe. You just know that old organs have copper pipes. Go figure lol Here's how ours turned out:



 

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Discussion Starter #8
Your Pipe organ looks great! The stone surrounding the pipes looks great and I really like the double rows of pipes too. Seeing the copper color and how it stands out I think I have my color now.

Where did you place your lighting to have it shine on it? Behind or over top? That is another question I haven't settled on.

Thanks
 

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Devilishly Dutch
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Yeah, we played around with lighting last year and still weren't totally happy with how it turned out. We had a soft colored spotlight above and behind the organ and organist and also had one of those clip on book lights clipped on under the keyboard and directed up at his face and a second one pointed down at his hands.
We were lucky enough to have him done far enough in advance to be able to spend an evening just playing around with lights. Will play around again this year cause I still wasnt happy with it.

MsM
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Did some work on the Pipe Organ and almost finished with now. I have the back set of pipes cut, painted, and mounted. Now I just have to install a smaller set of pipes (only about half as much) in front of the back row, put some trim around the edges, and attach the back after I cut a few holes in it for the power cords to run through for the boom box playing Fugue that will sit inside.

Ms Meeples, thanks for the color suggestion, copper is perfect.
 

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Devilishly Dutch
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Wow that's coming along nicely :)
What else ya gonna do with it?

MsM
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have a flickering candelabra that I made last year which should look good on the organ top or on one of the key shelves. I have a Phantom of the Opera costume that has a cape with a high collar, vest, and white satin shirt which should look good. My driveway has an upward incline and this will be placed at the spot where they turn right towards my front door so as the ToT's walk up they won't be able to tell whether this is another moving prop or not until it is too late. I may put my skeleton bride along side it so it appears like he is playing it for her, we'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Outside of a few tweaks here & there, I finished my pipe organ last week. Here is the updated pic.....



and the "Phantom" playing it this past Sunday at our Halloween Open House....[a little too much flash up is an ok pic...URL="http://s230.photobucket.com/albums/ee245/Coldshivers/?action=view&current=DSC00273.jpg"]
 

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Devilishly Dutch
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Turned out great! Cool that you had a live phantom playing it. I assume he was live haha

MsM
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi MansionMan, I've been away for work, sorry for delay. I have pictures that I took at different steps throughout the build that I can post and send you a link to look at. I did not create a step by step instruction sheet (since I was building it from scratch and changed things sometimes to make it better or stronger) but from the pics you can see how it was put together. To make it lightweight and easily transportable, I basically used a bunch of 1x3's for the frame, 1 3/8" sheet of plywood for the body front & sides and base for keys, a few 1x1's to cut out the white keys, and a thinner length of wood for the black keys.

For the pipes I cut up lengths of 4" PVC, 3" PVC, 2" PVC, 1.5" PC and 1" PVC for the cascading effect and painted them copper. They are attached to the top with 2 screws each. The key effect was a 3' long overhead picture light that I mounted in front of them to light up the pipes in the dark.

To be honest this was a fun project and the only time consuming part was cutting the keys and painting them. Let me know if you are interested in building it and I can post the pics and help as I can via posts.

Go for it!
 

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I hate to dig up old threads, but I just bought a 118 year old pump organ and am planning on adding pipes to give it a pipe organ appearance. My question is, how did you mount the pipes to the top of the organ and did you mount the pipes to each other to keep them from falling over?

I know HauntedPumpkin said they used 2 screws each, but didn't say where or how.

Any help is appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi Dminor.

I did use 2 screws in each pipe to hold them to the top of my pipe organ. They were put in about a half inch from the bottom of the pipes and are about a inch off the centerline. The spacing did vary a little as I got to the end pipe which were smaller but I made sure they were always in the back and not showing. I used 1.5" - 2" wood screws (depending on the size of the PVC pipe) in predrilled holes that then went through the top panel of the organ. The top of my organ unscrews and come off to make it able to breakdown (which is good since everything has to breakdown to go under my house - through a 30" x 30" door!) so a word of caution that the organ will be tall and plan where it will reside post holloween.

A 118 yr old organ would look great with a set of pipes on top! Putting in so many screws through the top of it will pretty much destroy the top of it (not sure how much it cost you or the value it currently has being so old) unless you lay down a bed of 2x4's or 1x3's on the top to attach the pipes to. Maybe you could attach the wood together and clamped to the top in the back behind the pipes if you need to protect the organ's top, just a thought.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
Thanks, HP
 

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Dminor - did you ever post a picture of your finished organ? I'd love to see it. Thinking of doing an organ and trying to see as many ideas as possible. Thanks!
 
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