Restoration

What we do

Core Services


Overview

As a firm dedicated to restoration and pipe organ preservation, our team subscribes to the objectives and standards of the American Institute of Organ Builders and the Organ Historical Society. This means that your individual instrument will always retain the character and ingenuity of its original builder without sacrificing the reliability required for extensive use.

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Re-Leathering

Extend the life of your organ by decades with re-leathering using time tested and proven techniques

Re-leathering is a key component of pipe organ restoration. Bellows, which are found in pipe organs of every type, require re-leathering in order to provide a stable supply of wind from the blower motor to wind chests and other components. As leather ages it becomes brittle, causing bellows to leak and eventually blow-out.

  • The Leek Pipe Organ Company uses a process of bellows re-leathering that has been passed down through the generations and proven the test of time. Using the highest quality canvas and tanned leathers, new belts and corner pieces are applied with hot glue. After completion of the re-leathering process, the bellows are set aside to dry and harden, prepared for a new lifetime of service.
  • Wooden pipe stoppers also require re-leathering to ensure tuning stability. Loose stoppers, caused by worn leather, allow pipes to easily slip out of pitch. In addition to bellows and pipes, the wind chests of electro-pneumatic instruments have leather pouches & pneumatics that also require re-leathering. Pouches usually sit underneath each pipe,pneumatic components are inside wind both components control air flow.
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Electro-Mechanical Upgrades

Increase reliability of your pipe organ's electro-mechanical components

Other restoration projects involve the control systems such as switches, magnets and actions that operate the pouches described above. These control systems have their own specific maintenance concerns.

  • Magnets get corroded, the coils may burn out and cease to function, the armature valves or small round disks that allow air in or out of a pouch may not seal properly causing dead notes or ciphering notes. Our restoration includes replacing all these components with new ones.
  • Wind Chests may malfunction due to damage or poor original design issues. Restored wind chests correct these design issues and ensure optimal functionality.
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Tonal Additions

Add to the grandeur of your instrument with Tonal Additions

Space permitting restorations can also include adding preferred pipe ranks to the organ or other bells and whistles to support modern liturgical practices.

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Solid State Upgrades

Upgrading your pipe organ with State of the Art Solid State technology.

For the past decade we have successfully melded old world craftsmanship with technological upgrades to pipe organs.

  • Solid State Systems are customized to each unique organ and the individual organist needs.
  • Projects range from replacement of power supplies to construction and installation of draw jambs, name boards, and toe piston housings. Key and Pedal contacts use fine silver and all components are handled with great care.
  • Often in older organs the switching system components get corroded, are cumbersome to repair and electrically outdated. These can be replaced with more reliable solid state multi-systems, which are compact, and have updated electrical wiring for safety and reliability.
  • Installation is done on-site, eliminating the need to remove the organ console and other visible components.
  • Standard Manufacturer and builder warranties are available on all solid state upgrades.
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Historic Restorations

Preserve local/church history while being green

By choosing to restore your existing pipe organ, you have an opportunity to make a positive environmental impact in your community and church. Depending on the size of the organ, new builds require extensive use of wood and other materials that put a further drain on an already stretched ecosystem.

  • Newer organs also have higher acidic fumes coming out of the oak used to build the organ. Studies have shown that this high acidity could cause corrosion in pipes sooner. However older organs don’t have this problem since the wood has had years of aging.
  • The slide show to the left shows samples of the restoration process for a late 19th century Votteler-Hettche pipe organ in residence at St. Adalbert Catholic Church in Berea, Ohio.
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Console

Keyboards, Pedals, and Components

Pedal & Keyboards

Pedal board and keyboards are indispensable components of your instrument and are exposed to the most wear and tear due to constant use. The first noticeable signs of wear are when the pedal boards may become noisy and the keys on the keyboard seem uneven.

  • Restoring these manuals involves re-felting, adding new silver to key contact plates, adjusting spring tensions, polishing or replacing worn wooden parts etc.

Replacing components

Outdated console technology is often the cause of dead notes, coupler failure, and general unreliability. Just as national electrical code and computer technology constantly evolve, standards in the pipe organ industry have changed profoundly over the past 100 years.

  • In the context of restoration, Solid State Organ Systems can be utilized to bring older pipe organs into conformity with industry current standards. The Leek Pipe Organ Company deals exclusively with Solid State Organ Systems of Alexandria, Virginia.
  • In addition to reliable playing action, Solid State systems provide a myriad of optional luxuries to the modern organist, including transposition and MIDI recording and playback.